Dear Friends and Family
Greetings in the most precious and merciful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I trust that you are well and that all is well with those who are dear to you.
S.A. Mission Overview
We have had a busy and effective time of ministry over the last two and a half weeks (18 September – 8 October) in Mpumalanga and Gauteng. We conducted a total of 25 meetings including 4 Sunday worship services, 5 schools, 6 youth group meetings, 3 cell group meetings, 2 college Devotions, children home meetings, and a university meeting. Pastor Steven from the Congo who joined us on this Mission was a great blessing to all our hosts and was an encouragement to many as he shared, taught, and gave testimony of how God has been working in DRC.
Long Journey with Illness
After a long and tiresome 16 hour sickly journey we arrived safely in Johannesburg at 19h00 on Friday evening 18 September. Renee had gotten the flu a few days prior to our departure and it seemed that this flu was at the height of its terror in Renee’s body during our long tiresome journey from Cape Town to Gauteng. As we were approaching Bloemfontein, Renee was so sick and in so much pain that we had to phone ahead to a doctor in Bloemfontein for an appointment. Renee had developed a lung infection and an ear infection due to the flu. The medication prescribed by the doctor quickly did its work and rapidly helped Renee feel better. Renee continued fighting off the flu for about a week and by virtue of the fact that I am her husband, I too eventually succumbed to the flu.
Borrowed Sedan Optimally Loaded
The borrowed sedan that we were using for this Mission was loaded to its reasonable maximum weight capacity. The boot was full mostly with our luggage and gear; most of the boxes of literature were packed on the rear seat. As literature distribution is a large focus of our ministry, we carried as much as sensibly possible without overloading the sedan’s suspension. I am very grateful to my brother who made his sedan available to us for this Mission.
Our first stop in Johannesburg was at the home of a dynamic evangelist and dear friend of ours who is doing a marvellous and effective work for Christ preaching the Gospel in the Tembisa Township. Upon our arrival at his home we off-loaded the literature that we had brought for him. This certainly took a load off the car’s suspension – I could almost hear the noble sedan give off a sigh of relief. However, our next stop added to our load as we picked up Pastor Steven Alembe and his luggage. We then proceeded to Pretoria where we were very comfortably hosted with lavish Afrikaans hospitality at the home of the parents of one of our missionary trainees.
Pastor Steven from Congo (DR)
Pastor Steven is a member of Frontline Fellowship’s Christian Action Network and has become a good friend, a brother, and a very significant contact in Congo (DR). We first did ministry with his church in 2013 during our Africa Overland Mission and again in 2014 during our Congo Overland Mission. His church is a growing, Bible-based, Mission-minded, and Spirit-filled group of vibrant believers who follow Reformed teachings and are not swept away by the all the latest “Christian” fads. We were very impressed by their missionary vision and church planting strategy. Pastor Steven also attended our 3-week Great Commission Course in Cape Town in 2014.
Metanoia FM Radio
About a year ago Pastor Steven started a Christian Radio station that broadcasts from his church in the area where he is from in Congo. The name of this Radio Station is called Metanoia FM. Steven was invited to South Africa to attend the Africa By Radio Continental Conference that was being held in Johannesburg in mid-September. The day we picked him up was the last day of this conference.
On the morning of Saturday 19 September, I had to take the car in for a suspension check at a workshop because of a rattling sound that was disconcerting. Seeing as this courteous sedan was selflessly striving so hard to serve us and had complied to all our demands thus far, I thought it only fair to take heed to her humble attempt to draw my attention to her aching (and noisy) parts. Having identified the faulty suspension parts we replaced them and were soon back on the road happily heading for Barberton.
Lost Barberton Boys
As we arrived in Barberton we saw on the outskirts of town two young blonde-haired boys (aged about 4 and 5) walking along the side at the narrow national road all by themselves. It was late afternoon and we were concerned for their safety so we stopped to help them get home. Their poor parents were worried senseless about their missing sons and had enlisted a search party to help find their precious missing boys. We were grateful that we could help get these boys back to their parents. We finally arrived at BBTC at around 17:30 and were warmly welcomed by the welcoming committee.
We were graciously hosted at Back to the Bible Training College for a few days whilst we ministered at some churches and schools in the surrounding area which had sponsored some of the funds needed to purchase Bibles for the Congo Overland Mission (Congmataza Mission) last year. Our main focus here was to report back to these folk, many of them still in school, on how God had used their generous sacrifice to assist believers in DR Congo.
Back to the Bible Training College
BBTC is a vibrant and effective Bible based College which has more than 120 students from 20 different countries. They offer a 3 year course where they go through every book of the Bible preparing these pastors to preach the Word of God effectively.
During the few days that we were based there, BBTC had an American lecturer from a ministry called Timothy Leadership Training Institute who was lecturing on hermeneutics. I learned a great deal from him and the work he is doing in Africa. His vision is to teach pastors in Africa who have had no formal training.
Raging River Memory
During our Mission to this College last year (2014) we got stuck on the wrong side of a raging river that broke its banks overnight due to a thunderstorm and heavy rains (I wrote a news report on this event on my Blog; you can read it here). As we drove over the low-water-bridge which is the only way to BBTC, we gingerly remembered the intensity of the flood last year and prayed that we would not be subjected to similar adversity this year.
We had the privilege of sharing at the morning Devotions at this noble Bible College on two of the mornings that we were hosted here. I spoke on 300 Fighting Men on Tuesday morning and Pastor Steven shared his encouraging testimony on Wednesday.
Nelspruit Assemblies of God
On the first Sunday of our Mission (20 September), we had a wonderful opportunity to minister at the Assemblies of God Church in Nelspruit. The pastor is a wonderful man and welcomed us warmly. Peter Hammond has often ministered in this church, but this was the first time I had this privilege. We had a blessed time of worship at this church. I preached on Jesus, Friend of Sinners. Pastor Steven encouraged the church by sharing about what the Lord is doing in his village in Congo highlighting some prayer requests for the ministry there. Afterwards there was a great interest in the book table which we had set up and we were able to put great Gospel resources into the hands of many.
Aquila Youth Church
On the evening of this same Sunday we ministered at the Aquila Youth Church which has a very energetic style of worship. These young people had raised more than R 7000 last year for French Bibles for the Congo. Our purpose for being here was to report back on the Congo Overland Mission to encourage those who had given so sacrificially and to share with them some testimonies and pictures of the effects of their generosity. The presentation was well received after which pastor Steven Alembe conveyed to these youth the immense gratitude of the people who had received the Bibles and encouraged them by sharing his own testimony. His mere presence at this church was vastly encouraging to this young Church.
Kalei Deo Christian School
Similarly, we shared at the Kalei Deo Christian School who had also donated money towards the purchase of Bibles for the believers in Congo. We really saw the value of reporting back when we saw the joy on these young boys and girls faces who had collected coins, gave of their pocket money, and motivated others to give. Many of these kids are in primary school and probably don’t sufficiently realize the impact of their meagre efforts. I say meagre respectively, but collectively their efforts were majestic, marvelous, and massive!
“Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:43, 44
Thunderstorm, Barberton Youth, and Escape
On the last day that we were to be hosted at BBTC we had an opportunity to speak at a youth meeting in Barberton; we were to leave for Gauteng the following morning. As we were preparing to leave for our evening appointment to speak at the youth meeting, a terrific thunderstorm started raging overhead, the sky turned dark grey – as if night were setting in early, and immense drops of rain were relentlessly hurled down upon us and the mountains around us. We immediately feared the worst and anticipated another flood like last year. We certainly did not want to get suck on the wrong side of the river again so we decided to quickly pack all our gear into the sedan and rush as quickly as possible to the other side of the river before it rose over the bridge. Our stately sedan slipped, slid, and skid through the slippery mud that now represented the 1km dirt driveway as we hastened carefully through the gauntlet of bumps, streams, and rocks that were now exposed due to the rain rushing down the hills. Fortunately, when we finally made it to the low-water-bridge, the water had not yet risen above it and we could make our way across without any hindrance.
Discovery Bible Study
We had an intensely blessed time with the youth meeting where Pastor Steven conducted a Discovery Bible Study on the passage Philippians 2:1-11. It was a very interactive time where each youth member contributed thoughts to the discussion. We were all encouraged to be more like Jesus Who humbled Himself for the sake of others so that they might be saved. We re-committed ourselves to more fervent evangelistic endeavours and submitted ourselves to the accountability of each other to motivate one another to keep this commitment.
Visit with Brother
After the youth meeting, the rain was still pouring down so we decided against risking the return to BBTC where we were to be hosted for the night. I called my brother (whose sedan we had borrowed) who lives in Secunda to arrange that we spend the night with him. We had a wonderful time with my brother who hosted us with great lavishness.
On the second weekend of our Mission we headed for Gauteng to meet with Pastor Paul Nyamuda who would be hosting Pastor Steven on Saturday night and at whose church Pastor Steven preached on Sunday. Pastor Paul Nyamuda treated us extravagantly for lunch where we had a great time of fellowship getting to know one another and discussing how we could work together for the extension of God’s Kingdom.
Pastor Paul is an influential business man and a pastor who is passionate about leadership training. He is the pastor of Go Church in Centurion and runs a business called Corporate Legends where he encourages believers to conduct Business God’s Way. Their Church also runs a ministry directed at youth called Right Foundation where they encourage youth to become leaders who will impact God’s Kingdom positively. We spent almost 3 hours discussing and fellowshipping with Pastor Paul, we believe that God ordained this meeting and we look forward to working together with him in the future. He was very excited on hearing of the Great Commission Course that Frontline Fellowship runs annually in Cape Town.
Coincidence or God-Incident?
I received a strange email on the Friday before we were to drive to Johannesburg from a Pastor in Congo who lives about 100km north of the village where Pastor Steven is from. The email informed me that he is in Johannesburg and would like to meet with me. This Pastor is also a member of Frontline Fellowship’s Christian Action Network yet he has never met Pastor Steven. I thought it so strange that these two pastors from the same province in Congo were to meet each other in Johannesburg, South Africa. We arranged to meet on Saturday and had a wonderful time of fellowship and networking. I am amazed at how God works to put us together with believers and leaders to accomplish His own will.
Whilst Pastor Steven preached at Pastor Paul’s Go Church in Centurion, I was in Kempton Park speaking at the Afrikaanse Baptiste Kerk. I spoke on the Greatness of the Great Commission, introduced Frontline Fellowship to the congregation, and shared testimonies from the various mission outreaches that God has enabled us to accomplish. I encouraged this church to be more active in reaching others for Christ and their enthusiasm was seen afterwards as they raided the book table of the tracts and resources which we had made available.
Kriel Youth Ministry
Our second week was mostly spent in Kriel with a passionate Dutch missionary family who has been working relentlessly and sacrificially among the disadvantaged youth in Kriel. These aging missionary parents are approaching their 70’s and have been persistently ministering in this area for more than 30 years. They have built up a great network of youth groups and schools where they minister. They have also built an orphanage where they care for 29 children.
We had great times of effective evening ministry at 3 of the 12 Youth Centers that are run in Kriel by this amazing family. We ministered in the Kriel Youth Center, the Tubelihle Youth Center, and the Albion Youth Center. Many of these young people grow up in dark and difficult environments in the townships where they live. These Youth Centers in the respective townships are like beacons of light in a dark night. There are playgrounds outside where kids can play on the swings, slide, sea-saw, jungle gym, and other fun-inspiring structures. Inside the center is a hall where meetings are held, a homework room where youth can come to do their homework with the help of a leader, a kitchen where tasty food is made and freely given to all on the premises, and a games room with a pool table, fuse-ball table, and other fun indoor games. We had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with these youth and warning them of the dangers of sin and separation from God.
Ministry was arranged for us at 3 schools where we were able to preach the Gospel openly and directly. This I found to be quite unique because in most schools in South Africa, particularly in Cape Town, we are not allowed to speak from the Bible, mention Jesus, or pray. But here in Kriel, we were able to freely speak the truths of God’s Word to these young people in their schools with their principals in attendance. We thank God for these great opportunities to plant good Gospel seed and pray that He will cause those seeds to grow.
Orphanage and Children Home
The Children Home that is run by this missionary couple is home to 29 kids most of whom are orphans. I was struck by the immense authentic love that this missionary couple has for these young people – as if they were their own children. I was challenged by their example to be more loving to those around me; it’s not enough just to do loving things to others – one needs to sincerely love them too. We had opportunities to minister to the young kids, the older kids, and the staff on 3 separate occasions.
Plenty Harvest – Few Workers
Please pray for this great work that is going on in Kriel. There is a great need for a young couple to take over the work from the aging Dutch missionary couple who are so diligent, but are running out of energy to keep up with the fast-paced energetic youth. They are praying for a young, passionate, mission-minded, loving couple to take over the work which they have started.
After our ministry in Kriel, we headed for Pretoria where Renee’s very good friend was to be married. This wedding occurred on the 35th anniversary of the day that I was born into this world. This was a great time of celebration and happiness as we rejoiced with our friends celebrating their vows of eternal love for each other and at the same time we celebrated my birth and the 35 subsequent years that ensued. I was asked to pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings that we all enjoyed on this special day.
On the last Sunday of our Mission, I was invited to speak at a Baptist Church in Birchleigh, South Africa. The invitation came from a young man who had attended Frontline Fellowship’s Great Commission Course in 2014 and who is a very dynamic evangelist who does effective ministry in a township nearby called Tembisa. This particular church is energetically involved in fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not only are they vigorously involved in reaching their neighborhoods with the Gospel of Christ, but they are also very mission-minded and are training pastors and evangelists in various needy countries in Africa. Here again, I spoke on the Greatness of the Great Commission, introduced Frontline Fellowship to the congregation, and shared testimonies from the various mission outreaches that God has enabled us to accomplish. I also encouraged this group of vibrant believers to continue in their passion for fulfilling the Great Commission; I also made them aware of the many tonnes of Gospel resource, tracts, and books which we have available at our Mission base in Cape Town. I was eagerly asked afterwards for details on how these resources could be couriered up to Gauteng.
University of Johannesburg
On the following Monday we had a valuable opportunity to speak at the University of Johannesburg. A very good friend of ours is a lecturer at this university and he arranged a meeting in one of the lecture halls. I spoke on Do Not be Deceived encouraging these intellectual believers to make right choices. I shared some of my testimony of the time in my life when I had made poor choices and suffered harsh consequences as a result. I shared also of the time when I got marvelously and miraculously saved by the grace of God 10 years ago and since then have reaped amazing blessings from God as a result of my choices to please Him. There were many questions and comments afterwards as these young people seemed inspired to make positive changes in their behavior.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;
whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Galatians 6:7, 8
We thank the Lord for the many ministry opportunities we had, the Gospel tracts distributed, the books, Bibles and resources distributed, the wonderful times of fellowship that we had with believers, and His hand of protection on our lives as we travelled 4800km around South Africa.
Thank You !!
We are very grateful to all our hosts who so generously lavished us with extravagant hospitality. We are also desperately appreciate our supporters who made this mission possible – without your involvement, this would not have been successful. Thank you for encouraging us, for praying for us, and for giving of your resources sacrificially so that we may be able to fulfill our missionary calling and mandate.
Please continue to pray, not only for us, but also for the valiant missionaries and evangelists who are out there in the immense harvest field laboring determinedly for the extension of the Kingdom of God. Pray also that the Lord would send forth more labourers into His harvest field; and pray for the seeds which have been planted that God would water them, nurture them, and receive a valuable harvest for His storehouse.
May God bless you abundantly, thoroughly, and perpetually.
An unworthy servant
“That His glory may dwell in the land” – Psalm 85:9
Missionary Field Worker
PO Box 74, Newlands, 7725
Cape Town, South Africa
Cell: +2774 887 0211
Office +2721 689 4480
Victory Loves Preparation