About me

YesHeIs – Testimony

Hi there Friends

A film crew from http://www.YesHeIs.com filmed my testimony at George Whitefield College in July. They have just made it available. It’s only 2 minutes (and 30 seconds) long, yet captures the heart of God’s incredible work of GRACE in my life. This is HIS story…

Here it is:

I am eternally grateful for Jesus!

May God thoroughly bless you all!

Michael Watson

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12 Years Ago, I Died

I was dead; I am ALIVE

I am ALIVE !!

Though I died 12 years ago I was born again and since then have new life in Christ!

Jesus turned my dreadful life of slavery and death into a fantastic adventure of faith, freedom, and life!

Today, 15 September, is my birthday commemorating the day I was born again!

Allow me to tell you the exciting story of how God brought life to my dreadful existence of drudgery and death…

Let’s start at the beginning…

What I was like

My Most Important Value

Freedom and rebellion were my primary values. Having grown up in a strictly conservative Christian home, I rebelled against all the Christian rules and regulations which were forced upon me and only wished to live free from any rules. I grew to hate God and despise Christianity which seemed intent on meddling with and conforming the lives of others. I broke free from my parents’ home when I was 18. Liberating myself from this ‘Christian oppression’ I lived life as I pleased and followed my heart, gratifying every desire with great vigour and little restraint. I had no care for what society thought of my behaviour, I just wanted to be ‘me’. My lifestyle could very aptly have been described as one of ‘sex, drugs, and rock & roll’.

My View of God

Having had the Bible ‘crammed down my throat’ as a young teenager, I had a vast knowledge of truth about God. I knew and believed that God existed and that He had made the world and everything in it – including myself. However, I couldn’t see why I should have anything to do with Him, nor He with me. On the contrary, I wanted nothing to do with Him. I didn’t like His manipulating followers nor His Book of rules and regulations. I saw God as an unreasonable taskmaster and bordered on hating Him intensely. However, I must also add that I was often astounded by the beauty of the world that He had created and regularly found myself spontaneously thanking Him for this beautiful world that I had to enjoy – even thanking Him for the drugs which got me high. I knew He was powerful, but He was also distant and transcendent. I went about my life autonomously doing whatever I pleased, as I assumed He did too. I saw no reason to pursue a relationship with Him. I stayed out of His way and expected Him to stay out of mine.

However, the nagging reality of ultimate accountability to God ominously loomed in my distant consciousness. I knew that life after death was to be expected and that God would judge all mankind. I knew that some – the extremely bad ones – would go to hell, and others – those who followed Jesus – would go to heaven. I knew that Jesus’ death on the cross somehow exempted His followers from judgement and gave them a free ticket to heaven, but that came with the ghastly condition that they had to follow His oppressive rules. I despised this idea of manipulative morality – being forced to follow the rules at the threat of hell and reward of heaven. I decided that I would reject God’s rules and enjoy my life whilst I am young, and one day, just before I die, I would ‘accept’ Jesus and thus escape hell and get into heaven (as the thief on the cross next to Jesus did).

My Religious Background and Attitude About Christ

Due to my Christian upbringing, I had a vast intellectual knowledge about Jesus Christ, who He was and what He had done. I knew in theory that somehow He was God, that He had visited earth 2000 years ago – being born as a man, that he lived a blameless and righteous life, and that He was a miracle worker. I knew that He had been crucified for crimes He did not commit, had been miraculously resurrected from the dead, and ascended into heaven. But to me this was all just head knowledge, propaganda that I had been brain-washed with as a kid. It had no effect on my understanding of what this implied, nor did I have any inclination to find out a deeper meaning of this. What I did know was that Jesus Christ called people to follow Him, to forsake the enjoyment of this life, and to obey that dreadful rule Book. I had seen and heard of many who had decided to ‘follow’ Jesus and I thought they were absurd fools to give up their freedom in exchange for a boring pious life of rule-following.

I Lived in a Self-Centered Manner

I only pursued personal gratification seeking to enjoy my life. I had no regard for who got hurt in my pursuit of pleasure and freedom. Today when I look back at the wake of people who got hurt in my insatiable pursuit of happiness and autonomy, I am deeply ashamed and regret my actions dearly.

What God used to Begin to Open my Eyes

After about seven years of careless loose living, I started to find that this life that I thought I was enjoying was now sadistically enjoying me. I found myself bound as a slave to drugs and a party lifestyle which left me broke and helpless to curb my disastrous habits. Though I tried more and more with increasing determination to stop, or at least slow down, I found myself helpless to curb my ever-increasing self-destructing habits. I frantically came to the realization that I was a slave to my own desires and ‘freedom’!

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

I found myself on a way such as this. I was at the threshold of death and distressed beyond description due to my immanent fate as a consequence of the bad decisions I had made.

What I Saw and Understood

On the night of September 15, 2005, I tossed about relentlessly on my bed deprived of sleep due to my overwhelming distress – I knew my life was out of control, my autonomy was gone, I was a slave to a sadistic taskmaster. I was exhausted and hopeless – I saw no way out. It was at this moment that Jesus dramatically reminded me of His own words in Matthew 11:28,

Come to Me, you who are tired and weary of carrying heavy loads, I will give you rest.”

These words were a massive encouragement to me; I was tired, I was weary, I was carrying heavy loads, I needed rest. However, these words also brought me to a state of terror. As I realized that Jesus was offering me rest, I knew very well that it was this Jesus against whom I had rebelled, the One I had rejected, the One I had sinned so heinously against. I was intimately aware that my innumerable sins against God earned me His eternal wrath in the hottest place in hell, forever. I knew that I had not given God the slightest reason to look on me with favour. On the contrary, I knew that my lifestyle of sin and rebellion had given God great reason to be eternally angry with me.

But here I was confounded by the fact that this infinitely holy God against Whom I had so grievously sinned was here in my time of greatest need offering me rest. It seemed too good to be true. How could the One I had so greatly offended be offering me rest and reconciliation?! It was then that I understood that the crimes for which Jesus was crucified 2000 years ago were my crimes, He bore my sins on the cross, He had received the punishment that was due to me, and because of this, was now lovingly offering me rest. He wasn’t presenting rules for me to follow or conditions to be met, He was simply offering me rest, forgiveness of my sins, and reconciliation with God.

How Christ has/is Affecting My Life

That very day, I took Jesus up on His offer. Because He had conquered death, in His resurrection from the grave, I knew that He was alive and able to actualize His offer. I believed Jesus could forgive my sins and turned wholeheartedly to Him for mercy and rest.

My simple prayer to Him was this, “I surrender. I’m not running anymore; no longer my way, but Your way.”  It wasn’t a fancy prayer; it was a simple prayer of surrender.

What Was Changed

The change that God brought about in my life was dramatic. After I had put my faith in Jesus Christ to forgive my sins and give me this rest He was offering, a profound and fascinating thing happened. I experienced a ‘newness of life’ a joy bubbling within me, a passionate desire to behave uprightly, a detest for the sin I had been wallowing in, and a hunger to know God more – though it somehow felt as though I knew Him intimately, as if He permeated my entire being. I was a totally new man! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

“If any man be in Christ, He is a new creation.”

I experienced this explicitly! The addictions that had enslaved me were now spontaneously gone – I experienced no withdrawal symptoms at all! My filthy mind and heart was renewed, the things I used to love, I now despised. I returned money and things that I had stolen. I apologized to those whom I had hurt and trodden on. I had an insatiable desire for God’s Word which I had previously despised; I often found myself reading the Bible till past 3AM. I attended church services on every day (including week days).

I felt such intense joy and fulfilment in being reconciled to God that I spontaneously sought to please Him and serve Him – though I knew it was my duty to obey Him as Lord, I welcomed and embraced it enthusiastically. It felt as if I was living my life for the very purpose for which I had been created. To me, the ‘rule Book’ that I had previously despised, now became the welcome means for me to know God and how to please Him who had loved me so much to rescue me from destruction and despair, forgive my sins, and reconcile me to Himself through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It was the irresistible and reasonable reciprocation of the unconditional love shown to me.

Since that life-defining moment I have been on an exciting adventure with God as my faith has grown from strength to strength. Right from the start I was so grateful to God for what He had done in my life I wanted to serve Him in any way I could. I started serving at a local mission station as a handyman. Four years later, I joined a mission base in Cape Town under which I traveled overland all over Sub-Saharan Africa proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ Who offers rest, forgiveness, and reconciliation to those under the power of sin.

Currently, I am studying theology at George Whitefield College in order to learn to know God better and how to teach others God’s magnificent liberating Word more effectively.

I am not perfect, though I strive to please and obey God, I still have my shortcomings. God is not finished with me yet. This is an exciting journey of being in friendship with God!

Conclusion

Christianity is not about following rules and doing the right thing. There may be many religious church-goers that miss the point and try to solely insist on these rule-following demands, but they have missed the most valuable treasure of reconciliation with God and new life in Him which comes as a free gift. Yes, we must honour God and obey His moral standards that He has set for us, but not as a means to an end – not by way of earning God’s favour or getting into heaven. Rather our motivation to obey God, who has loved us with immeasurable unconditional love, who has Himself mended the barrier between us by the death and resurrection of Jesus, comes from a spontaneous desire to please Him which itself is borne from the new life He gives to us as a free gift.

Do you want to experience God’s forgiveness and love? Do you want to partake in this newness of life, which is eternal and never dies? Believe in Jesus, receive the gift of eternal life, and you too can live a life of fulfilment and honour in friendship with God.

Michael Watson

 

 

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Theological Studies Underway!

Do your best [study (KJV)] to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15

My studies at George Whitefield College have finally gotten to a raging start. I have been eagerly waiting for this since I got my acceptance letter in October 2016.

Classmates from around the world

The first two days of registration and orientation were very exciting and inspiring. As I met and got to know my classmates and the 2nd years, I was astounded and blessed to find that there are many different countries represented by the students here. In my class alone, I have classmates from Malawi, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Ecuador. Among the 2nd and 3rd year students there are also some students from Zambia, Ireland, and Zimbabwe. It has been an absolute pleasure to meet and fellowship with these dear brothers and sisters – I look forward to the next three years we will be spending together in our studies.

Meeting new classmates at tea time

Meeting new classmates at tea time

Greek Language School

The first eight days of college lectures were super intense and invigorating as we started what is called “Summer School” at GWC. This was a focused time of concentrated Greek lectures getting us ready for the official start of our normal study program.

Learning an Intricate Language

We learnt the Greek alphabet, close to 240 Greek vocabulary words, a whole bunch of paradigms, and a ton of grammatical rules! We had stacks of homework to do which kept me awake up to 02:00 most nights. I found the academic pressure to be challenging, but exhilarating! I am amazed at how much we were able to learn over this short period of time. We wrote a test on Friday which counts for 20% of our Greek semester mark. I felt pretty good about this test and trust I will receive a good mark.

Summer School

Summer School

 

An Inspirational Teacher

Our Greek lecturer, Stephen Rockwell, is from Australia and is a very talented,  understanding, and enthusiastic teacher. He has patiently, yet persistently, helped us to understand the complexities of this intricate and detailed language; he has made it fun and captivating to learn Greek. It is tremendously inspiring to begin the journey of learning the language in which the Holy Spirit had chosen to reveal the New Testament. I am excited to learn more, so that I can understand the Bible better and in so doing know our great God better and what is required from us.

Suffering Devotions

Throughout these eight days of Summer School, we were blessed to start the day with deeply insightful devotions from Phumezo Musango, Geoff Gertzen, Shane, and Frank Retief. Strangely enough, these very encouraging Devotions were all centred around the topic of suffering and God’s plan through it all. Strange, not because of the suffering we as students were facing due to the difficulties of learning an ancient language under immense pressure, but rather because a very dear friend of ours had just been admitted into hospital with stage 4 melanoma brain cancer. This has been a very difficult time for us as we have had to see our young friend, in the prime of her life, suddenly faced with the reality of immanently passing into eternity and her beloved family falteringly grappling with this nasty surprise.

Morning Devotions

Morning Devotions

Pray for Kathleen

Please pray for Kathleen Joubert (van der Westhuizen) who is currently undergoing radiation to give her a better quality of life for her last days here on this earth. Pray for a miracle, but also pray for her family who are struggling to come to terms with this devastating reality of the fragile mortality of their beloved mother, sister, daughter, wife, and soul-mate. Pray that God will hold them securely in the palm of His hand.

Kathleen and Craig at Feylin's wedding in November 2016

Kathleen and Craig at Feylin’s wedding in November 2016

Grateful Financial Assistance

On a happier note, I have been supremely blessed that our church has offered to pay for my tuition fees this year and also to have been awarded a bursary from the GWC Trust to assist with our living expenses whilst I am at college for this year.

This financial assistance is most valued and appreciated by Renée and I. Without this financial assistance we would struggle to meet our financial demands that are increased by my full-time studies. We celebrated with great joy and praise to God when we were informed of the financial assistance made available to us by the GWC Trust and Tokai Community Church.

May God’s purposes be fulfilled in our lives as we seek to know Him better and to make Him known to others.

Thank you for your love and support.

In His hands,

Michael Watson

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A Fruitful Studious Frenzy

Imminent Exam

I am so enjoying learning about Jesus and His mission here on Earth, I excitedly find myself so wrapped up in my studies that time seems to stand still and speed up at the same time. I am thoroughly enjoying this rush of knowledge about God. My brain feels numb and jelly-like as I press on diligently in my studies because I desire to do well in my Explore the Life of Jesus exam coming up on Monday. I not only want to do well in my exam, but I want to remember this and apply this for the rest of my life!

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My study station

Application to George Whitefield College

I am busy filling in my application forms for George Whitefield College as I plan to pursue a Bachelor of Theology degree starting next year.

When I started the Explore Course earlier this year, I was ‘blown away’ by the amount of knowledge that came rushing to my attention from the pages of the study book and I realized that I am lacking the critical theological training that would cause me to be effective in my missionary work. This whet my appetite to know more about our Great God and to know more intimately the Scriptures which are the revelation of Himself which He has given to mankind.

Though I am benefiting greatly from the Explore Course, I believe that I would benefit more intensely from full time studies at GWC.

Please pray for me as I prepare my applcation and that I will receive a favourable response from the College.

Mission to Malawi

In 3 weeks, I will be heading out to Malawi for a 18-day mission trip. I am so encouraged by the way that God has provided for the needs of this mission up to this point. My heart is overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness. I still don’t have all that is needed, but I trust that God will continue to provide until all resources will be available.

I will be ministering in various locations in Machinga District, specifically among churches that are in dominant Muslim areas. I have been working with these churches for a number of years and I praise God for the faith of these believers who worship God giving thanks to Him for the immeasurably valuable gift of eternal life they have received through Christ.

I praise God for His provision of funds to purchase Bibles for these believers, many of whom are from a Muslim background and can’t afford a Bible of their own.

Please pray that God will have His hands on the preparation of this mission, for the schedule as it is being arranged, for the people I will be ministering to, for the preparation of my teachings, and that God will continue to provide what is lacking to make this mission effective and a success for His glory.

Mission Icon

Malawi Mission – September 2016

May God bless you and fill you with the knowlege of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

In pursuit of the knowledge of Christ

Michael Watson
http://www.highlightafrica.com
michael@highlightafrica.com
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b
Unleash the Light!

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Kids, Bible College, and a Mission

Dear Friends and Family

I hope that all is well with you and all those who are dear to you.

Renee and I are both doing well, though we have also both just recovered from the flu (Renee is busy kicking out the last of it now).

Kids Holiday Bible Club

During the school holidays, Renee helped out at the Holiday Bible Club for the week of Epic Explorers – an exciting kids’ program run from our church (www.tokaicommunitychurch.org). These young kids were so full of energy, by the time Renee came home in the afternoons she was pretty exhausted! Renee had a lot of fun helping out with this program.

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Warning: This will make you tired

Islamic Studies Completed

I have just completed a 2-week course at the Bible Institute on Islamic Studies to better understand the many Muslims both here in SA and in Malawi so as to have a more effective approach to present the Gospel.

The Bible Institute is situated on the rugged yet beautiful slopes of the Kalk Bay mountains. BI has been training pastors and Gospel workers for almost 100 years.

I was blessed to study in this beautiful part of the world.

I have learned a great deal and feel dynamically better equipped to continue the work of preaching the Gospel to Muslims.

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Beautiful view from the BI campus

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I took this picture on the way to BI one morning – Stunning!

 

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One of 3 mosques we visited during our studies, this one in Kalk Bay

 

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The Oldest Mosque in South Africa, in Bokaap

 

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Bokaap is very colourful!

 

 

Bible Institute Certificate

Certificate from Bible Institute

 

 

Exams Coming Up

I am now frantically working at completing my studies in the Explore Course (from GWC); I’m busy with the second module: Explore the Life of Jesus. My exam date is at the end of August.

I am happy to announce that I have received good results for my last exam, Explore the Bible. I received a High Distinction with a mark of 94%. I praise God that I have been able to succeed and do well.

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Praise God for good marks!

 

Upcoming Mission to Malawi

I am planning to go on another mission to Malawi as soon as I have finished writing my exam in end of August. I am looking forward to it as are our friends in Malawi who are eagerly awaiting our arrival. I plan to continue the program of evangelism training in the rural churches with a specific focus on Muslim Evangelism. You can read more about it here: www.highlightafrica.com

Prep 1

Upcoming Malawi Mission

If you would like to partner with us financially to help with the costs of this Mission, please follow this link to find our banking details: www.highlightafrica.com/support/

Thank You

I appreciate your prayers and support. May God richly bless you!

In His service – and loving it!

Michael Watson
www.highlightafrica.com
michael@highlightafrica.com
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b

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A ‘Spy’ on the Wall!

Dear Friends and Family

I hope and trust that you are doing well. Renee and I are doing well as we excitedly follow the path the Lord has set before us.

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.”
Romans 12:11

SIMstart

I have just completed a week-and-a-half enlightening and uplifting training with SIM at the regional office here in South Africa. This was a great privilege for me as I have been seeking God’s guidance for the way forward for me as a missionary.

SIM is a mission agency that has been sending missionaries into the field since 1889. Initially called Sudan Inland Mission, but now Serving in Mission. I really got a sense of their professional, devoted experience and I have come to admire their passion, vigour, love, and effectiveness.

SIM

SIM website

Cart before the horse

The SIMstart program is really designed for new members of SIM who have already passed through the 4-month application process. SIMstart provides these new members with the initial training of the core values of SIM and equips them with vital skills and tools that every missionary needs in the field. I, however, was not a new member. So I kind of ‘jumped the que’ – I was referred to as the ‘cart before the horse’.

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SIM website

Spy on the Wall

Once I was actually called (in jest) a ‘spy on the wall’! I suppose this was because I was there as an outside observer and they knew very little about me. This underlined the absolute privilege I was in the midst of – not supposed to be there, and yet I am the proud beneficiary of delightful exposure to the training of this esteemed mission organization.

Spy_on_the_wall

Spy on the wall

Lessons Learned

I learned a tonne of lessons from my short time at SIM during the SIMstart program. I met a few passionate missionaries who are just joining up as memebers and I was inspired by their bravery and commitment to God’s call to forsake all and follow Him.

Though I have been serving God as a faith missionary for more than 10 years and been through the vigorous missionary training at Frontline Fellowship, I still learned so much during my short time at SIM that I feel somewhat like an amateur.

Love and Family

One of the biggest things that stood out to me is the love and warmth I felt from the staff – it felt as if I were welcomed into a huge loving family. This came out as one of the things they hold dear to themselves, they are a family and love and care for one another dearly.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

In a Nutshell

God really used my short time at SIM to challenge me to more devoted service to His Kingdom. My resolve to study Theology next year has been bolstered and encouraged by all whom I met and spoke to at SIM. SIM is a great mission agency, they conduct their responsibilities with professional zeal, with love and focus. I would certainly consider joining this family when I am done with my studies.

Who We Are - SIM

SIM website

Coming Up

I would appreciate your fervent prayers for me during the next month or two I have much on my ‘plate’ and I’m going to need God’s help to be successful at these tasks.

Muslim Evangelism Training

In July, for 2 weeks, I will be attending a Muslim Evangelism Training Course at the Bible Institute of South Africa. I am really looking forward to this because this is one of the areas I want to focus on in Malawi.

Bisa-MET

Muslim Evangelism Course

Exam and Persistent Studies

As you know by now, I am fervently studying the second module of the Explore Course: Explore the Life of Jesus. My exam date for this is end of August which means that I only have 2 months to get through this study material. I am thoroughly enjoying the wealth of new knowledge I am getting and how this draws me to deeper worship of God Who has revealed Himself through the Scriptures.

Malawi Mission

I am planning on visiting my beloved friends, brothers, and sisters in Malawi in August (or September) after I have finished writing my exam in August. Please pray that God will grant me wisdom in planning for this mission trip and specifically for a team member as I feel that it is unwise to travel alone. Pray also that God will provide the necessary funds to make this possible. I will soon provide more specific details.

Thank you for your love and support. I appreciate you keeping in touch with me, for encouraging me and for praying for me.

God bless you all!

Michael Watson
michael@highlightafrica.com
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” Psalm 85:9b
http://www.highlightafrica.com

 

 

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Thrilled by Knowing God

Dear Friends and Family

I greet you in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ!

I hope and trust that you are doing well.

“Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
1 Timothy 4:8

Train the Brain

I have been very busy these last few weeks studying for an exam I wrote last week. I still don’t know what my results are as the exam will only be marked on 20 June. The course I’m studying is called the Explore Course and the first module is called Explore the Bible. This was the module for which I wrote the exam which went pretty well and I am confident that I will get a good mark.

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Pressing on

I have already registered and collected my study book for the next module, Explore the Life of Jesus. I am really looking forward to going through this module. I am thoroughly enjoying the rush of new knowledge and information about God and the Bible which deepens my worship and adoration of this great God whom we serve!

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Wealth of Valuable Knowledge

Ever since joining our new church Tokai Community Church (TCC) I have been thrilled by the clear sound Bible teaching that draws me to know God more and to serve Him relentlessly with greater fervour than before. Similarly the midweek Connect group (Wednesday) and Bible study (Thursday) have also driven me to know and understand God and His Word better – it is a breath of fresh air! And I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Dispel Ignorance

This has caused me to start prayerfully considering studying a degree course in Theology at George Whitefield College. My main motivation in doing this would be to know God and His Word better in order to be in a better position to not only serve Him better, but also to teach others better. As you know, I am passionate about helping folk understand the Gospel and know God through Jesus Christ, but I have found that I have SO much more to learn.

“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”
– 1 Timothy 4:10

Muslim Evangelism Training

In July I will be participating in a 3-week Muslim Evangelism Training course at the Bible Institute. As I am seeking to work among Muslim people in Malawi and train Christians to reach their Muslim neighbours with the Gospel, this is a great opportunity to expand my knowledge in this area.

Botshabelo Mission Trip

I have just returned from a short Mission to Botshabelo with TCC. Please read more about it on the High Light Africa website where I posted a short report. Here is a link to the article: Demolition, Construction, Fun, & Fellowship.

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Botshabelo Mission – video report

Thank you for your constant love and support.

May God thoroughly bless you!

In His service – and loving it!

Michael Watson
michael@highlightafrica.com
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b

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Studies, Website & News

Mind Bursting at the Seams

I have recently (in February) started studying an entry level theological course at George Whitefield College called the Explore Course. This course has given me vast amounts of knowledge and is helping me to better understand the Scriptures. My mind has been so bombarded with new enlightening information, I am overly excited about these studies and I marvel at the way my knowledge of God is growing in leaps and bounds! I am writing my first exam at the end of May.

Explore Course covers

Go for the Big Haul

Having started with the Explore Course, I have realized how much it has benefited not only my knowledge of God, but also my worship of Him. I am prayerfully considering doing a degree course through George Whitefield College. I think it will not only help me become a better Bible teacher, but also help me to find more opportunities to serve in the South African context.

Website Upgrade

As you may know, at the beginning of this year I registered a website (www.highlightafrica.com) to serve as a platform for the missionary vision which burns in my heart. I am very grateful to Philipa Jane Farley (www.philipajane.com) who volunteered her services as a Digital Strategist and Web Developer to make this website better.

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Upcoming Mission to Botshabelo

I am going on a short mission with our church (Tokai Community Church) to help our partner church Holy Trinity Botshabelo in Bloemfontein.

Last year, thanks to a large financial donation, Holy Trinity Botshabelo was able to build a brand new church building! This was an awesome gift from God’s people and truly has made a huge impact on the believers of Holy Trinity Botshabelo. In February I was privileged to be part of a team from Tokai Community Church that went up to Holy Trinity Botshabelo to join them in celebration for the dedication service of their new church building.

Botshabelo_church

In the last week of May, we will return to Holy Trinity Botshabelo with a team of handymen with our tools ready to serve. The main focus of this mission trip will be to build and install some built-in cupboards in the new building and help with any other maintenance issues the may have.I am really looking forward to this opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters in this way. I am grateful to God for making it financially possible for me to be part of this team. Thank you to those of you who support my missionary work with your finances and your prayers.Please pray that God will make us a blessing to those whom we will serve.

I am also hoping to return to Malawi during August if all goes well with the Irrigation Project.

May God richly bless you and fulfill your deepest desires.

In His service – and loving it!

Michael Watson
michael@highlightafrica.com
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b

 

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Re-birth Anniversary

Dear Friends and Family

Greetings in the precious and wonderful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Today, it’s my birthday. I’m 6 years old!

On this 15th day of September, six years ago, God reached down into the pit in which He found me, and He marvelously, graciously, mercifully, saved me. And I was miraculously born again!

I earned God’s wrath     –              He gave me MERCY

I earned death                  –              He gave me ETERNAL LIFE

I earned banishment      –              He gave me FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM AND ACCESS TO HIS THRONE ROOM.

I had a heart of stone     –              He replaced it with a HEART OF FLESH

I was blind                           –              But now I SEE

I was dead                          –              But now I LIVE

Psalm 103:1-5

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Yes, on 15 September 2005 at 04h15, I had an encounter with God and I have never been the same since!

It happened something like this:

Sin and Shame

I was becoming weary and tired of the yoke of the sinful nature and seeing its dreadful effects upon my life and knowing I was not in control any more I started to see where this slippery downhill path was heading. I was no longer enjoying my life, but now I found that my life was enjoying me. I was very distressed one night returning at 04h00 from a party. As I got into bed, being greatly distressed, I had a totally unique experience.

God Rescues

I saw God, though not with human eyes, – not any particular form, but I knew that it was God. I heard God, though not with human ears, speaking to me in a still small voice saying: “Come to me you who are tired and weary of carrying heavy loads, I will give you rest.” I knew right away that it was God who spoke to me, but as I pondered those words I remembered that it was Scripture from the Bible (which I had not read in 6 years). I immediately came under the fear of God and conviction of sin. I dreadfully came to my senses realizing that I, a puny insignificant sinner, had defied God’s Holiness and Majesty. I understood that if God were to send me straight to hell, my punishment would be just.

New Creation

I knew that I had to get right with God – leave my life of sin, settle down and start living right. That very morning I made arrangements to go to Jivannadi Mission (where I had grown up) and by 15h00 in the afternoon I had surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Ever since then I’ve been a changed man – immediately! God had so changed my heart that the sin I once loved, I now despised; and the righteousness which I despised, I now loved! I had no withdrawals from the drugs, I had no cravings for cigarettes, my piercings literally fell from my face. God was at work in my life! I look back and I’m amazed at what God has done. Praise the Lord!

Serving my Master

I now enjoy being part of His kingdom and serving for the fulfillment of the Great Commission of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.

Right from the moment I got saved, I had such a deep gratitude to God for my salvation that I longed to serve Him in the mission field somehow. So I made application to Jivannadi Mission, making known my desire to serve God’s Kingdom in some way. On 26 October 2005 I moved on to the mission and started my work as a volunteer helper on the mission station. This was good for me because it gave me the perfect opportunity to grow in Grace and to learn from the giants of the Faith who had been on Jivannadi for decades. I came under the authority and leadership of Pastor Greg and learned much through the teaching of the services every evening.

Frontline Fellowship

After four and a half years of learning and serving at Jivannadi Mission, God called me to work with Frontline Fellowship. This has been an amazing opportunity to learn and grow! I have been working with and learning from Frontline Fellowship since June 2010. I have learned so much in this last year through the leadership and teaching of Dr. Peter Hammond, the Director of Frontline Fellowship. I can’t think of a greater opportunity than this – to have the privilege of learning from a stalwart in the Faith by being by his side and being tutored by him. I thank God for this opportunity and I hope to make the best of it.

I have also learned many lessons from my experiences working with the Frontline Fellowship Field Team. I have been on 4 Missions in 5 countries. Besides all the practical things that I’ve learned, such as: border crossings, how to deal with corrupt officials, river crossings, speaking with an interpreter, etc. I have also learned tonnes of spiritual lessons and God has constantly been building my faith in Him and I’ve been growing in my knowledge of God. This is absolutely amazing! That we can know, love and serve the Sovereign Almighty God, Creator of ALL that is and Saviour of wretched sinners such as I.

I am grateful to God for having saved me, kept me and for His promise to never leave me.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Thank you for your prayers and support.

In His Service,

Michael Watson.

“That His glory may dwell in our land”

Psalm 85:9b

“That Your ways may be known on earth,

       Your salvation among all nations.”

Psalm 67:2

Categories: About me | 3 Comments

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