Updates

Mission to Lesotho

Highlights

The main highlights for me on this mission trip were: 1.) getting to know my fellow students better, 2.) the snow in the mountains, and 3.) getting to know a little of the culture of the Basotho people in the mountain villages.

Our Team

We were a team of about 15 students from GWC and 3 from St Peter’s Church in Fishoek who went on this mission to Lesotho led by Ross Anderson who is our Missiology lecturer.

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Our team

We left the college at 06h00 on 4 September and drove up to Bloemfontein where we were hosted by the St James Church (Bloem) for the night. Early in the morning of 5 September, we headed for the Lesotho border at Maseru. The border crossing was the easiest I have ever experienced (almost akin to crossing the ‘border’ between Southern Suburbs and Northern Suburbs in Cape Town). We merely had to get our passports stamped – no documentation at all necessary for our vehicles!

Base Camp

Once in Lesotho, we stopped at a mall in Maseru to purchase sim cards for our cellphones and to buy groceries for our mission in the mountains. From there we drove about 2 hours to a village called Ramabanta where we set up camp at a backpackers lodge. This served as our base camp from which we conducted our mission hikes into the mountain villages. Our group was divided up into 6 smaller teams and each team was allocated a mountain village to hike to and minister in for 3 days.

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Base camp at Ramabanta

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Ramabanta village

Double Hike in the Mountains

Our team was allocated the village Thethsoa which was an alleged 4 hours hike into the mountains. We were four members in our team, 2 girls and 2 guys: Ixho, Amanda, Tumo (our translator), and myself. Tumo, who grew up nearby this area, ‘knew’ a shortcut which certainly turned out to be ‘shorter’ (straight-line distance), but due to the more jagged terrain ended up taking twice as long as the other ‘longer’ route. This meant that we hiked for 8 hours in the mountains with our heavy backpacks. The girls were brave and strong and kept pushing on with sheer determination when energy and strength was depleted and lacking.

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Beginning our hike into the mountains

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A mountain trail

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Some shepherd boys we met along the way

Village Welcome

We arrived at our village on Friday afternoon at 16h30 and were received with a warm jubilant welcome as the people gathered around us and were singing and dancing which went on for about an hour or more. They had prepared two huts for us – one for the girls, and one for us guys. The huts belonged respectively to two elderly women who had vacated their homes and beds to allow us to use them.

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Our hut

Warmth in the Cold

It was freezing cold up in the mountains and we were each handed a traditional Lesotho woollen blanket and shown how to wear it properly (there is a particular way for men to wear it and a particular way for women to wear it). These blankets made a massive improvement to keeping the cold at bay. After a traditional meal of pap and greens (wild herbs/maroch) we were given a heap of blankets to keep us warm at night. There were so many blankets, the sheer weight of them made turning over a considerable difficulty.

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Awesome blanket!

Village Ministry

In the morning we conducted some kids ministry with the children of the village. As they are mostly shepherds, we taught them about Jesus who is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. After lunch (left-overs from supper) we went from hut to hut visiting the people and learning about their lives and needs. We then prayed for them according to the needs which they shared with us. During our hut-to-hut visitation, it began to snow. This was really exciting, but also dramatically reduced the temperature. Each hut had a fire going in the center of the hut which was welcoming and warm, but also filled the hut with smoke. We had to learn that due to the way the fire ‘breathes’ there is very little smoke around the base of the fire. So we all huddled around the fire – not only to keep warm, but also to stay out of the smoke.

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Warm fellowship around the fire

At the last hut we visited, we were witness to our supper being prepared – which included the slaughter and cleaning of a chicken. As you can imagine, this was an intriguing moment for the girls. The chief of the village came to meet us whilst in this hut and we had an enlightening conversation with him. He advised us not to show the Jesus film at night because the only location where the village could gather was down in the valley at the school buildings and because the village is located on a steep mountain the return to the huts, particularly for the elderly, in the snow would be dangerous. So taking his advice, we decided it would be better to show the Jesus film after church the next day when everyone would already have been gathered and during daylight.

The next day, Sunday, we gathered for church in the school building. I preached a simple Gospel message from Luke 16. And after the service, we showed the Jesus film (I had taken my Jesus film equipment with me).

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Showing the Jesus film

On Monday morning, we ministered to the kids at the school at the assembly. We continued the theme of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, but this time we added the emphasis the we are His sheep and His sheep hear His voice and follow Him.

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We are the sheep of the Good Shepherd

On our return hike back to Ramabanta, we opted to take the ‘long’ route, denying the ‘temptation’ to take the ‘shortcut’, and arrived at base camp after four hours of hiking. Tuesday was a day off which I used to work on an assignment and on my blogs for the church website. On Wednesday, we hiked back to one of the nearby villages (about one hour) where we met with various church leaders from surrounding villages. Ross and Niki (GWC faculty) taught them various aspects of effective children’s ministry.

Heading Home

On Thursday we headed back for Bloemfontein where we overnighted again, and on Friday we drove back to Muizenburg arriving at 20h30.

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Categories: From the Mission Field, Lesotho, Updates | Leave a comment

Merry CHRISTmas!

Michael&Renee_MerryChristmas_2017

Joyful Christmas Greetings!

As we come to the end of this year, we are grateful for what God has allowed us to accomplish and for all our friends that have walked this road with us.

This has been a good year, it has been tough, but between my studies and Renée’s work we have been kept busy and have successfully wrapped up this year. I have finished my first year of theological studies at George Whitefield College and have surprised myself at how well I did. This year has flown past so quickly!

We are enjoying our break and look forward to what the new year has to offer. We are heading out to the Wilderness to do some bush camping in the first week of January. We are savouring every minute that we can spend together.

Thank you for walking this road with us. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated!

We wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Michael and Renée Watson
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b

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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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Invigorated by God’s Word

Dear Friends and Family

I trust that you are well and growing in your love for Jesus and His people.

Renée and I are doing well. We are grateful and astounded by God’s goodness and grace. We thank God for the family, love, fellowship, teaching, and opportunities to serve which we enjoy at our church, Tokai Community Church. We thank God for what He is doing in our lives through our church family.

I have grown immensely in my faith and knowledge of God and His Word through this first semester at college.

Holiday and Work

During this last school (and college) holiday we were able to visit my Dad, Renée’s Mom, and other friends and family in Kwa-Zulu Natal. We were also catch up with a lot of household tasks that have been patiently waiting for attention whilst we have been productively and frantically busy with the demands of the academic term. I managed to find time to fix the ceiling in our home and do some mechanical maintenance to our car which included: changing the timing-belt, doing a service, and replacing the radiator (which actually burst on our drive to Durban – thus the need for replacement).

Renée and I at Chapmans Peak

Renée and I at Chapmans Peak

Refiner’s Fire

I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the privilege of studying at George Whitefield College. I find the lecturers to not only be passionate about the subjects they are teaching, but also vigilant of our personal spiritual growth and walk with God.

I have found my first semester to be exciting and invigorating whilst also being challenging, tiring, and stretching.

The academic demand on students at GWC is immense and intense. All the students in all years and stages of their studies often vocalize the strain they are under. I, of course, am new to this whole academic environment, so I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in finding the academic pressure challenging.

Academic Pressure and Deadlines

The required reading assignments are near impossible to complete, particularly when simultaneous deadlines are looming to hand in various assignments, which is closely followed by exams. Having said all this, I must add that it is under such a pressured environment that I thrive. I enjoy deadlines and pressure; it helps me to function. I believe this is one of the motivations behind this intense academic pressure – to help students to present thorough arguments for important and difficult topics quickly whilst under pressure. I understand this skill will be thoroughly useful when in the hilt of ministry situations.

Limping Devotions

In the first term and into the second term I was struggling with my private devotions with God. I was struggling to find time to have my devotions; and when I did find time to sit down and have alone time with God, I found that the Bible seemed to have lost its capacity as ‘God’s Word’ and now seemed only to be an academic book. I presented this challenge to my Discussion group (at College) asking that they pray for me that I may be more disciplined at my private devotions and that God’s Word would come alive to me again. They not only agreed to pray for me but also admitted that they have the same problem and discussed ways they have found helpful to remain in fellowship with God through His Word and prayer during this intense time of studies. They also directed me to Steve Rockwell, one of our lecturers, who has in the past given them good advice in this regard.

Valuable Paradigm Shift

I had a very fruitful discussion with Steve Rockwell who encouraged me by pointing out that the struggle I was facing was not unique and many, if not all, students face a similar struggle. He gave me tips on how to approach the Bible in my quiet time and suggested a good daily devotional by D. A. Carson (For the Love of God). But his most helpful advice changed my way of thinking about my studies at college. “Make every subject you study a devotional time with God,” he said, “forget about trying to get good marks and just pursue your studies as a means to get to know God better”. He told me how this approach helped him when he was a student. This advice has revolutionized my studies and made every lecture, book, assignment, or exam become a tool to help me know God better. The result is that not only are my quiet times revitalized, but every aspect of my studies at college have become all the more exciting and adventurous.

My study desk

My study desk

Delightful Chapel

I really enjoy and benefit immensely from the Chapel services that are held at the college twice a week. The Bible is preached faithfully and I find my faith is strengthened through the communal worship. I have been (as all students are) incorporated into the services with opportunities to read portions of Scripture, pray, and serve as a steward. I am also involved in the music team.

God’s Story

As part of our Public Speaking class, we had an assignment to prepare our testimony in a Christ honouring way and present it in class in under 4 minutes. This was a very helpful assignment. My testimony was selected (among others) to be video recorded for an online app called ‘Yes He Is’. The video crew came around during the holiday and recorded my testimony. As soon as they have done the editing, I will post a link.

First Semester Results

I have finally received my Semester marks for last semester.

79% – REACH-SA History
81% – Christian Doctrine Introduction
96% – Greek 1
73% – Mark’s Gospel
79% – Old Testament Introduction
79% – Biblical Theology
75% – Public Speaking
81% – Study Skills

I am very happy with these results and thank God for all I have learnt through this semester. I am excited and eagerly looking ahead to this 2nd semester.

Thank you very much for your prayers, support, and encouragement. We certainly appreciate you walking this road with us.

May God bless you thoroughly and perpetually!

In His hands,

Michael and Renée Watson
www.mikemissions.wordpress.com

 

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2017 Off to a Massive Start

Dear Friends and Family

I greet you in the mighty and merciful Name of the King of God’s Kingdom, Jesus Christ.

“He [the Son of Man] was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
Daniel 7:14

I hope you are well and that you had a restful and blessed Christmas time with friends and family. I hope that you have had a good start to this new year.

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May 2017 be a blessed and prosperous year for you!

I am excited about this new year and there is much I need to tell you about (it has been a while since my last update and so much has happened).

GWC

I am trilled to announce that I have been accepted at George Whitefield College to study for a Bachelor of Theology degree which is a 3-year program.

George Whitefield College - Morris House

George Whitefield College – Morris House

I started studying GWC’s Explore Course in January 2016 and completed 2 Modules passing both with distinction. These part-time studies gave me such a thrill and excitement as I gained vast increases in my knowledge about God and the Bible – I found that there was so much I didn’t know and yet needed to know in order to be more effective at my missionary work. This inspired me to pursue full-time studies so that I may be a more responsible preacher (and to know God more and know how to please Him better).

I enrolled and have been graciously accepted at George Whitefield College; it is with great excitement that I look forward to learning and studying about our Great God.

I praise God for His hand in my application process to study next year at George Whitefield College and for His provisions of financial assistance from our church which has generously agreed to pay my tuition fees.

I pray that God will quicken my intellect and cause me to have a smooth transition into this academic environment and also that God will help me to give adequate attention to the Vision and Priorities of High Light Africa through these next 3 years of study.

Solar-Powered Jesus Film Kit

I am pleased to announce that High Light Africa is now the proud owner of a Solar-Powered Jesus Film Kit which has been made possible by our generous financial supporters and partners. This is a completely mobile and off-the-grid system particularly designed by myself to present the Jesus Film in remote rural villages. This kit is currently capable of accommodating an audience of 200 people, but can be easily upgraded for more viewers by simply adding more speakers.

Jesus Film Box

Jesus Film Box

Jesus Film Kit

Jesus Film Kit

Jesus Film - Solar Charger

Jesus Film – Solar Charger

Jesus Film - Speaker

Jesus Film – Speaker

Jesus Film - Projector

Jesus Film – Projector

Jesus Film - Tripod

Jesus Film – Tripod

Jesus Film - Screen

Jesus Film – Screen

Jesus Film - Poles for Screen

Jesus Film – Poles for Screen

High Light Africa – Malawi

As I will be focussing on my studies for the next 3 years, I thought it prudent to set up High Light Africa (HLA) in Malawi where we have co-workers and colleagues who can continue with the vision and priorities of HLA whilst I am otherwise occupied.

Rev. Barnet Phiri, who is a long time friend, ex-bishop of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Malawi, passionate about Evangelism, a great leader and preacher, humble and selfless, and a local indigenous pastor in Malawi has graciously agreed to and accepted the role of being the director of High Light Africa – Malawi (HLA-M).

Over the last few months, Barnet and I together with a lawyer from our church have been formulating and constructing the Constitution of HLA-M. This will be the legal document that defines and regulates our organization in Malawi. This hard and diligent work is almost completed.

We are hoping to formally adopt this Constitution at the founding meeting we plan to hold in Malawi in April 2017 on our next Mission to Malawi. We will appreciate your prayers and support in this regard.

High Light Africa expanding to Malawi

High Light Africa expanding to Malawi

TCC Ministry

Renée and I are thoroughly enjoying being part of our new church – Tokai Community Church (TCC). We are blessed to sit under the clear teaching of the Bible and also to be a part of the life of the church. Renée has been leading the Girls Teen Connect group since October and I have been privileged to be included in the music team where I play guitar on some Sundays. I also help with maintenance at our church.

I was privileged to join John Shane with some of the outreaches he is conducting in the Westlake Village in Steenberg. John has been running the Soccer Club where the boys of Westlake are invited every Saturday morning to play soccer at a lovely soccer field that he (John) has arranged for them. There are normally between 20 & 30 boys who pitch up (sometimes even more). At half-time, John usually gives them a short encouragement/exhortation from God’s Word. I was once given the opportunity to speak to the boys from the Bible.

I also joined John on a couple of Sundays at the Westlake Community Fellowship which is a small gathering of believers and their kids who gather to worship God and to listen to the Word being preached.

Camping Trip

Over Christmas Renée and I went camping with some friends at a bush-camp near to Greyton. It was a wonderful time of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Camping at Champagne in Greyton

Leg of boar roasting over the fire

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We enjoyed many camp fires

As for our plans in 2017:

Besides for my upcoming studies, we also have plans for some missions this year. During my study break in April I plan to conduct a mission (with Renée) to Malawi. And then during my July study break I plan to conduct a mission (with Renée) to DRC.

May God bless you thoroughly and perpetually!

In His service – and loving it

Michael & Renée Watson
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b

michael@highlightafrica.com
renee@highlightafrica.com
www.highlightafrica.com

Categories: Studies, Updates | Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

2016-year-end-greetingWe thank God for all He has enabled us to accomplish in 2016. We are excited for 2017 and the potential that lies ahead.

Thank you for your support during 2016. Without faithful supporters we would not have been able to accomplish much at all.

May God bless you and cause you to be a blessing to others in this New Yew that lies ahead.

In His service – and loving it!

Michael and Renée Watson

“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b

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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!

Categories: About me, Studies, Updates | Leave a comment

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

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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

Categories: About me, Updates | Leave a comment

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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