Dear Friends and Family
I greet you in the wonderful Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I hope that this letter finds you doing well.
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ… Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should” Colossians 4:3,4
Since our last update we have had a busy ministry schedule in Burundi, Tanzania, and Malawi. We have had some really incredible ministry opportunities. Currently we are in a far out, deep rural area ministering in a very strong Muslim region of Eastern Malawi among the Yao tribe. This tribe is notorious for their involvement in the Arab slave trade and for their warring nature. The Christians in this area have been persecuted harshly by the Muslims; recently two churches were burned down.
Through Sickness and…un-Health
Renee and I are still trying to recover from a relentless bout of flu that has been troubling us for the last 3 weeks. We are definitely on the tail end of this now, but it is still stubbornly refusing to submit to the handfuls of medication that we have been throwing at it.
Ryno has now succumbed to a bad eye infection that is progressively getting worse and also, to add to that horror, he has a painful infection in his ear. It looks much worse than it is – with his head bandaged up to cover his right eye and a large dressing over his left ear – he looks like he barely survived a vicious war! Please pray that we will be able to find good medical attention for him soon.
We have now been on this Congmataza Mission for two-and-a-half months (11 weeks) ministering in 6 countries including South Africa, Zambia, Burundi, Congo, Tanzania, and Malawi. We have conducted more than 210 meetings and travelled more than 12000km. We still have two months of ministry schedule ahead of us.
Reformation FIRE – Burundi
After our busy and effective Mission to Congo, we entered into Burundi where we conducted a Reformation FIRE seminar in the capital city. Pastors from Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi were present at this seminar as well as many members of the host church. The sound system that they use for their worship is insanely loud, so much so, that we had to use earplugs to relieve the pain that we experienced as the invasive decibels assaulted our hearing.
The pastors were very grateful for the teachings and declared that this is what Burundi needs – sound Biblical teaching. There are so many false doctrines going around in this area frustrating the believers, that when they hear basic Biblical doctrine, they are overwhelmed by how profound and true it is. We were able to distribute to each pastor a copy of Biblical Principles for Africa in French, the Apostle’s Creed, and also a copy of The Reformation FIRE Manual.
Whilst in the capital city of Burundi, we had a wonderful opportunity to minister to a sincere seeking Muslim lady from North Africa. This really seemed to be a God-ordained appointment. For the sake of protecting her identity, I will call her Fiona. She is married to a Burundian man who is an influential politician. Our host pastor in Burundi had arranged for us to stay in Fiona’s fancy 5-star hotel which is situated in the upper-class area of Bujumbura – very near to the president’s house.
It was whilst staying in this luxurious hotel that we got to know Fiona as a wonderful, friendly, kind, and generous lady who was sincerely seeking the truth. As we got to know her more, we discerned that in her seeking, she had been seriously misled by ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ who were cunningly enriching themselves through Fiona’s purse and ignorance of authentic Christianity. This ‘pastor’ was clearly an imposter and sorcerer, using divination to hypnotize the unsuspecting sincere seeker into a state of trust. This situation is just ‘the tip of the iceberg’ of the immensity of the deception that exists here in Burundi. Since the Catholic Belgians colonized this land, the people have been misled by many false forms of Christianity.
“…in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons…” 1 Timothy 4:1
A Goat for a Goat, and a Cow for a Cow
Fiona and a colleague of hers who was also an unfortunate victim of this ‘ravenous wolf’ imposter, told us how this ‘pastor’ had ‘discerned’ that they had snakes (which were demons) wrapped around their hearts and other organs of their bodies and they needed her (the ‘pastor’) to pray for them to save them from looming destruction. As they submitted themselves to ‘prayer’, (which involved a physical ‘mock’ operation, having to lie down on the ground as this ‘pastor’ ‘operated’ on them to remove the snakes) the pastor would then ‘discern’ that these demons (the snakes) refused leave because they wanted reimbursement. “Those who sent me here,” she would say speaking on behalf of the demons, “sacrificed a goat, therefore if you want me to leave, you should give me a goat!” The ‘pastor’ would then say to Fiona, “A goat is worth $500. The demon won’t go unless you give me $500.” Some of these demons also demanded a cow. “A cow is worth $1000…” Sometimes even a child was required…
A Forest of Snakes!
Each time a ‘snake’ would be removed from Fiona’s heart, the ‘pastor’ would discern that there is another one. And that one too would require a payment of some kind before it could be removed. Fiona’s colleague blurted out in pent-up frustration, “I have a forest of snakes living in me! And it’s only since I met that ‘pastor’!” Fiona told us that she had paid more than $1500 monthly to this ‘pastor’ to deliver her from these demons that were allegedly haunting her and wrapping snakes around her heart, but without any progress. “Isn’t your God powerful?!” She asked in apparent exasperation. “Why, after paying so much and doing so much, is your God not able to drive out these demons?!”
Faith Comes by…the Word of God
We were able to impart a different and more admirable perspective of Christianity to Fiona for which she was immensely grateful. We told her that what she had experienced was not Christianity at all. We showed her from the Word of God, that Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with God through Jesus. We explained that she doesn’t need to pay money in order to be free, all she needs is to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. She listened, paying close attention to detail, asking questions, and drinking in this new information gladly. She said, “You have released me from that prison I was in.”
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
Please continue to pray for Fiona, that God would reveal Himself to her and that she will continue to seek Him diligently.
Tasting Fruit in Tanzania
Last year during our Africa Overland Mission we visited a town in Tanzania called Shinyanga and conducted an intensive week of ministry at a particular church. It was our privilege to visit and minister in the same church this year and to see the fruit of our ministry last year. The church had taken the teachings they received last year and put them to practice and the change was pleasantly obvious to behold. It certainly blessed our hearts to hear the testimonies and witness the progress that had been made.
We were kept very busy during our time in Shinyanga as our host pastor put us to work, speaking at churches, schools, and a college. We conducted two Reformation FIRE seminars here and screened the Jesus film and the Passion of the Christ film on almost each evening. One night as we showed the Jesus film, the nearby mosque tried to compete with our sound system. They sang and chanted on their horn speakers, pushing the volume up to what was obviously maximum, because after two hours their sound system burned out.
“I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
Ngorongoro Crater Exemption
Unfortunately we were not able to visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania where we had hoped to minister among the Maasai. This was due to the disappointing fact that the Conservation Authority did not accept our request to be exempted from the exorbitant fees that are required for tourists. We had prayed hard and sent letters to the Conservation Authority 3 months in advance, following all the required protocol, but it seemed as if God had shut this door firmly.
Free Time Well Used
Seeing as we had almost a week of free time on our hands, we took a few days to rest and recover, as by this time, Renee and I were down with a bad spell of flu. We then offered the rest of the time to our ministry contact in Malawi who was just too happy to receive us earlier than he expected us.
Rest, Recuperation, and Recovery
We erected our tents at a beautiful idyllic lakeshore beach where we camped for a few days to rest and recuperate before the next phase of this Mission.
This seemed like a piece of heaven on earth – a tranquil bay along the beautiful shore of lake Malawi where the beach is white, the sunlight dances as it sparkles off the crystal clear and calm lake water, the birds chirp their melodious song as they play in the branches of the trees that shade the lush green grass that carpets our restful campsite. This place is like a paradise!
Renee and I had been desperately ill with the flu, often succumbing to coughing spells which left us with raw throats and restless nights. This paradise campsite and welcome break in our busy ministry schedule had come at just right time to allow us to recover from this annoying virus.
Sola Scriptura Bible College
We had a wonderful time of ministry at the Sola Scriptura Bible College in Malawi where we conducted a Great Commission Seminar, distributed valuable books and literature to the 74 students, donated DVDs, Audio CDs, Mp3 Disks, and Discipleship books for the college library, and delivered WMP Gospel Booklets, tracts, Broad and Narrow Way Posters, and other Evangelistic resources for their frequent outreaches.
Relentless Retiree and Reformer
The Sola Scriptura Bible College is one of 5 Colleges that have been established in South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and in Kenya. The man who has been used by God to start these efficient Bible Colleges is now in his late 70’s and still pushing on hard in this race that God has set before him. He is a great example of tenacity, perseverance, self-sacrifice, productivity, and triumph. In his old age, this passionate missionary is running this Bible College in Malawi with very little help from others. His one other colleague is leaving next week to go back home in South Africa.
This tough old missionary is doing the work of 5 strong young men. It breaks my heart to see him left in this challenging and demanding situation. This is a shocking reflection of the blatant reality of the lack of young people responding to God’s perpetual call to Missions.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’” Isaiah 6:8
This tired, robust, stalwart missionary earnestly made his plight known to me declaring, “We are facing a crisis situation here. I will be left all alone here to run the college single handed. I will not be able to manage alone. Please, we need help. Aren’t there any young men who can be sent to continue the work here…?”
Who Will Go?
Please pray for the Bible Colleges that are being run by this valiant missionary. There is a desperate shortage of workers at most of the Sola Scriptura campuses; there is lots of work that needs to be done.
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the labourers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust labourers into His harvest.’” Matthew 9:37, 38 AMP
Grateful Hands and Hearts
Thank you very much for praying for us, for encouraging us on our ‘Watson’s Missions’ Facebook page and on sms, emails, and Whatsapp, and for giving of your finances that purchases diesel, Bibles, food, and shelter which enables us to persist in fulfilling our missionary calling of ministering the Gospel in Africa. May God richly reward your generous giving.
“For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.” Mark 9:41
May God bless you thoroughly!
In His service – and loving it!
Missionary Field Worker
Malawi Cell: +265 881 584 593
Office +2721 689 4480
Victory Loves Preparation