Congmataza Mission Update 28 July 2014

Dear Friends and Family

 

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

 

I hope this Mission update finds you in good health and that all is well with those who are dear to you.

 

It is with great joy that I write this letter to you from the beautiful shores of Lake Tanganika, as I have much to share with you since our last update. We praise God for His abounding Grace and His undeserved goodness to us. We are enjoying good health and good fellowship with the believers that we meet along the way. We have been on the road on this Overland Mission to Congo for more than a month, we have travelled more than 8500km, and we have not yet had a single puncture, breakdown, or mishap nor have we had any trouble from any of the 5 borders we have crossed.

Mission Overview

Our Mission Team has conducted more than 85 meetings in South Africa, Zambia, and Burundi. Having started in South Africa where we had a wonderful effective week of ministry in the Wild Coast, we travelled through Botswana, crossed the Zambezi River into Zambia, and had a busy three weeks of ministry in Lusaka, Kabwe, Kapiri Mposhi, and in Serenje. We then travelled up to Lake Tanganika where we saw the spectacular Kalimbo Falls which is the second highest waterfall in Africa, then we spent three grueling days bumping and bouncing over the bone-jarring lakeshore road through Tanzania, and finally entered joyfully into Burundi where the roads are at least tarred, but terribly pot-holed. Our host in Burundi kept us productively busy for four days and then we entered into the ominous Eastern region of Congo.

Bandits and Kidnappers in Kabwe

In my last update to you, I mentioned a security concern and requested your prayers for our safety. As we are no longer in that area, I am free to share some more details with you. Whilst we were approaching Kabwe in Zambia, I phoned our host who had offered their compound for us to pitch our tents in, what I was told was extremely concerning. Apparently there had been some armed robberies of some missionary homes in Kabwe and a kidnapping in the 2 weeks preceding our arrival. The most terrifying of all the incidents was the abducting of 2 South African ladies from their Kabwe home after midnight; their kidnappers demanded that they draw cash from the ATM under threat that the children would be killed. Though these ladies complied, they were almost raped and killed, saved only by the one ladies’ South African wit. This incident and others have shocked the missionaries in the community into building higher walls, installing electric fences, and purchasing firearms to protect their families. It seems obvious that these attackers have been targeting the missionary homes. We were provided with alternative accommodation as our missionary hosts deemed their own compound unsafe for us.

Ministry in Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi

We enjoyed a very busy schedule of ministry in Kabwe and the neighbouring town of Kapiri Mposhi. Our host is the principle of a Christian School where we had a wonderful time ministering in all the classrooms and taking Devotions at the School assembly. Our team preached in three churches on Sunday morning and during the week we conducted a Reformation FIRE Seminar in Kapiri Mposhi which included an Evangelism training Seminar.

 

One of the highlights for me as usual is the time we could go door to door doing evangelism, putting into practice what we had learned in the seminar. It is sad to see how many Zambians are trying to get into heaven by doing good works. We screened the Jesus film in this area and those who responded to the Gospel preaching were put in touch with the local church members who will follow up with discipleship training.

Mulungushi Rock of Authority

Our host took us to see the huge rock that protrudes high out of the ground in a far out rural area that Kenneth Kaunda used as a “rock of authority”. Allegedly he would gather here with his cronies and sacrifice both animals and humans to the demons! He would psych up the people with his 6 hour long ‘sermons’. The people used to hail him as a god. The word Mulungushi means: “which god?” The people would say: “In heaven there is God; on earth there is Kaunda – forever”. I was overcome by a sense of God’s victory in Zambia over this terrible evil and idolatry as Zambia is now a Christian country – the only Christian country in Africa.  To signify this victory over evil, on the summit of this rock there is a white plaque erected by the Church of Zambia that reads: “Jesus Christ is the Rock of Salvation over Zambia”. There is also this Scripture verse in the plaque:

“For their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves.” – Deuteronomy 32:31

Serenje Seminars and Radio

We had a wonderful time of ministry in Serenje and surrounding areas. Our host had prepared a full program for us for the week that we were to be in this area. The two seminars that we conducted in this rural area were quite challenging as their grasp of basic Biblical doctrine is very shallow and superficial. We had to spend much time in teaching basic principles which were finally grasped. There is a great need in this area for a missionary to be based permanently to teach and train the folk on a regular basis.

Radio Evangelism

I had a great opportunity to preach on Serenje FM. I spoke on “The Right Question” which is an evangelistic sermon. Whilst waiting for the technicians to ready the equipment for recording, I had an intense 30minute interaction with one of the staff members about matters of eternity which turned out with him realizing his desperate need for Christ and very grateful for challenging him on these matters.

Kalimbo Falls

The road then took us north towards the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika. Here there is a spectacular waterfall named after the awe-inspiring sound it makes: “Kalimbo (Lion) Falls”. This is the second highest waterfall in Africa falling a total of 265m and the sound it makes is like the roar of a lion. We drove up a steep 35km road to get to the crest of one of the many hills, mountains, and plateaus that surround Africa’s longest lake. This waterfall is 8km from the shores of Lake Tanganyika so we also had a magnificent breath-taking view of a large part of the lake from on top of the plateau.

Wildebeest

We enjoyed almost blissful driving on the much improved roads of Zambia, but this bliss ended sharply as we crossed the border into Tanzania. The lakeshore road is definitely a bone-jarring, grueling, bumpy drive over rough gravel surfaces with potholes and corrugation that shook our noble vehicle so intensely that at times I thought the wheels would fall off. The vehicle had been named ‘Beast’ last year on its maiden voyage as it bravely faced all challenges and obstacles with deliberate tenacity advancing with determination. But upon our return to the Mission Headquarters, the vehicle was stripped of its name and renamed by those who had not seen, felt, or experienced its supremacy, power, and persistence; “No Mission can have a vehicle named Beast” they said as ‘Beast’ is too closely related to the beast of the book of Revelation. I reluctantly agreed. It was sad for me to see the name go because I was witness to this noble vehicle’s strength and bravery. The name that replaced ‘Beast’ just did not fit; many, even I tried to find another name. Eventually it was whilst driving on this cruelly rough, dusty, pot-holed, gravel road in Tanzania that I found a new name for this powerful beast of a vehicle that would not cry or retreat before anything: “Wildebeest”!

 

On a more serious note, I am intensely grateful to all the financial supporters that contributed to make the purchase and upgrades of this vehicle possible. It surely is being put to work under very hard conditions over rough terrain and without it, we would not be able to accomplish what we have with its participation. Your donations have been well-spent and continue to serve God’s Kingdom in Africa.

Busy in Bujumbura

We have enjoyed a very busy schedule in the capital city of Burundi. Our host, who is a very joyful, pleasant, and productive servant of God, had done well to arrange for our coming. We immediately started with the ministry and were kept busy right up till the day we left the country. We conducted a Reformation FIRE seminar at our host’s church which was attended by more than 50 pastors from Burundi, Rwanda, and Congo. On Sunday, our team was all split up and sent to various churches to preach, teach, and encourage and then in the afternoon we gathered again for a crusade where I preached on “God is Able”. The host church and some individuals blessed us with many gifts as we concluded our time together. We praise God for a wonderful time to be with brothers and sisters and to celebrate Christ and to share with them what God has taught us.

Please Pray

We are currently in Congo in a region where there is a long history of instability and violence. Please pray for our team as we minister in this rough area. The host church has arranged a week long Revival and Evangelism Camp where we have been invited as guest speakers. This will be followed by a Explosive Evangelization and Outreach week. Please pray that God will protect us, that He will work through us, and that lives may be changed.

 

In His service – and loving it!

 

Michael Watson

Missionary Field Worker

Frontline Fellowship

South Africa

Cell:     +2774 887 0211

Field:   +243977406577

Office +2721 689 4480

Victory Loves Preparation

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