Recently some of our missionaries visited a new “squatter camp” called Killarny, which is located just outside the beautiful suburbs of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. A “squatter camp” is what is known as a settlement with shacks made of wood, cardboard, tin and other scrap material, where whole families live in a single shack, the size of a garden shed. Most of these people have come from all over Zimbabwe in hope of a better life near the city, and hopefully a job. These few missionaries, along with the partnership of the local Baptist Church, went into this settlement in order to do a “food distribution” to those who are starving. We gave out mealie meal, oil, salt, soy products, beans and tuna chunks. But even more important we went in with the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Most of the 150 people were only hoping to get some nourishment, but we also fed them the word of God, and gave them the hope of salvation which only comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Will you pray for Killarny, and for the local church who is reaching out to them, that much fruit would come from the teaching times in this community? The “harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…so pray” says Luke 10:2. Pray that many would come into God’s Kingdom through the outreach in this community.
The people were all smiling as they came out to greet the missionaries driving into their cactus lined village. The national partner arriving with the missionaries made introductions as they all sat down on the woven mats laid over the dirt. The nationals and missionaries exchanged proper greetings. The missionaries asked, “Do you want to hear about Jesus Christ and sing a song to God?”
“Yes!” the villagers responded.
“What song do you know?”
“We don’t know any songs to sing to God. Teach us.”
The missionaries proceeded to teach them a song along with the gospel. A few people showed interest in following Jesus.
Within a few months, as the national partner continued visiting and sharing with the people, many came to Christ. They were hungry for more stories from the Scriptures and insights into how to follow Jesus.
The missionaries were able to visit every once in a while, but the national partner was key in meeting with the villagers regularly. The time came for the new converts to follow in baptism. In the deserts of South Madagascar water is scarce. Finding a water hole deep enough to baptize is a huge challenge. On this day, the villagers and missionaries walked 10 miles to get to the ocean and back. The lead missionary, along with a few volunteers from Louisiana, stood on the shore surrounded by the new converts and modeled how to baptize. After a little more teaching and verification that the people understood what this step in their faith meant, the leaders of the village took each new convert one by one and baptized them! The people from the village sang praises to God and celebrated with a meal on the beach; rejoicing in this step of obedience in their new found faith.
Teachings continued and the new converts gained more and more understanding of the Scriptures. After some time the missionaries were asked to come back and teach about taking the Lord’s Supper. The people were all smiling again as they came out to greet the missionaries driving into their village. The missionaries had permission to set up a tent and stay for the night. They got the tent up and began fellowshipping with the people. Some women missionaries were cooking with the women in the cooking house. The missionary kids were teaching the village children how to play hop scotch and the men were sitting and beginning to discuss the steps to take the Lord’s Supper, described by the Scriptures. It was an incredible experience to be a part of these milestones in the lives of new Christians who had no preconceived ideas of what these actions should look like. From the time they confessed Christ as their Lord and Savior and learned songs to sing to praise him, to following him in baptism and then learning what it means to remember the Lord through taking the Lord’s Supper, the missionaries were determined to teach them to do everything based upon what the Scriptures say.
Pray the people in the village of Amby will grow in their faith according to the Scriptures. Pray they will weigh every action in light of the Scriptures and that they will be able to stand firm in the midst of persecution and temptation. Pray for the people in the church to grow stronger in their faith and be diligent in sharing the gospel with their neighbors.
In just 5 days a very exciting event is beginning in the city of Pretoria, South Africa. Proverbs 27:17 says: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” – and for the next 5 days 70 leaders from all over Africa will gather for a “sharpening” time. During this week we will all participate in what we call a “SWARM”, which is when we all enter an area, walking down the streets of downtown, two by two, sharing “My Story” (our testimonies) and “His Story” the Gospel with those we encounter. Is it any coincidence that there are 70 missionaries due to attend, and in Luke 10:2 it talks about “70”?! This SWARM event is an opportunity for the participants to find God Prepared People (GPP), and Houses of Peace (HOP). Please pray now for this very important meeting, also pray throughout the next month that much fruit would result from this teaching time.
Like much of Africa, the entire region of southern Madagascar has been experiencing an inconceivable drought and subsequent famine. As a result, many have died, are severely malnourished and have no hope of future harvests. Some villages have sold the last of their livestock and are surviving off of bitter, often poisonous, manioc.
In October, we partnered with BGR and coordinated the “Seeds of Life” seed distribution project. Through the sacrificial giving of Southern Baptists and others all over the world, we were approved to help aid in this time of crisis by providing seed to the Mahafaly people, in hopes of a reproducible harvest next year. Despite being limited on preparation time, God heard our prayers and provided 165 tons of seed. If you are like me, and struggle to understand how much 165 tons really is, imagine about fifty-five elephants! You can imagine what it took logistically to get that much seed way out to the remote Mahafaly villages!
Our first generation church leaders played a major role in the planning and implementation of the seed distribution. They received training from BGR on distribution protocols and worked hard to develop an evangelism strategy. Each first generation church/village was given the seed for their village, along with the bags of seeds for the villages of their second, third and fourth generation churches. Each first generation church took seed to the second generation church and helped them distribute within their village. This continued on with the third and fourth generations.
In all, we were able to distribute over 3,000 (50 kilogram) bags of corn, cowpeas and peanuts to 55 villages with a combined population of nearly 41,000 people! The Gospel was spread to thousands who have never heard God’s saving message and over 700 people have received Christ. Over thirty new villages have new groups of believers meeting!
Now that the people have seed to plant, please pray God would send rain to the dry, parched land. Pray for a bountiful harvest, not only in their fields, but also among their hearts. Pray for many more to come to Christ and for the believers to continue to grow in their faith and commitment.
Creating dependency ultimately hurts more than it helps and in some cases actually undermines the economy of an entire nation. (Haiti is one example). When there is free food available, one can’t afford to grow it because no one will buy it. It also shuts down local stores trying to sell what is being given away which causes loss of employment. With free medical care available, who will pay to see local doctors and dentists? With free clothes shipped by the bales local clothing industry has shut down in many under-developed countries. So how do you help people in an oppressive environment? We are thankful to have Brett and Allison Barnhill from Reclaimed Ministries join the Zimbabwe Evangelism Team. They have come in to teach people how to grow their crops in a way that conserves seed, fertilizer and water, yet yielding an abundant harvest.
They provide training in financial management. They also help people identify skills they have and get them started making things (handcrafts, baskets, clothes, etc.) and then seek out local markets where their goods can be sold. While they are doing all these things, Brett and Allison also share the gospel and do discipleship with those who are involved in the project. This is how we as Christ’s ambassadors can continue to “proclaim good news to the poor. . . to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” (Luke 4:18)
Each Sunday afternoon in the Parliment Gardens of the capital city of Namibia, people gather there for their usual picnics, yoga classes, casual strolls, and a good time with friends.
There is a new group that has begun to meet there on a regular basis which sits on a patch of grass to learn how to share Jesus more effectively, to pray for each other, and to encourage one another to continue telling others about Jesus. They are all in their late teens and early twenties, filled with excitement and enthusiasm as they are understanding Jesus’ call on their lives to go and make disciples for Him. They often travel back to their hometowns to share Jesus with their families and their friends, returning to the gardens on Sunday to report all that God has done through them. Max has led his two younger sisters to the Lord but is asking that we pray with him for God to send someone in their town to disciple these new baby believers. Rava asks that we stand with him before Jesus asking that he will know how to handle the opposition he is facing as he is sharing Jesus to his university teachers and classmates. Suama has been asked to start a Bible study by parents of her students she has led to Jesus. She needs God’s protection to go into these areas that are often times unsafe.
Hunga has started a youth outreach to the Himbas in his home town that is far from the capital. Twenty children gave their hearts to Jesus at the first meeting! He occasionally gets to come back to the park to share all that God is doing and to receive more training. He asks that we pray for God to supply all that he needs to be doing this youth outreach alone.
Please join us in praying for these mighty warriors of Jesus and praise God with us for all He is doing through these young adults who are true followers of Jesus.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:10-12
Please be in prayer for our upcoming Bible/Jesus DVD distribution that will take place on Nov 22nd in the little town of Tombeau Bay. This will involve not only distribution to many homes, but we are also planning the showing of the Jesus film that evening. We have already had multiple “prayer walking” meetings through the neighborhoods of this town. Many of the people who will help in the distribution are currently being trained in T4T so that they will be prepared to share the Gospel as they enter the homes of the people living in this town.
Please in be in prayer for the upcoming outreach taking place in one of the communities on the west side of our island. This event is planned for September 13th, and will involve our walking door to door throughout the neighborhoods distributing gift bags. Inside each gift bag will be a a complete French Bible, a Creole “Jesus” DVD, and a loaf of bread with the wrapper saying: “I (Jesus) am the bread of life.” We are believing and praying that much “fruit” will come from this outreach, and that many T4T groups will start as a result.