We are finally back in South Africa after spending most of the first three months of the year in the USA. Because our updates have been infrequent, we will divide this one into two parts to cover the significant aspects of our travel.
Missions in the United Kingdom
On our way back to Texas we spent just over two weeks working with a number of Churches and Ministries in the UK. We visited many new fellowships from Anglesy in Wales to Lytham, Oxford and London in England. This is our primary mission field outside of Africa and the desire to preach Christ in this part of the world grows with every visit. We covered a large geographic area during this visit and we found the Body of Christ to be both small relative to the general population and hungry to make Christ known to the world. We are steadfastly committed to preaching Christ and encouraging those who know Him to do the same in this part of the world.
As you pray for our work in this area consider these prayer points:
1) There is a general spiritual attitude of pessimism and hopelessness over the Church in the UK. While the representation of Christianity isn’t as wide spread as it once was, there is a remnant of God’s people in the UK that are there because of God’s choosing. PRAY for encouragement and boldness over the Church in the UK rather than speaking pessimism and hopelessness over the current situation. God can do much with little and He will do more than most of the Body of Christ believes He will in the UK before it is all said and done.
2) The opportunity to share Christ with Muslims is unique in the UK. While it is a scary proposition at times, the ability to share Christ openly with even radical Muslims is greater in the UK than in most parts of the world. We need to pray for Spirit led boldness for Christians to take advantage of this opportunity.
3) Pray for creativity in the Church about speaking the truth concerning the sin of homosexuality. We were overwhelmed by the proliferation of individuals living a homosexual lifestyle and the general attitude of acceptance that such a practice is fulfilling option. It is not effective in England to just stand up and say that homosexuality is wrong. There is a growing population of deceived people that need to see how much more fulfilling marriage and life is when it is lived according to God’s plan!
4) It is our perspective that the Church in the UK is financially responsible but stingy concerning finances. Our needs were taken care of by a select few that were not subject to this prevailing attitude in the Church. Please pray for generosity to be found in a much wider portion of God’s people there.
The time in Texas
When we left England, the next several months were spent travelling across Texas in the USA. We had started a fundraising effort last year to replace our ministry vehicle and that was a primary focus of the time during this trip. What a joy to report that the Body of Christ in the USA responded to this need with overwhelming generosity. It is very humbling to report that we have been able to purchase a new Honda CRV that will certainly take us where the Lord wants for years to come. This was a great encouragement to our personal faith walk and we believe it will serve to strengthen our resolve to be more effective ministers of the Gospel than ever before.
Please be encouraged by Ephesians 3:14-21 (NASB) which was a constant source of personal inspiration during this time,
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
What lies immediately ahead
We have already put the new vehicle to use in our local outreach to the refugee community that we have been working with in recent years. Some of them are in the picture with the car at the top of the blog and on the email newsletter. They have grown in Faith so much and this will certainly be a great encouragement to them as they continue to mature. We do need prayer in several specific upcoming areas:
1) Please pray that we will sow our time and resources in fertile spiritual ground. With the new car we can go many places with more bibles than ever before so we must be careful to go where God wants.
2) We are constantly evaluating which Pastors/Leaders we are supposed to be involved with. Please pray that we work with the ones God wants us to.
3) Trina and I will travel together to the Mpumalanga Provence for the last week of May and then to Zimbabwe for the last week of July. Please pray for protection and the anointing of the Holy Spirit during these times.