Romans 12:3-5 (NASB)
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,
5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
As we journey through 2015, it has become clearer and clearer to Trina and I that we are dependent on the Lord through relying on His Body for help and spiritual support of every kind. To provide a picture of this reality, we’ll trace some of our work thus far this year, introducing many of our co-laborers at each stop.
This year began working with our local outreach in the North Coast area of KwaZulu Natal. Seven years ago, Levi Nzuzi (a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo), repeatedly asked Trina and I to “come and help” a group of hurting people that were living only a few miles inland from us in a township named Etete. While I resisted for a time, eventually we started the ministry by offering prayer to individuals under the shade of a tree! A large percentage of the initial group that was reached were French speaking refugees from nations outside South Africa. We were completely dependent on Levi for the initial introduction and interpretation in many of these prayer sessions. Our partnership has progressed from this small beginning to yield many new Believers in Christ, a handful of growing disciples, and a network of food/clothing distribution that continues to touch multitudes of lives. The Lord has developed Levi’s pastoral gift over these years and his role has grown to where he has primary responsibility for the weekly meeting.
We traveled in February to the Northern Drakensburg area of our province. Here we have two main relationships that are important to Trina and I personally while also being vital to our ministry. We lodge in the area with Hendrik and Ina Goosen on their farm near Bergville, South Africa. They have a profound gift of hospitality and the comfort of their home after a full day of preaching is something that has greatly added to our effectiveness. When we go out each day, the actual ministry is done in conjunction with John and Irene Mkulisi. John is a pastor’s pastor and an outstanding English to Zulu interpreter. This work started small 6 years ago drawing 8 leaders to a multi day teaching seminar. In March we hosted 88 pastors from all over the region with many relating how encouraged they had been over the years through the teaching and prayers they had received in the conferences. The Zulu cultural tradition is among the strongest in Africa and without John’s wisdom, the ministry would never have seen growth to this degree.
Finally, it is important to note a final partner in both of these works. Ari Cavalcanti, founder of the ministry Galatas220, helps us primarily by providing bibles to the people we work with in their native languages. Though this was not part of our original vision, the need for Bibles among Christians in Africa is profound. So far this year, with Brother Ari and other individuals support, we have distributed over a thousand bibles in these two areas with plans to give away many more in the near future.
It isn’t hard to see that our ministry starts and continues based on the strength of the bond we have with those we work with! Our “team” is not a group of people connected by a legal organization, but rather a group of spiritual relationships that serve to encourage one another toward the ultimate goal of presenting Christ. Please pray for us as we continue to seek out and work with others in serving the Lord’s purpose in Africa.