MY MISSIONS TRIP
TO OVAMBOLAND NOVEMBER 2010
By: Bishop Warwick Cole-Edwardes
INTRODUCTION Here I am on my way to OVAMBOLAND for the 4th time. Patrick Johnstone in his monumental book “Operation World” says this of Namibia “secular state with freedom of religions. Despite the high profile of Christian denominations, non-Christian religions are being granted similar opportunities in schools and in the media. Namibia is Africa’s only country with a Lutheran majority. Also Namibia has the highest percentage of Christians for any country in Africa. The early labours of German and Finnish Lutheran and then Anglican Missionaries gave birth to large denominations. But the influence of liberal and then Black theology erodes that spiritual heritage and true discipleship and holy living are now in short supply.”
I will be in the northern Ovamboland province based in ONDANGWA, near the Angolan border, so I can’t wait for another opportunity to visit into central Africa and to teach the Word of God to some very precious people. As always I seek to read books which inspire me, challenge me, rebuke me and keep the fire for missions burning in my life. 1. THE JOURNAL ONCE LOST John Sung was born in Fijian, China and studied at the Ohio Wesleyan University in America and the Ohio State University, graduating with a Master of Science in Chemistry and a PHD. He then went on to further his studies at the Union Theological Seminary. During this period he became a born-again Christian, heard the call of God, was held in a mental institution and went through many other unusual experiences. Upon his return to China, he set up evangelistic bands and undertook extensive ministry works before fanning out into the region of S-E Asia. John Sung conducted revival meetings, Bible study classes, disciple training courses and brought about an unprecedented revival to the churches in the region. His active ministry ended only when his health finally gave way. An operational wound from his student days never healed. But his sense of urgency prevented him from taking time off to undergo the required treatment. When he finally entered hospital in December 1940, it was too late. He died four years later at the age of 42. Now listen to what he wrote in these amazing diaries: ON HIS CONVERSION “my involvement in analysing the various religions left me in a state of confusion and total darkness. Just before Christmas, I attended an evangelistic meeting with several friends. Imagine my surprise when I saw a 15 year old girl preaching on stage
instead of a learned and eloquent professor as I had expected. She was all dressed in white from her dress to her shoes and even socks. When she opened the gilded Bible, her delivery of the message was as crisp as it was powerful: the Cross was lifted high and salvation message was thoroughly presented. I was so deeply impressed by her powerful sermon that I went back for more of her message 4 times.” ON HIS BIBLE “Last night I read the Gospel of John from 2.10am to 3.37am. What joy indeed. The great love of God was expressed on the Cross and never will He forsake me …….. guided by God, I read The Bible 40 times, each time using a different scheme to study. I devoured the Bible as a thirsty man yearning for water. The Word provided me with the most nutritious of foods, without Which I would not have been able to move forward.”
By God’s grace I have now read the Bible 43 times but I pray for that thirst that John Sung wrote about till the day I die. When my Mom and Dad died I got their Bibles …… completely worn through…. What a legacy. ON HIS VOW “I wish to keep the will of God in all that I do. If I have not experienced the reality of God in my heart, I would have worshipped mammon. But now that I have such an intimate relationship with Him, why should I not give up all that I have for Him? His path for me I must tread, unclear as it seems, and His will I must obey.” I have made up my mind: even if I have to die, I will preach the Gospel in China. I will die a willing death, If only my fellowmen be saved.”
It was an amazing book. I love reading the diaries of these great men of God. At the moment I read a few pages of John Wesley every night, it really is moving.
2. LIVINGSTONE BY R.J. CAMPBELL I got this book from a second hand bookshop in England last year; it made such inspiring reading for me. Listen to quotes from this book: ON HIS CHARACTER - “the chief reason for Livingstone’s lasting Experience on the African soil was his character. The greatest asset that the reputation of Great Britain has ever possessed in Africa is the respect felt by the nature of every grade for the manhood of David Livingstone.”
ON BEING EVANGELICAL - “from first to last Livingstone retained the evangelical faith in which he had been brought up, a faith necessarily broadened and rendered more sympathetic and tolerant by his growing knowledge of life in its manifold aspects but remaining fundamentally unchanged.”
HIS CALL TO AFRICA - “Moffatt made the memorable reply Which more than any other single influence shaped Livingstone’s future. It was to the effect that a man in full health and vigour, with his best years before him could undoubtedly advance the cause of Christ in AFRICA, if he could be content not to settle down in an old station but penetrate to the north, where no Missionary had yet set foot and where in the bright light of an ordinary morning there could often be seen the smoke of a 1000 villagers.”
HIS STRONG WILL - “with the exception of what his gun procured him, his staple food during this exhausting journey of nearly 7 months was the same as the people lived on, often he was reduced to a diet of bird seed, manica roots and meal, and now and then had to go hungry. Little wonder that for the greater of the times he was a very sick man. Nothing but his indomitable will enabled him to keep going and overcome the huge difficulties that daily beset him.”
It made wonderful reading for me and was a massive challenge; I could not put it down. NOW I AM READY FOR NAMIBIA!
MY DIARY Today I head off to Namibia, but as always I read from the Bible from l Chronicles, 1 Peter, Micah, and Luke. This plan of Robert Murray McCheyne is brilliant and enables one to read the Bible right through each year. As always I end with Oswald Chambers in his “My utmost for His highest”. Today in speaking on Galations 6:4 “but God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”, Chambers wrote: “in external history the Cross is an infinitesimal thing, from the Bible point of view it is of more importance than all the
empires of the world. If we get away from brooding on the tragedy of God upon the Cross in our preaching it produces nothing. It does not convey the energy of God to man, it maybe interesting but it has no power. But preach the Cross and the energy of God is let loose”.
A long day lies ahead of me. First I fly from Pietermaritzburg to Johannesburg, then another flight to Windhoek and from there another flight up to Ondangwa where I will be met by the Church leaders. As always I bring some books with me. They are a massive help in assisting me with my walk with God and to bring the Word of God into Africa.
A book which has been such an encouragement is “A PRACTICAL THEOLOGY OF MISSIONS” by Eric Wright who also was a missionary in Pakistan for 20 years. On the different flights (which take 12 hours from Pietermaritzburg to Ondangwa) I was blessed by the following:
ON THE MINISTER “To the pastor belongs the privilege and the responsibility of Solving the foreign missionary problem. Until the pastors of our churches wake up to the truth of this proposition, and the foreign work becomes a passion in their own hearts and consciences, our Boards may do what they can, by way of devising forward movements … yet the chariot wheels of missions will drive heavily. Every pastor holds his office under Christ’s commission, and can only fulfil it when, as a missionary bishop, he counts the whole world his fold. The pastor of the smallest church has the power to make his influence felt around the world. No pastor is worthy of his office who does not bring himself into conformity to the magnificent breadth of the great commission, and draw inspiration and zeal from its world-wide sweep.”
ON BIBLE COLLEGES “The problem of the theological seminary is this: not how to train an occasional individual for the foreign field, but how to kindle missionary passion in every person who passes through the school, that he may thereby become an able minister of Christ. The essential thing is that there shall be within the School a sacred altar of missionary passion, at which the torch Of every man is kindled”.
DEFINITION OF MISSIONS “By missions, I mean specifically the outward activity of the Church – reaching the unreached with the Gospel. Missions Aims to plant viable churches of mature disciples in every unreachable area – among every people, tribe, tongue and nation. Genuine missions always retains both a vision for the whole world and a Christ inspired passion to reach the Gospel-destitute with good news wherever they may be”.
SOCIAL WORK “as commanded by Christ, disciples must respond to medical,
economic, social, educational and general human needs. Humanitarian activities may undergird church planting but must NOT supplant it. Such ministry is Christlike, genuine and necessary but it is not to be understood as missions”.
DOCTRINE OF GOD “The supreme arguments for missions are NOT found in any
specific words. It is in the very being and character of God that the deepest ground of the missionary enterprise is to be found. We cannot think of God except in terms which necessitate the missionary idea ….. the grounds are in the very being and thought of God”.
ON THEOLOGY “Theology, the study of God, ought to energise missiology. No doctrine of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit has been expounded completely according to the Bible, until it has established the triune God as the outgoing God of mission”.
Had three excellent flights. Once you arrive at Windhoek, you need to catch a taxi to another airport called EROS, about 40 minutes away. Found a fabulous taxi driver called ROMEO, who not only took me to Eros but we arranged for him to meet me on Monday and take me back to the main Windhoek airport. When he heard I was a bishop, I had to bless him!!!!!!! which I did ………
On the little 6 seater up to Ondangwa we had a lady pilot, so my prayers were enhanced amazingly. But there was Denis Nandi to meet me and I was taken to my hosts, Timothy and Hertha Hanine, a delightful Namibian family. For them to have a bishop in their home is the highest honour, but I made it clear that I was at the bottom of the pile. Africa is full of fun ….. as Denis left to go his car would not start, so no trouble to the folks in the area, the rally around, get some wire and 2 spanners and Denis was on his way. Time to unpack and enjoy a wonderful African meal in Ondangwa. My reading is so critical to me so after supper could settle down to a few hours of great inspiration. Listen to what Eric Wright said: ON THE GIFT OF TEACHING “the gift of teaching is that Spirit-endowed ability to instruct others in the Word of God in such a way that God produces in those taught present and lasting changes in understanding, attitude, will and behaviour”.
How I pray for that! GIFT OF PREACHING “History tells of no significant Church growth and expansion that has taken place without preaching. What history points to, rather, is that all movements of revival, reformation and missionary outreach seems to have had preaching at their centre, instructing, energising, sometimes purging and redirecting and often spearheading the whole movement. It would seem, then, that preaching is always necessary for a proper sense of mission to be evolved and sustained anywhere in the church”.
SHOCKING STATISTICS “in our global village there are 285,000 active cross-cultural Christian missionaries …….. amazingly about 91% of the Missionaries work with already reached Christians: about 8% work with evangelized non-Christians and 1% or just under 3000 missionaries work with the unevangelized…..”
JOHN PIPER “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate,
Not missions because God is Ultimate, not man. Missions is a temporary necessity, but worship abides forever. Worship therefore is the fuel and goal in missions”.
It is now almost midnight; this great book has stirred me deeply. Tomorrow is going to be a great day when, as the Bishop, I will be visiting our rural churches. What a great day in Africa …… and what a book!!!
FRIDAY 26TH NOVEMBER We will leave by 8 so I got up early to do my readings before breakfast which will be prepared for me at 7. Read my 4 chapters from 1 Chronicles, 1 Peter, Micah and Luke and then closed off with prayer and reading Oswald Chambers who wrote – “in holiness movements and spiritual experience meetings the concentration is apt to be put not on the Cross of Christ but on the effects of the Cross”
Managed to begin a new book entitled “BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY IN MODERN AFRICA”. It looks phenomenal but begins with the challenge of Africa. Wilbur O’Donovan, a missionary in Africa for 40 years, writes – “ injustice is just one of many overwhelming problems that are devastating the African continent. Other problems are just as bad. There is poverty that is beyond imagination. There is tribalism and tribal killing. There is rampant disease, in many cases with little or no medicine available to treat the disease. There is oppressive corruption among government officials. There are terrible economic problems and unemployment. There are huge levels of debt. There is fighting, killing and war in one country after another. There is a massive breakdown of marriages and families in the cities. There is more crime in the cities than anyone living can remember. The streets are filled with homeless and handicapped people. There is widespread prostitution. There is an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases greater than at any time in history. There is widespread despair, depression and hopelessness. The news is bad. Where is God in a continent some analysts say has become the next Christian continent in the world by the year 2010 AD. Where are the Christians who can change what is happening by their actions and by their prayers?”
It is the most amazing experience living in the homes of the local people. Timothy and Hertha prepared a phenomenal breakfast for me and then I set off with Denis to visit our local Churches remembering the great challenges in Africa. BUT as Don McClure wrote –
“I am filled with an amazing ambition to do something worthwhile in the great land of Africa.” 1. OMUGWELUME : (ST LUKE’S) A very depressing picture where these dear people worship in a building with 3 walls, the front wall is completely demolished. Had a time of singing and I preached from Matthew 4:19. Afterwards we went to their new site where I will seek to raise funds which will enable them to put up a barn structure. 2. OHANGWENA : (ST PAUL’S) A fairly good building, lots of children but few adults. After some good singing I spoke to the children on the hands of Jesus. Such a privilege to visit there out of the way places. 3. INDANGUNGU (ST JOHNS’S) Met with 8 of their men which was encouraging and one of them wants to go and study for the ministry. Spoke on Acts 2:42
We travelled in unbelievable heat returning 7 hours later to a cup of tea. These churches are small, very little Gospel and they desperately need pastors who are godly and trained. We must pray to the Lord of the harvest. But it was a great privilege for me to visit them as their bishop. After an exhausting but glorious morning, I can now settle down and finish my book “Biblical Christianity in Modern Africa”. It has been brilliant covering subjects like – African culture, urbanization, sex, money, poverty, politics, power, women in modern Africa and all these coming under the authority of the Bible. Listen to how he concluded: “the church in Africa urgently needs to return to Biblical Christianity. Churches are plagued with nominal Christians, false miracle workers, modern day Pharisees and false teaching of many kinds. Marriages and families are in great need of family life teaching based on the Bible rather than on culture. The church is consumed with conflict,
denominationalism and division. All of this has kept the church from being the greatest force on earth for God in a sick and sin-filled world. The church is in need revival- a revival based on obedience to the Word of God that will bring reconciliation, love and unity to God’s people. God’s people need to pray for such a revival”.
Here is a book which should be read by as many Christians as possible. It is unusual in that its pages range across theology, culture, sociology, contextualization, ethics, and even politics, but O’Donovan tackles each with an unflinching commitment to the Bible. I want to also summarize the book I read before coming to Namibia and which Peter Squires has also just finished. It is called ‘THE COMPROMISED CHURCH” by John Armstrong. I found this book touching on the two issues which I am wrestling over so much at the moment. Listen to what he says on: PREACHING “is it not clear, as you take a bird’s eye view of Church History, that the decadent periods and eras in the history of the church have always been those periods when preaching had declined? What is it that always precedes the dawn of a reformation or a Revival? It is renewed preaching”. He then quotes John Stott –
“but we preach… that is, our task as Christian preachers is not subserviently to answer all the questions which men put to us, not to attempt to meet all the demands which are made on us, not hesitatingly to make tentative suggestions to the philosophically minded but rather to proclaim a message which is dogmatic because it is divine”.
ON WORSHIP “Evangelical worship is becoming an oxymoron. Irreverence has become to rampant in our worship services that one would not be shocked to hear of deacons walking up and down the isles yelling, popcorn, peanuts and sacraments. Worship in the Bible is the due response of rational creatures to the self-revelation of their Creator. It is a honouring and glorifying of God by gratefully offering back to Him all the good gifts, and all the knowledge of His Greatness and graciousness that He has forgiven. It involves praising Him for what He is, thanking Him for what He has done, desiring Him to get Himself more glory by further acts of mercy, judgement and power, and trusting Him with our concern for our and others future well being”.
“What they do not realize is that by changing their priorities from worship to evangelism, they are actually weakening their effectiveness in these endeavours. If the people do not focus on Christ, feed on Christ, ascend into the heavenlies with Christ in worship as a Church, all of life suffers due to a perverted perspective, not to mention suffering a depletion of spiritual empowerment”.
WOW………3 incredible books. Now to supper, real African style….. I LOVE IT! After an amazing supper I spent most of the time thinking through my program for next year. Here I am in my 60th year and life can’t get any better, the Pastor of a church, the Principal of a Bible College and a Bishop into Africa. Next year I will visit Malawi twice, Namibia twice, Zambia, Congo, Kenya and hopefully Ethiopia so I want to spread these visits into Africa over the year. But Africa is where my heart is. I love what Stanley said of Livingstone – “he was dedicated to Africa, its heat and fevers and their future. There could be no going back o n Africa. He had married Africa on that March day in 1841 when he first set foot on its soil and now 30 years Later there could be no divorce”.
It’s late; a storm has cooled us down so now time to sleep. Tomorrow I have a morning with all the Church leaders in ONDANGWA…………
SATURDAY 27TH NOVEMBER Always begin in the precious Word of God and I benefited greatly from my 4 chapters in 1Chronicles, 1Peter, Micah and Luke. Oswald Chambers in “My Utmost for His Highest” wrote – “if I brood on the Cross of Christ, I do not become a sufectue pietist, interested in my own whiteness, I become dominantly concentrated on Jesus Christ’s interests”.
Before breakfast I dipped into John Wesley’s Journal, listen to him again: “Elizabethe Walcam was born in March 1733……on Sunday evening, June 1751, I found her much weaker in body, but her soul was full of life and vigour. When I came in, she said, “I am exceedingly you came. Now let us rejoice together. We shall meet together in heaven. I am washed in the blood of the Lamb, I know God is my Father, I know my name in written in heaven, there we shall rejoice together”. What a way to die…
What a soul winner Wesley was. Now listen to what his barber said on 11th April 1751 –
“Sir, I praise God on your behalf. When you were at Bolton last, I was one of the most eminent drunkards in all the town, but I came to listen to you at the window and God struck me to the heart. I then earnestly prayed for power against drinking, but God gave me more than I asked : He took away the very desire of it. Yet I still felt myself worse and worse, till on the 5th April I could hold out no longer. I knew I must drop into hell that moment unless God appeared to save me….. and He did. I knew He loved me and felt sweet peace”.
These are 2 amazing testimonies, praise God for the GOSPEL. breakfast and then to the leadership training in Ondangwa, so exciting for me.
Just before we arrived at Christ Church I went to the grave of Bishop Peter Kalangula, the man God raised up to begin our work up here in Ovamboland. He clashed with the Anglican bishop and was booted out which meant he was looking for a home in a Bible believing Anglican denomination. Through David Samuels in England, he was put in contact with Bishop Stephen Bradley and so our work came into being. There are now 5 churches in Ovamboland and even today he is revered and held in highest regard. In my early days he was so kind to me; it is a privilege to continue with his legacy. From there I went on to the meeting with the Church leaders. After sharing with them the 9 marks of an alive Church, I opened it up to discussion and debate, real African style and this went on till 1pm. They are so incredibly grateful for my visits to Namibia; it seems to be binding them all together so nicely and also gives them hope for the future. From there we went and had a drink at an African bar in the township which was such a wonderful experience for me. I shocked them all by being a champion at the one video game which I used to play with my sons when we were on holiday at Karridene. After a Coke and some fun we headed home where lunch was waiting for the bishop. The hospitality is quite overwhelming. After lunch I began the last of my books which I brought with me and it promises to be one of the greatest biographies I have ever read, and I have
read hundreds. It is the story of HENRY MARTYN called ‘FOR THE LOVE OF INDIA”. My two heroes are David Livingstone and Charles Simeon and Henry Martyn was the curate under Simeon at Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge. In the summer of 1805, at the height of the struggle for naval supremacy between Britain and France that was to culminate in the Battle of Trafalgar, a young man, newly ordained to the ministry of the Church of England, and always showing symptoms of T.B. which had claimed the life of his mother, set sail on the long and hazardous voyage to India. Leaving behind friends, family and the woman he so loved, he turned his back on the prospects of a brilliant academic career in England, in order to bring the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God in their own language to the people of India and Persia. Struggling against the vigours of a climate which was previously undermining his health, facing scorn and hostility from many, within the space of a few short years he completed the translation of the New Testament into Hindustani, Persian and Arabic, opened several schools and brought the Gospel to thousands. In the list of missionaries the name of Henry Martyn will always occupy a special place. Listen to some of the things he wrote about in his diary before arriving in India – ON DAVID BRAINERD “I feel my heart knit to this dear man and really rejoice to think of meeting him in heaven. I long to be like him, let me forget the world and be swallowed up in a desire to glorify God”. LOOKING BACK
“I have learned that neglect of much and fervent communion with God in meditation and prayer, is not the way to redeem time, nor to fit me for public ministration….my only desire is to be entirely devoted to God. Oh may I live very near to Him in the coming year, and follow in the footsteps of Christ and his holy saints. It will be attended with much self-denial and warfare…” ON HIS DEDICATION
“I solemnly renounced the comforts, even the lawful comforts of it, before God this night, that I might be entirely His servant”. DR VAN DER KEMP
He was the first missionary to South Africa and Henry Martyn met him on the way to India. Martyn asked Van der Kemp if he ever regretted becoming a missionary, to which he replied – ‘NO…. and I would not exchange my work for a kingdom”.
ON HIS 25TH BIRTHDAY “I do not know that anything would be a heaven to me, but
the service of Christ and the enjoyment of His presence. Oh how sweet is life when spent in His service”. ON STARTING IN INDIA
“I feel pressed in spirit to do something for God. Everybody is diligent but I am idle…now let me burn out for God”
It’s late; this book has gripped my heart, now some sleep after a great day in Africa.
SUNDAY 28TH NOVEMBER It’s a beautiful morning in Ondangwa, woke up early to enjoy my Bible readings from 1Chronicles, 1Peter, Micah and Luke. Oswald Chambers this morning wrote on the bounty of the destitute, listen “there is a certain pride in man that will give and give, but to come and accept is another thing. I will give my life to martyrdom, I will give myself in consecration, I will do anything, but do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ”.
Spent some time in prayer, went for a long walk, enjoyed a great breakfast and now I head off to preach at Ondangwa where all the people will come and listen to the Bishop!!!! I am so looking forward to coming back and continuing this enthralling book on the life of Henry Martyn – it is absolutely phenomenal, I can’t put it down. We had an excellent service in Ondangwa where I preached on Matthew 7: 13-14. It was fairly well attended and it was a special joy to meet up again with MARY KALUNGULA. She is a delightful woman and is carrying on all the interests her father PETER was involved in. After the service there were 3 different choirs and it is always such a joy to hear the children singing. Eventually after nearly 3 hours the service drew to a close and they very kindly presented me with some beautifully woven baskets, one with my initials on which I found very moving. We then went back home to another excellent lunch, had a quick nap and then carried on my reading of this amazing biography of Henry Martyn. He is now in India and doing the great task he is so well known for. Let me share some quotes for you:
THOMAS QUOTE “he shines in all the dignity of love, and seems to carry about him such heavenly majesty as impresses the mind beyond description. But if he talks much, though in a low voice, he smiles, and you are reminded of his being dust and ashes”. SHERWOOD QUOTE
‘Mary Sherwood said of him “he is one of the most pleasing, mild, and heavenly minded men, walking in this turbulent world with peace in his mind and charity in his heart”. ON PERSIA
In 1812 he wrote “in all appearance the present year will be more perilous than any I have seen, but if I live to complete the Persian New Testament, my life after that will be of less importance. But whether life or death be mine, may Christ be magnified in me, if He has work for me to do, I cannot die”.
He died on 16th October 1812 at the age of 31. Henry Martyn was gone but he left behind a name that should never be forgotten, for he gave the Scriptures to the people of India and Persia in their own languages. Canon Edwardes said of Him – “I know no parallel to these achievements of Henry Martyn, the born translator. He masters grammar, observes idioms, accumulates vocabulary, reads and listens, corrects and even reconstructs…. But above all HE PRAYS”.
I am embarrassed to say I wept as I came to the end of this book; it has really left a mark on my life, a man who wrote –
“Now let me burn out for God”
MONDAY 29TH NOVEMBER The time is now ready for me to head back home. Woke up to read from 1 Chronicles, 2 Peter, Micah and Luke. Oswald Chambers reading for today made this comment – “the type of Christian experience in the New Testament is that of a personal, passionate devotions to the person of Jesus Christ”
My books are all read, my heart is stirred to follow in the steps of Henry Martyn.
After breakfast will say goodbye to Timothy and Hertha who have been wonderful to me and then catch the flight to Eros Airport where hopefully Romeo will be waiting for me and take me to the main Windhoek International Airport.
All went well; three excellent flights and 11 hours later arrived safely home. It has been an excellent trip and I think the people were very encouraged.
â€œI beg to direct your attention to Africa; I know that in a few years I shall be cut off in that country, which is now open: Do not let it be shut again! I go back to Africa to try to make an open path For commerce and Christianity; It is for you to carry out the Work which I have begun. I leave it with you!. - DAVID LIVINGSTONE
PERSONAL REFLECTIONS 1. MISSIONARIES One of the best visits I have ever made in my 4 visits to Ovamboland was to the museum just outside Ondangwa in a place called OLUKONDA. There I found the Finnish Evangelical Missions first station established in 1872 by Rev MARTI RAUTENNEN. He and his wife made their way up here in a wagon, built the Church and the mission station and brought the Gospel to this area. They laboured here for 40 years, buried 7 of their children and eventually were buried in the cemetery alongside the church. I admire these pioneers who came to Africa and gave everything to lead souls to Christ.
Wherever I go across Africa these great people laid the foundation for Gospel ministry across Africa.
2. HOW I CAN NURTURE MISSIONARY VISION Eric Wright wrote the following: “If, as we have seen, missions is a central facet of biblical revelation, then
wherever the Scriptures are faithfully preached God’s people should find Missionary passion bubbling up within them. Unless the pastor deliberately avoids certain Scriptures, a careful attention to the message of the Bible will underline God’s missionary vision. Care should be taken to ensure that this vision is not sidelined by the modern penchant for messages that deal only with felt needs and issues. Missionary information and vision should be woven into the Sunday school curriculum, Bible studies for home groups, the organization of the church year as well as the preaching schedule. Encouraging missionary vision requires regular exposure to missionaries, young people full of excitement about their calls, furloughing missionaries telling stories about what God is doing, national pastors and evangelists providing a concrete demonstration of the worth of missions. Every Church must have a healthy missions’ budget. The cry should not be, “We can’t afford it!” but rather, “For what amount does God want us to trust him?” Care should be taken to plan well-conceived missionary conferences, seek gifted missionary speakers, encourage believers to offer hospitality to visiting missionaries, maintain missions as a priority in the weekly prayer meeting, give book reports on missionary biographies and keep the congregation up to date on missionary trends and happenings. The key to local vision will be the attitude of the pastor. The prospective Pastor’s view of missions would be one of the central questions asked before a man is called to a given church.”
I want to be a pastor that leads his congregation in that vision.
What a privilege to visit these churches in Ovamboland. Four of them are really run down and the other one needs to rebuild. But a greater need is the need for godly pastors who will come and love these dear people and teach them the Word of God. Whether it is up in Malawi or here in Ovamboland, the door is wide open for a missionary to come and work alongside these churches, build up the leaders and generally bring everything under the authority of the Bible. Pray….. for men ………
How better to close than by quoting Henry Martyn for the last time:
“I feel pressed in spirit to do something for God. Everybody is diligent but I am idle ………. Now let me burn out for God.”
P.S. Should you want a copy of my other journals, please contact me on my cell or via email as per the details below:
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Published on Dec 9, 2010