Dear family and friends
During the month of June, Jean Loots and I made a ministry trip via Malawi and Zambia to the Democratic Republic of Congo. This was my second trip to Malawi this year, and it was specifically to take and set up a silk screen printer for Rodney and Juliet Munkhondia who are local ministers with World Outreach in Lilongwe. This screen printer will enable them to print gospel messages on T-shirts and other material in their local language, Chichewa. At the same time they will also generate a small income to support their ministry.
Unfortunately, upon arrival in Lilongwe, as we disembarked the bus, four men acting as taxi drivers insisted on taking our luggage and began pulling at our bags. During the confusion, a small bag containing my video camera, still camera, cell phone and hard drive was stolen. We lost some valuable documents and even more valuable time. We continued to set up the printing equipment, but unusually cold and overcast weather prevented us from completing the training, which requires direct sunlight to expose the screen. We had to move on and continued to Zambia by bus via Chipata and the scenic Luangwa River. Rodney later sent us a photo and message that they had managed to print successfully.
Passing through Kabwe, we collected 100 full French Bibles from the OM base and made our way via Chingola to the DRC border. After passing through a number of toll gates we noticed our driver just waved instead of paying. We later realised that God had provided an unofficial military escort all the way to our destination.
Kolwezi in the DRC is quite a large mining town, with many businesses and many churches. We were booked to teach two God’s Vision God’s Mission courses in the two main suburbs of the town. Both Jean and I taught during the day with church services at night. Over and over, from the beginning of the trip, throughout all the classes, we experienced how the Holy Spirit placed emphasis on the importance of relationship and fine tuned the teachings accordingly. The two Congolese pastors, Nzika Kalinde and Wycliffe Mbuya, organised and translated the courses with plenty of questions and discussions in between. They also brought their screen printing equipment to Kolwezi to print T-shirts for the host church.
While in DRC, although we were not directly informed, we could gather from the heated debates in the car, the constant news reports (all in French) and the appearance of a somewhat dismal military roadblock, that something political was afoot. During the last week of teaching we received news from Immigration that they expected political unrest in Lubumbashi and recommended that we leave the country before the weekend since the border was to be closed. This cut our classes short by one day, but the Holy Spirit had enough time to flood the eyes of their hearts with the light of the revelation of the mystery of Christ! God blessed us abundantly in the DR Congo! The leaders were visibly impacted by the Word of God and they sent us home laden with gifts.
Back in South Africa, Marlien, Aimée and I flew to Cape Town for two weeks in July, where Aimée participated in the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival and I presented a shortened GVGM class in Somerset West.
In between all the travelling and ministry, Marlien and I also both managed to complete a 140 hour online TEFL/TESOL master course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language / Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Both of us completed the course with distinction and see this as a valuable qualification which we may be able to use some time in the future.
We returned to Pretoria and immediately started three new weekly GVGM classes which are now about halfway. The response was so good for the Lynnwood class that we had to hire a hall to accommodate the group. We will be running one last class in Pretoria this year which will start on 25 September twice a week for 5 weeks. We are also hoping to record this class to make a new DVD series, since the previous set is already more than two years old.