Dear family and friends
After receiving the final visa at the last possible moment, our outreach team departed for Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The team travelled in two groups: four travelled by car from Zeerust and three of us by bus from Pretoria. After late night arrivals, we eventually all met in Kitwe, Zambia, and proceeded to the Kasumbalesa border post to meet Ps Wycliffe. Imagine our surprise when we were welcomed by more than twenty local church pastors! We were escorted directly from the immigration offices to a meeting where the pastors asked us to please bring God’s Vision God’s Mission to their town (Kasumbalesa) the next time we visit DRC. This is God’s favour and a testimony of His commitment to the furtherance of His own vision.
Once in Lubumbashi our team split up and began ministering at four separate events: a youth conference in Kitotwe, a Pastor’s Conference for the Wesleyan Church in Lwambo, a Missions Conference in Lubumbashi, and the first God’s Vision God’s Mission course at L’église de puits de Jacob (Jacob’s Well Church). This course was attended by about 35 mostly young people and ended in spontaneous singing about the finished work of the cross!
In between these events, we also took turns to preach at various churches. One evening at Calvary church, we asked if anyone needed healing in their bodies. Six people responded. We challenged the rest of the congregation to lay hands on the sick and see them recover. After some convincing they began to minister to one another until, one by one, all six people came forward to testify and demonstrate that they had been healed. Then a seventh person came forward… a young man, maybe in his late twenties. He was not sick or in need of healing, but, after seeing the power of God at work, he just wanted to know “How can I be saved?”
Half the team returned to South Africa while Jean, Muller and I remained. We spent a weekend preaching at the Pastor’s Conference in Lwambo. At one meeting the three of us shared the pulpit and preached a message on unity and purpose, “We are one!” We returned to the Mission Conference in Lubumbashi and followed up the conference with another GVGM course. 138 people attended this class. We emphasised the theme of the conference, “Church Arise to your Mission”. Wycliffe and Nzika, our Congolese hosts, continued with GVGM teachings three times a week for more than a month after we had left!
Unfortunately, on the last day of the class, a Friday afternoon, someone stole Jean’s bag containing his passport, bus ticket, yellow card, money, Bibles and other valuable items. The SA Consulate was closed until Monday. Our visas were only valid until Saturday and our bus was leaving from Kitwe, Zambia, on Sunday. This meant that we had to leave the country by the following morning. There was nothing we could do, but to trust God for a miracle! We prayed and God gave us peace. We knew we would not leave without Jean… Early the next morning, Ps Nzika burst into our room shouting, “We have it, we have the passport!” The person who stole the bag was kind enough to place Jean’s passport, yellow card and bus ticket into an envelope and returned it to the church during the night. Thank you Jesus! And thank you to everyone who prayed with us. For more photos of the DRC trip: https://gvgm.wordpress.com/photo-gallery/drc-2014/
At the beginning of October, I flew to Bujumbura, Burundi where I had the privilege of spending some time with the Operation Mobilisation (OM) team while I taught a GVGM class for local pastors and students. It was a very special experience to stand on the northern shore of Lake Tanganyika, having now taught GVGM at both ends of the lake. There are exciting opportunities for discipleship and missions in Burundi. For more photos of the Burundi trip: https://gvgm.wordpress.com/photo-gallery/burundi-2014/
Meanwhile, Marlien and Leonie from Campus Crusade have completed the first draft of the Community Health Worker Training handbook. There is still a lot of work to be done, but that will have to wait until next year. Marlien will be teaching the Brewster’s LAMP course (Language Acquisition Made Practical) in Pretoria for a group of French speaking church leaders at MET (Missions Exposure and Training) in November a few days before she flies to Zambia to teach at the OM training base in Kabwe. She will be there for two weeks presenting the Community Health Worker Training Course, as well as the Brewster’s LAMP course, before I will join her to challenge the student missionaries with GVGM. There are also still two GVGM classes in Pretoria which come to an end in November just before I leave for Zambia.
Thank you for your partnership with us as we proclaim the kingdom of God and equip the saints. May the Lord bless you with abundant life as His grace flows through you. With love and appreciation,
Gavin, Marlien & Aimée