"GRACEVINE" Newsletter - February 2003

"There has not failed one word of all His good promise"
1 Kings 8:56

Warm greetings from the Anglo Africa team!

February is here - the "love" month from the world's perspective! Praise God that His love for us is not as the world's love (fleeting, passing away and conditional). His Word declares in Jer. 31:3 "I have loved you with an everlasting love" and also Rom. 8:39 "nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord". These verses indeed confirm how much God truly values us and that He views each of us as "priceless" - His love will never let us go!

Bask in His love this month!

The world's eyes are focused on Southern Africa (and all of Africa for many reasons) in terms of the millions of people who are starving. And in speaking of God's amazing love for us, we as a Region feel so privileged to be channels through which His love can flow in a practical way, as a result of our current Northern Malawi Food Security Program. This project is sponsored by the Australian Government (amongst others) and we are honored to be the Lord's 'caretaker' as we give oversight to this venture. During January we made another 'food distribution' trip to this area where many of our focus leaders were recipients of further food parcels. The feedback from the food security area and the testimonies received in our office are absolutely awesome. We would like to share three testimonies with you to give you but only a 'brief glimpse' into the full picture of what is happening in Northern Malawi:
  • Pastor Simukoko said that by us giving these food parcels he is not only providing for his own family but also for orphans and five of his dead brothers children.
  • Pastor Steven Chisale says "my wife told me that we have had our last meal. I didn't know what to do. I thank God so much for the 13 bags of maize flour (325 kg). Three families (6 members each) will benefit from this. May God bless you."
  • Hennie Van Zyl (one of our regional team members) who oversaw this recent food distribution reported to me on his return "I have again seen that looking after the humanitarian needs of the people is helping us in expanding the spread of the Gospel. The faith of the people is built up when they see that God provides for them in their time of need and they go out with more confidence and boldness to tell others about this wonderful God who provides."

To everyone who has played a part (either financially or prayerfully), we salute you and once again extend our deepest appreciation for your contribution into this program. Most of all, we give all the glory to "the Lord of the harvest" for what is happening through the humanitarian leg of our ministry which all began with the article we sent out from our office, "Starving believers in Malawi eat sawdust to survive".

God has clearly spoken into our hearts in terms of our Region's overall ministry approach. Our new Anglo Africa thrust consists of 3 major "pillars":
  1. Our EHC Home-to-home evangelism strategy.
  2. Human Needs - meet people we reach out to on the level of their needs.
  3. The Africa Institute of Leading - this is a leadership and empowerment arm of our ministry, to equip/build up the capacity of our leaders to do a 'good job' in terms of point 1 and 2. An experienced and most capable team (faculty members) have been appointed to oversee this pillar.
Our humanitarian focus consists of 6 sectors (areas of ministry):
  1. HIV/Aids - home to home community based programs, focusing primarily on woman and children headed households, includes orphans and widows
  2. Food security - self sustainable programs
  3. Food distribution programs
  4. Basic health care/clinics
  5. Life skills
  6. Literacy programs - we have access to excellent adult literacy training materials.
We quote from a recent article on Aids from the Christian "TODAY" magazine in SA - "we need to seize the opportunity and begin to care like only we can care, to provide hope like only we can provide hope and nurture like only we can nurture, or we are going to walk backwards!"

Within this new EHC (Gospel) thrust, we are not looking at 'nations' but rather "hubs" (pockets of people) with a view to zooming in on targeted pockets/groups of people - the unreached, least reached and neglected - and doing all we can to "better their lives" (through our 6 sectors) and offer them "the Bread of Life".

A new dynamic in our Region!

We are right now in the process of developing our "Africa Institute of Leading" which was birthed at our November 2002 Southern and East Africa Leaders Conference. Our goal? One of the faculty members (a senior member of our Regional Team) Chris Klopper says "it is our objective to create a management tool or instrument whereby we can measure ourselves and find out whether we are getting better ..." Our Regional goal is "effective leadership" and as Dr John Higgens (also a faculty member) so aptly states, "we as Kingdom people have the Scriptural answer to the needs of the world and can be used mightily in the hands of God to bring hope and direction to a world engulfed in chaos, despair and dissolution".

The Regional team are excited about training leaders of Africa with the necessary knowledge and skills to become "the continent" in the world to prove what God can accomplish through obedient and well-trained godly leaders. We are already blessed with a well established infrastructure, motivated leaders and men/women of God, but as a team we continue to strive to "become better" for Christ and leave behind a lasting legacy - one of endurance, courage, commitment and leaders who serve!

Please join us in praising the Lord for the 'harvest' that came in through 2002!
We were able to distribute 1,625,684 pieces of literature, and through this we reached 1,410,077 homes (a total of 7,070,385 individuals). Praise God for the 746,647 people who responded to the Gospel message and accepted the Lord! As a result, we can report that 3,022 Christ Groups were formed throughout 2002 (churches planted) through our 9,815 (average per month) workers and volunteers. To God be the Glory!

"Thanks be to God who .... through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere" (2 Cor. 2:14 - Amp. Bible)

My office is reading Jack Dennison's book "City Reaching" and our brother says -
"transformation can occur in the communities of the world, through the work of God, in partnership with the people of God"

We say "amen" to this! To all our partners, supporters, co-workers and friends we say "thank you" - because you GAVE we could GO and we could REACH and the people RESPONDED! The 2002 statistics are as a result of your faithfulness in sowing seeds into Anglo Africa - we couldn't have brought in this harvest without YOU!

Hennie Van Zyl - 11th (Regional Team, Pretoria)
Sydney Thomas - 16th (National Leader, Liberia)
Aléta Reyneke - 24th (South Africa Office)

I have just arrived back from a conference (3 - 7 February) with all of our focus leaders in Tongaland (Zimbabwe and Zambia) with our leader, brother Cleopas Chitapa. I have never experienced such joy, commitment, excitement and vision for the future in the midst of 'utter' poverty and human crises! To hear the testimonies of hundreds of well-trained pioneer missionaries who are going out to the most remote villages and tens of thousands of people coming to Jesus, churches planted and then also of Discipleship Schools that have been established to look after the multitudes of new converts - to SEE this and HEAR the testimonies is beyond description! I will in time to come try to capture what I have seen and experienced during this trip and I'll send you the outcome. We are facing the most incredible ministry opportunities and many governments have even offered us the best land to plant and to feed our people. Please pray for God's wisdom that He would guide us how to make inroads/go about developing these tremendous opportunities and doors which are opening for us and that God's favor would rest upon the Regional team. The Lord has also led me to formulate a plan (He gave me the plan) that could most probably lead to the resolving of the land issues in Zimbabwe. We are in touch with officials in all relevant sectors of society that are looking, with expectation, at this plan. God is doing amazing things in our time within Africa and we are ready and willing (and well positioned) to make a difference, with the help of others.

Keep on praying for us. More details about our Regional plan for '2003 and Beyond' is available for those who feel led to come alongside of us through prayer and financial support. The Lord has helped us to put together the most 'profitable' investment opportunities and your support will enable us to equip and empower thousands of leaders, resulting in us reaching millions of people for the Kingdom.

Many blessings
Love from us all
Hennie and the Regional Team