|"GRACEVINE" Newsletter - JULY 2003|
"Warm" Africa greetings (from a rather cold, mid-winter Pretoria) - to our EHC co-workers, prayer partners and friends!
In a recent Newsletter we saluted the thousands of pioneer missionaries who so faithfully, in spite of global tension, ethnic warfare and uncertainty continue reaching every home with a clear Gospel presentation. This month we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to those who support our vision and strategy by giving their prayer and financial support - Christians who are compelled by the need of a lost world to 'give' and the desperation of millions of people living in spiritual darkness throughout Africa continues to encourage YOU to obey His call - the mandate of the Great Commission.
Thank you for "packing our parachutes! - read this amazing article at the end - what you have contributed to our Anglo Africa Region has enabled us to 'go'.
WEST AFRICA LEADERS CONFERENCE held in the Regional Office (9 - 13 June) - feedback This was a resounding success- praise the Lord! Our 3 West Africa leaders (from Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone) shared with us about the turbulent political situations in each of their nations (their personal experiences and the effects on their families). Our Regional team, along with the US team who also joined us (Wes Wilson, Richard Smith and Farrell Evans) sat amazed when we heard first-hand of what many people are experiencing. Our West Africa team are 'champions'! Rebel soldiers continue to launch attacks despite promises of peace … and our EHC West Africa team continue to launch "spiritual attacks" - using our Africa 'bazooka' - our Heart of Man material. Since EHC was launched in Liberia, 2,117 pastors/church leaders from 4 of the 15 counties have been trained. These leaders represent over 300 churches (ministries) and were trained how to present a clear Gospel presentation by using The Heart of Man material. Witchcraft is being renounced and witchdoctors are taking off their magical/protection beads and ropes around their bodies and confessing faith in Jesus Christ. Our National Director in Liberia has also included in their evangelism program a 'Gospel Drama Ministry' which is the dramatization of the Heart of Man chart which is extremely effective amongst the youth.
These leaders are 'agents of transformation in war-torn nations!
Farrell Evans (a US business man and partner) after being part of the launch of Liberia just over two years ago, was amazed at the progress that has been made so far. We are in the process of putting together a 'case for support' (project proposal) for West Africa.
As the Regional Team, we would like to ask for special and focused prayer for this part of (war-torn West Africa) our Region as we extend our program into the still to be reached parts of Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and the two Portuguese speaking islands. God has given us a special focus for this part of our region!
'NATION OF SAND' CONSULTATION 16 - 20 July 2003, to be held in Pretoria, South Africa.
As this is a sensitive Horn of Africa nation (part of our Region) we are not publishing the name.
Please pray with us for this most strategic event. At the moment, the peace process is probably the main focus in this country and the outcome will greatly determine the extent of our evangelistic activities. EHC Anglo Africa have formed a strategic partnership with SSNETWORK to reach this nation, with a specific focus on one of the least reached and avoided people groups. The history of this people group says: "Little could be hoped for from a people whose language none could speak, who avoided contact with authority as others did the plague and about whose history, customs and characteristics almost nothing was known."
Latest Statistics received in the Regional Office: 2.5 million people with only 11 known born again Christians.
What we, the Body of Christ do after peace comes to the Nation of Sand will have far reaching consequences - this is a "Window of Opportunity" Consultation. Would you pray for the EHC Anglo Africa Regional Office team and SSNETWORK who are both part of the steering committee for this consultation and that all God's purposes and destiny in this 'Horn of Africa' nation will be fulfilled.
MALAWI - FOOD SECURITY PROJECT
I leave this weekend (July 5th) for Malawi to visit our Food Security Program, along with Lorraine Leach and her daughter Katherine (EHC Australia). We have mentioned in previous communications about the success of this project and shared some wonderful testimonies of how God has enabled us, through proactively showing the love of Jesus in a practical way, to be more effective than before in reaching every home in our Malawi Hub (consisting of the avoided and neglected areas and people of Southern Tanzania, far Eastern Zambia, North Western Mozambique, Northern Malawi and the Islands on the Malawi Lake, as well as the Muslim dominated YAO people group, next to the Malawi Lake on the Mozambique border). We give God all the praise and glory for granting us favor with the Australian Government (AusAID) along with our EHC Australia office team - their absolute confidence in our Regional and Malawi team and financial contribution has added to the Kingdom of God.
EHC INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP MEETINGS - COLORADO SPRINGS
I (along with Adriana) will be in the USA to attend the dedication of the Jericho Centre and also to attend the annual leadership meetings held in Colorado Springs. We are leaving SA on July 25th and I will be back in the Regional Office on Monday August 11th. If the Anglo Africa team need to communicate with me in the case of any emergency during that time, please be in touch with Nicky in our regional office who will be able to reach me if necessary. Pray for us please for fruitful meetings and a safe journey.
Pieces of Gospel literature distributed: 94,590
Number of homes reached: 73,305
People reached with the Gospel: 366,525
Christ Groups formed: 160
Volunteer workers (pioneer missionaries): 6,387
Our prayer is that all who see the results of our efforts would know that God is responsible and give Him all the glory. We praise Him for working in and through the Anglo Africa team (and we salute those who also have a burning passion for this continent and give so freely of their love, time, prayer and financial support). We commend you for being part of this dedicated 'task force' dedicated to helping change the world through helping us do our part in fulfilling the Great Commission - the greatest challenge ever given by the greatest Person who ever lived.
Congratulations to Pastor Esaia Malepa (one of our focus leaders in Lesotho). We honor you for the tremendous efforts you are making (along with your Bible Students) in helping us reach the last home in this nation. In particular, we commend our brother for his initiative in presenting a clear Gospel presentation at every available opportunity he can - at every wedding he attends! You are a valuable part of our team. You will soon receive your book prize!
Testimony - Pieter and Ursula de Villiers (who oversees our EHC activities in Namibia):
Background: Pieter seriously came down with malaria in March and took two months leave to fully recuperate. Since they returned home to Opuwo Namibia, Pieter meets people everywhere who stare at him with wide-open eyes. Some start crying and keep on shaking his hand - he found out that a rumour had done the rounds that he died while in South Africa. Some people even drove more than 500km to come to Opuwo for the funeral. In some remote villages the people had "a funeral party", which means they slaughtered some animals and remembered all the "good things" he did while he was away. Pieter comments in his report: "Its kind of funny to see how people respond - it's not always that you have a chance to see how people react at your funeral!"
The Regional Team praise God that there was no funeral for our brother Pieter and rejoice that he was able to 'personally' send in his reports and this testimony. Thank you Jesus for restoring Pieter's health and that their ministry is back in 'full swing' in their focus area!
Pieter, we would like to wish you a blessed birthday on July 28th!
Note from the Regional Office: Brother Fred Creighton (New Zealand) recently commented on Pieter & Ursula's website as follows: "This morning I visited Pieter and Ursula on the web! What an amazing couple and what a program they have! Wow! Makes the mind boggle somewhat to see how some people live in order to make Christ known. Such reports tend to set off a rather adventurous spirit in me also!" Should you wish to visit their website: www.gnn.iway.na
THANK YOU FOR PACKING OUR PARACHUTES!
Charles Plumb was a U. S. Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"
"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.
"I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!"
Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."
Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor."
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know. Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?"
Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.
As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.
To every person receiving this Newsletter, we say "thank you for your part in packing our parachute". This was sent to our regional office from Pastor Bill Price who in turn received it from another friend. If you have not received this before, wouldn't you like to send this incredible story on to that special someone who is there supporting you on a daily basis?
Until we 'electronically' visit with you again…..
Keep you eyes on the clouds …. Jesus is coming soon!