Our Congmataza Mission Team has safely returned after a successful five month Mission to Congo, Malawi, Tanzania, Burundi, and Zambia. The team crossed 11 international borders, travelled more than 20,000 kilometres, and conducted more than 360 meetings in 6 countries. This included 7 Reformation FIRE Seminars and 15 Great Commission Seminars. We screened the Jesus film 36 times, conducted 14 outreach campaigns, preached 38 open-air Evangelistic messages, and preached 30 Sunday sermons.
The Mission Team also distributed more than two tonnes of Bibles, New Testaments, Discipleship books, Gospel literature, Evangelistic tracts, DVDs, audio CDs, and MP3 discs to pastors, church leaders, and Evangelists.
Grace of God
We can report with joy that God granted us favour at all police roadblocks, as we were not harassed by even one corrupt official throughout these months of ministry and travel! This is truly God's grace, as Africa is riddled with corrupt officials looking for a bribe. Although we travelled over a vast variety of rough, potholed, and corrugated road surfaces, we only suffered one puncture. We also praise God that our team was kept safe whilst we travelled through dangerous areas where rebels and bandits vigorously terrorise travellers and locals alike.
Congo for Christ
The main goal of this Mission was to serve the suffering church in Congo, in an area that has been terrorised by a number of violent groups. This region of Congo is very remote and disconnected from the rest of the country, with little infrastructure and support from the government. With the generous help of our faithful supporters we were able to purchase and distribute a hundred French Bibles, three thousand Gospels of John and Romans in French, 11,000 WMP Gospel booklets in French, 660 Biblical Principles for Africa in French, and 300 Broad and Narrow Way posters, and almost a tonne of Gospel literature, Discipleship books and Evangelistic material, to these needy believers who are on fire for God. This is a church that is thriving under difficult conditions and is making a positive difference in their community.
Evangelism and Revival
We conducted a Revival and Evangelism Camp about 2 hours' drive outside the town, where about 70 members of various churches attended the week-long program. After the camp we conducted an EvangelismExplosion week within the town where we held Evangelism Training sessions in the mornings. Afternoons we went out into the streets for door-to-door Evangelism. Many members of the church were energetically and joyfully involved. In total we conducted 41 meetings in Congo, including 19 lectures and training sessions, 6 outreaches, 3 open-air crusades, 5 screenings of the Jesus film and 6 Sunday sermons.
Burundi for Christ
In Burundi we had over a week of ministry in the capital city. Burundi is a country of great need with a long history of political and tribal violence, as well as many religious distractions from the Truth. Ancestor worship is very big and the Catholic church is also a very strong presence as a consequence of Belgium rule. Witchcraft is a powerful force used by many and feared by most. There are many Evangelical and Pentecostal churches that gather in homes and small buildings, but the sad truth is most of these churches are ignoring the Gospel and are instead preaching and spreading a prosperity 'gospel' that is contradictory to the Scriptures.
We conducted two Reformation FIRE Seminars in Bujumbura and the stark simplicity and power of basic Biblical teaching confounded and astonished many of the participants who expressed "This is what our churches and our country needs!"
Tanzania for Christ
As we travelled deeper into Tanzania we saw more and more signs of Islam's insidious advance. Tanzania is about 35% Muslim, and their numbers are growing. We visited two churches and conducted a Reformation FIRE Seminar in each one. We screened the Jesus film almost each night we were there. On one particular night the neighbouring mosque tried in vain to drown out the sound of our powerful speakers by singing and chanting on their own PA system at full blast - in fact after 2 hours their sound system burned out.
We were blessed to see the spiritual growth in the church since our previous ministry in this area, as well as the hunger for sound Biblical teaching. Our host kept us busy each day with opportunities to speak at schools, a college, and at mid-week church meetings. We conducted 30 meetings in Tanzania.
Malawi for Christ
There is a desperate crisis unfolding in Malawi that will soon destroy this beautiful country, unless the Church takes its responsibility to fulfil the Great Commission seriously. Malawians are being gullibly enslaved to the religion of Islam and they don't even know it. In fact, as did Esau, they are selling their souls for a morsel of food. During the "hunger season"; due to economic mismanagement, the subsistence farmers are not able to bring in sufficient grain to feed their families. People literally go without food for days, sometimes weeks.
Years ago, Gadhafi sponsored numerous mosques to be built all over Malawi in his attempt to Islamise Africa. At that time, there were few converts in those mosques, but due to the 'hunger season' and the ignorance of the dangers of Islam, that is now changing. During the hunger season mosques are stocked with grain and supplied with ample meat. The Muslims offer this food to anyone who declares themselves a Muslim. In desperation, many people flock to the mosques, declaring themselves to be Muslim in order to obtain free food.
We conducted Great Commission Seminars with a focus on Muslim Evangelism in 7 regions where this is a problem. Often you would find that even church-goers would convert to Islam for the sake of hunger relief. We conducted door-to-door outreaches in strong Muslim areas, challenging those who would hear us to answer this question: "How can you wash away your sin and your guilt?" We found that even leaders in the church could not answer this simple question!
We spent painstaking hours, often in the vicious heat, teaching the basic foundational truths of the Good News. This, you may find hard to believe, was a profound enlightenment to the whole church in most cases. We conducted 186 meetings in total in the 8 weeks that we ministered in Malawi.
Zambia for Christ
We found Zambia to be a very Christian country - in the sense that there are many churches and many shop names that display Christian influence. But the presence of casinos, night clubs, drunks and litter made us realise that the need is still great. The Church needs a lot of Leadership training and Discipleship training. We conducted three Reformation FIRE Seminars in different regions and also had ministry opportunity to speak in school classes and at one school assembly. We found many who expect to get into Heaven by good works.
South Africa for Christ
Of course we could not focus all our efforts on countries outside our own, so we were privileged to have had the opportunity to also conduct some rural ministry in the Wild Coast. This is an area that is under developed and un-churched. There are no churches in this particular area and we spoke to a fair number of individuals who expressed a keen desire to have a church in their village where they could fellowship. We screened the Jesus film, preached the Gospel in school classrooms and at a school assembly. We distributed thousands of Gospel booklets and Broad & Narrow Way posters, and conducted door-to-door Evangelism in the rural area.
"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:37-38
There are so many places and areas of desperate need; so much harvest ready for the reaping; so many gullible souls lost… and not enough workers to fulfil the need… There are thousands, no millions, of young people in South African Churches who could be harvesters in this great field, but they choose rather to chase after illusive material gain that has no lasting value.
I challenge all young Christian people to seriously consider participating in the Great Commission Course this January 2015. You can make a difference in this world. Are you going to watch it happen? Or are you going to make it happen? Join us in striving to make a difference!
"Only one life, it will soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last." - C.T. Studd
I would like to express our deep gratitude to those of you who 'go' by giving generously of your finances to extend our reach and multiply our effectiveness; others who 'go' by praying, encouraging, communicating, or sharing your resources with us, which enables us to persist in the missionary call which God has called us to. May God richly reward you and perpetuate your prosperity. Your partnership in the Gospel is greatly appreciated.
In His service - and loving it!
Missionary Field Worker
Mission to Malawi - October 2014
Mission to Malawi
"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1
Answer to Prayer
Our team has been reduced in size as we lost one of our team members – not to death or any illness, but we willingly sacrificed him as a living sacrifice to serve the Lord at a Sola Scriptura Bible College that is in desperate need of help. In our last Mission update, we urged you to pray that God would send someone to fulfil this need; God has answered your prayers. We have released Ryno to respond to the earnest plea for help that came from the valiant old missionary who is single-handedly running this effective Bible College with its vast responsibilities and numerous challenges. Ryno was eager to respond to this need and thoroughly believed that God has called and prepared him for such a time as this.
I greet you in the wonderful Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Tasting Fruit in Tanzania
Last year during our Africa Overland Mission we visited a town in Tanzania and conducted an intensive week of ministry at a particular church. It was our privilege to visit and minister in the same church this year and to see the fruit of our ministry from last year. The church had taken the teachings they received last year and put them into practice. The change was pleasantly obvious to behold. It certainly blessed our hearts to hear the testimonies and witness the progress that had been made.
We were kept very busy during our time there as our host pastor put us to work, speaking at churches, schools, and a college. We conducted two Reformation FIRE seminars there and screened the Jesus film, or The Passion of the Christ film, on almost every evening. One night, as we showed the Jesus film, the nearby mosque tried to compete with our sound system. They sang and chanted on their horn speakers, pushing the volume up to what was obviously maximum, because after two hours their sound system burned out.
"I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18
Ngorongoro Crater Exemption
Unfortunately we were not able to visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania where we had hoped to minister among the Maasai. This was due to the disappointing fact that the Conservation Authority did not accept our request to be exempted from the exorbitant fees that are required for tourists. We had prayed hard and sent letters to the Conservation Authority 3 months in advance, following all the required protocol, but it seemed as if God had shut this door firmly.
Free Time Well Used
Seeing as we had almost a week of free time on our hands, we took a few days to rest and recover, as by this time, Renee and I were down with a bad spell of flu. We then offered the rest of the time to our ministry contact in Malawi who was very happy to receive us earlier than expected.
Rest, Recuperation and Recovery
We erected our tents at a beautiful idyllic lakeshore beach where we camped for a few days to rest and recuperate before the next phase of this Mission.
This seemed like a piece of heaven on earth - a tranquil bay along the beautiful shore of Lake Malawi where the beach is white, the sunlight dances as it sparkles off the crystal clear and calm lake water, the birds chirp their melodious song as they play in the branches of the trees that shade the lush green grass that carpets our restful campsite. This place is like a paradise!
Renee and I had been desperately ill with the flu, often succumbing to coughing spells which left us with raw throats and restless nights. This paradise campsite and welcome break in our busy ministry schedule had come at just right time to allow us to recover from this annoying virus.
Sola Scriptura Bible College
We had a wonderful time of ministry at the Sola Scriptura Bible College in Malawi where we conducted a Great Commission Seminar, distributed valuable books and literature to the 74 students, donated DVDs, Audio CDs, MP3 Discs, and Discipleship books for the college library, and delivered World Missionary Press Gospel Booklets, tracts, Broad and Narrow Way Posters, and other Evangelistic resources for their frequent outreaches.
Relentless Retiree and Reformer
The Sola Scriptura Bible College is one of five colleges that have been established in South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and in Kenya. The man who has been used by God to start these efficient Bible Colleges is now in his late 70s and still pushing on hard in this race that God has set before him. He is a great example of tenacity, perseverance, self-sacrifice, productivity, and triumph. In his old age, this passionate Missionary is running this Bible College in Malawi with very little help from others. His one other colleague has left to return home to South Africa.
This tough old Missionary is doing the work of five strong young men. It breaks my heart to see him left in this challenging and demanding situation. This is a shocking reflection of the blatant reality of the lack of young people responding to God's perpetual call to Missions:
"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?'" Isaiah 6:8
This tired, robust, stalwart Missionary earnestly made his plight known to me declaring, "We are facing a crisis situation here. I will be left all alone here to run the college single handed. I will not be able to manage alone. Please, we need help. Aren't there any suitable young men who can be sent to continue the work here?"
Who Will Go?
Please pray for the Bible Colleges that are being run by this valiant Missionary. There is a desperate shortage of workers at most of the Sola Scriptura campuses. There is lots of work that needs to be done. Our Mission has now loaned one of our Field Workers to assist Sola Scriptura in their crisis for the rest of their academic year.
"Then He said to His disciples,'The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the labourers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust labourers into His harvest.'" Matthew 9:37-38 (Amplified)
Africa Overland Mission
Our Africa Overland Mission team has, in the first 100 days, travelled over 12,000km, ministering in 6 countries, conducted 259 meetings, including 8 Reformation FIRE Seminars, 13 Muslim Evangelism Workshops and 25 Film Evangelism Outreaches. 30 of these meetings were in Tanzania, including 2 Reformation FIRE Seminars. 2 months of ministry in the field, still lies ahead.
Grateful Hands and Hearts
Thank you very much for praying for us, for encouraging us on our 'Watson's Missions' Facebook page and on sms, emails, and WhatsApp, and for giving of your finances that purchases diesel, Bibles, food, and shelter which enables us to persist in fulfilling our Missionary calling of ministering the Gospel in Africa. May God richly reward your generous giving.
"For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward." Mark 9:41
May God bless you thoroughly!
In His service - and loving it!
Missionary Field Worker
Frontline Fellowship P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa Office: +27-21-689-4480 Email:
Greetings in the wonderful Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Mission team has had some really incredible ministry opportunities. Currently we are in a far out, deep rural area ministering in a very strong Muslim region of Eastern Malawi among the Yao tribe. This tribe is notorious for their involvement in the Arab slave trade and for their warring nature. The Christians in this area have been persecuted harshly by the Muslims; recently two churches were burned down.
Through Sickness and…un-Health
Renee and I are still trying to recover from a relentless bout of flu that has been troubling us for the last 3 weeks. We are definitely on the tail end of this now, but it is still stubbornly refusing to submit to the handfuls of medication that we have been throwing at it.
Ryno has now succumbed to a bad eye infection that is progressively getting worse and also, to add to that horror, he has a painful infection in his ear. It looks much worse than it is - with his head bandaged up to cover his right eye and a large dressing over his left ear - he looks like he barely survived a vicious war! Please pray that we will be able to find good medical attention for him soon.
We have now been on this Africa Overland Mission for 11 weeks, ministering in 6 countries including: South Africa, Zambia, Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, and Malawi. We have conducted more than 210 meetings and travelled more than 12,000km. We still have two months of scheduled ministry ahead of us.
Reformation FIRE in Burundi
After our busy and effective Mission to Congo, we entered Burundi where we conducted a Reformation FIRE seminar in the capital city. Pastors from Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi were present at this seminar as well as many members of the host church. The sound system that they use for their worship is insanely loud. So much so, that we had to use earplugs to relieve the pain that we experienced as the invasive decibels assaulted our hearing.
The pastors were very grateful for the teachings and declared that this is what Burundi needs - sound Biblical teaching. There are so many false doctrines going around in this area frustrating the believers, that when they hear basic Biblical doctrine, they are overwhelmed by how profound and true it is. We were able to distribute to each pastor a copy of Biblical Principles for Africa in French,The Apostles Creed, and also a copy of theReformation FIRE Manual.
Whilst in the capital city of Burundi, we had a wonderful opportunity to minister to a sincere seeking Muslim woman from the Middle East. This really seemed to be a God-ordained appointment. For the sake of protecting her identity, I will call her Fiona.
We got to know Fiona as a wonderful, friendly, kind, and generous lady who was sincerely seeking the truth. As we got to know her more, we discerned that, in her seeking, she had been seriously misled by 'wolves in sheep's clothing' who were cunningly enriching themselves through Fiona's purse and ignorance of authentic Christianity. This 'pastor' was clearly an imposter and sorcerer, using divination to hypnotise the unsuspecting sincere seeker into a state of trust. This situation is just 'the tip of the iceberg' of the immensity of the deception that exists here in Burundi. Since the Roman Catholic Belgians colonised this land, the people have been misled by many false forms of Christianity.
"…in later times some will depart from the Faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons…" 1 Timothy 4:1
A Goat for a Goat, and a Cow for a Cow
Fiona, and a colleague of hers who was also an unfortunate victim of this 'ravenous wolf' imposter, told us how this 'pastor' had 'discerned' that they had snakes (which were demons) wrapped around their hearts and other organs of their bodies and they needed her (the 'pastor') to pray for them to save them from looming destruction. As they submitted themselves to 'prayer', (which involved a physical mock 'operation', having to lie down on the ground as this 'pastor' 'operated' on them to remove the snakes) the pastor would then 'discern' that these demons (the snakes) refused leave because they wanted reimbursement. "Those who sent me here," she would say speaking on behalf of the demons, "sacrificed a goat, therefore if you want me to leave, you should give me a goat!" The 'pastor' would then say to Fiona, "A goat is worth $500. The demon won't go unless you give me $500." Some of these demons also demanded a cow. "A cow is worth $1000…" Sometimes even a child was required…
A Forest of Snakes!
Each time a 'snake' would be removed from Fiona's heart, the 'pastor' would discern that there was another one. And that one too would require a payment of some kind before it could be removed. Fiona's colleague blurted out in pent-up frustration, "I have a forest of snakes living in me! It's only since I met that 'pastor'!" Fiona told us that she had paid more than $1500 monthly to this 'pastor' to deliver her from these demons that were allegedly haunting her and wrapping snakes around her heart, but without any progress. "Isn't your God powerful?!" She asked in apparent exasperation. "Why, after paying so much and doing so much, is your God not able to drive out these demons?!"
Faith Comes by… the Word of God
We were able to impart a different and more Biblical perspective of Christianity to Fiona, for which she was immensely grateful. We told her that what she had experienced was not Christianity at all. We showed her from the Word of God that Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with God through Jesus. We explained that she doesn't need to pay money in order to be free. All she needs is to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. She listened, paying close attention to details, asking questions, and drinking in this new information gladly. She said, "You have released me from that prison I was in."
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ." Romans 10:17
Please continue to pray for Fiona, that God would reveal Himself to her and that she will continue to seek Him diligently.
"And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ… Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should." Colossians 4:3-4
May God bless you thoroughly!
In His service - and loving it!
Michael Watson Missionary Field Worker
Frontline Fellowship P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa Office: +27-21-689-4480 Email:
Greetings in the precious and powerful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
"For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through Him and for Him." Colossians 1:16
Our Congmataza Mission team is, I am happy to report, in good health. Ryno is recovering from the wound in his shoulder and I am feeling much better after a course of antibiotics and typhoid treatment.
We have been on the road conducting this Overland Mission to Congo now for more than 2 months; we have already travelled more than 9,836km through 6 countries conducting 129 meetings, 6 Reformation FIRE Seminars, and 3 Evangelism Training Seminars.
In my last update to you, I ended by requesting prayer as we were about to enter Congo into a region where there is a long history of instability and violence. Thank you very much for praying.
We have had an exciting and fruitful time of ministry in DR Congo. Let me start by telling you how the border crossing went.
Border Officials, Literature, and Grace
Our rig was loaded with more than 2 tonnes of Gospel literature, Bibles, and other resources for pastors, evangelists, and church leaders. This literature is distributed free of charge and is therefore non-commercial cargo; in addition to this, most of the literature is 'in transit' and just passing through the one country into the next, but the border officials don't always see it in this way. They normally see it as an opportunity to procure and invoke a stubborn, uncompromising bribe from our unyielding pockets. As you can well imagine, this can seriously complicate a border crossing for us. We praise God that up to this point, we have had trouble-free border crossings.
However, now that we were facing the notoriously corrupt Congo border, we were somewhat apprehensive about crossing this border with so much literature, much of which was intended for ministry outside of Congo. Only 750kg of our cargo was allocated for Congo. We had been warned by other missionaries and colleagues of the intense levels of corruption by these border officials, to such an extent that some vehicles have been confiscated and commandeered by such corrupt officials. We obviously did not want this fate to take over our rig, so we made preparations and arrangements to prevent this from happening.
"Victory loves preparation" Anonymous
We made contact with a trustworthy pastor in Burundi who was willing and able to assist us and made arrangements with him to store in his home all the literature that we would not need in Congo (which was allocated for ministry in other countries on our return journey). This was very helpful, because there was quite a lot of our cargo that we needed to store safely.
Our host pastor in Congo also did a sterling job of contacting the necessary customs officials and getting the vital paperwork in place, this was no easy task, but an essential pre-emptive measure. He also placed various influential members of his congregation at strategic points along the border control to assist us through this tricky gauntlet.
As we warily drove up to the border carrying only that which was essential to our ministry in Congo, we intently followed the cell phone instructions of our host pastor who was coordinating this tricky border crossing. We were joyfully and warmly welcomed by his vivacious wife whose smile alone cut the tension in the air and hushed our edgy minds. Soon we were joined by the pastor and his team who easily and effortlessly guided us through the immigration and customs control. It was wonderful to be welcomed in such a manner. I knew we were in good hands.
Once we were in Congo, we were introduced to the Chief of Police, who is also a member of the host church, and we were assured that his team would be looking out for our well-being during our stay in Congo. There would be a team of police and soldiers that would surround our camp at night. The area where we were staying has in the past experienced much violence and insecurity. A village just north of this location had recently been attacked.
Which Side of the Road?!
In South Africa we drive on the left side of the road, but in Congo you drive on what’s left of the road. In fact, the rule is that you should drive on the right-hand side. The roads (or what is left of them) are not roads at all, the locals here call them "ways". The one main road which runs through the town is often swarming with overloaded motor cycles, bicycles, tuc-tucs, cars, trucks and lorries all hooting, weaving in and out of gaps, contending for the little bit of tarmac that is all that remains of the main road. Each driver is just trying to guide the tyres of their vehicles to the best possible path avoiding potholes, ditches, the encroaching road edge, and all other traffic that is trying to do the same. How they miss each other is still a wonder to me!
No Water, No Electricity!
We were told upon our arrival, that the town where we were staying had neither water, nor electricity for the past three weeks. The inhabitants of this lakeshore town all had to go down to the lake to collect water in buckets/jerry cans. The lake is quite polluted and therefore not an ideal source of water for drinking or even for cooking. Here is what I wrote in my journal on Thursday 31 July:
"Congo is really tiring us out. There is no water in the taps. So far, since we have been here, water has only come in the taps twice - one of which was this morning. We have left our containers under the tap in anticipation of water. This morning we filled all our containers. The last time we had water was on Sunday. We have been using the lake water which is very filthy. There are all sorts of pollution in the lake - sewage, hippos, people bathing, clothes are washed, litter, even used medical needles are found on the lake shore. We have had to treat this water with chemicals(chlorine), boil it, and filter it. I am hoping that this would be enough to keep us from getting all sorts of diseases. We are happy to have clean water now."
Amazing Church Growth
The church that was hosting us in Congo was the same church that hosted us last year when we visited Congo during the Africa Overland Mission. Last year when we were here we conducted a Great Commission Seminar focusing on Way of the Master Evangelism training. It was quite clear then already that the pastor of this church has a great passion for Evangelism and Missions and has been trying (effectively and successfully) to motivate his church to get involved in reaching Congo for Christ.
This year when we returned to these energetic believers we were astounded to find out that their church had grown double its size! Since we left them last year, they have regularly conducted door-to-door evangelism, putting into practice the Way of the Master and they have reaped the fruits of their efforts. This was really encouraging to us, to know that our labour has not been in vain.
During our first week of ministry in Congo, Ryno (who is on our Missionary Training Program) started complaining about an itch/pain on his shoulder. It looked like a simple pimple, so we just laughed it off and ignored it. The next morning, however, it was a little bigger and had developed a hole about the size of a black pepper corn. It was now also obvious to see that this was in fact a spider bite, there were two very clear holes where the fangs had penetrated. I realized that this was a necrotic spider bite and that the poison was destroying the cells in the wound and would continue to do so unless we found a remedy. Since my knowledge about spider bites is limited, I consulted my good friend 'Google' to find out what can be done. My internet research informed me that there was not much one can do to prevent the poison from doing its dirty work. As Ryno was already taking some strong antibiotics, we realised all we could do was to keep the wound clean and dressed with lots of betadine/germoline.
Each time we changed the dressing of the wound on Ryno's shoulder, we were disturbed to find that it had grown bigger than the previous time. Soon the hole in his shoulder was about the size of a human eye. The smell was that of rotting flesh which was accompanied by the sight of green, black liquid puss that filled the ever increasing rancid crater. This had to be cleaned out thoroughly each day and a new dressing put on. I soon realized that if this continues, I will have to try to get Ryno out of Congo and find professional medical attention.
We went in search of medical attention for Ryno in neighbouring Burundi and were directed to an Anglican Medical Clinic which apparently had very high standards. The problem we encountered here though was the language barrier. When the nurses asked what the problem was we indicated the shoulder dressing and, communicating through an interpreter, told them it was a spider bite. The nurse proceeded to open the dressing and inspect the problem. She told us, "Whoever cleaned this wound the first time did not do a good job". I took the blame for that. This nurse immediately started thoroughly, aggressively, and mercilessly, cleaning the wound, extracting chunks of white, green, and brown matter, cutting at the wound with a surgical knife, and scrubbing it with sterile gauze, without any anaesthetic!
Ryno was bravely enduring this torture and each time he tried look over his shoulder to see what was going on, the nurse, smiling sadistically, would push his head away saying "Don't look here". It was only while she was finally dressing the wound again that she inquired, "How did you get this wound on your shoulder?" We repeated, "It was a spider bite which started very small and grew into this big hole you see here now." The nurses were quite fascinated with this, as if they had never dealt with a problem like this before.
Revivals and Resistance
This area experienced two revivals in the 20th century. One in 1911, and again in 1962. The people here speak of great moves of God among the people during these times - great miracles, great fear of God, great increase in the fertility of the land, and most of all a vivid realization of the presence of God. When rebels attacked the area they put up a fierce resistance and sent the attackers fleeing.
Revival and Evangelism Camp
We were invited as guest speakers at a Revival and Evangelism Camp. This seemed quite appropriate considering the historic significance of revival in this area. This camp was attended by more than 50 participants coming from different regions of the Congo. We had a wonderful time of ministry, fellowship, and outreach with these passionate believers. I was very glad for the French lessons I had taken in preparation for this mission. Between the use of broken English, French, and some hand signs, we were able to communicate somewhat with our beloved Congolese brothers and sisters.
At the camp I spoke on topics such as: Revival in the Bible and in History, What Can be Preventing Revival, How to Revive Your Devotional Life, The Way of the Master, How Jesus Did Evangelism, Christian Action, Outrageous Courage, and How a Local Missionary Can be Self-Supportive. After many of the sessions we would break up into discussion groups and discuss the practical issues and seek answers on problems encountered.
After the Camp we headed back to town for what was called an Explosive Evangelism Week. We started early in the mornings with Way of the Master training and then in the afternoons we would go out into the streets doing door-to-door Evangelism followed by screening the film Passion of Christ. The church was fully involved and their teamwork and tenacity was certainly admirable.
Renee also conducted a Youth Seminar where the theme was Shine Like Stars. The church was packed with eager youth intently listening to find out how they might become stars. The message that came through in the end was this, "If you want to be a star, you must be connected to Jesus!" There was great discussion amongst the group and the Q & A session went way overtime as these enthusiastic youth asked probing questions.
The Harvest is Plentiful
During our time in Congo and through the efforts of this energetic church, there were more than 330 people who prayed to surrender to Christ as their Lord and Saviour, 210 of which were from one-on-one encounters during door-to-door Evangelism, 18 of which were baptized in Lake Tanganyika. Praise the Lord! We are so excited about this.
Literature and Resources Distributed
By God's grace, and with the help of generous supporters, we have been able to distribute and deliver to the churches and believers in Congo: 91 French Bibles, 11,000 French and Swahili Gospel Booklets, 3,000 Gospel of John and Epistle to the Romans booklets, 660 Biblical Principles for Africa (in French) books, 300 Broad and Narrow Way Posters. We were also able to deliver to churches for their libraries and for distribution many DVDs such as: More Than Dreams, In Your Face, Herman Who?, What if Jesus had Never been Born?, Call for Discernment, Amazing Grace, Basic Christian Training Boxset, Islam Rising, and The Biggest Question. Some of the MP3 audio discs that we were also able to deliver included: Revival, Evangelism and Discipleship, Answering Skeptics, Heroes of the Faith, and Great Commission Course 2014 Boxset. We were also able to deliver to the vibrant Congo church mini SD cards loaded with the Jesus film in French and Swahili and many other digital Evangelistic resources which can be inserted into cell phones and shared amongst friends and contacts wirelessly using either Bluetooth or the internet.
We really appreciate each one of you who pray for us and who encourage us by email, sms, WhatsApp, and Facebook. We also are constantly aware that we would not have been able to do any of the above had it not been for the Mission's generous financial supporters who have given of their finances to extend our reach and impact. Thank you for your sacrificial giving which has bought diesel, tyres, food, medicines, Bibles, Gospel books, Evangelistic tracts, and visas.
Please do visit the Frontline Fellowship Facebook page for pictures of our ministry and adventures as we progress on this Mission through Africa.