“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10 v14 (NKJV)
Start where you are.
The Lord Jesus Christ commissioned His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone. That is the heart of our calling as missionaries. We have ministered in many countries, and especially throughout Africa. The preaching of the Gospel alone brings peace and stability to a nation, never rifles and ballot boxes. The Lord Jesus Christ makes the difference.
Messiah Ministries International started in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in a rural area far from any major city. We opened a Mission Station and started a small farming project to raise finance for our outreaches to the Zulu people in these poorest of the poor areas.
We heard about Christians in Zimbabwe who were literally starving and were led of the Lord to fill our 4×4 Landcruiser with Bibles, tracts, and food. The Lord moved the heart of three brothers in Greytown who owned a huge supermarket. They were Hindus. They supplied maize, cooking oil, sugar, tea, and tinned food in abundance. It was a small beginning, but we came back rejoicing because of the hundreds who gave their lives to Christ.
Our challenge to every believer is to start where you are, with what you have, and watch
Share the Gospel first and help where you can.
We returned to Zimbabwe later. Things had worsened. We heard about an Old Age Home where the people were literally starving. There was no food in their cupboards. Only one load of old stale bread was all we could find. There were at least 50 people at that Old Age Home. It was a drastic situation, and we were so thankful to have been able to encourage these believers and also leave supplies. That is what mission work is about. Sharing the Gospel first and then doing all we can to help.
We found an emancipated elderly man lying naked on a sponge mattress in one of the rooms. We covered him with a blanket, and I shared the Gospel with him via an interpreter. With tears in his eyes, this man received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. We prayed for him before leaving. Just as we were departing, we heard he had just passed away. How we rejoiced because we knew he was absent from the body and present with the Lord.
Someone had taken a photograph of the old man and I shared it with a friend who owns a National Christian magazine in South Africa. Erin Georgiou wrote an article about our visit and people’s hearts were moved. When we returned to Zimbabwe later, we went in a 32-ton truck filled with supplies from donors. Included were 3,000 pairs of spectacles donated by a Jewish man to assist those with poor eyesight to read the Bibles we were carrying. He even donated medical supplies.
Our first outreach to Zimbabwe was in a small truck. God blessed it and then supplied Bibles and foodstuff for the 32-ton truck. Never despise small beginnings!
Never give up
The Lord sent us to Zambia to share the Gospel. As we prayed about this, the Lord made it clear on what date we should set off. This time we took a Landcruiser equipped with a generator and speakers capable of reaching at least a thousand people. We planned to go into rural areas where there were no big stadiums and minister to thousands from our vehicle in areas unreachable by normal cars and trucks.
There was a problem, however. We had no finance for the long journey that lay ahead. It would take us through Zimbabwe and further north to Zambia. When the day came, we decided to obey in faith. Fraser (my son) and I packed the vehicle, said goodbye to Joanne, started the engine, and prayed. We wouldn’t get far with the diesel in our engine, but we believed God would take care of that detail.
As we started to leave, Joanne suddenly came running out of the house. “Stop!” she shouted. Someone had just put money into the Mission account to pay for the trip. It was exactly the amount we required.
We checked in at a very small rural motel one evening and carefully parked our vehicle nearby close to security.
The next morning, we were dismayed to find we had been robbed during the night. Everything was gone. Even our petrol tank had been drained. We managed to find some diesel, but there were no shops to replenish our supplies. We lived on watermelons, boiled eggs, and water for the next three days.
Our crusades were packed, hundreds of people found the Lord, were set free from demonic forces, and healed. We planted churches and made disciples. Our hearts were full to overflowing. It was a glorious trip.
Never give up!