Cherry Festival Report-back

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. ~ John 17:3

All Glory to our King Jesus.

Forty-five minutes before leaving work to embark on the mission trip to Ficksburg in the Eastern Free State, a challenge was presented to me when the garden services employed by our legal firm; a grass-cutter whilst cutting the grass cut where there were some loose stones and one was clipped and became a projectile which smashed the front passenger’s window of my Bantam bakkie (LDV). It was a challenge to try getting a window repaired before leaving Pietermaritzburg on the road trip. Although the garden service supervisor was very apologetic, I consoled him and the grass-cutter and told them that “accidents do happen” ~ it was as if my witness would be tested by how I would react. My Lord Jesus kept me under control and at ease and after going to two glass fitters they both were out of stock of the type of window to be repaired. It was raining at the time and I was pressed to fetch my wife Tammy with time running by. I eventually requested Glasfit to patch up my window with plastic and vacuum out the shattered glass in the vehicle. My travelling schedule would now be changed and I would not be leaving at 02:00 am Thursday morning, but 07:15 am. One does wonder when you have insurance for such occasions, why one’s excess is always so high. I was told by a Glasfit consultant who quoted me that after Outsurance (my insurers) would pay their 35% share, my portion would still be about R1,100.00!! This situation not only spared me a possible mishap on the road – as there was a fallen boulder on the road going through the Golden Gate Nature Reserve which I passed by while the clean up team were busy removing it (makes one think and reflect – thank you Father) – but in Ficksburg I was first quoted to have the glass repaired for R950.00 – which was later reduced after the owner Warren (Dumela Glass) had read the Gospel on the side of my vehicle – he settled to charge me R800.00 including labour and I also presented him with a Million Dollar Gospel Tract which he read. I also witnessed to his son and friends in the shop while waiting for the window to be fitted and handed out tracts to his staff in the workshop and briefly witnessed to them, too. Nothing happens by chance – God has His ways. Praise Him for He is worthy of all praise.

Sello and an Airforce-man

On Friday I met up with Brother Sello Rasephei from Pretoria (a Brother I first met at the 2010 FIFA World Cup). We then proceeded to the local township Meqheleng to meet Hloni Letsoka and Sawi Masitsa at the Assemblies of God Church. We spent about three hours in training the Brothers by showing them the “Hells Best Kept Secret” and the “Crafting the Message” DVDs on Sello’s laptop and ended off with committing the outreaches to our Lord in a time of prayer. They were enlightened by the Holy Spirit as they took to the Biblical mandate readily. When the four of us hit the streets our two “new trainees” were on fire to share “law to the proud, grace to the humble.” After this, we know Ficksburg will not be the same again … I found that the people attending the festival, both local and visitors, were mainly there just looking to have a good time. The Bible says that you will know a tree by its fruit (Matthew 7:16,17) and we could see by the way people acted or dressed what their reasons for being at the festival were. It is sad when you see so many youngsters smoking, some who had taken alcohol (we could smell it on their breath or see their glassy eyes) and especially young girls dressing provocatively with mini-skirts and low-front tops. They were adulteresses in the manner of their dress wanting men to fall into sin. The problem does not only lay with the girls dressing the way they do, the blame is with the parents for allowing them to buy the clothes they pay for and then allowing them to leave the house dressed the way they are.

Many youngsters appear to be part of this lost generation – some looking for Truth others just living in the flesh and just following after what the world can offer them. Many younger children received colouring books with lots of Scripture on the pages presenting the Gospel and about 3000+ Gospel booklets, including tracts and colouring books were handed out during our Friday and Saturday outreaches. During this time we had many wonderful opportunities presented to us by the Holy Spirit to share the Law and the Gospel of Grace with many people from different tribes, tongues and nations who are hungry for the Word. We also met up with a Portuguese Brother named Gil Neves – an attorney by profession who works for the Legal Aid Board in Ficksburg – who shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with passion and who also uses the “Good Person Test.” It was wonderful meeting a Brother who is on fire to reach the lost with Christ. We also thank him for voluntarily serving us by walking the extra mile to buy us Energade drinks and snacks. Your rewards are both here and in heaven, Brother Gil.

Gil Neves on his lunch break witnessing to two souls

In the early evenings we also used amplification in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we were unhindered by any police or festival staff – we praise our God for His favour in allowing us to preach His Word. [Note – Leading up to the event Sello and I had searched out the Ficksburg by-laws and found no by-laws that would restrict the preaching of the Gospel with or without sound] On Saturday, Sello and I crossed into Lesotho via the Maputsoe border post to take the Gospel to the neighbouring Basotho people. On our way we first visited at a pastor’s house in St. Monica – he was in Pretoria, but we met with his wife who prayed for us – then we headed out west to Maseru, the capital city. Opposite a shopping centre / taxi rank in downtown Maseru, Sello and I were blessed in engaging passer-bys in witnessing in the name of Jesus to them in conversations, handing out tracts, booklets and colouring books and open-air preaching. It was truly a blessed time of God allowing us the freedom to share Him and His blessed Son our Lord Jesus Christ with many, many souls. I had a wonderful conversation with two youngsters named Lekhetho (14) and his friend Rethabile (12) who overheard my conversation with a passerby and saw the Million Dollar tract, but also wanted to know how to be born again. If Almighty God had not directed our steps we would not have been in Lesotho to share the Truth with these boys. We pray for our Father to save their souls.

Rethabile (12), Gary and Lekhetho (14) on the streets in Maseru, Lesotho

After Maseru we headed back to Ficksburg for the late afternoon into the evening outreach at the festival. I saw a mother buying her daughter some “red devil horns” from a street-stall outside the festival where we were stationed and I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to approach her and say, “Your beautiful daughter would look better in angel wings, than devil horns.” She smiled and said that’s true, but still she gave in and bought her daughter the horns!! Do parents know that they will be accountable to God for what they are teaching their children – or lack of teaching. Some might think it’s cute – it is hideous. Period. There were also truly so many wonderful conversations we had and then there were also some “dozy” conversations when you could just see the devil was trying to have his two-cent worth or trying to sidetrack us, especially where there was alcohol involved. And God had the last Word and overcame those conversations too.

Soli Deo Gloria

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