Eastern Cape Mission

Hole in the Wall, Wild Coast – Eastern Cape

As a reconnaissance mission for “On Mission For Africa”, Lungisa Zondi and I went on a two day Gospel sharing drive into the Eastern Cape. We left at 07H30 on Saturday 21st July and arrived home in Pietermaritzburg at 18H30 on Sunday 22nd July. Our mission was to go to Qunu, a village where the ex-President Nelson Mandela lives to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him, if our Father would open the door for us to do so.

En route, we stopped off at Kokstad and preached and shared the Word of God outside a shopping centre on Hope Street. It was encouraging to hear Lungisa, a Zulu-speaking brother, conversing quiet fluently in Xhosa as he preached the Gospel of our Lord God – all praise to our Redeemer. It was also the first time that I had shared the Good News in depth in Afrikaans, although it was somewhat interspersed with some English words, when approached by an Afrikaans coloured man named David Hopp. He is from a broken home, who had done six months jail time for assault and now found himself as a drunkard who has unforgiveness, but he wants change in his life. We ministered to him and pointed him to the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk Kokstad – which we were able to locate prior to our conversation:

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9

where he would be able to hear the Word in his home language and where hopefully he could obtain an Afrikaans Bible and some counselling. Our Father gave us opportunity also to “rebuke” David’s son Estivan who came looking for his dad and who we learned from David that he beats his mother. Estivan was reminded that irrespective of what his parents are he was to honour them because God commanded it and that he must stop beating his mother. We also met with some Christian believers, including a security guard and his friend who came to faith in 2011, upon Hope Street, too, and encouraged them in sharing God’s Word with the lost.

We arrived at Qunu late Saturday afternoon and found Nelson Mandela’s home right next to the N2 highway. It was rather chilly outdoors, but we approached the security guardhouse at the entrance to the property and were met by a South African Police Services’ officer named Spho. We enquired whether the ex-President of South Africa was home and whether we could see him – the flag was up! The answer was an emphatic “No,” but we were told we could see him if we made an appointment through the Eastern Cape’s Premier’s office (Monday – Friday). This however allowed us to briefly share the Gospel with the officer and also express our concern that we have travelled from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal and we are concerned with the following: “What if Mr Mandela would die without hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” It was then that the SAPS official said we should not talk so negatively as Mr Mandela would live, even maybe to 100 years. It was at this comment that I mentioned that Nelson Mandela is a man who is not guaranteed he will live that long and as he is 94 years old, not getting any younger with a health that is deteriorating he would need to hear it. Whilst we spoke we noticed about five other SAPS law enforcement officers were seated in the comfort of the guardhouse out of the cold wind watching the Ajax Cape Town vs. Manchester United soccer match live in Cape Town. Well, we left after we gave the officer a Gospel tract for himself, a tract each for his colleagues and, yes, one extra tract for Mr Nelson Mandela, with the request: “Please give him this one.” He said he would; only time will tell. From there we crossed the highway in the “seed-sower” and we met some young children who we presented the Gospel to, some who had never heard the Gospel before. Please keep a girl named Lalisa Nelisa and a boy named Lwando in prayer. We also drove around the streets of Qunu handing out gospel tracts and having brief conversations with all we came in contact with as the sun set on our first day out.

We had no place to sleep, so we tried to get accommodation with a pastor Lungisa knows in East London which was too far to travel, so we headed off to Coffee Bay instead to see if we could stay there for the evening. On our way there in the early part of the winter evening, with it dark already, we saw many youngsters and especially young girls hitching lifts on the roadside. Later we started making the connection as we would come past some shebeens (drinking houses) alongside the roadside in these rural areas where there would be partying going on. We also wondered whether some of these girls were involved in prostitution. On the way we also had to negotiate some huge potholes that could, figuratively, swallow a vehicle. This is a request that we are praying to our Lord to provide us with a 4×4 vehicle to get to some out of the way places where the roads and rural terrain require vehicles built for toughness! At Coffee Bay we decided to spend the night in the comfort of the “seed-sower”. We praise God that we had a place to lay our weary bodies and He protected and cared for us.

In the morning we were pleasantly surprised to wake up to scenic surroundings – something we did not envisage in the night as we had never been to this place before. We took a pre-sunrise walk to the beach and captured some early morning photographs. After a morning prayer we asked our Father to lead us to where He wanted us to go. It was to the “Hole in the Wall”. We stopped at a T-junction on our way and got some directions from some locals that we would get lost if we went another way, but I was not sure if it had proper road markings, being a rural dirt road! I settled for the more “tried and tested” road where there was a proper road sign that read “Hole in the Wall.” A few kilometres up the road we came to the road we had seen the night before; and the road was also tarred and in great condition – off the potholed road of death! It would turn out to be a better option as our Lord lead us to witnessing to a young girl and boy we had noticed at a distance “groping” one-another in the middle of this road in the early hours of this Sunday morning. First we pulled up and spoke to the girl named Onele who was on her way home after sleeping with the boy. Lungisa in Xhosa shared the gospel with her and then as we drove off we pulled up on the same stretch of road and spoke to the boy named Unathi, who was walking in the opposite direction from Onele. Fornication appears rife in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape and our Lord was showing us that there is an urgency to speak to the people of these areas. There were so many “couples” of teenagers to young adults walking the highways and byways so early in the morning. God warns in His Word:

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:18

Later our enjoyment of a well-tarred road turned to surprise as we had to take to the off-road. On the dirt the road became decidedly more wretched that truly needed a 4×4 – but the front-wheel driven Ford Bantam 1.6i XLT pushed on and carried us along as we would hand out gospel tracts to people walking these rural dirt tracks. At one point the road was so “un-drivable” that I contemplated turning around, but we pressed on. We approached a steep incline with water coursed gouges cut in it and got going up, but then stopped a short way up to give some tracts to some people in a rondavel. As we continued our journey barely a meter or two up, problems started – and in hindsight it was not a wise choice to stop there. We could not get proper traction and the vehicle started to slide backwards. We would try a few times more before, as the driver, I attempted to back the vehicle up down the steep slope, but did not negotiate the line properly and fortunately stopped the vehicle just in time as it had come to rest precariously on a sliding-grass verge. We exited the vehicle very carefully as the vehicle tottered and we could hear the strain of the hand brake. Fortunately a large rock was under the vehicle which I managed to prop behind the right-back wheel to stop it from slipping over the edge as brother Lungisa pushed at the rear of the vehicle with some able young boys who came to help. Even as I write now that gut-turning feeling can be felt. It was at this point that I thought we were destined to be stuck out there for good and I had a sickening feeling that the vehicle could run away backwards down the steep gradient and plough through a rondavel below us. But Father God had other plans to rescue us as His Hand was in preserving the vehicle and us. Some fishermen from the KZN Angling club, returning from the “Hole in the Wall” were good Samaritans as we waved them down frantically, but praising God for them. They seemed calmer than us – well me at least – in dealing with the situation, and one guy said, “We will have this sorted out, no problem.” No one at first had a towrope, but then some refreshing news – a towrope was located in the one 4×4. And yes – after that, it was no problem as they dragged the “seed-sower” up the dirt track from the precarious position to a safer spot on smooth dirt. We praised God and it was a lesson in trusting Him and that He would send help. We barely waited ten or so minutes when the God-sent arrived. What a relief! God is Good!! The driver of the 4×4 Shaun was given a tract as the others were some distance from us, but we pray he will share the message with his ‘buddies’. We got rolling again in the right direction and it was plain sailing from that point onwards. One African man we had given a tract to in the valley had caught up with us and asked for a lift to the wild coast where we were headed, which we did. After all the events of the past hour we found that the sea was basically just over a few hills away. We enjoyed the view, spend a while in prayer and then started our way back home. While we travelled and took an alternative route – one we were given directions by the locals initially – we found many more people walking the dirt roads that we negotiated as we handed out tracts and had brief conversations with them. We were also able to be helpful in giving a few women a lift along the way before we got onto the potholed road leading inland towards the N2 highway. We wondered which was worse – the off-road dirt tracks? or potholed tar road? The good thing is, out of all of these adverse situations, God carried us faithfully to our destinations and looked after us. We give Him all the Glory for He is Worthy of all Praise!!! After one brief stop in Mthatha (Umtata) for a meal, we headed home to Pietermaritzburg on our last 360km trip arriving safely in the early evening.

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: ~ Isaiah 26:4

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. ~ Nahum 1:7

We thank you for all your prayers, and we pray for the souls that heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and received the Word, and we know that trusting in God He will move to take the Gospel across South Africa – we do pray that you will partner with us in fulfilling the Lord’s work for His Glory! We cry for the souls that have yet not heard the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and how they can obtain Peace with God our Father. After travelling 1047.8kms, this would appear to be about a 1/18th part of the Southern Africa commission of “On Mission For Africa” that lies ahead.

Please visit the link to see how you can partner with us and be a part of the TEAM = Together Evangelists Achieve Much.

** Photo Gallery of some sights along the way **

All Glory to our God JEHOVAH!

The Gospel at the Hockey

Today I headed out –not to our normal preaching and fishing spot in town, but to Maritzburg College high school where the SA Ū16 Boys’ Inter-Provincial Tournament for 2012 was taking place, to engage some young boys and parents with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was truly a wonderfully blessed time handing out Gospel tracts and engaging people in conversation.

T.K. from Knysna (SWD Team coach driver). Had an enjoyable conversation with this man.

It all started when I parked my vehicle this morning around 09:00 and saw a group of boys from the South Western Districts (SWD) team packing their hockey (not ice-hockey, but field hockey played on astro-turf) gear away in a trailer together with the coach driver T.K. who lives in Knysna. I engaged the four youngsters with the Gospel and they listened tentatively, but after a while a call came in for them to report to their team. Once they left, that allowed me to continue the conversation with T.K. who was open to what I was telling him. He also told me that he is a believer and that he was given a book by his dad that deals with the issues of the Bible. I spoke at length with him who then fetched the book without me even asking for it. It was a small book about the size of an A6, and I asked him if I could see it. The Holy Spirit had me check it out and, there it was – what He was leading me to, written by the “Watchtower”! I spent the next half hour or so showing T.K. from the Holy Bible that our Lord Jesus Christ is God Almighty and teaching him the Truth as opposed to the heresies the JWs teach. The Scriptures that I showed T.K. by comparing them to what the JWs teach, were John 1:1, 2 and 14; Exodus 20:2,3 – where the Word could not be “a god” (NWT), because this is in violation of the First Commandment where there is to be no other gods before God. If the Word is a god, then Jesus Christ is a god which is an idol before His Father. The JWs show the contradictions that their NWT bibles (sic) teach which is heresy; false teachings! I also used Hebrews 1:4-14 showing T.K. that the Lord Jesus Christ is higher than the angels and cannot be Michael the archangel. All the angels of God worship Him (see verse 6). I also taught T.K. briefly on the “144,000” (Revelation 7) issue that the JWs hold to that these are the persons that inherit heaven and the remainder of Jehovah Witnesses will inherit this earth. Problem with the JWs’ teachings is that they haven’t read Revelation 7:9-12 which reads ~

9After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. ~ Revelation 7:9-12 (my emphasis)

The earth and the heavens as we know them now will be destroyed by fire as we read in 2 Peter 3:7 ~

7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. ~ 2 Peter 3:7

For we read in Revelation 21:1 ~

1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

T.K. is not a Jehovah Witness; he just has a “wrong book” in his possession. He also raised a question about the Mormons as he told me they have a “church in Knysna” and I briefly told him that they too teach from another book ‘The Book of Mormon’ as does the Roman Catholics from the ‘RC Catechism’. From all of the teaching we agreed from Scripture that Jesus Christ is God. He understood clearly. He also thanked me for sheading light on many things and asked me for one of my hand-outs “Help From Above” booklet together with the “Are You Ready?” tract. Here is a Xhosa man who said he will even go and buy himself a King James Bible! A decision he made, and there are some English speaking believers that say they can’t understand KJV English. All I told T.K. is that it is English in its purest form before man tainted and corrupted the English language for this English existed 400 years ago. There was no other English at the time, and it is the English tongue in which the Bible was translated for every nation on earth to get God’s Word. In the New Testament times Greek was the common tongue for all nations to communicate; now it is English! A simple test was: You as a Xhosa man, will you be understood talking to Germans in Germany in your African tongue? “No!” But if you speak English, do you think they might better understand you seeing English is a universal language? “Yes!”

We praise God, His Son Jesus and many thanks to the Holy Spirit for opening clear understanding to a man I would possibly never have met if it was not for going out there today. We exchanged contact details and I have welcomed him to email me at any time and hopefully when I visit Knysna I hope to look him up, Lord willing.

 

Border Team

I then entered the Maritzburg College school grounds and handed out many Gospel tracts. Had conversations challenging young boys to examine themselves in light of eternity and where will they spend eternity. The Gospel was shared and teaching from God’s Holy Word was conducted at some hockey matches. And they listened and were challenged. I spoke to quite a few teams as they sat around, and many of them thanked me for the time to come speak to them. Praise God, it is so encouraging. But the greatest lesson of the day was in the Final between KZN Coastal vs. Western Province (WP). Here is the scenario:

Western Province were unbeaten the entire week and finished as winners in Group ‘A’ and KZN Coastal finished runners up in the same group. In the semi-finals WP won through to the Final and so did KZN Coastal beating the Group ‘B’ winners Southern Gauteng. It was all set up for an intriguing match and it surely was. KZN raced into a 3-0 lead in the first half which was the score at half time. It looked like it was all over, but WP fought back and with 05:49 left on the clock they had scored the equaliser and were tied at 3-3. Where the ‘home’ – KZN Coastal is from the Durban and coast region – supporters, and other teams supporting them, were delighted when ‘their’ team led 3-0 they became decidedly less boisterous when WP tied the game, and turned the whole game on its head by snatching a “golden-goal” winner in the first period of extra-time. What a turn around – final score: KZN Coastal 3 vs. Western Province 4.

But this was a perfect way for ending the day and getting tracts into the players’ and spectators’ hands after the prize-giving ceremony when I stood on the grass banks handing out the “Are You Ready?” tracts refreshing the peoples’ memories that just as the match they had just witnessed was unpredictable in that they never really knew that WP would come back and win the Final, so life is also “unpredictable”. You never know when you will die, and if you think you are ready, you might just find out that you are not ready to meet your Creator God!

Praise God for allowing me to meet with His people. Many have to examine their lives against what God commands. To the believers they have been encouraged and edified and to the unbelievers if it be that their Creator God has spoken to them today through His Word, they must call upon the Name of Jesus Christ to be saved and they must have their “repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

Please pray for all who heard and have read the Word of God today! Amen!

Photos of today can be viewed at 2012 SA U16 Boys’ Inter-Provincial Hockey Tournament.

On Mission For Africa

Dear Reader,

We ask that you will prayerfully consider joining the Repent and Believe South Africa ministry team in embarking on a mammoth journey that will take on huge proportions of travelling the length and breadth of South Africa, initially from Cape Town to Musina and from Alexander Bay to Kosi Bay and eventually the daunting task of traversing the continent of Africa, from Cape Agulhas to Alexandria and from West Africa to East Africa – venturing into some of the most hostile, rebel war-torn and genocide ravished countries with the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ of Nazareth – taking the Light of hope into dark destitute lands.

We, Brothers Lungisa N. Zondi and Gary Stephen Crous, have been seeking our Lord’s face and His leading, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” ~ Luke 9:23. We take the Gospel serious, and therefore we humbly submit to fulfilling the Great Commission; firstly to our country South Africa (short-term) and secondly to the unreached people groups on the African continent (long-term). In obedience to our Lord’s command and laying down our lives for the proclamation of His Word, we endeavour to take the Holy Bible and Scripture literature to the most remote regions locally and internationally, and we therefore ask you to join us in our labouring together in our King’s harvest field and to be a partner in the mission at hand that each and every Christian should be a part of – on a Mission for God – as we all join in co-mission with our Father Jehovah, obedient in labouring for His purpose of furthering His Kingdom:

18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ Matthew 28:18-20

The “On Mission For Africa” journey will commence in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal and, initially it will be a four month mission, as the Holy Spirit leads we hope to meet up with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ that our Lord God has introduced us to over the past months and years in preparation for this faith adventure. We look forward to meeting and labouring with the members of the Body of Christ at various places on our roundtrip and we plan to stay at villages, towns, cities and the great outdoors wherever we are lead of the Holy Spirit to preach the Good News, make distribution of Gospel tracts and literature, Holy Bibles and ‘gifts’. We know that a mammoth work lay ahead, but we can accomplish all things in Christ Jesus and we hold to His promises in His Word:

10But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ~ Philippians 4:10-13

… and as the Lord leads:

9Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. ~ Matthew 10:14

We hope to share testimonies, to fellowship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with saints and to encourage the Ekklesia to be on Mission with God and to “…, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15). We also intend to teach from God’s Word His unadulterated Word as “Thus sayeth the Lord…” and to make disciples teaching them to observe all things our Lord Jesus Christ has commanded. We do know that it will cost us everything to be obedient to our Lord and we commit to lay all down for our Risen, Glorified and Reigning King, the Creator of the heaven, the earth and the sea and all that in them is – the Only True and Living God Jesus Christ the Righteous. We, all of us in partnership, can take comfort from the following portion of Scripture:

29And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. ~ Mark 10:29-31

We do ask that you join us continually and fervently in prayer taking our petitions before the Throne of Grace and we do see this as an honour to you for doing so. Our prayer requests include and are not limited to the following. 

ØPlease pray for protection of our families that we will leave behind for long periods of time. Please pray that the Church at large will visit and assist our families, keep them in prayer and keep them spiritually fed out of the Word of God.

ØPlease pray for divine wisdom, knowledge and intervention in all decision making as we are lead by the Person of the Holy Spirit. Please pray that we will continually be filled with the Spirit and will not act or listen to our flesh. Please pray for protection of our souls and beings that we will be committed to our Lord in all that He directs and we respond for His Glory. Please pray for our faithfulness and that we will reflect holiness as Christ-like in word, thought and deed.

ØPlease pray that we will be protected whilst travelling, when we enter into remote areas and areas where there is unrest. Please pray that we have favour with the law enforcement agencies during the proclamation of the Gospel in towns and cities, at border posts and the like.

ØPlease pray that our Brothers and Sisters in Christ will provide us with Gospel literature, Bibles (in English – KJV, and many other language translations), Scripture portions and Tracts.

ØPlease pray for homes to be opened for us and that our necessary needs be met.

ØPlease pray for fuel costs and toll fees (if need be used) to be met and we also request that you prayerfully seek our Lord to support us financially with donations at the “Donate” button in the side-bar. We do envisage that travelling by vehicle should work out cheaper than taking flights and carriage buses continually. This would also hinder us going into the remotest of areas. From a travelling point of view it would also be safer. 

ØPlease pray for a sponsor of a 4×4 Four-seated Land-cruiser and a trailer to take us over all types of terrain and long distances which will materialise. This will help tremendously. Please earnestly seek the Lord on this matter. We do pray, “Father, Your will be done!”

During the taking of the Gospel to the world we will daily log, as time permits, to show the work been undertaken and to record our prayer requests for challenges that will arise. Please join with us mere servants so we can all share in the rewards.

24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. ~ Jude 24, 25

Love and peace,

Gary and Lungisa

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