Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
NEW GOSPEL CHARIOT
Below shows the new East African Big Gospel Chariot with Chariot 1 after leaving the workshop. Chariot 1, which is 15 years old, was in for some repairs and the Kenyan chariot was being built. These chariots will most probably never see each other again. Just had to get a picture of this occasion. Have a look at the new chariot being built and the process.
Below shows some pics of the new chariot being built. Please pray for this vehicle as it will be exported to Kenya, East Africa where it will preach the Good News in four countries, namely: Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Thank you to all for making this happen.
You can see the progress as it was being made on the East African Big Gospel Chariot. Here is the big pull out stage on rollers being welded together. You can also see the compartment for the generator being built on the side of the truck. Then there's also the baptistery, storage compartments and beds for the missionary preachers.
At the end of February we visited again to check how the chariot was doing and they had just finished spraying it.
They still needed to put the baptistery in, and the doors, side panels and bull bar on the front. Then the sign writing and other equipment like 300-seat tent, generator, chairs and overhead projector needed to be completed.
This is really 4x4. Have a look how high it is off the ground. Ready for the rough African terrain.
Below you can see the 2 big chariots being repaired and worked on in the same workshop.
At the end of March we could happily say the New Big Gospel Chariot was almost ready for export and below shows the chariot completed. Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia here we come! To God be the Glory. Thank You Lord and thank you to all who have made this possible. Please pray for all involved.
Below shows how we advertise both World Bible School and Nations University. Encouraging as many people as possible to study God's Word. As you can also see, we don't like reinventing the wheel and work with ministries and try duplicate ourselves when not with those we visited with. As I like to say "we don't compete with other works, but complete or compliment other works" as long as God gets the Glory.
Below shows another Chariot - with Lyman and Robert shining their chariot before leaving for Botswana and many other countries. The first quarter is a busy time of the year as we get cross border permits, repair chariots and get the team all fired up after their holidays. It's a matter of plan the work and then work the plan and pray, pray and pray.
Below shows the impressive schedule of 11 chariots that will be traveling into 19 countries. We are still waiting on Togo. Making it 12 chariots. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.
The big Gospel Chariots will be in the following areas throughout the year:
and then the small Gospel Chariots will be in these areas:
NATIONS UNIVERSITY GRADUATION
In March we had our Nations University graduation and it was a huge privilege to have the Chancellor, Dr Mac Lynn and his wife, sister Marty Lynn, with us. Below you can see the two of them with us.
Many of us with GCM have received our degrees through Nations University. So much so, that we encourage others throughout the continent to follow suit.
See our big red Gospel Chariots advertising the University. It's free of charge and correspondence, excellent for those who preach and hold full time employment. Thank You Nations. Thank You Lord.
SOUTHERN AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL LECTURESHIP
We managed to attend the lectureship hosted by the Pretoria Churches of Christ. There must have been between two and three thousand Christians visiting on any given day.
It was really good and our GCM team played a big role in planning and hosting the event. Well done brethren. I got to speak on missions and encourage us Africans to reach our own continent using the many gospel chariots. Mike Knappier also got to speak and encourage during this event. Amen.
Our GCM Dimpo Motimele and Machona Monyamane took delivery of the new mini chariot for Namibia before taking it in for sign writing and some other equipment. You can see the keys being handed over.
It has now been delivered to the Namibian team and below you can see it starting to work in the Tsumeb area. The new mini chariot will stay in Namibia and driver evangelists will rotate and help through the year as brothers are trained up. Please see their proposed schedule below.
As you can see the stage opens out and you can council, preach, hand out literature and meet with people of the community.
Mike Knappier, from GCM, received a token of appreciation from John Dalton for the years of GCM outreach to Namibia, primarily the Fredericksburg Church and Northside Church in Benton who have campaigned tirelessly. Exciting developments and pioneering work. Gospel Chariot Missions has been working in Namibia for 15 years and its been a struggle, but God continues to guide us and help us. PLEASE PRAY.
Below shows Dimpo and Machona, from our GCM Pretoria office, who will oversee and rotate team members in and out of Namibia as we follow God's calling there. I have been grooming Dimpo on this project for 2 years now. This is truly taking Africans to evangelize Africa. I met both these men when they had just left high school. Today they have more degrees than me and preach and teach better than me and I am so grateful to have played just a little part in their life. We have been grooming Dimpo to take over GCM Africa from me in 2020. Our goal is to have Dimpo, Machona and my two sons Quinton and Wayne who will consult on the administration and fund raising sides. Please pray for these 4 men that they continue growing and seeking God's wisdom. The law of succession teaches that "A leader's lasting value is measured by succession". You have to pass the baton on to younger men. Not that one retires, but re-fires and works behind the scenes and does things to support the new leaders. PLEASE PRAY.
Below shows Machona and Mike Knappier at the Angolan border. Less than 2 hours from Ondangwa and less than 4 hours from Tsumeb where the chariot will be based. Our desire is to plant congregations on the two border town opening up doors into Angola. This is so exciting now with a Namibian Chariot and a bible school facility and base. We are even looking at getting Mike Knappier a little apartment at the facility where he can stay longer and teach those attending the short term bible school. Thank you Mike, Fredericksburg and Northside. Thank You Lord and all who help GCM reach this country.
Just like Namibia there are some areas we work in that are pioneering work and one is the Western Cape where Ria and I relocated some 11 years ago and started a congregation in the township of Plettenberg Bay. It has been a struggle, but God always comes through if you persevere. There are now 4 congregations meeting. Below shows Lazarus Munetsi baptising a lady in George. That is a town one and a half hours from Plettenberg Bay. It's struggling but we continue.
Below shows the church building with the little daycare children. Sister Gladys, who is an elderly lady and widow, supports herself by looking after the little ones.
Below shows a shack church just 30 minutes out of Plettenberg Bay in a little town called The Crags. Most of these brethren are all from Malawi and work on the farms nearby. We located them 3 years ago, but due to the xenophobia some time back they all scattered and have now resurfaced and worshiping God in their little, little shack. I imagine the early church worshiped more like this than what we see today in buildings. Lazarus and Gladman visit with them every Sunday afternoon to break bread with them and to encourage them.
Below shows the Kwanokuthula congregation in Plettenberg Bay. Ria and I watched a movie called WAR ROOM with them the Saturday night before we left and it was fantastic. They are our home church when in South Africa and our happy place. We have a office there and relocated Lazarus and Busi Munetsi from our Pretoria office to help due to it being a mission field. Thank you Laz and Busi, you're doing a great job. Thank You Lord.
Mike Knappier and wife Diane visited with us and helped teach and preach. Thank you Mike and Diane. You really inspire us all and have been true partners in the gospel. We appreciate you very much.
The Sunday school children being taught. Diane got to teach them and encourage them.
Mike and I working out of the office in Plettenberg Bay. Below you can see Mike And Diane having fun teaching.
We also spent some time visiting with a house church that has been planted in Kranshoek, one of the areas of Plettenberg Bay. Two ladies were baptized as well.
Below shows the Murry High School in Kwanos where Lazarus and Gladman have been given permission to encourage the school children spiritually every Monday morning and Mike and myself got the chance to speak to them all. It is wonderful when schools allow you in to speak about Jesus. Well done Lazarus and Gladman.
Below shows many of the young boys from the Murry High School that are now cycling due to the cycling academy that we are part of in the township. This is true reaching out to the community. Laz and Gladman both cycle with this group. To all the GCM team exercising - keep it up.
This is the mini chariot that works the Garden Route. You can see them reaching out and also getting cleaned up and restocked.
Lazarus is a true missionary. He attended the Southern African International Lectureships and received a WBS follow up request while there. He planned his route home so that he could visit with a small, young congregation in Colchester to encourage them;
and he also stopped off in Uitenhage to study with and baptize Vernon, the WBS student.
In February our short term bible students arrived in Pretoria for their first semester of studies.
Benjamin, one of the new students, was signed up by his father, Thekiso (who is a WBS student and who came to our office in Pretoria for a one on one bible study and was baptized).
Dimpo, Machona, Bongani and Zonge are hard at work teaching at the bible school. At the same time they were doing WBS follow up, baptizing some and planning the Nations University Graduation where the director of the University, Mac Lynn, and his wife Marty would attend.
Below shows Bongani baptizing Benjamin (Thekiso, the WBS student's son!) after a few weeks of study at the Short Term School.
Paulus and Leslie continue teaching students in Durban and hosting their Saturday bible classes.
Below shows Leslie teaching some of the students at their Saturday morning class,
and then Paulus baptizing one of the students.
Gospel Chariot's Auswich visited Murewa and encouraged the church at Muneno Village and held a tent meeting from 21 - 24 January.
They had 170 in attendance over the four days and they had 20 baptisms. He says the congregation has been "revived". The team also had the chance to preach every night in the community and they were able to hand out many WBS introduction lessons. Please pray for Zimbabwe. We have a big campaign planned for July again encouraging the newly planted congregations.
The team later went back to Muneno (Murehwa) on February 19 and worked there for three days. The people were very receptive and Auswich was able to baptize a couple who he studied with. He reports that there is a severe water shortage and they struggled to find any water to baptize the couple in - all they could find was a dirty pool but they were so set on being baptized, they did not mind how dirty the water was! Amen!
Chris Magudu also reports that from 23 - 28 February the GCM team was in Gweru with the Gospel Chariot preaching and doing some followup work with a team of local evangelists there. The Lord blessed their efforts with nine souls who were brought to Christ through baptism. Chris says they also handed out many WBS introduction lessons to people in the Nkoba Township. There was also a water shortage in Gweru and there was no water available to fill the portable baptistery so they had to rent a public swimming pool to baptize the people in.
In March the team traveled to share WBS lessons at schools in Mhondoro, Mubaira and Kotwa, Mudzi area and they also visited at some prisons. On March 16, Chris went to Whawha prison and baptized 37 inmates using the Gospel Chariot portable baptistery.
Then, on March 18, Chris and Auswich traveled to Dandara Village at Murewa with the Gospel Chariot and they worked in the area for three days. The local church there was revived and 10 people were baptized into Christ.
We have a big campaign planned for Zimbabwe in July where we are working hand in hand with our Venda brethren and our Avondale brothers in Harare. We will be working with 2 Gospel Chariots in two different areas where 3 new congregations have been planted, namely Beitbridge and the Ngundu area. We will have more than 30 brethren from different areas and countries working together to encourage and strengthen these Christians. Thank you Dimpo, Machona, Bongani and Zonge who are planning this work.
The Tshidimbini Church hosted over 200 youth for two weeks teaching on how to serve in the church. This is a yearly event with Gospel Chariot Missions partnering with them. The event resulted in 9 baptisms.
Below you can see more pictures of the Venda mini chariot reaching out in their region. This ministry also has a GCM short term bible school that is in session at the moment. This work also helps us reach over into the country of Zimbabwe. Brother O.T. Malindi oversees this work with the eldership there. We have a big campaign planned for July. Please pray for Venda and surrounding countries.
Brother Evans Lartey reported that, in January, the Church of Christ Youth in Accra organized an outreached program to offer the youth the opportunity to share the word of God with lost souls.
He says, "It was heart warming to observe a total of 347 young ones from 29 congregations entering homes to teach and share tracts on the streets and in shops. The Gospel Chariot was used to create awareness of the presence of the Church in the town on the eve of the program. On the day of the program, the chariot moved from place to place distributing tracts and other Bible materials and broadcasting the message of salvation through its public address system. The Lord added three souls to the Church."
Below shows one of the baptisms resulting from this visit in Accra:
We then received news that in February the Chariot worked at Osino and six surrounding villages in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Below shows one of the rural congregations at Osino.
This rural area has churches of Christ that are struggling to survive because many converts move away to the big towns and cities where they can find work - leaving the rural churches struggling for leaders and support. Evans felt it was a good idea to send the Gospel Chariot to these places to help revive the churches.
They taught at the markets and handed out tracts and lessons, they held night time meetings and they taught one on one studies.
The team also spent some time in the villages encouraging the local churches, meeting with the village chiefs and elders and giving out Bibles and lessons.
Evans reports that the chiefs in the areas they visited were very happy about what the church of Christ is doing in their communities - one of the chiefs even gave a plot of land to the church so that a meeting place can be built.
Evans says, "the chariot is really an evangelistic tool to accomplish great things for God in Ghana and beyond", AMEN!
There were thirteen baptisms recorded as a result of this campaign.
Brother Benjamin also shared the following from the Ghana Gospel Chariot. "Public preaching at Atuobi. We have baptized 17 souls. To God be the glory. We have 4 more towns to cover before returning to Accra. Continue to pray for us."
Below shows the work at Atuobi.
The Benin GCM team started the year visiting with their fellow preachers and planning the areas the chariot would be most needed in.
The first trip was to a village called Gbede. The team reports that they had been warned that it was an area that always resisted the gospel and they say the area was true to its reputation. They met with a lot of resistance and it was very hard for them to gain the people's trust. They only managed to study with very few people.
But they are happy to report that they baptized eleven people and in so doing planted a new church in Gbede! Those who were baptized are pictured below:
This next photo shows the church at Gbede after their very first worship gathering under that tree behind them.
The team reports that two days later Honore baptized one more person!
After the work in Gbede the team had to move on to the central part of Benin where they worked in the villages of Ouesse and Djegbe.
The team held many bible studies and feel this is an area they need to go back and work in as Djegbe is a very big area. Below shows Michee on the left teaching and Honore translating for him.
In late March the team traveled to Pahou (30 kilometers east of Cotonou). The chariot worked there for three days. After three nights of preaching, four souls were converted. These new Christians were entrusted to the care of Lionel, a preacher whose congregation worked with us during the sessions.
Willie Gley, who oversees the Togo mini chariot, reports that they held 3 campaigns over three weeks - one week each at Winneba, Takoradi and Sunyani. There were 7 baptisms in Winneba, 39 in Takoradi and 40 in Sunyani. A total of 86 baptisms over the three weeks.
Willie says they hosted bible studies in homes, distributed tracts in the cities and held open air preaching at night. The thing that made this campaign different was that their preaching was aired on all the FM radio stations in the city and many people heard the lessons and came to the night preaching.
The Church of Christ now meets in Agbave! On February 25, the chariot team left Kpalime for a three day campaign in a town called Agbave, about 45 minutes from Kpalime. The team was made up of 20 men and women. Activities as usual consisted of: open air preaching, house to house teaching and showing the films at night. At the end of it all, six souls were baptized.
Willie reports that the Agbave congregation starts with a challenge. They do not have a place of worship so they now meet under these trees. His concern is about what will happen when the rainy season sets in in a few weeks from now.
FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN MALAWI
Below shows Moster, Lyman and Robert distributing maize meal to those who don't have. Thanks to those in Buda, Texas who made this possible. Thank you Moster and Modesta for your zeal to help others in Malawi. Moster oversees our chariots that travel through Malawi, but as you can see, he also works his own land. Amen, nothing wrong with that.
In March Lyman and Robert traveled with their chariot up to Botswana. They started out in Serowe where they had one baptism. Below shows Robert preaching at the church in Serowe and the resulting baptism.
They then moved on to Phalapye were they reported another three baptisms.
The chariot was involved in a minor accident one night after returning from preaching and was detained at the police station for one day.
Another vehicle lost control and hit them. All good - no one was injured. Thank You Lord. This did not deter the team from their work though. They simply preached at the police station and in the streets and also went to the local school.
From Phalapye the team moved on to Tshokolo were they handed out tracts, recruited students to WBS and also taught and baptized some new Christians.
By the end of March the team reported 34 baptisms in Botswana.
In January Brother Gabriel Chea and Isaac Daye travelled on the dusty roads to Greenville. The photos below show them stopping and having a little vehicle problems. They managed to continue and you can see them doing what they do best, teaching World Bible School students.
The Liberian team have two campaigns planned for April in Gbah and Saye town. Please continue to pray for them as they travel. I hope to visit Liberia in early June after visiting Nigeria, Togo and Benin. Please Pray.