Saturday, November 15, 2014

Update - November 2014

Hi Everyone.

Hope you are all doing well.  It is November and 2014 is history, but first things first:  Ria and I are grandparents again.  Below you can see our daughter Chantal and her husband, Rob, with their 2nd little baby boy.  His name is Scott and you can see little Zac enjoying the moment whilst visiting Chantal in hospital.  Thank you, Lord.  

Also, below is a photo of my 3 boys - Quinton, Wayne and Hilton.  We managed  to attend a 2 day Leadership Conference together.  God has blessed Ria and I with an amazing family and we need to thank all you Christians for influencing us over the many years.  We all attend the same Church of Christ.  Thank You, Thank You to all.


Above shows Chantal, Rob, Zac and newborn Scott.


Above shows George, Hilton, Wayne and Quinton at a Leadership Conference
As you can see, we are all losing some hair! Haha!

ON THE WORK FRONT

We are now going into 15 countries and will soon have 15 Gospel Chariots.  It has
been a good year and things are setting up for a phenomenal 2015. 

First, I want to let you all know how excited I am about working in Africa and how we are so blessed to be working with some of the best leaders in Africa.  As we build these evangelistic vehicles, we are linking them up to mature brethren, as they say "those closest to you will determine your effectiveness."  Brethren, this is what is making this such a powerful work. God is working through you all. Here are some of the leaders we are allocating Chariots to and working with in Africa.

GHANA                      Nsawam Road Eldership and Heritage University
LIBERIA                     Isaac Daye
TOGO                         Willie Gley and Togo Bible School
BENIN                        Dr. George Akpabli and Benin Bible School
MALAWI                     Moster Kanyinji
ZIMBABWE                Dr. Washington Mhlanga
VENDA                       O’Brian Malindi and Vhembe Bible School
SOUTH AFRICA        Dimpo Motimele, Lazarus Munetsi & Bongani Mabena
NATAL                       Brian Lister and Natal Bible School
SWAZILAND              Bheki Mamba and Swaziland Bible School
NAMIBIA                    Anton Ngabwe, John Dalton and Tsumeb Bible School

As you can see, we are linking to reputable brethren and works, this way it will have a multiplying effect.  As I like to say, "Team work is Dream work".  It is about adding value to other people.

MACHONA MONYAMANE


Wow, look who we have here!  It’s Machona Monyamane speaking at the Global Missions Conference in the USA last month.  I am so proud of Machona and many of you have heard him speak at so many other lectureships and conferences all over the US and Africa. 

Machona was, by the grace of God, one of our converts in the mid 1990's when I was at that time planting Downtown Churches of Christ in South Africa and at the same time doing World Bible School follow up.  I set out on a week- long follow up trip into the Orange Free State in South Africa and made an appointment to meet and study with him.  It was in a dusty town called Bultfontein that I found him and studied with him and confirmed what his WBS teacher had been teaching him through the post.  He accepted the message and was baptized.  I asked him to then come and study at our short term Bible school in Downtown Johannesburg.  He accepted and I then helped him get a drivers’ license and empowered him to become our first driver evangelist on our first Gospel Chariot.  

Today he is a renowned speaker in the brotherhood.  I am humbled and so grateful that God could have used me to play a small part in this giant's life.  I told you this because next year I would like to share with you some of the men that God has brought into our life and who are now educated and amazing leaders in the Kingdom.

CHARIOTS

All the mini chariots are up and running, except the one in Benin.  It just needs to be sprayed and sign written.  Isaac Daye, in Liberia, is doing well and reaching out in a country riddled with Ebola.  Please pray for him.  I cancelled my trip to Liberia and Ghana due to the Ebola scare there.  The Big Chariot in Ghana, with brother Evans
Larty, has had a number of meetings and is heading to the north of Ghana now that
the rainy season is behind them.  The Togo mini chariot has just completed a distribution of French speaking tracts.

Wow!  Then we have the Malawian mini chariot that has been working in Lilongwe and Mzuzu, see below.  The Zimbabwean mini chariot has been working hard and has baptized many.  They report that since they started working on it, they have planted 5 congregations.  Then the Venda mini chariot, just across the border in South Africa, has also planted 2 congregations in Zimbabwe, but in the South.  The two leaders from the Zimbabwean and Vendan mini chariots are working together due to their proximity, one in the South and one in the North.  Then we have the two big Gospel Chariots and they have just finished off meetings in Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Natal and Pretoria.  Thousands and thousands have heard the message and hundreds have been baptized.  Wow, that was with most of the mini chariots not up and running for the year.  Imagine what 2015 is going to be like with all them working, plus adding another 4 mini chariots to the fleet, bringing Good News and Hope to a hurting world. To all involeved BIG THANK YOU.

NEW CHARIOTS PLANNED

We are busy trying to find the funds for 4 new mini chariots for Kenya, Zambia, Namibia and the Western Cape.  That would make it 10 mini chariots and 3 Big Chariots.

PREACHING ON THE GOSPEL CHARIOT IN MZUZU, MALAWI



Above shows our Gospel Chariot 2 in Mzuzu, where we had a leadership seminar.  It was fantastic!  I stayed at the Mzuzu Bible College with missionary Randy Judd.  The Gospel Chariot team needs to be commended, that is Moster Kanyinji, who has overseen the chariot's work in Malawi for years now, and our amazing Malawian evangelists who operate this chariot, that is Lyman Mpharo and Robert Hara.  These brothers are not good - they are very, very good!  This chariot crossed into Malawi from Tanzania and they baptised 100 plus souls, 30 of them whilst I was there. 11 congregations have been planted in the Mzuzu area in Malawi with this Gospel Chariot and these brethren over the years and it was good to see them and visit with the leaders.  The wonderful thing about all this is that it’s all co-ordinated by the congregations who help mature the new congregations and Christians. 



Above shows me preaching in the heat and dust in Malawi.  It does get hot and dusty, but it is so encouraging to see so many brethren show up and want to learn from God's word.  On the right you can see about 8 ladies that came forward wanting to be baptized.  Next to that, you can see me handing over the keys of a brand new mini chariot that will now be working in Malawi full time.  It is their own mini chariot that will be used for WBS follow-up, prison work and maturing of congregations.  Since we handed over the keys almost 90 souls have been baptized. Thank you, Lord, for such motivated and capable brethren.

We are now in the process of getting a Risograph printer that will assist them in printing their own tracts and WBS introduction lessons to take into the communities, schools and prisons. God is working.  




Then there was food and more food.  One thing about Malawi, you don't visit without being fed and appreciated.  Thank you to all those ladies who spent hours and days preparing and fetching the supplies, most from their own gardens.  On the right you can see me with our GCM co-workers, who made it all happen -  Moster, Lyman and Robert.  It was fantastic.  All three of them live in Mzuzu and it was lovely for me to go into their homes and see where they live and pray with them and get to know their family, because we are a family.

PLEASE PRAY FOR US AS WE LOOK AHEAD



In Him

Love

Brother George Funk

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Third Quarter Update and Overview

Hi All, please pray for our team and the Gospel Chariots as they travel across the African continent - especially as we work in Liberia and other West African countries where Ebola is rife.  Please pray for this huge problem and that it does not spread across the continent.

We are happy to report there have been baptisms in all the countries we’re involved in. 
Chariot 2 has just finished a month in Kenya and a month in Tanzania.  There have been bombings in the Kenya region and we were concerned for the safety of our workers but the Kenyan brethren were helpful in directing us to the areas that were safest to work in.  

We were blessed with the addition of 50 souls baptised in Kenya during the month of July, in a campaign called "God Bless East Africa".  This chariot then campaigned for a month in Tanzania and 11 souls were baptised there. They are now in Malawi.

Please pray for our Malawian campaign as we usually baptise over a hundred souls every year. The exciting news is as this big gospel chariot leaves Malawi for Mozambique and South Africa, the new mini chariot that was built earlier this year will continue working in Malawi.

Here are the Gospel Chariots we now have:


Chariot 1:   working South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Botswana.
Chariot 2:   working Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique
Chariot 3:   working Ghana

The mini chariots:


Mini Chariot 1:  Liberia
Mini Chariot 2:  Togo
Mini Chariot 3:  Benin
Mini Chariot 4:  Malawi
Mini Chariot 5:  Zimbabwe (White)
Mini Chariot 6:  Venda

The only one not working yet is the Benin mini chariot. TOTAL CHARIOTS 9

LIBERIA
MINI GOSPEL CHARIOT FIGHTING EBOLA IN LIBERIA

Liberia is slowly recovering from civil war only to be hit by a different fight – the Ebola Virus.   As at September 8, 2014 FOX news reports that the death toll stood at 2,000.



Above shows the mini gospel chariot in Liberia being very creative and helping people with the fear of Ebola.  "Bad News, Ebola Kills - Good News, Jesus Saves".  Isaac Daye has been very creative and extremely zealous in spreading the gospel during this trying time.   He has been printing flyers, teaching on the radio, enrolling new WBS students and holding graduations.  He reports:  “Our Ebola radio broadcast draws overwhelming calls from listeners and many are getting to know about the Lord's Church.” 

Some good news is that June saw the deliver of a Risograph to our team in Liberia.



It has been put to good use printing tracts and evangelistic material in the local tribal languages so that people are able to receive something printed in their own language.

Thank you to our brother in California who is helping us put a Risograph High powered printer in all countries where we have Gospel Chariots.  This is wonderful, because now we don't have to wait for tracts from the USA, our brothers can print their own.

There were two WBS graduation held in the month of July.  The first one was hosted on July 5 in Weala (pictured below).  148 students graduated and Isaac reports that most of them were enrolled to WBS during the November 2013 campaign with Ron Pottberg.  Some of them have since been baptized and added to the church at Weala.

  

The second seminar (pictured above) took place at Saint Paul Bridge church of Christ on July 26, Liberia's Independence Day.  35 students graduated that day.

Emmanuel Koon (shown below) is our driver and logistics man in Liberia.  He is doing a good job of driving and setting up our equipment.  The photo below Emmanuel shows the construction of a portable stage that can stand next to the mini chariot.



Below shows workers putting the roofing on to the church building at Jonestown.  Isaac reports that they had a record attendance recently as many people flocked to the church - Ebola is awakening the fear of death in the community and is causing many who did not fear God to now turn to Him for rescue.



KENYA and TANZANIA

KENYA - KISUMU

From July 19 to July 23 the chariot visited 8 churches of Christ, preached at 5 markets, visited with and taught students at 3 schools, baptised 32 people and enrolled 120 new WBS students! 

Julius Ojunga reports that during July the Kenya team facilitated 37 baptisms and enrolled 764 new students to World Bible School. The total baptisms for July and August where 50 in Kenya and 11 in Tanzania.



Above shows teaching at Kibolo (Nairobi) and below shows teaching at the school in Kisimu.



Below shows teaching and baptising at Kaira and bottom shows a baptism at Kisimu.



ZIMBABWE

The Zimbabwean team hosted two seminars - one in June and the other in July - and this resulted in two churches being planted - one in Chivhu and another one at Mvuma.  Both pictures below were taken at Mvuma.




On July 12 four students were baptized. Among them was a ninety-two year old man named Job. See the picture below: Bro. Redfan Nyamushamba standing with Job after his baptism in the swimming pool.



Chris and his wife, Evelyn, also visited an orphanage named Mustard Seed and they were allowed to preach to all the orphans there.  Many of the orphans at this home were WBS students and some of them attended the WBS seminar on June 21.



The Zimbabwe chariot has "hit the ground running" - the sound system and generator were delivered the day before the Chariot was due to start it's work and then it was go, go, go!  It started out at Caldonia, just outside Harare, from August 7 - 10.  They had 9 people from Avondale attend the first gathering.  The Lord added 17 souls to His body and many more were recruited to study with World Bible School.  Below and bottom shows some of those baptised at Mvuma.





VENDA


God works in mysterious ways!  We never had a mini gospel chariot planned for Venda this year, but the way things worked out - they got one.

We built two in South Africa to be exported to Malawi and Zimbabwe and when we were doing all the paperwork we found out that Zimbabwe wanted $8,000 import duty.  We really did not want to pay that and spoke to the elders in Zimbabwe and we decided to purchase a truck in Zimbabwe and bypass the import duty, but we would be sitting with an extra mini chariot and not enough funds. During the month of July I was traveling with an American brother from Tulsa who helps support our Venda short term school and I explained the predicament and he said he would try find the funds for that mini chariot, but on one condition, that we make it available to Venda.

I am so excited about this, because we got the dream, we have the team in Venda and now we have the mini chariot to do mission work like never before!  They will be crossing over into Zimbabwe that is only 1 hour to the North and also crossing into Mozambique to the East of them.  Then they will be pushing down South towards the Nelspruit area where we planted a Downtown Church of Christ some years back.  It’s all coming together!  Thank You God.

I have just received their proposed plans for the mini chariot through year end. It looks mighty impressive. The Venda short term school finished its semester this month and our leadership is already getting calls to come help plant new congregations. There were 19 baptisms in Venda during our month long campaign in July.

TOGO and BENIN

TOGO

In June Willie managed to collect all the equipment needed for the chariot and travelled back from Accra to Kpalime, Togo.

The technician also came in and put everything together, trained the brethren on how to use the system and they then tried everything out one night to make sure they knew how everything worked.



The chariot was used at Kpalime for a campaign in the first week of July.

We are awaiting news on this Togo mini chariot.  We also managed to ship a container with bibles and French speaking material from the USA for them.  Willie will be transporting it across the border from Ghana.  Togo and Benin are French speaking counties.  We are very excited about getting involved in some of the French speaking countries as well!

BENIN

Funds have been sent to Benin and our brother George Akpabli is busy getting the mini chariot built.  This is the only mini chariot not up and running yet.  

George is a well know brother in Africa and we are excited to work with him.  One thing about Gospel Chariot Missions is that we are working with some of the best leaders you can get.  That’s what makes this work so powerful.  

Please pray for all these great leaders of faith as we fight the good fight in Africa.

ZAMBIA

Lyman reports that 5 people were baptized while the chariot was in Masaga in June.  He also needed to have the generator repaired there before moving on to Lusaka.



They worked the Lusaka area for the month of June and report 43 baptisms and 805 WBS enrolments.





They then crossed into  Malawi and headed all the way up to Kenya where they participated in the "God Bless East Africa" Campaign.  50 souls were baptised there.

GHANA

We managed to share a container with the water drilling ministry out of the US.  We shipped tons of literature for West Africa, but that is not all.  God is Good.  There will be 31,000 Bibles arriving in Accra for distribution in West Africa!  



I am a little saddened that I will not be visiting West Africa this year, but one needs to be careful with the Ebola problem, and our South African government is warning us to not travel.

The chariot has worked in both the Volta and Greater Accra Regions in Ghana.  Below shows a newly baptised group in Volta and then below that you'll see the crowd coming out to listen to the lessons as the Chariot works at night in the Volta region.





Evans reports that despite some setbacks – some of the workers fell ill with malaria, vehicle faults, public address system breakdowns and rains setting in during night preaching program - the trips made by the workers were fruitful.

The chariot worked in thirty-five major towns in the Volta region and by the end of the trip the records show that a total of 79 souls were added and 743 were enrolled for WBS correspondence courses.

SWAZILAND

Bongani, on Chariot 1, reports that they had a successful week in Swaziland and that the evening services were well attended even though it was very cold.   He had a lot of help from the Manzini Bible School and every evening service during the week they sent students to help with preaching and on the weekend they join us for the outreach program.

The churches we visited are very excited and encouraged by our coming to the areas. We have been visiting Swaziland for over 10 years now and we appreciate them working with us.  Many of their students are from countries up north and when they leave, who do they contact to ask for help?  You bet, Gospel Chariot Missions!  It’s wonderful as we network and work with brethren.  We love to say, “We don’t compete with ministries, we complete ministries”.

4 people were baptised.




SOUTH AFRICA

Things are going great in South Africa. I am here at this time and will do a short report on my return from here and Malawi.