We have had some sad and unexpected passings. Firstly, Dimpo Motimele's father passed away and just last week our own GCM granny, Lydia, who collected all our WBS mail and did grading and was responsible for sending packages to the US and Vicki in Australia, also passed away.
On a brighter note, we are all doing well. Mike Knappier and Dimpo Motimele are up in Namibia where we have our mission point now with a short term school in process. We have just ordered another container of bibles from China for East Africa and the Nigerian Chariot will be ready for
export in a months time. Meaning we will have 13 chariots going into 19 countries and we have brethren pleading with us from all over Africa to help with chariots in their areas as well as they see what is happening on the continent. As they say "success breeds success" and it's starting to snowball and it's not us, it's the Lord and the African brethren taking responsibility of evangelizing their own continent.
In January the Kenyan Gospel Chariot crossed over into Uganda for the first time. They experienced some border issues, but got through eventually. The response was amazing. I got e-mails and Facebook messages from many of the Ugandan leaders thanking us and pleading with us for more months next year. Amazing!
Our brother, Lucas Oguta, reports there were 58 baptisms in Jinja, Uganda. The local leaders in the church promised to continue working with the new Christians.
The chariot then moved on from there to Kampala, Uganda. Then on to working the areas of Nebbi, Palakwa, Arua and the Vurra road that leads to the Congo. Lucas is so inspired by the response and as he puts it, he can see God's hand in so many happenings. Those in the orange jumpers are not prisoners, but souls waiting to be baptized in their baptism garments.
Please pray for the Kenya gospel chariot as they continue through Kenya preaching and recruiting names for World Bible School. Souls are being saved and brethren encouraged, but at the same time they are linking people up to teachers in the US who teach through the post and internet. Please pray for Lucas Oguta as he navigates this chariot, sometimes through unsafe areas. This truck will be leaving for Ethiopia soon and will receive a container of bibles in May. I will be visiting Kenya in June, Lord Willing. This chariot was built and exported to Kenya last year. God Bless Kenya.
The new white Hino truck has now been sprayed our Gospel Chariot red and the body base welded together and will start taking shape as they construct the compartments and stage with a built in baptistery as well. Please pray for those working on this and our goal of helping Nigerians reach Nigeria and surrounding regions.
This chariot should be finished by the end March, Lord Willing. I have started the paperwork for the export of the completed truck. This is the progress that's been made so far.
The Chariot's work in the Eastern Region has been impressive. The crew worked hard to reach out to prospects, teach in high schools, offices and in the church. The Chariot crew worked in the towns of Begoro and Bosuso. These towns are predominantly farming communities where the churches are not strong. However, there has been an improved attendance at church services since the chariot started working with them. The crew evangelized some police personnel at a police station and the head of the station decided to worship with the Church of Christ and was eventually baptized. The records show 6 baptisms and 384 enrolled for WBS Courses during this outreach.
In February the mini chariot in Malawi was already very busy with Lyman and Robert striking out from Mzuzu. They preached in a number of villages namely Masasa, Ntcheu and Malatsi. A number of people have been restored and also a number have been baptized into Christ. There was also a bit of maintenance that needed to be done on the generator.
Auswich reports that Zimbabwe is experiencing some much needed, but above normal, rainfall and as a result they have had to change their schedule for the start of the year. They went out to Chivero to work with the church there. They had a lot of members falling away and needed help. Chris, Evelyn, Onai and Auswich worked together with the leaders there and they had the privilege of baptizing ten new Christians (the village head and his wife among them!) and also restoring sixty of the old members back to the church. Auswich and Onai returned home, but Chris and Evelyn have stayed on at Chivero to help with encouragement of the new members and guidance for the older members. Auswich tells us that this year the Zimbawean mini chariot team is focusing on church planting. Please continue to pray for this team.
The Venda team paid a visit to the office in Pretoria to stock up the chariot and get ready for the new intake at the school. They have all been busy recruiting students and also done a mission trip across the border into Zimbabwe where we managed to assist the Zimbabweans with a tent, chairs and PA system. So they can now preach and take responsibility for the Triangle area in the Southern part of Zimbabwe. Don Noles and Park Plaza Church in Tulsa have been behind us and this effort in Venda and crossing over into Zimbabwe. We will be campaigning again in these two areas in June. Please pray for those coming and those in Venda and Zimbabwe who make this such an amazing mission effort. The short term school starts this week.
The team also undertook a visit to Triangle in Zimabwe. This is where the new tent, chairs and PA system where delivered to.
Willie reports that they are continuing to utilize the chariot to help train the students from the Bible School to go out into the community and teach the word. Below shows one of the students broadcasting his dawn bible devotion and lesson over the loudspeaker so that the community can listen to it.
The students also go out into the community and the markets to hand out lessons and tracts. These in turn lead to people coming back to them for bible studies because they have questions about what they've been reading. The students were busy in December and January handing out tracts in Adeta and Agou and also in the area around Kpalime.
The team reports there were 17 baptisms during December.
The chariot has hit the road running with night preaching, preaching on the streets and delivering tracts and giving away bibles. Wow! God is doing amazing work through the team in Benin. Three congregations were started in the north and has created a problem, but a problem the brethren are willing to work with. They going to be rotating chariot workers from the mission up north all doing one month a time helping the new congregations. AMEN AND AMEN.
Amen, the start of the year is the time to work on, refurbish and fix these hard working vehicles. Below shows the super hard working Liberia chariot receiving some much needed attention, the roads the chariot travels on, some of the work Isaac is doing and then the chariot being prepared for a new coat of paint.
Namibia is a country were we as a ministry have to do the pioneering work. We have campaigned here since year 2000 where we planted the first Church of Christ in the capital city on the main road and since planted a number of congregations in the country.
Mike Knappier and Dimpo Motimele have arrived in Namibia to teach at this year's intake for the Short Term School. Below shows Mike teaching at the Sunday worship service and below that shows Mike with the Namibian students. Please pray for Namibia and our team as we rotate and reach this amazing country.
Below you can see our Eastern Cape mini chariot working the Lusikisiki area with Alfred Mdze. Lazarus Munetsi is overseeing that and will now be relocating back to our Pretoria office where he will be heading up our World Bible School ministry under Dimpo Motimele and Vicki Funk.
I am at our Plettenberg Bay office with Bongani, Lyman and Robert collecting the big chariots and Lazarus taking the road through the Free State with the small chariot. Dimpo and Mike are in Namibia to work with our mission there. Zonge and Machona are working the short term school in Pretoria. The Venda school starts month end with their chariot crossing some borders as well.
Before the two big Chariots leave for many countries I like to personally spend time with them and make sure they have everything they need from preaching equipment to shoes, pants, shirts and the like. You can see us doing some last minute shopping for new sleeping bags, containers, hammers and overalls.
The trucks have been repaired and roadworthy done and now it's time to say goodbye. I will see them again in Durban, Namibia, Malawi and Kenya later in the year. Wow, that's only these two trucks, what about the other 11?!
Short term bible school is in session and our good friend and partner in the gospel, Mike Knappier, visited us in February and taught a while before heading on to Namibia. Mike also hosted a marriage seminar while in Pretoria.
Bongani and the GCM team where also kept busy encouraging high school students and getting them to enroll in World Bible School. It's wonderful when schools allow you to encourage all through God's word.
Below shows both Mike and Zonge (in white and orange shirt) taking their turn teaching at the Short Term School in Pretoria.