We begin with some fantastic news! Amen!
THE NEW KENYAN GOSPEL CHARIOT IS ALMOST READY FOR EXPORT!!!!
Here you can see the Kenyan chariot going through roadworthy in the Cape before getting a police clearance, it will be exported in the next couple of weeks.
We have a driver-evangelist, brother Lucas Oguta, from Kenya coming down to South Africa for some training with Bongani on Chariot 1. Lucas and Layman Mpharo, one of our experienced driver evangelists, will then drive the new chariot all the way up to Kenya.
Only God can make such things happen. Wow, can you imagine how much good will be done because of this effort? And how long our reports will then be! Haha! All Glory to God.
That's not all. We're in the process of trying to find the funds for a big chariot like this for Nigeria. 160 million people in Nigeria. Wow! Please pray for that to become a reality. Thank you, thank you to all who help us make these things happen.
It is so good to see good being done. Below shows Dr. Bobby Lawson and wife Gail helping the sick and at the same time sharing the word on their visit to Ghana. Thank You Lord.
Evans Lartey reported the following:
The Ghana Gospel Chariot Mission was blessed to host Dr. Bobby Lawson and Wife (Gail Lawson) in Accra. Bobby and Gail are members of the Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. We worked with them in the rural areas within Accra. The program was Medical Evangelism and natives were invited to a church of Christ auditorium where medical care was administered. Gail, who is a nurse, was assisted by Susana (Evans Lartey's wife) to administer drugs prescribed by the Doctor to the patients. There were one hundred people who daily received the word of God, counseling and medical care. Each day saw people trooping to the center for help. We started daily with devotion and health talk. Then while waiting to consult the doctor (Dr. Bobby Lawson), the preachers worked among the patients to share the word of God with them. Many came to know about Christ and His church.
We also had night street preaching which offered many the opportunity to listen to the word of God. About three hundred and fifty people received God's word and medical care. God added 17 souls to His Kingdom.
Dr. Bobby Lawson again taught Islam at the Heritage Bible Institute in Accra. The students were enlightened to know how Islam is spreading fast in Africa and the world. Some converted Muslims in the class attested to the fast environment within which Islam is spreading. A commitment was made by the students to intensify their evangelistic efforts.
Susana also organized the church of Christ women in the locality for a workshop. At this workshop, Gail taught on medical conditions affecting women while Susana taught the women practical entrepreneurial skills.
We are so thankful for the work undertaken by Bobby and Gail.
In May Evans reported that the Ghana Gospel Chariot was engaged in the Eastern region of Ghana for evangelistic work with some Accra preachers and the Church of Christ at Nsawam Road (whose elders oversee the Chariot's work in Ghana). This area in the eastern region is situated in a mountainous zone called Kwahu Ridge. The Accra preachers are citizens of the Ridge who have migrated to Accra, and hence decided to take time off from the Accra work to share the gospel with their families and town folks on the Ridge. While the Church of Christ at Nsawam Road engaged in establishing and strengthening existing congregations planted by them.
It was a well-organized mission endeavor that saw two new churches planted in addition to the existing ones. Also, the team evangelized a Muslim dominated town and each night for three days 200 people attended open air night street preaching. Again, a workshop on farm management was organized for Christians and non-Christians in a town called Kwahu-Tafo. The resource person for this workshop was an Agric Extension Officer who is a church brother. This forum also became ideal to share the gospel with those who attend the program.
In all, 20 towns were evangelized. There was night street preaching which saw between 400-650 natives hearing the good news of salvation each night. The Lord blessed His work with 31 baptisms and 10 restored to the faith.
I then travelled to Ghana and enjoyed a good visit with brother Evans Lartey and Samuel Tumasi before leaving for Liberia. They are both great leaders who have been around forever. I really enjoyed my visit with them.
Below you can see the big Ghana chariot having some major repairs on the roof which was leaking and on the inside flooring which was breaking apart.
It was so good visiting with George Akpabli who directs the mission in Benin and also oversees the Benin Gospel Chariot. The chariot is an old school bus that has been converted into a preaching chariot. Many souls have been saved and congregations planted and also encouraged. Benin is French speaking and the mission base is in Cotonou in the South. French speaking students come to this bible school from Cameroon, Chad, Mali and other French speaking countries.
Bible is taught here, but also things like farming and how to provide for themselves after they leave the school. We are so blessed to be partnering such a mission effort like this. Our goal is always to link up to the best leaders we can find in Africa and empower those who know the culture, people and opportunities. My message to all chariot leaders and teams is, "True leadership - it's not about you, but the one next to you. It's not how many people serve you, but how many people you serve". That's the Jesus model and it's good to see that as I travel.
Below shows the Benin team and then also George and his family.
The photos below were taken while having lunch after church with the French speaking Benin Gospel Chariot Team on June 5. George Akpabli is a great leader and has a great team which makes a great work of God.
April was a busy month for the team in Togo and saw them visiting Adeta, Agou, Lavie and Akata (all on the Kloto region). They are exploring the possibility of planting a new congregation in one of the towns. As usual their work included handing out tracts in the market areas, street evangelism, door knocking and dawn devotions.
Willie then reports that during the month of May there were heavy rains and it considerably limited their movements due to the condition of the roads and not being able to access certain areas. They were only able to hold one campaign but were excited to report that it resulted in 5 baptisms.
A team of volunteers has also continued to work with and encourage the new congregation at Adeta and there was also news of a new congregation being planted at Presidentkope. Johnmark, a recent graduate from the school in Togo, is their preacher.
Below shows some of the photos of my visit to Togo earlier this month. We have 4 gospel chariots in West Africa - they are working in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Liberia. When over there we had meetings in Ghana with some of our Nigerian leaders about a big chariot for Nigeria that has a population of 160 million. Amen. Please pray for that. As you can see below I also traveled to Togo visiting with brother Willie Gley and the mini chariot team. The roads were interesting and the work amazing - from chariot work to bible school to agricultural farming. Amen to Willie and the team.
Their next campaign was in the commercial city of Kakata about 60 miles away from the capital. It was hosted by the two congregations in the city. The team also introduced WBS on our visit and sent out 20 completed sets of the master series.
The team returned to Kakata in mid-May to encourage the two congregations there and to help them to work together. Isaac reports that their work there resulted in three more baptisms.
I traveled to Monrovia, Liberia to visit and meet with Isaac Daye. It's was hot and humid there, that's life in West Africa. Liberia is recovering after the 14 years of war. It's sad to see, but they are picking themselves up and there are many good things happening regardless of the struggles. I stayed at Isaac's house with Ron Pottberg, a good friend from the US. He works with World Bible School and does so much in these countries. Ron linked us up to Isaac who oversees our mini gospel chariot and does an amazing work. Many have been baptized and congregations have been planted through this partnership.
I had the opportunity to teach at the Bible School and at the local church. It was so encouraging to see the agricultural projects taking shape. I believe this is the way to go. Teaching families and communities how to farm. Especially young preachers being taught - this way they can go home and support themselves. The unemployment rate is above 80%. It's a sad situation, but if we can have every bible school and mission teaching agriculture, it will help the continent and most of all it will make the world a better place.
While there I also took part in the 50 year celebration march in downtown Monrovia on June 11 and then spoke on the Sunday morning before flying out to South Africa and then home. Please pray for Liberia and all mission efforts for Jesus in the West African region.
There must have been over a thousand of us marching through the streets of Monrovia and then we enjoyed a day of fellowship, food and lessons.
Our mini chariot led the way and it was fantastic. Liberia is a poor country, but they are a people who believe in God and have tremendous potential of picking themselves up after the years of war and also the Ebola epidemic that swept the country two years ago.
On June 12 I spoke at the main service before leaving for the airport and heading home. I really enjoyed my trip to West Africa and want to thank all my brethren there. To God be the Glory. Amen.
In early May Chariot 2, that left South Africa in March with Lyman and Robert, made its way into Zambia and was cleared at the border and then traveled on to Mungwe, 450 km from the border.
Lyman stayed behind in Namibia to assist on the Namibian mini chariot and Robert was joined in Zambia by our young Thumelo.
On Sunday, May 15, they held a meeting at Magrimond Church of Christ before the Chariot moved to Nazilongo Church still in Kalomo, Zambia. Our team was well supported by Brother Richard Msolo and the leaders at the Magrimond church.
Below shows some of the activities Robert and Thumelo were involved in - from setting up the tent, to drawing the crowds, to preaching and baptizing souls into Jesus.
It is wonderful to see how the local congregations work together with the Gospel Chariot.
Kalomo is in the South and the chariot then worked its way North towards Malawi, one village at a time. By the end of May the team was at Nazilongo and Robert sent through this report and photos:
The last weekend of May was spent in the Northern parts of Zambia. Another week and another venue and a whole lot of love and encouragement. This chariot with Robert and Thumelo slowly but surely worked their way North towards Malawi. The photos below shows them preaching, teaching and encouraging the Bendele Church of Christ in rural Siavonga District.
From Siavonga the team then moved on to Chirundu. Below shows some of the preachers from Siavonga who followed and helped on the Chariot at Chirundu. They were led by Charles Phiri.
There have been over 30 baptisms in this region as the preachers preach the Word of God and people give their lives to Jesus.
Below shows brother Angel Banda, a preacher at Sinda central Church of Christ, leading songs and preaching the Word of God with brother Thumelo. You can also see night preaching and Robert Hara baptising a soul.
This Gospel Chariot left Zambia at the end of June and crossed into Malawi for gospel meetings in that country.
The brand new mini chariot got straight to work travelling and teaching and reaching people on the streets.
The end of April was a busy time for us in Namibia. We had two chariots working the country - the new mini chariot and the Big Malawian chariot (which was working its way to Zambia and beyond). The pictures below show them working in Tsumeb where we are in the process of taking over the Bible School and facilities and making that our mission base. The administration is a nightmare, however, that has not stopped the outreach.
From Tsumeb the team then moved on to Rundu and set up base there working with the Kehemu church, where the Maseka brothers preach, and also the rural Sikali church, where brother Eddie preaches.
From there the team then moved on to the Kaprivi and the Mukwe church where brother Klause preachers. Please pray for all as we strive to help and train Namibians to reach out to Namibians. Thank You Lord.
By the time Chariot Two left Namibia at the end of April and traveled on to Zambia it reported a total of 12 baptisms in Nambia and had also collected over 200 names for World Bible School.
Dimpo Motimele (above), from our Pretoria office, arrived in Namibia in mid June and is directing the mini chariot and the Tsumeb mission effort that we, as a ministry, have taken over. We hope to start a short term bible school semester from next month. We will rotate men from our different offices to assist and I believe Lazarus Munetsi from our Plettenberg Bay office will be the first to help with the school. We have planted congregations in Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Rundu and Ondangwa and need help in equipping young Christians and the Tsumeb base is going to be just perfect for this because of it being located in the heart of Namibia.
Dimpo reports the following: "We went out of Tsumeb, about 50 km, on the weekend to a place called Tshinjabis. It is a bush inhabited by the bushman community. We had a study today after church with them and three were baptised and the others, particularly ladies, still have to get permission from their husbands. Our goal is to reach the whole family and their immediate community."
This is really exciting! In Namibia people live out in the country on large pieces of land and far from other families and communities. They all have their own homestead far from other people. Meaning they don't have to go to church, ha ha! They just have church right at home with their immediate families. Dimpo also mentioned the following: "The idea of small groups is beginning to make even more practical sense now that I see the vastness of the country and the opportunities therein".
Below you can also see the Tsumeb congregation meeting together and also the baptism of one of the two who were baptized that day.
Lyman, who had been helping Laurence get trained up to work the mini chariot in Namibia, then headed back home to his home country of Malawi to get some rest before he begins training our new worker for the Kenyan chariot. God is working. Please pray for Namibia and all involved - especially for our missionary, Dimpo Motimele, as he seeks God's guidance in directing the mission efforts in that country of Namibia. Thank You Lord.
TEAM BUILDING WEEKEND
God blessed us as we took time out from our busy schedule to motivate and encourage each other. Over the last weekend of May our Pretoria team gathered together in Durban to do some team building. Brain Lister popped in as well to encourage us. Without a team and their families there is no dream and as they say "teamwork is dreamwork".
During my trip to South Africa in early June I also spent some time at the Pretoria office and the short term bible school where I got to encourage the students and meet with our leaders before leaving for Ghana, Togo, Benin and Liberia.
Lazarus Munetsi, our missionary based out of Plettenberg Bay, went on a mission trip in May visiting a number of towns in the Western Cape.
Below shows Gladman preparing more WBS Introduction lessons and assorted flyers for distribution. The chariot needs to be well stocked!
And here we see Lazarus giving them away!
In Beaufort West Lazarus and Gladman got to work right away reaching out doing door to door.
The community opened their homes and they were well received.
The word has been spread and Lazarus says many have been encouraged.
In early May Bongani and his chariot (Chariot 1) and the students from the Short Term School in Pretoria were involved in a church planting in Pretoria North. Our team and the students were assisted by elder Tebogo Ramatsui (below at left) who is also always involved in missions.
Later in the month Brother Tebogo and Bongani went back with a team of students from the Short Term school (students and Tebogo and Bongani shown below) to go and encourage and teach and worship with the newly planted congregation.
CHARIOT ONE with Bongani
ZEERUST - April
In late April Bongani was back on the South African Chariot and encouraging the communities in Zeerust. That is a region to the west of Johannesburg, near the border of Botswana. Every year we like to return and work with those who have gone through our short term bible school and have started congregations there. They are on fire for the Lord and I bet Bongani has something to do with that.
The great news is that this trip yielded 21 baptisms!
The sad news is that thieves broke the fuel cap open and stole the fuel and that created a problem resulting in us having to get a mechanic out to bleed the system......it's OK. God is in control and it's the world we live in and that is why we do what we do and why Jesus died for each and every one of us. Please pray for the safety of Bongani and the team.
Below shows some more of the work the big chariot did while in the North West.
There were over 57 baptisms and 36 of them were in Groot Marico, where Patrick Monaana, a WBS student (pictured below with his wife and Bongani in the centre), has planted a congregation in his home town. He is receiving some assistance from a local company that is helping them with a place of worship.
Please pray for those seeking God in the North West and our team that continues to follow up on the young Christians in that area year after year.
POLOKWANE - May
Bongani then moved on to Polokwane and he says it was very cold, but the brethren appreciated the encouragement. The winters can be extremely cold working a gospel chariot and that is why we always try to head North in the Winters and more South in the Summers - to get out of the wet areas and also to stay away from the mosquitoes.
The local chief in the area the chariot worked has allocated a piece of land for the church.
In our last quarterly report we reported that Machona had visited a WBS student who owned a pub, but he has a very good heart and has been trying to teach the gospel to his customers. They even meet for church on Sunday mornings in the bar.
Well, Machona returned a couple weeks back with Bongani (teaching below) and the big Gospel Chariot as they were returning from Polokwane and yip, they were all ready to put their beers down and pray, sing and hear the word. You got to love it! This is what Jesus is all about. Please pray for them as they continue seeking God in and among their issues. Keep it up guys. This really encourages me. The gospel is for all. Thank You Lord.
At the end of April Brother Obrien Malindi and the Venda team spent some time in Zimbabwe. They teamed up with Machona and crossed over into Zimbabwe, visiting and planning our July campaign. The pictures show Obrien, Machona and De Villiers visiting with congregations planted by the team, planning their campaign and also encouraging the leaders.
In late April and into early May Auswich, and the Zimbabwean team, travelled to Rusape as they were asked to help plant a new church at a farm called Alpha. Auswich reports that they door knocked 102 houses and 32 families accepted the invitation for a home Bible study and there were others who accepted the invitation to attend the evening studies in the community. He says that even though it was very cold in Rusape they still had 15 baptisms as a result of the home studies and 2 baptisms as a result of the night time meetings. The church at Resthaven has promised to take care of and encourage these new Christians.
In other exciting news, 87 prisoners and 2 Prison officers were baptized! You never know who you help and what God will do through them. Last year one of the Zimbabwean preachers, Stanley Shereni, asked Auswich to help him with a portable baptistery for the prison work and we managed to supply him with one. Since then Stanley has baptized hundreds in the Zimbabwean prisons. Keep it up Stanley, glad we can play a small part in your prison ministry.
Then, at the end of May, Auswich was asked to go and help the church in Bindura. They wanted to help strengthen the congregation at Shamva as there was only one family that had remained faithful there and they now had to travel to Bindura to worship with the church there. Auswich visited the Trojan mine in the area and one of the mine workers stopped the mini chariot and asked him if he was from the church of Christ because he noticed the WBS logo on the vehicle. It turned out that he had studied with WBS and was a Christian and he desperately wanted help to start a church in his area. The elders from Bindura have agreed that they will work together with him and help him work the area. Such exciting news!
While Auswich was in Bindura they went about door knocking (above) and held nightly studies and as a direct result they studied with 92 people, 6 of them were baptized and 10 were restored. The Sunday worship was attended by 106 people and Auswich is encouraged that this is a good sign.
The Venda brethren have been busy with short term bible school and the crossing of borders doing mission work in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Below shows the Venda mini chariot working the Venda area and teaching short term bible students.
Also, the bible dorms sporting their new coat of paint.
Brother De Villiers reported from Venda before leaving for the country of Mozambique with Brother Malindi and team that they had just completed a trip to Miliwani and they had a great weekend with one soul being added to the church.
Below shows the team in Pretoria loading up with bibles and bible literature for their trip to Venda and Zimbabwe.
We assist the Venda team every year where we have a GCM short term bible school, but where we are also getting the Vendas to cross over into Zimbabwe and Mozambique and help us do mission work in the two countries.
I leave in two weeks to join this chariot with brethren from Venda and the USA to campaign in Zimbabwe where we have planted a number of congregations. The pics below show this last Sunday's worship service in Venda and some of the baptisms that took place. I love the picture with the members and their note pads taking notes as the word is preached. Amen.
Please pray as Africans take Africa for Jesus. Also, our up and coming campaign with them into Zimbabwe. Thank You Lord.
Venda Team to MOZAMBIQUE
Our Venda Gospel Chariot team, under the leadership of Obrien Malindi, crossed into Zimbabwe during April and then, during May, they crossed over into Mozambique encouraging and networking with the brethren there.
They met with 7 leaders from various locations and discussed future mission efforts regarding the southern part of Mozambique. They then took 3 brethren and traveled another 360km from Maputo to a village called Xai Xai. Here they worshiped God and held further meetings.
They then returned safely back to Venda with future plans of assisting and helping the brethren across the border. Amen to our Venda brethren who are now becoming true mission efforts. Please pray for all. Thank You Lord.
HELPING THE HURTING
Amen, this is so touching to see God's children helping the widows, orphans and those who have lost their homes and crops through drought and then floods during the rainy season.
Our Gospel Chariot co-ordinator in Malawi is Moster Kanyinji, who also works through a church leadership team, which helps him allocate the relief. Moster says they started distributing the food on Monday, June 13.
Chariot 2 has also just arrived in Malawi from Zambia and will have a month of gospel meetings, but also help with the distribution of food to the hurting. The Malawian mini chariot is also being used to collect and distribute food. Amen, this is God at work. Please pray for Malawi and thank you to all of you who made this happen. To God be the Glory.
In late May our team headed out to Botswana to meet with the churches there and do some planning for some work later in the year. Dimpo reported that their trip to Botswana was good. He was joined by Machona and brother Tebogo.
They made their first stop at Brother Dennis Malepa's home. He shared an idea with us of targeting one of the biggest villages in Botswana which is 45 km from Gaborone. We went and made a survey trip there and and it has a population of 65,000. A lot of groundwork was done and they want us to partner with them around October/November to work that area.
The team then proceeded on to Palapye and visited with the church and sister Zikhwa. Sister Zikhwa has signed up to be a WBS helper in Botswana and for us that is a big plus since this will help us put down some roots and even help get the students that are currently in our short term school to do follow ups.
The church is great and they are encouraging us to continue working with them. Our brother Thumelo (who was working on Chariot 2 in Zambia at the time) has done well working with the church there. A big thanks to brother Malepa and the leaders in Botswana.