Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fourth Quarter Update and Overview

Hi Everyone

Hope you are all doing well and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all. May this year be an amazing year for us all. I, personally, am very excited about this year. We have laid a wonderful foundation and now is the time to make it happen.

Our goal has to be to baptise 2,000 souls this year. God has promised us, if we sow, we will reap and He will give the increase. We have no excuse now with 9 Gospel Chariots up and running and, by year end, 13 Gospel Chariots working 15 countries. God Bless you all as you reach our wonderful continent.

NINE GOSPEL CHARIOTS READY TO ROLL


Above Top Left shows our Big Chariot 1 that works South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Botswana;

Top Middle shows the Big Chariot 2 that works the Cape, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania,

Kenya and Mozambique;

Top Right shows the Big Chariot 3 that works Ghana;

Middle Left shows the 2 mini chariots that work Malawi and Venda;

Middle Right shows the mini chariot that works Liberia;

Bottom Left shows the Togo mini chariot that works French speaking Togo;

Bottom Middle shows the Zimbabwe mini chariot (white) that works Zimbabwe.

Bottom Right shows the Benin mini chariot that works French speaking Benin - I don't know if you can call it a mini chariot, its rather big! More about that arrangement later.

WE HAVE NO EXCUSES..... It's not what we have, but what we do with what we have. Amen

FOUR NEW CHARIOTS BEING PLANNED AND BUILT THIS YEAR

Please pray as we push on... We are in the process of communicating and building 4 new chariots. They are for Kenya, Zambia, Namibia and the Western Cape in South Africa. That will then make it 13 chariots going into 15 countries. We would love to do another 2 making it 15 chariots going into 15 countries and then take a breather and work the 15 for a couple of years before building more.

We're almost there, but who would have ever thought that this could be possible? It is a lot of communication and administration and I personally am learning so much in the process. The future looks very exciting and positive and all we can do is thank the team, and most of all, our Heavenly Father. PLEASE PRAY FOR ALL INVOLVED.

BENIN

When we last sent a report out the team in Benin were still waiting to get their Chariot back from the sprayers and then the sign writers. This is in French speaking West Africa a country in desperate need of assistance regarding seeking and saving the lost. We are very excited to introduce to you the final chariot for 2014!


Yes, it's an old converted school bus! The reason why is, it's very difficult to get good, reliable new trucks. We had a problem, but they had a yellow school bus from the US that they used, but found it too big to transport the bible students around in. We then had meetings and decided that it would make a wonderful Gospel Chariot if converted properly. So we took the bus converted it into a chariot and bought the school a van for the students to be transported around in. We still had enough funds to purchase 2 motorbikes to work hand in hand with the Gospel Chariot.

George Akpabli, who is the key man and missionary in the area and also the director of the Bible School, says "We want all the churches in Benin to see this ministry as theirs...". He is a team player and that is most important when it comes to reaching the whole region. They have big plans for the chariot and are planning to use it as a public preaching tool, a discipleship training tool, a leadership training tool, a church planting tool, a follow up tool for their radio ministries and as a tool to do follow up visits with all the churches and villages they work in.

The team in Benin will be overseen by a group of six men and they will also have two full time workers on the chariot. The chariot has been equipped with a large tent and 50 chairs and George is hoping to have a mobile baptistery and sleeping place for the workers included soon. As you can see below there is still a little bit of work to be done but that has not stopped them from getting started.


In addition to the chariot, the team also has two motorcycles for the two workers to travel around with as they spread the Good News and visit with people in remote areas. We are also in the process of getting a Risograph printer for them where they will be able to print all their tracts in country, in French. God is Great and working more than we ever thought or imagined. Below shows George taking delivery of the two new motorcycles:


GHANA


The Big Gospel Chariot 3 in Ghana headed up North with brother Evans Larty. Among the places visited were Kpasa, Yendi, Saboba, Tamale, Salaga and Kpandai. This is so encouraging. They evangelized in Educational Institutions, market places, Prisons (both officers and inmates), and worshipped with some of the churches in the area.


Above shows the Chariot catching the ferry and below shows the workers speaking to people on the streets in Yendi.


Evans met with the elders at Tamale (pictured below) to tell them about the Gospel Chariot and the work it does and how they can be involved in 2015.

The more the Gospel Chariot works with brethren, the more effective it becomes.


Evans reports that on three consecutive nights, at three different places, they had twenty one baptisms each night. These baptisms were a result of nightly open air preaching and viewing the movie, the Passion of the Christ. In total 70 souls were won for Christ during the ten days up North. These new Christians and others received Bibles and other study materials that will help enhance their understanding of Christianity. In addition, about 1,470 were enrolled for WBS lessons. The brethren in the area then work and assist the young converts.

Below shows the Ghana team receiving a shipment of Bibles in October. Many of the Bibles have been distributed to different congregations as well as to World Bible School students and also to those being converted.


Willie Gley reports: "During our six month Gospel Chariot tour of Ghana's Volta Region we worked with 33 congregations. Activities included enrolling students for World Bible School, distributing tracts in strategic locations, open air preaching each night and house to house personal Bible studies each morning. All of these activities are assisted by local members of the church...by the end of the tour, we had baptised 138 souls, distributed over 30,000 tracts and enrolled 8,445 new students to World Bible School Bible courses. These students were enrolled from the high schools, house to house, market places and on the streets."

Below shows the crowds that are drawn to the night meetings and also a number of souls standing up front to be baptised. GOD IS WORKING.


The team in Ghana has also been very active in spreading the word throughout schools and they have enrolled thousands of people to study with World Bible School. Below shows some of the many different schools that the team shared World Bible School courses with. Look at the students, too happy to put their hands up showing off their bible lessons. This is so exciting to see how God is working day after day!


AMEN.....HOW AMAZING IS THIS, BEING PERMITTED TO GO INTO THE SCHOOLS AND DISTRIBUTE BIBLE LESSONS

TOGO

The photo below shows the mini gospel chariot in Togo with Willie Gley and the students handing out tracts and doing street evangelism at Kpalime. Togo is a French speaking country.


Willie reports that they held a campaign in the city center of Kpalime. The pictures below show how the team erected the new canopy and went about distributing tracts and chatting to the locals about the church.




LIBERIA


In the month of November, the Liberian Gospel Chariot team conducted gospel campaigns in two of Monrovia's slum communities which resulted in a total of 27 baptisms and 88 new WBS enrolments.


Isaac reports that they are all doing fine even though their community has been hit by Ebola. They are continuing with their Ebola awareness campaign and at the same time they are conducting gospel meetings and using the chariot to reach out to the community.

Below shows one of the many baptisms in Jonestown, Liberia.



MALAWI


The Malawian mini chariot, that has been working in Lilongwe and Mzuzu, teamed up with Gospel Chariot Two at Likuni in Malawi and it is reported that there were about 148 baptisms. Timplex and Moster went to Likuni where both Gospel Chariots were working and joined the team to work together there with them.


As I mentioned in an earlier report, Malawi baptises over 150 souls every year, and now they have their own mini chariot as well. Whilst there the brethren showed me, and told me about, 11 congregations that have been planted in the last 5 years using our Gospel Chariot.



Above shows Moster and Timplex with a new convert standing in the middle. The team has reported that, during the month of November, there were 26 baptisms and 15 were restored through the work of the mini chariot and a new church building was built at Sonda Silos.

We did have a bit of a problem in October when our mini chariot had to swerve out of the road for a person on a bicycle and it landed up in a ditch resulting in some repairs needing to be done. "could have been worse". Thankfully no one was injured.

A Risograph printer will be delivered soon for the brethren in Malawi to print their own tracts in country.

ZIMBABWE

The mini chariot in Zimbabwe is a winner! They really and truly are doing well and are planting congregations, maturing congregations and doing follow up with zest and zeal.

Auswich reports that in October they had the opportunity to travel to Ngundu. Ngundu is 397km away from the capital city of Harare. Chris Magadu and Nyamushamba travelled with him and they met up with the brothers from South Africa (Venda). The workers from

Venda were O'Brien Malindi, Munyayi Owen and DeVilliers Malambe. This is so exciting, 2 mini chariot teams from 2 different countries uniting and helping a newly planted Church of Christ in the south of Zimbabwe!

Together the team did house to house evangelism during the day and then evening services from Tuesday through to Saturday. 9 souls were baptised during the week spent in Ngundu.

Below shows the night meetings at Ngundu and below that shows Auswich baptising a lady who had come to listen to the lessons.





During September the team visited Chiredzi, Triangle and Ngezi with the mini Gospel Chariot and Chris reports that the trip with Auswich was very successful.

In Triangle they spent two days preaching in public and also teaching groups both during the day and in the evenings. Triangle is the biggest sugar producing company in Zimbabwe and it has over six thousand employees, both in the factory and in the farming fields. Chris reported that the preaching activities in that area with the mini Gospel Chariot captured the attention of many people. They came in their numbers both the old and the younger ones during the day and during the evening to listen to God's word. During the trip Chris and Auswich worked together to plant two new congregations in two different places namely Chiredzi and Ngezi.

The picture below shows the amazing 2 families before they left Chiredzi. To the right is Auswich Mashabha and his wife and to the left is Chris Magadu and his wife, Evelyn.


Below shows Auswich Mashabha in action preaching and baptising in Triangle there were 10 baptisms reported from this trip.

 


VENDA


In September the mini Gospel Chariot made a trip to Malamulele. The team taught on the street and also handed out some church of Christ literature and tracts and also enrolled new students to WBS.

       

Above shows photos from a trip DeVilliers made to Makhado in September. The team recruited students, handed out 1,000 flyers and some tracts and WBS enrollment forms and a few booklets.

DeVilliers also reports there were 5 baptisms at Tshidimbini. Then in October the team went to Mavhambe for a fellowship gathering. About 17 congregations came together, spending time together and sharing some meals and worshipping together on the Sunday morning (pictured below), but also discussing how they can all use the mini chariot and become more evangelistic.


Immediately after the gathering at Mavhambe the team moved on to Dumasi for another week long meeting. During the week DeVilliers and his team went house to house during the day and in the evening they had a classes in the tent. During the week one woman, Shongi, was baptized and many more people showed an interest in the church. DeVilliers reports that the local congregation was left with a lot of follow up work to do!

The Venda team also travelled up to Zimbabwe during October to help out preaching and teaching in Ngundu. A Risograph printer was also delivered for the printing of tracts. The

Short Term Bible School starts in February. In December hundreds of young men came together at the short term school facility to take part in leadership training on how to assist their local congregations. As you can see God is Working.... TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

SOUTH AFRICA

In the last quarter the two big Gospel Chariots finished off meetings in Mozambique, Swaziland, Natal, Mpumalanga and Pretoria. The Chariot in Mozambique had to leave earlier than planned because of elections taking place. We are happy to report that the trip to Mozambique was successful and there were 26 baptisms as well as a new church being established at Kaboola in Dedza.
Below shows Lazarus baptising a young man he studied with.


The team in Plettenberg Bay is doing well and reaching out to other areas in the Garden Route. A new congregation has been planted in Kynsna and we have managed to purchase a wooden shack that is now being used as a church building. I personally will be based out of the area for 2 months as I continue to assist in pioneering work. We hope to build a mini chariot for the area in February. This will help us get to the many, many towns that don't have congregations.

Below shows a shack we managed to purchase in Knysna right next to a public road. You can see Lazarus's pick-up parked outside it. We also managed to locate a brother from Ghana who is a Christian and now doing business in the area. This is a newly planted Church of Christ....Amen.



Below shows Bongani baptising someone in Lydenburg in November and having a combined worship service with the brethren in the area. Bongani reported the following: "We had a great gospel meeting and we have 10 people that are baptised." He has emailed me saying, "Brother George, there are too many doors opening in this area...". I will never forget starting out as a missionary 21 years ago and praying to God that He would open doors so I could have a full time job. It's now gotten to the stage where I pray that God not open too many doors because we cannot follow up all of them. It's a problem, but a problem we want to have.




Then below shows the tent meeting in Ndumu in the Northern parts of KwaZulu Natal.


In November Gospel Chariot One spent five weeks campaigning in KwaZulu Natal during which time they had 20 baptisms some of which were at Ndumu (as seen below).


The church is growing in South Africa and we are so grateful that we can play a small part in all what is happening.

NAMIBIA

Namibia is doing well, but still our hardest pioneering work. It has been a long slog with us planting congregations in Windhoek, Rundu, Walvis Bay and Ondangwa in the North. We seem to take 3 steps forward and two steps back. The Windhoek Church in the capital city is doing the best and a number of mature brethren from Ghana and Zambia have moved in due to employment in the city and so that has been a blessing. I will be there in March with a number of campaigners from South Africa who will be helping me unite the two countries spiritually with the South African brethren being more mature and longer in the faith.

Below shows the Church of Christ in Rundu where our brother Jonas Maseka and his family worships. Some years back we managed to campaign and plant that congregation and put a steel structure up with no walls. You can now see they have bought the bricks and completed the building....Amen Jonas


Below shows the congregation meeting during worship on Sunday.


Below shows the Walvis congregation meeting in a shack. This congregation has been going for at least 5 years and is slowly picking up, but its one ethnic group meeting and needs to reach out to the other groups as well. We as a ministry work with them every year and help with leadership training as well.


Below is our brother Laurence who helped us plant the congregation there in Walvis Bay.


Ondangwa, in the North, where we planted a congregation in April this year is struggling, but still going. Like any church planting, you have to have patience. Anton Ngabwe, who we helped educate and works with the Windhoek congregation, was earmarked to relocate to the North, but things did not work out and we sent a young man by the name of Bernard who is sister Hellenie's son to assist up there. He has done well, but needs help and we will be visiting there in March with plans of bringing reinforcements.

We hope to build a mini gospel chariot for the area and get involved in a Bible School in the North as well. As I mentioned, I will be up there with some good leaders from South Africa and my goal is to get them and their congregations to assist in adopting congregations in Namibia. This way we can all get involved and help a country that has been neglected and overlooked when it comes to missions. Thanks to the Fredericksburg congregation and Northside congregations for helping us campaign and fight the fight in Namibia.

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR EFFORTS AND PLANS IN NAMIBIA.

KENYA

The month of July saw our Gospel Chariot 2 do campaigns in Kenya. They did such an amazing job, we are now in the process of communicating with them and will build them them their own Gospel Chariot for the region when they get their committee and team together. The team from Kenya reported that their travels (to Kisumu, Siaya and Vihiga counties and other areas) means they have managed to baptise 71 people, visited with and encourage 17 churches, registered 1,697 students to World Bible School and planted 2 new churches of Christ.
The photo below shows some of the leaders and workers during the campaigns.

Brother Phil Palmer, from World Bible School, who was a missionary to Kenya, is assisting with the committee as well. Our goal is always to work with the best leaders in any given country and the way to do that is, get the best advice possible and work with team players and no lone rangers, because team work is dream work.

PLEASE PRAY FOR KENYA


To God be the Glory for all the Good being done.

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