NEWSLETTER JULY -AUGUST 2017
On the work front, it’s been very busy and no major problems. Thank You Lord. Our two new chariots for Uganda and Nigeria are moving ahead nicely. The Ugandan one is completed and is getting sign written on Monday and then it’s the exporting of it, and it’s a nightmare, ha ha. The Nigerian chariot has now been moved to the bodybuilders and they have finally begun with the body and all looks good for 2018. To all our African leaders and partners we say Big thank you as we all work together and love those around us and make the world a better place for all.
On July 8, Dimpo Motimele, who directs our South African work travelled to Uganda to visit with our Ugandan brethren regarding the new gospel chariot that will be allocated to them for outreach in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and South Sudan. Tom Opondo also joined them a few days later. Please pray for all these African missionaries as they dream with us about reaching more countries for Jesus.
In early July Lyman reported that there had been 42 souls baptized in Chimeza Village (Lilongwe region). As a result of these baptisms, as well as 10 others being restored, the chariot team helped plant a new church in the village. Lyman told us they were well received by the Malawian brethren.
The team then moved on from Chimeza Village to Chamaji where they reported another 27 baptizms. The village chief also attended the meetings.
The team then moved on from Chimeza Village to Chamaji where they reported another 27 baptisms. The village chief also attended the meetings.
From Chamaji Lyman and his chariot moved on to Santhe where they reported 64 baptisms in just a couple of days. This brought the total of baptisms in Malawi to 196.
We try our best to keep our chariots safe and roadworthy and do most of our repairs in country, but things don’t always go to plan. The vehicles travel on rough terrain and, from time to time, we have repairs that need to be made on the road. This time it was the brakes that needed repairing. We are so grateful that our drivers are responsible and repair things as soon as they notice there is an issue.
At the end of July, just as Robert and Lyman were headed out of Malawi to the Tanzanian border, they sent word that they were having mechanical issues. They had to wait for a mechanic to arrive from Mbeya on the Tanzania side. The chariot had no power and had some issue that did not show on the electronic panel either. Our brothers from Tanzania were there to welcome them as usual. As you can see we have our problems from time to time, but God is Good and faithful through the good times and trying times, because God takes full responsibility for those who love Him.
The technician discovered it was an electronic fault that took a couple of days and $750.00 to fix, but the main thing is, the chariot was able to get on the road again. Lyman and Robert headed out to carry on with gospel meetings through Tanzania.
After their breakdown and repairs at the Tanzania border, they hit the road running from the Kasumulu border to Mwanza which is about 1300km.
Then on to Lujewa, Mbeya region where they had a gospel meeting for one week. The gospel meeting resulted in 8 souls giving their lives to Jesus. From there the chariot travelled on to Tunduma (still in Mbeya region) where they hosted another gospel meeting.
Robert reported that the brethren from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi have united to preach in Tanzania. They reported that 29 souls were baptised by the end of August. They also mentioned how the Chimala students are planting a new congregation as well.
In mid July Lucas Oguta and the big Kenyan Chariot reported 40 baptisms in Muhoroni. They then traveled on to Oduwo where they were welcomed by brother and sister Julian of Nairobi Great Commission School. After that they moved on to the Bogwo area where they worked together with the Bogwo church of Christ.
At the end of July Lucas reported that he had arrived safely at Ndori Oluti church of Christ in Bondo. There were a total of 44 baptisms in Muhironi area.
We are so grateful that the team have been kept safe while travelling before the elections and were wise enough to stay off the roads during the election. They parked the Gospel Chariot in a safe compound until after the August 8th national elections.
Then, heading out on its first trip after the elections, the chariot got stuck in the mud (overnight)…but they still managed to get themselves to the tent meeting on time!
Julius Ojunga reported that the work in Pap Onditi went very well. They went door knocking and visited with 27 households, baptised 23 people and had around 150 attending the meetings.
On July 30 Richard Karima and Tom helped with distributing some of the bibles that were delivered to Kenya. They met with the church at Karima and gave the church as well as visitors from the community their own personal copy of the bible.
Evans reported that 114 souls were added to the Kingdom during a campaign jointly run by the Gospel Chariot Ghana, the churches of Christ and the Ghana Youth Vacation Evangelism group. The one week campaign saw 617 participants from 38 congregations. The evangelism efforts were stationed at Anomabo, in the Central Region, and the team commuted to surrounding towns to evangelise. The work included personal evangelism, cleaning of Anomabo Township and free health screening for over 450 people within Anomabo and environs. Evans said the nightly open air public preaching brought approximately 1,000 people to the chariot to hear the gospel.
Auswich reports that they worked on some house to house evangelism at Murewa and that 104 people had the opportunity to hear the gospel in their homes. He says 12 people gladly obeyed the gospel and another 6 people were restored to the Lord. He was supported by Zaranyika, the local preacher, who will continue to study with all the new Christians. Auswich also helped enrol 63 new WBS students.
Auswich, along with 28 other follow up workers, helped at the Harare Polytech WBS seminar. He reports that 140 people attended the seminar which resulted in 12 baptisms. He also said it was good to have John and Beth Reese helping out at the seminar and that John also taught some of the sessions at the seminar. Below shows Auswich with some of the students who were baptised at the Avondale church after the seminar. Auswich says they have all been linked up with their nearest congregations so that they can be encouraged and stay focussed.
In late July DeVilliers visited Matangari with the mini chariot. There is a small church there and the Venda team went to encourage them and to help them share the gospel with their community. DeVilliers, Owen, Mathose and Mr Ndou (a former short term school student) worked there from the Tuesday to the Saturday. They report there were two baptisms and that they have generated a lot of interest and believe there will be more next time they visit the area.
They then headed to the Common Sunday Fellowship the next day which is a combined meeting for the churches in the Venda region from Musina to Polokwane and Phalaborwa.
Over 400 women from Togo, Ghana and Benin united for a women’s conference at the Nukafu Church of Christ in Lome on July 21. Their theme was “The influence of women in the Church and in the World”. The Gospel Chariot was there to support the women as they walked through the streets of Lome handing out tracts and the chariot team was sharing the gospel message over the PA system.
It has been almost impossible for Willie and the team to organise campaigns due to the rainy season so they decided that they would use the time to visit all the churches they have planted and encourage them and build them up. The team will also continue with their early morning preaching and handing out tracts in the surrounding towns and villages.
George reports that the team traveled to Totchon-Agni and Sehomy. This is where Honore, the chariot driver, was born. He wanted to preach the gospel to his own people, the villages here are known for their idol worship. They had many people coming to the meetings and they met and studied with and prayed for some families in their homes, but no one took the decision to be baptised.
They then moved on to Danhoue. This area is know for their idol worship too and the team said there were snake temples in the town. They preached and taught and visited with people for two days and six people were baptised.
In August they traveled to Ze-Plaque were they helped and taught at a youth meeting. 20 people were baptised and this left the local church with a good problem – they meet in a room in someones house and they now do not have a big enough place to meet together!
At the end of August the GCM team hosted a seminar themed “Working towards the unity of the Disciples of Christ” in Abomey. They had 50 church leaders attending the seminar and they are hoping that some of the denominational leaders who attended will have heard the truth and examine their own beliefs and what they are teaching.
In mid August Bongani Mabena traveled to Swaziland with the big South Africa Chariot. Bongani and the Swaziland brethren campaigned together. They also took part in a meeting when the bible college celebrated their 50th year anniversary. Chariot representatives were there. In many of the countries I travel to, I meet Swaziland graduates who are now doing mission work. The college is doing great work.
Below you can see the Swaziland brethren and the ACC students combining efforts, teaching together, eating together and baptising souls.
In late July Bongani reported that he had the opportunity to help in Verona, a community that was touched by the tragedy of 16 children being killed in a car accident. The church around Mpumalanga donated R45,000 to help the families who had lost children in the tragedy.
The council in the area was touched and wanted the church to come and encourage the community after the incident. Eight people were baptized as a result of the outreach and a new church was planted. The churches around collected clothes to be given to the community.
In late August Lazarus Munetsi and young Jean, from Namibia, left Pretoria and visited a number of World Bible School students (see WBS section below) on the way to Durban and then had a WBS seminar in Durban at our GCM office and 30 attended. Bibles and thousands of bible lessons were transported down as well.
Early in July Lazarus took the mini chariot to Attridgeville West and worked with the local preacher to hand out introduction lessons at the train station. Lazarus reports it was a great opportunity for the brethren to see the mini Chariot in action. This was also some forward planning for the open air preaching that Lazarus helped them with in August.
During the first weekend in August Lazarus went back to Attridgeville West doing WBS Introduction lesson distributions and open air preaching at the park. Lazarus reports they had a great response from everyone who was sitting in the park and those who were passing by. Some people even invited the GCM team to come to their homes and pray with them.
We are also so pleased that our World Bible School introduction lessons have finally arrived and there are hundreds of thousands of them! These are bible lessons that are distributed as the chariots travel. Many great African leaders have come to the Lord through this amazing outreach. Please pray for those who will pick up a bible and study through these lessons.
The very next day Lazarus headed out on a Greyhound bus with 6 boxes of bibles and some of those bible lessons. Lazarus was travelling to a seminar in East London and then after the seminar, he travelled further down the coast to our Plett office where his vehicle was waiting for him.
July also saw the arrival of the new intake of students for the Short Term Bible School in Pretoria. The students were welcomed by Machona and Zonge as Dimpo was travelling in Uganda and Lazarus was out on a trip.
Below shows Melvin delivering some much needed Teacher’s Bibles and Biblical Research books to Gospel Chariot Pretoria office in August. A big thanks goes to Don Noles for making this possible.
Machona worked in Mpumalanga and helped the local brethren to plant a new congregation in Verona with Bongani and Chariot One.
Machona will be helping the churches in Mpumalanga by helping them develop leadership in the province. Machona has already completed a few sessions and taught approximately 30 men at every session.
WORLD BIBLE SCHOOL
Lazarus travelled to East London, in the Eastern Cape, in late July to teach at a WBS Seminar hosted by the church in Mdantsane. He says that by the week before the seminar only two students had responded saying that they would attend the seminar and he was feeling quite discouraged but on the day of the seminar he had 34 people attending and he was so encouraged by all who came.
One of the women who attended, Mirriam, said that she was not a WBS student, but that her brother was and that she was attending on his behalf. She said the seminar was an eye opener for her and she too signed up to study with WBS. The local preachers, Sizwe and Owen, will be visiting and studying with her. Another student, Antoni (see photo below – to the right of Lazarus), said that he uses his WBS courses to teach ten other people and he asked Owen and Sizwe to please come and help them study God’s word. Yet another student, Mandisa (student of the REACH Team, TX-481), said that with WBS she has found a family that encourages her to wait on God everyday and that the courses have been a great help to her and that she was planning on getting her friends to join WBS and study along with her.
On August 6 Lazarus traveled to Lenasia South to meet with Lehlogonolo (below right with Lazarus on the left), a WBS student taught by Gail Allen. Lazarus reports that Lehlogonolo teaches his church members WBS courses and then, when they receive the last certificate, he arranges a graduation ceremony and hands over the WBS certificates. Lazarus says, “We were there to teach more about WBS and motivating them to be consistent in the word and we extended the teaching that as they study they should not overlook the message of the great commission, to make disciples, to baptize and to continue teaching. This man has taken the advantage of WBS and many people will know the truth through him.”
Lazarus also had the chance to meet with WBS student Thomas (below), WBS student of Debra May, CO-011, in Soshanguve on August 7.
Lazarus traveled to Durban to help Paulus hold a WBS seminar there. On the way down to Durban he managed to stop in Ladysmith to meet and study with Teleki (student of King White). Lazarus met with her at her work and in his own words he said: “Through the grace of God we found her at work, she wanted more explanation about baptism and we were able to explain to her. After all the explanations she said she will call us when she is ready to be baptized. Brother Paulus Sotetsi will continue with a follow up on her.”
The day after meeting with Teleki, Lazarus and the Durban GCM went to Inanda where they met with Nomvula, the WBS student of Steve Summers. Lazarus says: “When we get there we found that she had arranged with 10 pastors in the area so that we may teach them why it is important to study God’s word. The service started at 10 night and we finished at 6am on Saturday, though our presentation ended at 11:30 night, after the presentation they started asking questions that lead us to the next day.”
Above shows (from L to R) Lazarus, Jean, Nomvula’s husband, Nomvula, and on the far right, Paulus. Lazarus has left the WBS student and her husband with some study materials and Lazarus and the team from Durban will keep in touch with them. Lazarus was disappointed that he had to turn down an opportunity to visit with them in September again as he’ll be travelling to Namibia at that time.