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Midlands Bible College and Divinity School EndorsementWritten by Jacob Prasch
Last year, Jacob Prasch and Moriel asked me if I would go to South Africa to visit Dave Royle in order to offer some practical and educational advice concerning the College's programme and vision. During my visit, I was able to see everything Moriel is doing in there, including Moriel Missions College, the church in Springs (near Johannesburg), the work with orphaned children, and the rural mission outreach among the Zulus in KwaZulu Natal (formerly the Natal Province).
I was brought up on the mission field, so it was exciting to visit it once again and experience what I sincerely believe is the cutting edge of ministry, that is, pioneer mission and evangelism. Dave and his team are hard at work and God is blessing that effort, as well as the prayers and financial assistance of the folks back home. I could see that Moriel are bringing good, solid Bible teaching to a country that has been so influenced by error and the word of faith movement. Meanwhile, our work on developing the the ministry and vision of Missions Bible College has given that aspect of the ministry new impetus in its vision to train African pastors and to offer good, sound and solid Bible teaching. More recently, God has opened doors for Dave at the Zulu colege in Vryheid (capital of the Kwazulu region), which we at the Midlands Bible College and Divinity School are also working on developing through our own links with the University of Wales. Please pray about this and the work of the Missions college as a whole. Christian education is very close to my heart, and I really feel that training tomorrow's leaders is the way forward for any mission outreach.
Aside from the College, Moriel have a work in the mountains some 25-30 miles from Vryheid. Some of Dave's team actually live and work among the Zulu people, offering medical assistance, Bible teaching and evangelism in the traditional `kraals' (the thatched Zulu hamlets scattered throughout the countryside). Here, the team are spreading the Gospel and also begining to train Zulu leaders for ministry. It is an exciting work indeed.
However, aside from all things going on, Dave and Moriel are engaged in another side of mission that all too often Evangelical Christians have been guilty of ignoring. James 1:27 clearly demonstrates how the orphan and widow are important to God. In fact, the maltreatment of widows and the fatherless is a theme that the Old Testament Prophets are instructed to deal with time and time again. Unfortunately, in reacting against liberation theology and a social gospel (which is always preached in place of the Gospel of Jesus Christ), many Evangelicals have tended to react against this error by going to the other extreme, that is, committing themselves to the exclusive preaching of the Gospel, without engaging in any social aspect of mission. In light of Scripture, this is clearly an unbalanced approach; James makes it clear that faith is accompanied by works. Thus, while Christians must, first and foremost, share the Gospel and how Jesus saves us from sin, forgives and transforms lives through His death at Calvary and subsequent resurrection, nevertheless if our lives have truly been transformed through this salvific experience, so that God's Holy Spirit dwells within us and we begin to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, then it is to be expected that, as sons and daughters of God, in the course of our proclamation of the Gospel we will also demonstrate Christian charity and engage in work which, in themselves, help to promote the Gospel.
What has all this to do with Moriel and South Africa? A vital aspect of the work by Dave and the Moriel team has been to concentrate on working with orphans in a very special way. In South Africa, AIDS is decimating much of the population. Consequently, many children have been orphaned (there is so much anecdotal evidence of children who see one, then both parents die, and who are then passed on to relatives to be looked after before they, too, die, leaving the child to fend for him or herself). The Ebyown Children's Village is being set up by Dave and Moriel to offer a home for such children, some of whom have HIV or AIDS themselves. Dave and his family have already taken into their home three such children: Paulina, Johannes and S'phewi, and another is due to join them shortly. Paulina was abandoned and has suffered terrible in short life, and will never walk. But with the Royles' care and love she has become a lovely, happy (even precocious at times!) little girl, and now has a lot to look forward to. Sadly, both Johannes and S'phewi have HIV and their future is not so bright - yet here are two young lads who were passed from family member to family member, as each died from AIDS, until no one was left to care for them. The Royles have provided a loving, caring home for them, one which has transformed their lives (though it must be difficult for the family who have, at the back of their minds, the knowledge that the inevitable will happen one day).
Living with the Royles for a week, I realised it takes a special calling to bring into your house children with HIV, and this must surely demonstrate the Christian charity towards the orphan I mentioned earlier. But Dave and Moriel want to do so much more in a country whose orphan population is exploding. Thus, their vision for Ebyown Children's Village, a whole orphanage offering a loving, Christian home for the young orphans of South Africa. Please uphold the family and ministry in prayer concerning this issue. Moreover, please consider giving towards this work. In South Africa, land and property is so cheap compared with Europe and North America, and our giving can have a highly disproportionate effect in that country. Moriel have so much they plan to do, but they need your prayers and financial assistance. Please seek God about this matter, and ask Him what he would have you do.
Dr Calvin L. Smith
Editor, Evangelical Review of Society and Politics
Course Director and Lecturer in Theology
The Midlands Bible College and Divinity School
P.O. Box 2143, Stone
Staffordshire ST15 9WQ
Tel. +44 (0)8700 421 704
Evangelical Review of Society and Politics
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