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South Africa Missions Report - May Edition 2004Written by Jacob Prasch
Dear Friends in Christ
Several months ago I wrote an article on the importance of testimony. In fact this was a message I preached last August in Australia and it was the message that was on my mind as I made my way back home from the UK just this week. In 3John we see the testimonies of three people. First of all Gaius, a man who the great Apostle John desired to follow a good example. For him to do this John sets before him two testimonies to choose from. First of all, Demetrius v12, who received a good testimony from everyone and whom ' the truth itself', bore testimony too. Then secondly, there was Diotrophes ' who loved to be first among them ' v9. It is suspected from certain scholars that Gaius was a member of Diotrophes assembly and that John was persuading him not to go down the same road of this man in his attitudes towards others.
It seems to me that in two thousand years little has changed in the hearts of men. In fact Jeremiahs words still ring true today when it says in Ch17:9 " the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it" NASB.
For the believer there are two types of testimony under threat. The testimony of the individual, and the testimony of the body of Christ itself. First of all the Body of believers. The body of Christ has I believe for the last 35 years or so been committing suicide in regards to its reputation. I receive Moriel's 'Be Alert' Newsletter via email, which is excellently put together by Scott Brisk in the States (You can receive the letter by logging onto Moriel's website www.moriel.org and signing up for it on the home page) The letter has updates on church trends around the world and has items of news concerning the persecution of the saints and end time events. Just receiving one letter will help make up the mind of the sceptical that we are indeed in the last days and the great Apostasy is already here.
For example here are two articles that demonstrate that the testimony of the church is beyond rescue;
Taken from May 11 th 'Be Alert'
Episcopal bishop in SF sanctioned after marrying same-sex partner
The Episcopal Diocese of California has sanctioned a retired bishop for marrying his same-sex partner during a church ceremony in San Francisco last month.
Rev. Otis Charles told the Associated Press Saturday that he had received a letter from Episcopal Bishop William Swing informing him that his license to officiate at church services or preside over the church's sacramental ceremonies, such as weddings or baptisms, had been revoked...
Taken from an earlier edition
Australia: Church uses sex for Gods sake
Sex sells. And the most conservative Anglican diocese in the country is hoping it will sell God. Sydney Anglican media which is under the control of the Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen has created a television show on the Ten Network to reel in the godless young couch potatoes. The problem 'Good Sex' features Christian panellists including 'sexologist' Patricia Weerakoon and advertising copywriter Janet Evans talking frankly with invited Guests about orgasm's, Penis pumps, masturbation and pornography.
In Australia on this current visit I checked out the Hillsong cult. Yes cult. You may be surprised by my terminology but up till a few years ago a cult was a group that preached another gospel, another Christ, another spirit and conformed its followers to live its lives according to the organisations way of thinking rather than the word of God. Well Hillsong fits that model, not only are congregants asked to dress and look in a certain fashion, according to their Pastors book "God wants you rich" and his wife Bobbie's book "Kingdom women love sex" tell us that a different gospel than that which the Apostles handed down " once and for all' is being preached. Bobbie goes on to tell us that "fat women look like retards" and has a 'ministry' targeting young girls, not with the true gospel, but training them on how to put make up on and attract that future husband. (articles and videos on secular TV and magazines showing this are available from Moriel Australia) But because standards have slipped so much nowadays, few people can see beyond the well orchestrated music and psychobabble produced by this sect.
Homosexuality, a preoccupation with the flesh, hardly the 'Full Gospel of Jesus Christ'. In fact it's the gospel of sensuality that permeates every area of the church. Our testimony has become ruined as a body and the blood of Calvary has been exchanged for the 'Rouge Lipstick' of mammon worship. We have lost our testimony!
Then there's the testimony of the individual epitomised in the life of Diotrophes who longed to be first among them. Ministerial Kingdoms are only created when leaders want to be King. I find trends among even those of the beloved brethren disturbing. Jesus said "And whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave to all" Mark 10:44.
The Kingdom of God is paradoxical and I desire to warn myself and other leaders of this, as we lead ministries in these last days just in case we become blinded by the worlds values. Jesus Himself 'came not to be served but give Himself as a ransom for many". This was epitomised in the Gospel of John when among his disciples he took a basin and a towel and washed his disciples feet. "For I give you an example that you should do as I did for you" John 13:15
My friends I see some disturbing trends among us. Ministries run like businesses, where the bottom line is the Dollar, where emphasis has wandered off the preaching of the gospel and onto merchandising our own spiritual Guru's. Let us ask ourselves, in appearance "are our ministries any different than the prosperity heretics we choose to fight?" It amazes me that we can produce the glossiest of merchandise and yet struggle to deliver one gospel tract to the unsaved sinner on the street. Today often we find that co-workers have become 'competitors' and there is a dash for place instead a race for His purposes.
Of course I am speaking in general terms here and there are many good ministries that have the balance right, but this is the check I have in my own spirit nether the less to share.
How is our testimony? Christ-like? A servant? Or are we building a Kingdom?
I am afraid its not good news. We are still far short of our first building. I know its not what people want to hear but unfortunately that's the situation. We have been blessed by some terrific gifts that have purchased the land and been used for repairs, infrastructure and basically getting us to where we are today but its not been enough and unless we can raise the capital we will have to make some drastic decisions soon.
We do have some good news to share though. The church plant is going well and the Sunday school alone has over 50 children. This is run hand in hand with a feeding program that gives the children from the squatter camp probably their only hot meal of the weekend. Although we do not have many orphans living with us at the moment we certainly are looking after many with food and clothing and medical help.
We also have some news concerning a young girl who has trouble with her eyesight. She is a lovely young lady who desires to be a social worker one day and yet she lives in a tin shack with all the disadvantages this brings. Anyway Margaret and Yvonne our 'Pensioners with a mission' from Lancashire bought her glasses and arranged for a hospital visit to see a specialist. The news was not good and she was told that she is going quickly blind. Please pray for her and others like her who Ebyown touch.
Sibongele one of our orphans continues to grow well. Brandon though has been very distressed of late with his paper work not yet being completed by local welfare and so he has to back to the institution on Mondays. Bongani is also in poor health. At the children's home his LIP (a form of Chronic Pneumonia) was not treated and this has left him with a severely weakened heart.
The church continues to do well and we receive many encouraging reports from the team. Please pray for them over the next two months, Caleb, Sophie and Malachi are on deputisation in the UK and the USA till July and this will leave Salvadore holding the fort. During their absence Salve will be visited by Tom and Lori from Kansas and Jo Rumley from the UK as well as having a visitor from the Salvation Army.
If you want to know the specific needs of mission you can send an email to the Massey-s and Salvadore and receive their respective newsletter's
As reported the Aletheia Community Church has been meeting at the Home of Dave and Lyn since the former property became impractical to use. Please continue to pray that a new home is found soon, although its been good to fellowship in more pleasant circumstances. It was good to have the return of Anthony to the church as while planting the Ebyown church we had lost all our musicians and for a while we have an acoustic guitar again
Several of our members have had severe problems that need prayer support.
Maggie and Lorna where hijacked at gunpoint and robbed of all their money, phones etc. Please pray for the hijackers they stole 100 Jacob Prasch tapes, so who knows what will happen.
Please pray for Zac. He is trying to find work and his children are being looked after by his mother in Mapumalanga. His Mother diabetic and suffers chronic ill health and so finds himself travelling back to look after her. He longs to have all his family united again.
Please also uplift Sarah Simpson. Sarah has had cancer of the colon and now after an operation for cataracts she is in much pain. She is also allergic to most pain killers and so is quite distressed at the moment
Please pray for one of our ladies at the Living Christ Bible Church named Grace. She is in her 40's and has just had a stroke. This is complicated by several factors; one is the remote rural location and secondly she has a 20 year old mentally handicapped daughter. The ladies of the church are rallying round and we have just received news that Grace has begun to walk again. But please lift her and this ministry up to the Lord.
Visit to Bloemfontein
Moriel Missions could be opening a mission station soon 200 km's from Bloemfontein at Ameril North in the Eastern Cape. After meeting with the local Moriel Rep Chris, we have decided to train a lovely young man named Anderson for the task ahead. Anderson has enrolled for the access course and will come to Gauteng to have some hands on training with Ps Bernard Mathe at Ebyown. We hope to have a work established either late this year or early in the New year. Watch this space for more information.
Papua New Guinea
Please pray for this exciting development. Dave will be visiting PNG in October to establish the feasibility of a work already established but wanting to link with Moriel Missions. The mission is 300 kms from the capital city and is set in a rural area. The Lord now has built a church over 100 people and is reaching into a community that till only a few decades ago still practiced cannibalism and head hunting. Pastor Kevin Bickle from Hectorville Christian fellowship in Adelaide has made the provisional contacts and has been establishing the needs of the mission. Watch this space for more news.
Royle Family Report
The prodigal has returned! Anthony has just flown in from a great stay in Pittsburgh but he hope to go back later this year. Can we thank David Lister and all his new friends at Calvary Chapel Pittsburgh for making his stay a good one.
Chris has now found some real direction by becoming our audio visual technician. Sounds a great job title doesn't it, what means is he records everyone onto MP3 and then places sermons onto CD's and also works the ministries sound system and camera. He is the guy you need to see if you want to here any of Dave's messages.
Aaron has begun a new season with Springs FC, still only 16 he is developing as a competent Right Midfielder and Centre Forward. He has been joined for the rest of the season by his older brother Anthony and we are hoping their talents will combine with a few goals.
S'phewi, thank you for those who have been praying for him. His health has picked up recently although signs of his dementia continue to grow. Many thanks to Moriel UK who have helped us with ever increasing medical bills and the cost of his antiretroviral's. Peewee constantly screams out and more and more plays on his own in a world of his own. Lyn has been observing that his school work has deteriorated and although last year he could write numbers and certain letters this has become to difficult for him. This type of dementia is common among some HIV children and there is really not much we can do about it apart from some occupational therapy.
Johannes, still as strong as ever, although we will be taking him for CD4 counts and viral load very soon. Please pray that we are able administer the drugs at the right time.
N'thombi, has settled into our home very well and is increasingly stretching the boundaries (being cheeky) which is a good sign that she feels safe and accepted. She has also started antiretroviral treatment and has settled into that routine well.
Lyn, please pray for her as she is quite exhausted at times. Her day begins at 5am until late and often has to nurse the children when they are sick. This is a ministry on its own but on top of this she looks after a cranky husband and teaches home school.
This was Dave's busiest UK tour to date with him covering an area in just over two weeks from Bournemouth to the North of England. The ministry was received very well and Dave hopes to be in the UK in Mid September to visit Wales and Ireland. There may be opportunity to hold some venues in England so if you want Dave to visit, share about the mission and teach at your fellowship please contact us at the email or address provided.
Dave would also like to thank all those who helped organise and host him on this present tour, especially his parents Brenda and Baden who helped him put on a few Kg's and also Joanne for organising the car. Thanks also to Dena for her itinerary arrangements and her husband John for a great Yorkshire roast.
Over the last few months we have had many applications for missions experience for which we praise the Lord. However there has been a misunderstanding on how one applies for mission experience and I want to just go through the procedure for you.
- All applicants must realize that mission is a two way thing. Moriel missions must benefit with a candidate with the right skills and the applicant must benefit by being given the right experience.
- On inquiry, all prospective applicants will be sent an orientation pack with a little about the missions, details of the country, some do's and don'ts and the type of person and work expected with costs as well as our statement of faith..
- Then an informal interview will take place, this will include a brief CV, your testimony and a pastoral reference provided by the applicant. Also the applicant will be asked 'Why they want to mission in Africa?'
These details will then be discussed by the various mission leaders and a suitable place found. They will be contacted and a length of stay and time of year for mission will be discussed one to one. All prospective applicants at this stage will receive a phone call. For those who work with children a police and social services database search must be provided to comply with the children's act.
Mission is fun and hard work at the same time and we have a responsibility to the Lord, the ministry and the people we minister to and so we must endeavour to work hard at making the application process as easy and yet as thorough as possible.
How you can support?
For overseas supporters you can contact your local Moriel office via the International website at www.moriel.org
For Royle family support
Brenda & Baden Royle
2 Cressington Close
Off Derby Road
0161 737 2996
For ministry support please contact
Pastor Phil Baldwin
25 Engels House
Tel: 0161 789 3203
Our South Africa details
Pastor David Royle
Po Box 10807
Tel/Fax: 011 362 1026
Important New Law
FISCA, a law passed in South Africa to stop money laundering has asked if address details of financial supporters could be written on the back of any cheques made payable to the ministry. Your help in this matter would help us spead up the banking process. Thank you for your help in this matter.
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