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Missions in the 21st Century - Missions in the 21 Century

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									Missions in the 21st Century:
Opportunities and Challenges

A compilation of essays by friends of Bless the
Nations Eastern Cape, compiled in celebration
            of 20 years of ministry.

                 June 2008

             Compiler: Jean Greyling
                    Prayer Revival Missions

Genesis 12

The Call of Abram
 1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your
father's household and go to the land I will show you.

2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
    I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
    and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."


Africa, Reuben                        Jonas, Stephen and Erica
Agenbag, Christopher                  Joubert, Francois
Alastair                              Knoetze, Dewald
Andaryas, Hussain                     Liebenberg, Elspeth
Armes, Stanley                        Loots, Deon
Awad, Alex                            Louw, Giep
Banzi, Sam                            Louw, Murray
Barnaby Mount                         Mc Karthy, Pieter
Barnard, Andre                        Mniki, David
Barnard, Lynette                      Modise, Samuel
Benjamin, Bob                         Mubarrak, Anna
Bester, Ben                           Mulder, Erroll
Bezuidenhout, Amor                    Nel, Carel
Bliss, David                          Olivier, Gerard
Bom, Irene                            Osameyan, Nicholas
Botes, Heinrich                       Pelleboer, Judy
Chauke, Joseph                        Pike, Jeff
Crouse, Carl                          Prins, Dualaneo
De Kock, Geo                          Scheepers, Phillip
De Wet, Tobie                         Simiyu, Eric
Dlamini-Goje, Ningi                   Stansbury, Alan
Eberhard, Julius and Adlette          Tarantal, Peter
Erasmus, Ena                          Terblanche, Ilse,
Family from Turkey                    Theunissen, Jannie
Gerber, Anna                          Tutu, Titi
Ghattas, Raouf                        Van der Merwe, Frits
Goosen, Isa                           Van der Walt, Wikus
Greyling, Jean                        Vosloo, Francois
Greyling, Louise                      White, John
Hack, Mike                            Wolmarans, Hugo
Janse van Rensburg, Willem

Additional documents
Declaration of Port Elizabeth
Wellington Call
People of the Covenant
Conference Speakers



Welcome to the Bless the Nations Eastern Cape 20 year reunion!

This compilation of essays formed part of the 21st annual Bless the Nations World Missions
Conference in Port Elizabeth at the end of June 2008. As part of our celebration of 20 years
of ministry, we contacted various people who had been associated with Bless the Nations
over this period. This includes conference speakers, mission school students and lecturers,
committee members etc.

Complementary to a panel discussion at the conference with the same topic, contributors
were requested to write an essay on the topic “Missions in the 21st Century: Challenges and
Opportunities”. Essays were to be written from each one’s own ministry/experience
perspective. Since the brothers and sisters that contributed are from such diverse
backgrounds and ministries, this compilation of essays provides a wonderful montage of the
current challenges and opportunities relating to missions.

I am convinced that literally anyone who has any interest in missions and fulfilling the Great
Commission will be enriched by reading these essays. They range from excellent global
perspectives on missions to very touching individual experiences “at grass roots”. There are
those who focus on general trends and strategies, and those who emphasise the basic
Biblical truths and disciplines that need to be in place. Then there are those who reflect on
the past – what would a reunion be without that!

As compiler I was overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude towards our Lord for the calibre of
people that He has sent across Bless the Nations’ path. Over these 20 years our metropole
has been blessed greatly by the impact these people have had on the body of Christ in this
area! May each one of these “soldiers in Christ” be blessed greatly in their various

We also need to remember those who could not contribute to this compilation because they
have gone to be with the Lord. Just to mention a few, I would have loved to hear the
thoughts of Christy Wilson, Lieb Liebenberg, Braam Willemse, Tannie Joan van der Merwe
(later Klopper) and Ernie Thys.

As contributors we all need to thank John White for correcting our grammar and spelling.

Be challenged and encouraged!

Jean Greyling 


                                   The future of missions

                                          Reuben Africa

One of my greatest concerns regarding Missions is the slow pace at which we are reaching the
unreached. We need to be reminded that we have only as long as we live to reach those who live
as long as we live. That means that with over six billion people that are living today, time to reach
them is limited. So if for instance 100,000 people live around your church, four of them die every
week according to statistics. It is hardly satisfactory then, if only one is saved every month, or even
every week. People just do not live that long.

God has to give us strategy to ‘up the pace’ of our mission activities. The methods of traditional
missionary endeavour, has over the years only proved that a minute percentage of those around,
are ever reached with the Gospel. Sometimes it takes years to have one convert and then a
struggle ensues to keep him dedicated to God. One of the reasons, I believe, is because in mission
training, very few missionaries are trained to understand and deal with the occult and the spirit
world. Many unreached people groups are immersed into occultic activity that cannot be undone
through only research about their culture and learning their language.

We need in depth training on how to address the spirits behind these lifestyles and how to
effectively neutralize their impact upon people’s lives. In Mark 16 and Luke 10:17-20 Jesus cites the
casting out of demons as crucial in forwarding the Gospel. If that has been dealt with, half the battle
is won. In many instances where locals have taken ownership of mission activity in foreign
countries, much fruit has followed, one of the reasons being their understanding of the spirit world
where they and their people come from. Many illnesses and setbacks that missionaries encounter
are demonic attacks against them that frustrate and finally cause them to be ineffective.

It will be wise to add this ‘subject’ to our Missions curriculum. Having been trained at Bible school
myself, where not a single word was raised on the subject, it was a rude awakening once in the
field, to see how people’s lives were intertwined with demonic activity. I am fully persuaded that I
was not alone in my ignorance.

Another suggestion regarding the future of Missions, is that before missionaries leave their
countries, it would be wise to do cross-cultural outreach on a regular basis among locals in their
own countries. Most missionaries that are effective today in a foreign country are those that by the
leading of the Spirit, have had regular cross-cultural exposure in their own countries. I would even
advise the sending teams of such missionaries to engage in regular cross-cultural activities in their
homeland. In a South African context, that will be the only surviving church, the one that is cross-
culturally active in our community. We will never know the strength that lies in uniting our diversity.

If we are only prepared to send missionaries everywhere outside our borders, we will forever
struggle to welcome the many foreigners in our midst that also present a unique opportunity to do
missions. The recent spate of xenophobic attacks in our country should be a wake-up call to every
mission minded church. It is time to reach out to those that are attacking the foreigner. Those that
we do not reach out to cross-culturally will ultimately also attack us for not bringing the gospel to
them. Someone said: The light that shines the furthest shines the brightest at home. Also apply it


                   Is God's House a House of Prayer for All Nations?
                                            Christopher Agenbag

It was the year 1989. We were working among the Mozambican refugees in the Gazankulu area.

We were told to leave because of our presence in a 'black area' ( In a time of political unrest during those
last years of 'apartheid'.)

This experience brought me to a time of deep heart searching: "Why Lord? What must I do now?"

When I read in Luke 19:41-46 how Jesus wept over Jerusalem because of their inability 'to see' the
peace/salvation that He brought. Followed by the prophecy of their coming destruction because they did
not recognise the time of God's coming to them. I could not make sense of it till I read verse 46 "It is
written", He said to them, "My house will be a house of prayer; but you have made it a 'den of robbers' ".

Their spiritual blindness was because of their powerlessness. It was then that I realised that the challenge
of the 21st century in missions is still real in regard to God's house being a house of prayer, as it was then.

God's goal to be glorified will not succeed without the powerful proclamation of the gospel. And that gospel
will not be proclaimed in power, to all nations without the prevailing, earnest, faith-filled prayers of God's
people. This is the awesome place of prayer in the purpose of God for the world. That purpose won't
happen without prayer. This accounts for Paul's repeated call for prayer in support of the Word.

"Finally brethren pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified." (2 Thess.3:1) "Pray also
for me, the utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel."

"Pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the Word." (Col.4:3)

John Piper says in his book 'Let the Nations Be Glad': "The supremacy of God in missions – we cannot
know what prayer is for until we know that life is war. Life is war. That's not all it is. But it is always that. Our
weakness in prayer is owing largely to our neglect of this truth. Prayer is primarily a wartime 'walkie-talkie'
for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. It is not surprising
that prayer malfunctions when we make it a domestic intercom to call upstairs for more comforts in the den.
God has given us prayer as a wartime walkie-talkie so that we can call headquarters for everything we
need as the kingdom of Christ advances in the world. Prayer gives us the significance of front-line forces,
and gives God the glory of a limitless Provider.

The crying need of the hour is to put the churches on a war-time footing. Mission leaders are crying out,
where is the church's concept of military, of a mighty army willing to suffer, moving ahead with exultant
determination to take the world by storm? Where is the risk-taking, the launching out on God alone.

We are a "third soil century". In the parable of the soils Jesus says that the seed is the word. He sows His
urgent word of kingdom power. But instead of taking it up as our sword (or bearing fruit) we are those who
hear the word, but the cares of this world and the delight in riches and the desire for other things enter and
choke the word and it proves unfruitful. (Mark 4:18-19)

God's ultimate goal will only come through prayer. The missionary purpose of God is as invincible as the
fact that He is God. He will achieve this purpose by creating white-hot worshipers from every people,
tongue, tribe and nation. (Rev.5:9 ; 7:9) And He will engage to do it through prayer.

When missions moves forward by prayer it magnifies the power of God. When it moves by human
management it magnifies man.


          Missions in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges


I am involved with Muslim Evangelism on a one to one basis. I also train Christians to sensitively
share the Gospel. It is exciting to see Muslims understanding the Truths of the Word or experiencing
a deepening in a relationship, much like a suspension bridge with the cables of friendship carrying
the Truth of God’s Word across the divide.

The problem in the Church in the 21st Century is that God calls her to do missions, but the church
wants to be a spectator. Attending a missions conference is not doing missions, it is preparing for
missions. This is why prayer and revival are essential elements of Bless the Nations. We have
accepted the lie of satan that missions is not for me.

I really enjoy evangelism but it was not always the case. I was scared of people’s reaction. After
much prayer and accepting my responsibility, I went out and found my fears were largely
groundless. Even when I made mistakes God overruled. The great commission applies to every
Christian. But we are not those who shrink back and are destroyed, but those who believe and are
saved. Hebrews 10:39

My wife Carmie finds difficulty in speaking to complete strangers. Her ministry is in discipleship.
Remember, we are called to make disciples, not converts. Without a Biblical foundation and a
practical application in godly living, converts soon fall away in the face of opposition. We need
Christians who will teach and encourage new Christians from a Muslim background.

Islam is growing in South Africa through:

   1.      Christians marrying into Muslim families. Muslim parents encourage this to win converts
           to Islam. Young ladies in the Church must be warned of the danger of dating Muslims
           and the very difficult life of a Muslim wife. This is a common tragedy.
   2.      Muslims targeting children in poor areas through free education and sweets. In one
           generation Islam can become the dominant religion if we ignore the needs of children.
           Prayer and Church leadership training is needed. CEF specialize here.
   3.      Economic expansion in poor rural areas is increasing rapidly. Some make an outward
           show of becoming a Muslim to get a job with Muslims. Muslims are quite happy because
           they know they will win the children even if the adults are just there for the money. True
           Christians will not do this.

Some Christians learn about Muslim evangelism but have yet to speak to a Muslim. Lets go out
together! Religion is a natural topic for a Muslim so it is relatively easy to have a good conversation.
Nothing compares to the joy of an amazing conversation with a Muslim that could only have been a
“God event”.

God allows Islam to grow to drive His Church to the Word and prayer - a growth opportunity. This is
like the nation of Israel learning the art of warfare through fighting the heathen tribes that God
allowed to remain in Palestine. Disobedience to God’s loving call can result in a painful lesson as
Islam restricts our current religious freedom. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who
sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4

          The Technology Challenge and the gospel of Christ

                                    Hussain Andaryas

The start of the 21st century made our world a very tiny one. How much tiny? Just clicks
away. The rise of the google map, MS virtual earth, the power of automation in the
internet industry has things so much changed that even a person in a remote place of
the earth such as deep Hazarajat of Afghanistan has full access to the white house in

What this means for Christians?

If you just look into what is being fed on the internet you will realize that Christians are
way, way behind everyone else in MESSAGING the world.

While Christians hold and have the Power of God (Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:18,
Acts 1:8) the time has come for the followers of Jesus Christ to bring a huge change in
themselves. To prove that there is more to Christianity than just focusing on beautiful
doctrine, nice clothing, and erecting another so called church building.

The fact is that those churches in the 1st century which did not have a building and were
mostly on the run for their lives were a lot, lot more effective and more blessed. They
enjoyed God’s fellowship and closeness. They enjoyed practically seeing Jesus Christ
through their lives. I always think of a “not so body builder” Telemachus whose simple
action of facing God brought a ban on gladiator fights. And today’s giants who are
confused on what God actually wants from them.

It is sad to even think about it.

It is very simple

If you command a Bible (just pieces of papers on which is written God’s word) “GO
therefore and be preached” trust me, the Bible will never move.

In Matthew’s gospel the Lord said: GO YOU (Christians) therefore. I think it is time for
Christians to wake up and shake their clothes on which the dust of laziness has settled
and be practical in bringing the live-giving message of Jesus Christ to our World.

It is very simple, either YOU GO, or YOU SEND! There is no other way that you can be
an active Christian. Going to Church, singing songs, paying your dues, hearing a
powerful message without implementing, these are all religious things and have nothing
to do with Christianity.

Your servant is a simple man with simple words. Not the words of a highly educated
person, not a seminary graduate, not the one who even can analyze this very writing.
But simply putting my heart, which is right now crying out loud; “Where are you O

Don’t you hear what God is still asking you this simple question; “Whom shall I
send, and who will go for us?”

                                       Stanley Armes
                            Lecturer, Bible Institute Eastern Cape

Hmmmmmm! No, I am not talking about what is left over in our pockets after we purchase
an item in the store. Rather it is that difficult concept about things being different yet the
same. It is about the different conditions in which and by which the gospel has been shared
over the years yet it is always about the same gospel.

Travel from homeland to field: Now that is a shocking thing to talk about. It is really not that
long ago that ships took a year to go from America to India. However; in my own life time I
can remember leaving New York City on a boat which took two months to reach Kenya. That
was 1960. It was only a few years and when we boarded planes with four propeller engines
that took us all the way to England. Now, wonder of wonders, the jet can stay in the air for 14
hours or longer with no refueling.

Technology: Wow! This is something to blow your mind. I remember the old spirit copy
machines, and typing out stencils for the Gestetner. These would last for about 4-500 copies
and then you would have to type it out again. Hand cranked phone calls at R40 a minute and
now if you have Skype you can talk all over the world- free. Letters used to take two months
or more to receive an answer. Now we have e-mail, which if you are in the right time zone,
you can receive the e-mail before it was sent.

It used to be quite the popular thing to send Africans to the UK or America to “get trained”.
They would come back to their own people unable to communicate the Bible to them. Now
people are trained on their own continent.

There are other changes which are not so nice. African Churches that once were eager to
be told “The old old story” again and again are splitting faster than nuclear fission and
creating devastation all over the continent. Christianity which emphasizes unity is being
made the laughing stock the world over. Just this week one comment on the TV show,
“Interface” talked about how it seems that just anyone can become a pastor. It used to be
that a person had to be trained to be a pastor.

Increasing dependency has crept into the churches. It seems that the “almighty” Australian,
American dollar or UK pound holds sway over the politics of the church. The attitude that we
are so poor that we can’t help ourselves prevails. What has happened to, “I can do all things
through Christ who strengthens me!” Where is the boldness of preaching the gospel in
weakness and allowing the Holy Spirit to make changes?

There is one final change that makes me very sad, angry and frustrated all at the same time
and that is the shallow commitment to missions. There is a less sense of sacrifice in the
missionaries that come to the foreign mission field. They come “to see if they like it or not”. I
think we are coming to the end of an era when people no longer see mission life as a call
and commitment that is worthy of ones whole life work.

Let us determine that one thing never changes. “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible
tells me so.”

                            God’s Mission in the Holy Land
                                            Alex Awad
                              Pastor: East Jerusalem Baptist Church

From the city of Jerusalem, Jesus gave the commission to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Our Lord specifically commanded his followers to start in Jerusalem and from there to take the
Gospel to Judea and Samaria and to the utmost part of the world. The early church was faithful and
on the Day of Pentecost and the days that followed, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria were reached
with the Good News. By the sixth century the majority of the inhabitants of Palestine had accepted
the Christian faith.

While the Good News was spreading around the world, religious traditionalism and pagan influences
crept into the church. Although the church’s visible structures and institutions looked strong on the
outside, the church became weak on the inside. In Palestine, the spiritually ailing church couldn’t
stand in the face of Islam. The shadow of Islam crept throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
The once Christian Palestine gradually became predominantly Muslim.

In the last 100 years the Zionist invasion of Palestine dealt another blow affecting the Palestinian
Church. Due to the Zionist invasion, many Arab Christians fled their homeland and became
refugees. This especially took place during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War when tens of thousands of
Palestinian Christians were forced out of their homes and towns. Consequently, today, the number
of all Christians in Israel and in Palestine has been reduced to about 2 percent.

In spite of years of retreat and stagnation, the Body of Christ in the Holy land is witnessing signs of
hope. In Israel some of the Russians and Ethiopians who immigrated to Israel are actually
Christians. These new immigrants are attending Messianic Jewish congregations or planting their
own cell groups throughout the land. Their presence has infused new life into the church in Israel.

In Arab East Jerusalem, we see signs of hope within the Old City. The Church of Missionary
Alliance, for example, is witnessing a revival. Jerusalem has not seen a similar revival in hundreds of
years. The spiritual revival in the Alliance Church in Jerusalem is giving believers boldness to
witness to their Muslim neighbors. Consequently a group of former Muslims are worshiping Christ
and have started their own fellowship.

In Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Lord, we also see signs of renewal at Emanuel Church. For the
first time since the early church, there is in Bethlehem, an Evangelical congregation that numbers
200. Many of these believers are connected in one way or another with Bethlehem Bible College, a
Christian center for training young Palestinian men and women to take the Good New of Jesus
Christ to their communities.

The rise and decline of the Church in the Middle East is a lesson and illustration to the Church in the
entire world. If members of the body of Christ are not on their guard against the wiles of the enemy
and if they do not abide in the vine, they expose themselves to decay and decline.

Certainly, conflicts, wars and religious traditionalism have attempted to uproot the church out of
existence in Palestine. Yet, we see evidence of renewal coming to the land where the great
Commission was given and where Jesus said: “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18).


    Opportunities and Challenges in doing missions in townships
                                       Sam Banzi
                       Pastor, African Gospel Church, Motherwell

The township is a place where people easily find a place to stay and where families grow
faster. Friends can be taken for granted, but deception can grow easily. A place where you
can easily find a mixture of people from all walks of life. A diverse community that cannot
easily be described by the type of people staying there.

One cannot say that this is an area where you will only find poor people. One would expect
to find people who do not have anything that life can provide. But you will be amazed to
discover that right in that area there are people who decided to identify themselves with that
situation - people who are richer than some of those living in suburbs.

1. A ripe mission field. The township is an example of a rich mission field. It is composed of
a mixed and merged community, ready for the Gospel to unite, bring peace and adjust
relationships. Those called by God to display methods of love and understanding need their
arms to be uplifted when they preach the Gospel (evangelism) and when they serve those
who are in need (mission).

2. A semi cross-cultural residential and economic environment. In townships today one
will find settlements of different classes of people and people who are from different cultures
– much more diverse than before. In one township or one area you may find Zulu, Xhosa,
Sotho, Tswana and many other South African groups. Now the foreigners from different
neighbouring countries are added to this. This is therefore an ideal opportunity for cross-
cultural missions!

We need to start with a very “doorstep problem” – that of people fighting with the foreigners
in our communities. As church we need to be very sensitive in keeping a fine balance
between informing our brothers and sisters of Islam, and unintentionally instigated an
unloving attitude towards foreigners. Let us always talk about people from other faiths in

In the past our societies were divided by two powers: The powers of Socialism and
Communism and that of Capitalism and Federalism. Today this struggle has changed to be
between pure Christianity and Interfaith sectors in our community.

Furthermore we cannot deny the fact that in townships we have a daily problem of crime,
house breakings and violence. All this is experienced in our streets. Over the past thirty
years (since 1976) public violence in our country has always been blamed on different
groups. Today it is still the same. Why is it so? We are forsaking our responsibility of



bringing the whole Gospel to the whole nation, often being worried only about our own

Resources to do missions in townships are scarce because most mission organisations with
resources are targeting rural areas where they say people are poor and are far away from
the preaching of the Gospel. People who hear sermons today, whether in the rural areas or
the townships, defy the Gospel. They say there is no relevancy in the sermons they hear.
They hear the Gospel preached, but they do not get rest for their soul.

Bless the Nations as a movement of Christian churches and mission organisations
promoting the vision of Prayer, Revival and Missions has a lot to offer our communities. We
need to serve the local church by promoting Christian unity (networking), while making Jesus
known through holistic ministry.

We are looking forward to see how missions can provide our communities with a clear
understanding of what processes are needed to create a healthy community style of living.
We want to see communities that are contributing and participating beyond their borders.
This is in contrast to the old communal style of African living where people would live on their
own as an isolated group.

Where people live in their geographic areas, different interest groups want their attention.
You would for example have different political groups who exercise pressure in order to
control the behaviour of many. Then Christianity also brings different methods and doctrines.
This causes communities continuously having to decide where to get involved, where to
participate what to live out. Mission organisations must come up with some help to address
the issues related to these painfully divided societies.

                                                                                     Barnaby Mount

       "Missions in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities"
                                       Barnaby Mount
                         (Mission’s name withheld for security reasons)

There is no doubt that the 10/40 Window and the majority non-Christian religions remain the
principle missions’ challenge in the 21st century.

As a global mobilizer for a mission that has a vision for the majority people of the Arab world I bring
a very specific perspective.

During the last 20 years there have been several significant factors that have impacted the Arab
world in unprecedented ways. These factors have resulted in larger numbers of Arab-world
majority people coming to Christ than ever before in modern history.

Firstly, in God’s merciful providence it does appear that it is His time for the majority peoples of the
Arab world. Besides the normal means of proclamation God is using dreams, visions and miracles
to bring people to Himself.

Secondly, there have been extraordinary numbers of people praying for the Arab world. Prayer
initiatives for most of the countries in the Arab world now exist using traditional and contemporary
media means to disseminate up-to-the-moment information.

Thirdly, the emphasis on regional partnerships that began in the late 1980s has united national
churches, missions and donors in common projects bringing an exceptional level of cooperation.

Fourthly, the proliferation and penetration of the media has made the Gospel and Biblical teaching
accessible to a growing number of people. New modern and contextualized translations of the
Bible and commentaries in deliverable formats have made the Word of God more available.
Satellite and Internet delivery systems now reach all sectors of the community, especially the 66%
of the population who are 25 years of age and under. Cheaper phone services, “Skype”, and text
messaging (SMS) personalize the follow up of seekers.

Fifthly, as the 10/40 Window and Unreached Peoples Movement gathered momentum towards the
end of the 20th Century so the numbers of people being called of God and responding to that call to
the Arab world increased. Tentmaking came of age and above all the new Majority World missions
movement began to be felt. Asians, Latinos and Africans began to take their rightful place
alongside Arab-Christian mission movements. In addition, more Christian migrant workers whether
in business, education, medicine or domestic roles have become more intentional in their desire to
share Christ through word and deed.

Indeed the great opportunity is the globalization of missions which can be defined as, “The
extension of cross-cultural missions due to the expansion of the Majority World church, the access
to information, increased mobility, and economic growth.”
                                                                                  Barnaby Mount

But what of the challenges?

Firstly, with the growth in the number of Christians from non-Christian backgrounds comes a
hostile reaction. In particular, Islamic governments are “shaken” and “embarrassed” because
conversion to Christ is not tolerated. Individuals are tried in court as apostates and laws
promulgated to curb the growth of convert churches. In the early church persecution was normative
but Western Christian Bible schools and seminaries rarely teach the subject except in passing in
Church History courses. Some Majority World Christians will be better prepared from experience.

Secondly, strategies, methods and projects are the language of much missions-talk. It tends to be
the missions-talk of individualist societies rather than the heart-beat of the collectivist societies
which characterizes the 10/40 Window. Somehow we have to rediscover the relational dimension
of being “in Christ” rather than the activist dimension of doing something to someone. We need to
be Christ to others. Non-Governmental Organizations are beginning to speak of transformational
ministry that is holistic and involves the community in making development decisions. This is a
good sign.

The final challenge is everything that is associated with urbanization from clean water resources
and sanitation to education and health. The phenomenon of the mega-city continues to defy
missions. The dislocation and the translocation of rural peoples to the city and international
emigration at an unparalleled level are creating a huge missions challenge. Urban churches in
partnership with urban NGOs and multi-culturally experienced para-church agencies have much to
give. But breaking down the suspicions of insularity will need patience.

There are many other things that could be written like the decline of the church in the West and the
ever expanding global growth of Pentecostalism. But I want to end with the recently coined term
“glocalization” (global + local). This word sums up the challenges and the opportunities. The global
is with us in every conceivable form yet the Gospel has to be communicated personally and locally.
The omnipresent Godhead became Incarnate in Jesus. Let us never forget this.

                           Why Native Missionaries?

                                   Andre Barnard
                                 Gospel for Asia (SA)

Today the reality is that 97% of the world’s unreached live in the 10/40 window. In this
part of the world, millions live with little or no chance of ever hearing the Gospel. The
majority of the world's Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists reside within the 10/40 window.

The darkest of all areas in the 10/40 window is Asia. Over 80, 000 people die every day
in Asia without knowing about the love of Jesus Christ. 500, 000 villages in India alone
have never had a Christian witness.

Although 97% of the world’s unreached live in the 10/40 Window, less than .05% of our
total resources as the Church in the West are being sent to help share the Good News.

With a few or no cultural barriers to overcome, native missionaries can take the good
news of Jesus Christ to those in Asia who have never heard. Although native
missionaries do face many difficult obstacles as they take the message from village to
village, they still have an enormous advantage over their co-workers from the West.

Today, over 85% of Asian countries do not allow western missionaries to come and
freely preach the Gospel and plant churches.

In the eyes of the people, native missionaries do not represent a foreign country or a
strange religion. They already know the language or can easily learn a local dialect.

A native missionary can be sent out at a fraction of the cost of a Western missionary. In
fact, the average cost is only R11 520 to R19 200 per year compared to over R300, 000
per year for a foreign missionary.

The possibility of reaching Asia's multitudes through native missionaries in our
generation is very real as thousands are being trained to plant churches across Asia!

Native missionaries are paying a high price of suffering, hardship and intense
persecution to see churches established.

The churches planted in each culture are truly indigenous in character, self-governing,
self-propagating and, as soon as possible, self-supporting.

Thousands of native brothers and sisters are waiting to be sent. They just need our help!
Our part in winning Asia is just as important as that of the workers on the field. Although
they are willing and eager to go, they are limited by the resources given to provide a
small room to rent, food to eat, and Bibles and tracts to distribute.

Without support from Christians around the world, our brothers and sisters in Asia simply
will not be able to complete the task of sharing Christ with every village and people

              Experiences of a missionary family in a home office….
                                        Lynette Barnard
                                   Gospel for Asia, Port Elizabeth

“So your husband is a missionary. How wonderful! Where is he working?”

“He is in the GFA home office in South Africa…….” And then we try to explain what we do, how we do it
and why we do it. But you know, most people think that missionaries need to either be very, very far
away in some foreign country, or they have to be working in the remotest of areas locally. Or you at
least have to be on your way to give everything up and move away. And if you are not doing any of this
– if you are working in an office, talking to people about missions and why it is so important to get
people to support missionaries and the work they do, you are simply not regarded as a missionary.

Please don’t get me wrong – missionaries in foreign countries and those working in remote areas or
those who have given up everything to work for the Lord, are doing an incredible job. However, when
someone gives up everything and moves away to some foreign country, there needs to be a support
structure of some kind that makes it possible for these people to do so. And if we want to support
missionaries working in their own countries among their own people, we need people who can be their
voices and who can make their needs known to those who are able to support them.

It is not always easy to be a “missionary family”, mostly for the children. Suddenly there is only one pay
cheque at the end of the month, although expenses pretty much stay the same. We have learnt to trust
the Lord for many things. It is so easy to trust in the Lord if you know your monthly budget. If you don’t
know, trusting the Lord becomes real. We have found that the Lord has blessed us incredibly since we
have become a “missionary family” – and blessings come in many different forms. He has always
provided for us whenever we were in need of anything. He has given us so many loyal friends and
prayer partners. He has shown us the extent of our heavenly family – this family literally spans the

We have also experienced how God carries us through trials and tribulations – just as one thinks that
things cannot get any worse, they do – but lo and behold, the Lord is always there. He provides what
we need when we need it – if it is in the form of a prayer or sms or phone call or whatever.

Trusting in the Lord, hanging onto Him when things get tough has taught us many valuable lessons. In
addition, it has given us many opportunities to share the love of the Lord with other people.

So yes, we might not be serving the Lord in a foreign country and we might not be far away from all we
love, but we do serve the Lord, by being obedient to His calling and by making known the needs of our
brothers and sisters who work for the Lord in those foreign countries.



          Missions in the 21ST Century: Challenges and Opportunities

                       Bob Benjamin for the Marsh Arabs of South Iraq.

We start with a problem! The word mission does not occur in the New Testament. Our English
word comes from the Latin mitto, ‘to send.’ One of the New Testament words for “send” is
apostellein – from which the noun apostle comes. So apostellein implies one sent forth with
authority. So the Church as mission is the Church sent by God…the Church sends missionaries
and is herself sent by God to accomplish His mission in the world.

If charity begins at home, so does mission. It begins with God, finds expression in the giving of His
Son (The Good Samaritan) so that all of humanity will know how to find their way home like the
‘prodigal son.’ Show me a Church that is doing mission at home, and there you’ll see a Church that
will soon extend herself to the ‘ends of the earth.’

The assigned heading neatly divides into three components. Because of the prescribed length,
what follows is hopefully more like ‘igniting sparks’ than a full field fire! Read on.

1. ‘The 21st Century.’ That’s us. Our today. Our present needs to be informed by three
   trajectories… A re-affirmation of the authority of Scripture, a sensitivity to mission history and a
   fresh re-appraisal of the Church’s self-understanding.

2. ‘Opportunities.’ That’s the Lord. He is looking for opportunities through the Church but again
   three trajectories that we need to be aware of. His identity (see 1 Cor. 1:17, 22; 2:2). His
   authority (Matt. 28:16-20) and His finality (2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 1:7; Heb. 9:27-28). In short I am
   pleading for respect for our King.

3. ‘Challenges.’ That’s us again. To my mind missions need at least the following three:

    3.1        Creative thinkers. Missions need to be continually ‘testing the boundaries’, ‘see what
               is’ and then ‘see what is not but can be.’ Needless to say it is creative thinking in the
               context of Scripture. We are looking for great hearts!

    3.2        A constant awareness. The Church will forever have a struggle between the ‘settlers’
               and the ‘pioneers.’ Or, using Church buildings as an illustration, the ‘pillars’ and the
               ‘path-finders.’ Realise this and help to clarify the ‘Eternal Food chain’ process.

    3.3        New Frontiers. ‘Unreached people groups’ (see Luke 10:2). What has changed?
               How the Church needs splagchnizomai (Greek verb from the noun splagchnon:
               intestines, bowels…the inward parts of our body from which we feel strong
               emotions…weakly translated as ‘compassion’)…we need some gut-wrenching
               emotions around! Does anyone care?


                         New Challenges, New Opportunities

                                          Ben Bester
                                 Global Careers, South East Asia

As the 21st century unfolds, the boom in the communications industry, globalization and the
resulting migration of people, bring the peoples from the ends of the earth within our reach.
Together with this, we have seen in this short century, several traumatic natural and human
disasters unfold before our eyes. We have had the opportunities to come in touch with people and
touch their lives or just keep to ourselves and our own interests.

For the sake of the nations, we need a fresh revelation of Christ's Kingdom agenda and also a
commitment to pursue it with sincerity and zeal. At the core of that agenda are His final words to
His disciples, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you
always, to the very end of the age" (Matt 28:18-20).

The ministry of the Church can be defined as the multi-faceted task of discipling people. All these
different components of the Body work together without more honor or glory being awarded to any
specific person. But still so many are on the side-line. It is only if we apply all our qualifications,
skills and experience of Christians in all walks of life as powerful assets as the Body of Christ that
the work may be accomplished. Given a Kingdom-building dimension, they can be strategic in
God's Kingdom expansion program. Like the traditional missionary, the Christian through his work
or profession can make inroads into cultures and communities where God's Kingdom has not yet
come. In fact, their 'workplace' identity gives them access to places where the status quo is
generally hostile towards the 'full-time' Christian worker.

The popular term for Christians using their professions intentionally in a missions context is
referred to as 'tent-making' after the trade of Paul during his ministry as an apostle.

We should not draw the biblical basis from his life only, but build it on various theological concepts:
   1. A person’s vocation and calling to Christ inaugurates him to a life of witnessing for God,
      living a holy life to God’s glory. A holy life includes work.
   2. The theology of work reveals that work is part of God’s and man’s basic constitution, and
      is to be used as such to honor Him. Work can be used directly to spread his kingdom in the
   3. By realizing the Lordship of Christ in our lives, the truth is revealed that everything we do
      is under his observation and control, and whatever we plan or execute is under his
      authority. God is recognized as the One who chooses and uses people in the body.
      Moreover, the dichotomy between secular and sacred aspects in the life of the believer is
      shown to be a false one.
   4. A new understanding is awakened of the role and potential of the laity in the church as
      members of the priesthood of all believers. Every Christian is part of God’s purpose.
      Each member is to be a functional disciple according to his or her gifts and talents. If we
      evaluate these theological factors, it indicates a clear support for the strategy of tent-

      making with a global and local impact.
   5. The mission of disciples of Jesus Christ is to make disciples of all peoples. When Jesus
      gave us what we know as the Great Commission he implied us to be His people (disciples),
      we should walk in obedience to Him.

Today this strategy is worked out in professionals taking jobs amongst the least reached with the
gospel. We see relief and development workers with a biblical holistic ethos responding with
greater effectiveness to natural disasters like the 2004 Tsunami and recent cyclones and other
disasters in Asia. Increasingly businesses act, not only as covert shells for missionary work, but
functioning with a clear Kingdom mission. Business as missions has the aim to be profitable, being
a viable business entity that exist for the purposes of God amongst the people group where it
operates and draw its employees from.

We need to integrate our work and faith and express it for the sake of the Kingdom of God in this
world, to become a people who walk in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ in word and in deed.
And it is for this reason that we all should consider the listed theological concepts as God's people
at home, if we want to see God's Kingdom come locally and globally.

We can only conclude that tent-making as a mission strategy opened a can of worms that
indicates to us that we can define terms and develop strategies to be more relevant in today's
world, but the bottom line is that it should be based in the Great Commandment in the fulfilling of
the Great Commission. We cannot detach our mission strategies from the way that we express
ourselves in our own cultures and communities we come from. Jesus called us to be authentic
disciples, and at best, tent-making is just another of God’s very effective ways to bring his love
and redemption to the nations, with the goal of setting people free to be his disciples. In short, to
use the words of the first tentmaker, Paul, tent-making offers one way of becoming all things to all
men in order that some might be saved.

                            The Fate of the Future Conquerors
                                       Amor Bezuidenhout
                           Director, Perisos Child & Teenage Ministries
Created in the image of God, children are a gift to the whole of humanity. God made them full
members of the covenant and Kingdom and we have a responsibility to nurture them into the fullness of
life for which they were created. Yet for too many children tomorrow holds precious little hope. Various
reports on The State of the World’s Children show how the cause of children has changed dramatically
throughout the world during the last decade (10 years):

     The focus has changed from ‘Rights of a child’ to the current state of Child Survival.

     Childhood is under threat. Happy childhood pictures are replaced by images of little ones who
     are sad, hungry, lonely, crying, insecure and confused. Childhood is robbed from children:
     the child in the 21st century has a lifestyle, not a childhood;

     Children are in crises. Today’s children are hurting due to social pathology such as poverty,
     stress, abuse & ‘messed-up families’. Advanced training is required to minister to “categorized”
     children of … refugees, HIV Aids- , traumatized children and/or orphans. Keep in mind that
     children are not excluded during times of unrest, war, earthquakes, famine & pandemics.

Is ministry merely about reacting to needs around us or is it something more? Children’s missionaries
have experienced first hand what it means to be flexible and prepared to adjust ministry styles to meet
the many diverse needs of the current mission field (i.e. children in crises) … in the specific time in
history. Partnership with multi-disciplinary teams has become essential. Children can no longer be
ministered to in isolation. A child is an integral part of a family, a church and community. “One is too
small a number to do something great for God … if you have a dream, you need a team” (J. Maxwell)

Should we neglect to change existing structures (or comfort zones) to meet the needs of the specific
child or group of children we may find ourselves struggling to minister to children in this rapidly
changing world. The long term result is unchanged lives and the repeat of a vicious circle from one
generation to the next. (Judges 2:10-11). This results in a downward spiral of destruction which may
only be noted once the child reaches adolescence or adulthood. Indeed a very negative picture. We
can only help the children if we begin by asking God to give us clear vision and to help us see and
understand the children.

We do need VISION OF GOD and His sovereignty (“An unknown God can neither be trusted nor
served nor worshipped” A.W. Pink) ; VISION OF THE CHILDREN & their needs (as seen through
the eyes of God); vision how the POWER OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE will transform lives and

Apart from having all the knowledge to fulfill God’s Great Commission in a rapidly changing world,
missionaries have to make sure that they are aligned with God. This has always been priority but there
are so many examples where God-aligned-ministries are replaced by a ministry that revolves around

self or one’s own organization – often little by little and unnoticed. The Great Commission is a direct
outflow of the Great Commandment – Christians cannot be high on Commission and low on Command.
Therefore, everything done in the Name of the Lord begins with God’s agenda, not ours. A question to
ask: “Do I have what it takes to love this child into the Kingdom of God?”

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher, teaches how to get alongside people. Jesus aimed to
benefit the thinking and development of the whole person – starting from where they were and what
they knew – i.e. teaching within the context of His specific audience. He tapped on the culture of the
surroundings and used the interest of the people to get alongside them. Every effort should be made
to work alongside and in unity with other children of God as we remember the multiple needs of the
child of the 21st century. Never before has it become so essential to give children Hope by showing
them the Way to God and love them into the Kingdom. Children need the Lord Jesus more than ever

           Would you mind being challenged regarding your own attitude towards children?
                           Every time a child begs for food or approaches you,
       say this verse out loud or in your heart as you apply it to the child standing in front of you:

  Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that ONE of these little ones should
                                           Matthew 18:14

    Bless the “Bless the Nations” Role in South Africa’s walk with God,
                               Then & Now
                           Reflections past and future, from Dave Bliss.
                            Director, Andrew Murray Centre, Wellington

BACK THEN – The first organized, “national missions conference” that I had a part in shaping, was in
July, 1982. We called it “A Conference on Frontier Missions,” and 120 persons came to the five day
event at a campsite near Krugersdorp. A number of Christian friends, well-meaning, said prior to the
event, that we were ‘out of sync’ with South African realities, and that most Christian youths either
“wouldn’t be interested,” or “should develop other interests,” such as joining in the struggle against the
racially divided policies of that time.

   The criticism of these friends got me worried. It was one of those times when I asked God a very
direct question: “Is this true, that by trying to get the youth of this land to begin considering the Lord’s
command to reach all the nations…China, the Middle East, North Africa, India, and so forth, we are
diverting their attention away from the need to redress wrongs in our own land?”

 And by means of praying that “prayer question,” I got a very clear answer. It went like this:

               “You take care of My business, and I will take care of yours.”

  This term, “My business” I immediately understood to mean World Missions, the simple missionary
obedience God requires. Missions is the Lord’s own command, and hence, very much HIS business.

   The last phrase, “I’ll take care of yours,” I took to mean South Africa’s need to find the way out of its
deep and spiritually costly racial divisions. For one thing, many of our young people, white and black,
were heading off into what looked like years and years of endless armed racial warfare, some on the one
side, some on the other. Unless peace was found, it appeared that such a process would divert
countless youths into man’s warfare, long-term, instead of God’s (spiritual) warfare. The first one, man’s,
we well knew, is simply repetitive and self-sustaining…it just goes on and on, worse and worse.

 The second type of warfare is Spiritual Warfare, and this is the King’s business which He has vowed
He would complete (Matt. 24:14). With ‘God’s warfare,’ things don’t just go on from worse to worse.
They go on “from Glory to Glory.” And by prayer and missions obedience, that is what we found out.

   Eighteen national (or regional) “Bless the Nations” world missions conferences later, in July, 1990,
over 1200 of us walked out the front doors of Andrew Murray’s church in Wellington, to form up into
marching ranks in Kerkstraat, back then the only road from the Western Cape into Africa (through
Bainskloof Pass). After studying Genesis 12:1 – 3, which contains the famous “bless all nations” phrase,
we knew we were in God’s will, and that we could rebuke (bind) the devil and his minions by claiming
once again South Africa’s original spiritual purpose. We knew God was at work, and that believers here
in RSA from all our cultures could and would find a place in God’s work for the nations.

  We all know what happened after that: our government surprised us and the entire world. Things
changed, and what we had dreamed of, being able to go almost anywhere in the world, it all came true.

  Why? How? It is because we took Scripture seriously…not just one isolated passage, but the entire
theme of both the Old and the New Testaments, ‘blessed to be a blessing.’ When we make God’s
business, OUR business…seeking, yearning to bring about the blessings of John 3:16 (“for God so loved
The World”), He responds with a dimension of biblical power and clarity in ministry and personal faith, in
and through by His Word, sufficient to get the job done!

And NOWADAYS? - - - Let us never let go of the commitments we made back in those days, in response
to Scripture’s teaching. Especially as we think of the problems that beset South Africa today.
Remember what the Lord impressed upon us: “You take care of MY business, and I’ll take care of


                                              Irene Bom

One of my recent (love) songs is entitled “Everything’s connected”, about sensing a special
connection with someone, and wanting to take the relationship to the next level. It got me thinking
about connection as a vital component of ministry. If we do not genuinely connect with people, the
relationship will, at best, be shallow and expendable, at worst hostile.

What form does genuine connection take? The answer is, God only knows. Each situation is
different, requiring a different, tailor-made conduit.

Here’s a contemporary conduit from my local context: The L’Abri Community in The Netherlands
have put Rhonda Byrne’s book, The Secret, on their spring programme. “The book draws the wrong
conclusions, of course,” one of the staff members told me, “but it’s still worth studying it to
understand why it has such an impact on people.” “I’m always in two minds about whether I should
read such a book,” I commented. “I probably wouldn’t read it myself, if I didn’t have to,” was his wry

I see here a direct correlation with Paul’s radical principle for ministry, outlined in 1 Corinthians 9:
“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as
possible.” (1 Cor 9:19)

Paul was a realist. He accepted that not everyone would respond favourably to the gospel, but that
did not stop him from giving 100% and more. He invested all he had – his intellect, his life
experience, his cultural baggage, his humanity. Nothing was wasted. Nothing was held back. He
recognized that it could all be put to use as bridge-building material.

To be an effective bridge, we need to be firmly connected to God, the way that Jesus was: He knew
“that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his
outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.” (John 13:3-4) Because Jesus knew who he
was, he was free to go to extreme lengths, even to death on a cross, to extend love and service to

Our attempts to connect may sometimes take radical forms, and others (even other Christians)
might disagree and even be offended by it (take Peter’s protests when Jesus wanted to wash his
feet, for example, and the Pharisees’ response to Jesus socializing with “sinners”). But let this not
stop us. Let us instead be bold and courageous, believing that if our connection with God is intact,
and we remain humble and teachable, the Holy Spirit will guide us and work behind the scenes to
bridge the gap.

          Missions in the 21 st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

                                        Heinrich Botes
                          Missionary at Kwasizabantu Mission in KZN

The human soul of the 21st century and the human soul of ages past have one thing in common:
they are born enslaved to sin…in desperate need of a Saviour. This is an irrefutable fact, not
changed by time or context.

The rescue MISSION was launched by God the Father who sent his Son to die on the Cross in
order to “save them from their sin”. Amazingly, the Saviour, decided to enlist those souls already
rescued, into this Mission.

The MESSAGE is clear: offer liberty to all captive souls in our generation. Tell them the Good News
of salvation that is freely available through Jesus. Teach them to confess their sins, to be baptised
into a relationship with Him and to keep His commandments as they join the rescue mission for
other enslaved sinners.

This sounds almost too simple. Yet, the rescue mission is not effective. The problem is with those
who claim to have been rescued, not with Him who directs the rescue operation neither with the
Message. They have formed “social clubs” where they are entertained with exciting programs.
Occasionally, they talk about the Rescue Operation or get someone actively involved in “missions”
to address them. They may offer “Cents for Missions” but remain untouched and uninvolved in the
project while souls pour over the edge of time into eternal flames.

This is the CHALLENGE: All Christians in the 21st Century should be taught to be missionaries. That
is the primary reason for the existence of the Church. The strategic allocation of funds and
manpower, the weekly program of the congregation should reflect the urgency of the crisis.

The special needs of the newly rescued should obviously be met in the local congregation. Here
they, irrespective of age, gender, health or social status should be mentored and cared for by
veterans who should teach them about their specific role and responsibility in the rescue of lost

The Bless the Nations formula can never be compromised: First, personal Revival (back to a holy
life in Christ), then, a life drenched in Prayer (communication with the Rescuer) and only then, World
Missions (getting out to where the “lost” souls are).

The Church got this all mixed up or focuses on “doing missions” in its own strength, with little time
spent in prayer, using worldly and unholy people. The Rescue mission is pouring 80% of its effort
and funds on those already “rescued” or is trapped into merely offering social relief to the “needy”.
This is similar to offering a Band-Aid-strip to a terminal cancer patient. Whilst this is not wrong per
se, the focus should first and foremost be on rescuing those who have not heard the Good News.

This must stop and we need to repent before we exploit the many OPPORTUNITIES that beg to be
harnessed. Social and ecological disasters, AIDS, economic and political instability all offer
themselves as vehicles to reach lost souls but should never be the primary goal..

In the time you spent listening to or reading this article, many precious souls died without ever
hearing about Jesus Christ, The Hope and Rescuer of Man’s soul.

Is that right?

                              Reaching our schools

                                    Joseph Chauke
                               Africa Youth Evangelism

I have been as evangelist with Africa Youth Evangelism since it was founded in 1966.
We visit primary and high schools, focusing mainly on about 50 schools in Mamelodi.
The vision is to cultivate the moral and spiritual lives of educators and learners,
proclaiming salvation to these people, on an inter-denominational basis. Every day we
visit schools, sometimes reaching up to 1900 children per day. In addition to Mamelodi
we also reach out throughout South Africa, as far as Polokwane and Canzibe in the

The challenges that we are facing in the schools are mainly the effects of drugs and
alcohol. Furthermore the consequences of children who are sexually active are also very
sad. It breaks my heart that a 13 year old girl can undergo an abortion without parental

Under the former South African government (before 1994) we had a green light in
schools and doors were wide open. With the current government’s policy of tolerance
towards all religions, it has become increasingly difficult to get into schools, especially
with the removal of religious education from school curricula. This is proving to become
a challenge to our ministry. We need to continue to proclaim Jesus Christ as the only

Another very serious challenge and obstacle is the great lack of discipline in the schools.
In these circumstances we thank God for Christian principals and teachers who stand
strong for their faith!

The greatest opportunity is the fact that children are open to the Gospel. At each school
visit we make an alter call, and many children always respond to this and repeat the
sinner’s prayer with us. We also have our own camp site where we take children away
for weekends. Here we have the luxury of focusing only on spiritual matters, with no
other disturbances.

For many of these schools and young people the future often looks very dark. We pray
that those learners who become converted will act as future spiritual leaders. Things are
difficult, but we believe in a God who specializes in impossibilities!

         Missions in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

                                         Carl Crouse
                                   Pastor, DRC Grasvoëlkop

With much appreciation for the AD 2000 movement (“A Church for Every People and the Gospel for
Every Person by AD 2000”) which helped us understand the need of the 10/40 window and the “do-
ability” of world missions, we must note that the work was not completed, nor the vision fulfilled.
Today their offices are closed and the website is not updated, yet the command of Matt 28:19-20

In this short essay I cannot do more than look at the challenges and opportunities that face Western
churches, and this is what the Lord has been pressing on my heart for the last year. Much research
is available that paints the picture of a declining and dying church in the West. The hold and
influence that Christendom had is past.

We need a new vision of what mission is. Mission is not a movement from the Christian West to the
Non-Christian world. It is not the sending of missionaries. It is not the moving over geographical
boundaries. Mission is the work of the Triune God: the Father sending his Son, the Father and Son
sending the Spirit and the Father, Son and Spirit sending the church into all the world to proclaim
the work of salvation and call all to faith and repentance.

The church I have pastored for 18 years has been “mission-minded”, but we have not been truly
“missional”, in that we have not sufficiently lived out the calling of God to make Him known both in
“Jerusalem” as well as to the “ends of the earth”. We have been satisfied with feeding the sheep,
whilst rarely witnessing to those who are not of the fold. We have sent and supported missionaries,
but we have neglected our Jerusalem. Acts 1:8 and the rest of Acts paints the picture of local
churches being planted and then the word spreading further through those churches, starting in
their own particular place and time.

This is the greatest challenge facing the church in the West. We cannot withdraw from a culture that
is changing so much that we do not feel at ease in it anymore – the light must not be hidden under a
bowl. We also need to recognize how much we have been formed by our own changing culture and
repent of that which is causing us to lose our saltiness. We are faced with a growing materialism
and consumerism, a pluralism and relativism, a new spirituality in which everything is accepted –
except the exclusivity of Jesus.

Whilst not forgetting the ends of the earth: the need of the 10/40 window, unreached people groups,
the growing threat of Islam, we need to rediscover Jerusalem and to be missional communities.
 We expect our missionaries to move out among unbelievers, love them, serve them and build
relationships, understand them and bring the message of Jesus. This is what God has called the
church to do, and what most churches in the West have not been doing. This is our challenge, and
also our opportunity.
                                                                                                    De Kock 

                                             Radio Mission

                                            Geo de Kock
                                Regional Coordinator, F.E.B.A. Radio SA

More than ninety years after the world’s first station was founded, radio is still the most pervasive,
accessible, affordable and flexible mass medium available and in some countries the only one. While
there are only 2 telephone lines for every 100 people in Africa, there are 20 radio receivers per 100.

However the world of Christian radio ministry is not without its own (very exciting!) challenges.

Most important of all is the fact that developments in the electronic media are taking place at a mind
boggling pace, leaving radio missions with huge challenges such as upgrading to new options and
opportunities. Needless to say that these developments obviously increase effectiveness of radio and other
electronic media, but at the same time also puts pressure on funding resources. Nevertheless, new
developments such as internet broadcasting, live streaming, podcasting, audience interaction and mobile
accessibility have become invaluable tools but also exciting challenges in addition to conventional radio
and television.

As opportunities increase, higher levels of expertise and sophistication are needed in terms of
programming. To mention only a few: How do you effectively convey the Good News to the illiterate using
radio? How do you reach into difficult to reach areas, where the Gospel of Jesus is not welcome? How do
you prevent the listener, who for many reasons tends – least of all their personal safety – from simply
switching off the radio when they recognize broadcasts as being of Christian origin?

These are, amongst many others the reasons why world broadcasters are increasingly paying attention to
what is called Integral Mission, thus approaching listeners from the angle of their relevant needs and
ultimately introduce them to Jesus Christ as the healer of their broken world. Well known markers of a
broken world such as poverty, health matters like HIV/AIDS, crime, environmental issues, corruption and
unemployment are all very important and relevant routes to penetrate their needs with a message of hope
in Christ.

In the closed areas, radio broadcasters are faced with the problem of creating awareness amongst
potential listeners for their programmes. In most of these countries, no opportunities exist to advertise via
mass media. In these areas partnering with other organizations become of the utmost importance to
convey the news of programming schedules to potential listeners. On this level, the Church, tiny and
powerless as it may seem to be, plays an important role.

Developing interactive programming makes audience relations a compelling service. Especially in closed
countries, listeners respond to our programmes in many and sometimes intriguing ways. These responses
are usually requests to learn more about Jesus. However, more than often these may also contain threats

                                                                                                     De Kock 

to the broadcaster. Whatever the contents, every response is treated as an opportunity to guide a seeker
to Christ.

The arrival of the mobile phone especially in regions where one does not expect such large numbers of
subscribers has been a blessing to listeners - especially to those in dangerous and closed regions. An
important trend is that listeners are now able to correspond by text messages. With the assistance of
sophisticated software available to our audience relations teams, listeners can expect a prompt response.
With much less risk than in the case of written communication, they are able to have their deepest
questions answered. The mobile phone, amongst a variety of electronic communication methods such as
e-mail, faxes and internet, brings Christ much closer to the individuals in the free world, but also to those in

Give thanks to God for Christian radio, bringing Christ to the world – reaching even behind closed doors!.




                                                                                                De Wet

                        Opportunities and Challenges of Japan

                                           Tobie de Wet
                                          Missionary, Japan

We actually arrived back in Japan exactly at the dawn of the 21st century on 10 January 2000 after
being away for about 18 years. Except for a period immediately after World War 2 when
missionaries had many opportunities to share the Gospel even at "big" rallies and Japan
experienced a good harvest of conversions, Japan has always been one of the most resistant and
difficult mission fields in the world. When we first arrived in Japan 34 years ago (1974) we were
young and enthusiastic and committed to make a significant difference. However, we soon realised
that missions in Japan require first of all much more than youthful enthusiasm and even blind
commitment. With very few opportunities for direct and aggressive evangelism and with very little
visible fruit on our labours, the biggest challenge was not to get discouraged and to persevere no
matter the results. Then, after arriving back to this mission field at the beginning of the 21st century,
everybody was surprised that we could return to a field that has become even more apathetic, not
only towards the Gospel but to religion and spiritual things in general, a people that has much more
material wealth then ever before and as content as can be, and to a church with dwindling numbers
and struggling to survive in this "atheistic" and materialistic society.

The opportunities of missions in Japan in the 21st century are: Wide open doors for missionaries to
come and no legal restrictions in reaching out to this nation without Christ, without God and without
hope; A local church that is eager to have many more missionaries to assist them in their
evangelising of its own people; A first world country, highly advanced in every aspect, an educated
people, wonderful characteristics, kind and friendly, a country and a people who could change the
world around them if they could come to the Lord and become part of his church and its mission.....!!

The challenges are very much the same as during the last part of the previous century, only just
more challenging....: Young missionaries to be willing to commit their whole lives for the church and
people of Japan, willing to learn one of the most difficult languages in the whole world without which
it will not be advisable to live and work in Japan, willing to learn, understand and respect the culture
and spirit of this peculiar nation, willing to become, not only an integral part of the local Japanese
church but to actually live and work under their supervision and discipline, willing to be treated as an
ousider or guest who must humbly and quietly serve and often be a doormat for Christ, willing to
love and reach out to many people in many concrete ways (which are not direct methods of
evengelism), just serving them unconditionally regardless their reaction, willing to perservere for
many many years until the end of your ministry.

The opportunities for mission in Japan are as many as always and the challenges are more than
ever before for missionaries to be nothing more and nothing less than servants of Christ, servants of
his church and servants of the people on behalf of Christ.

                       From KwaZulu Natal to Kleinskool
                                   Ningi Dlamini-Goje
                       Pastor, AFM Good Hope Ministries, Kleinskool

I was called by God to do His work at a very young age. I started to work for God planting
churches where there were no churches, then leaving the pastor behind pastoring those
particular churches. I did that for 12 years within the boundaries of KwaZulu Natal and my
surrounding areas. I never thought there would come a time that God would send me away
from my own people. But when God called me to face new and unknown challenges here in
Port Elizabeth, it was wonderful to experience how he also prepared me.


Language The big challenge I had was language. As a Zulu girl, I was called to come to
Port Elizabeth without any higher education (due to my family background). I had never
spoken Xhosa before – only a little English. But I trusted God on his word that He would be
with me, and He was faithful!

Food My other challenge was food. There is a vast difference between the food that Xhosa
people eat than that of the Zulu people – samp, “binnegoed” etc. But I immediately realised
that I must learn to eat everything that is laid in front of me.

Gender Discrimination I battled to get recognition due to my gender. No Xhosa man would
listen to an unmarried Zulu woman. But I just trusted the One who called me that He will
make a way for me.

Overcoming the challenges

All the above mentioned challenges were designed to shape me for mission. I say this
because of the experience I have gained so far as I work with people. In terms of language –
hey, I am pastoring a multiracial church in which 80% is Xhosa speaking people! I am now
fluent in both English and Xhosa, as well as a little bit of Afrikaans. I enjoy every minute I
spend with new God-given community members. I learned to eat what they eat and I even
enjoy it the most. With regards to gender discrimination – God turned cultural attitudes
upside down. The whole city is giving me full recognition, even more than what I deserve.

I thank God, although it took me some years to understand the reality of His great
commission. I am now married to a Xhosa man (for whom I also thank God for), and I am so
proud to say that I am no longer bound by the culture. Amen and amen!


                 God can use you even after you have retired

                                Julius and Adlette Eberhard

When I retired from my career as a professional engineer in 1993 my wife and I asked the
Lord if he would not give us opportunities to serve him on a foreign field if that was His will. It
was ! Very soon two short term practical work opportunities were offered to me with Trans
World Radio in Swaziland. In 1995 we were both called to teach English in Japan for 10
months and to assist an O.M.F. missionary couple in Takamori Sendai. In 1999 I was asked
to volunteer for practical construction work on two O.M.F. building projects in Ichikawa
outside Tokyo for 10 weeks. These were all life changing experiences.

It led us to really pray regularly for and with the missionaries and to write to them regularly.
We still write to and pray for several of our English students and of course we have a regular
correspondence with a number of OMF missionaries in Japan. The desire to do this all
stemmed from the personal contacts we made in the field.

We want to recommend to anyone who can find the time either by taking a gap year or
shorter period or after they retire, to go and work on a mission field. There is no more
satisfying and yet humbling experience than to do this. It engenders in you a deep and
lasting love of mission work both in respect of the workers and of the people being
ministered to. The intimate knowledge gained and the zeal which the Lord places in one’s
heart changes ones outlook on mission work for ever. It is only by going to the field and
working there for a while that one appreciates what our mission workers go through. One
learns to appreciate the sacrifices they make, the strain on the family, the burden of
educating children, health and practical problems which we otherwise cannot even begin to

Think about doing something like this yourself. You will never regret it.


         Missions in the 21st century: Challenges and Opportunities
                                          Ena Erasmus
Looking at the world map and where the least evangelized peoples live, we see that the areas to
be reached are behind several curtains keeping people in spiritual darkness. But nowadays God is
sending great numbers of peoples from those areas to be among us. “The ends of the earth” is not
referring only geographic regions! Opportunities to reach the unreached have come to our

At least two movements gained priority positions and have become “buzz words” in missions
vocabulary: ‘partnerships’ and ‘business as missions’.
 ‘The old paradigm was about Pioneering, the new paradigm is all about Partnering.
 The old paradigm was about Resources, the new paradigm is all about Relationships.
 The old paradigm was about Strategy, the new paradigm is all about Synergy.’
 Ernie Addicot, Body Matters

In several regions visas through NGO’s are not granted any more, or are withdrawn at any time
by the local governments. The same workers that had to leave their field of work, could return on
business visas. The challenge: send well trained business pioneers into the dark parts of the
world. They have the advantage of immediate credibility because they work alongside the local
people. They get to know government officials through their negotiations to register the

The focus on relationships, partnering, doing together, synergy… surely brings missions
endeavours much nearer to the prayer of Jesus in John 17:20,21 “I do not ask for these only, but
also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You,
Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You
have sent Me.” Reaching the unreached by working together. We rejoice in the testimonies from
partnerships around the world – much better progress, much less duplication, much better use of
resources, much more long lasting results.

In mobilizing for missions in South Africa, the challenges are our opportunities. In the previous
millennium much of our mobilizing happened during missions camps, which were well attended
by large groups. Many campers would bring friends who were not yet involved in missions. We
spent week ends in prayer for the nations. Camps ended with a challenge to commit lives to
missions. Many of those that responded went to the nations. But in the new millennium we
experience a new season, where only a loyal few register for the camps. A good reason for this
is that more churches got involved in missions and members now have the opportunity to be
involved through their own church. A not-good reason is the overloaded lives of many, well-used
by the enemy to keep believers living for their own survival and not seeing the darkness around
them. Did we loose our “first love” and fall into the trap of “loving ourselves first”?

God gave the mandate for sending missionaries, to the church. We have the huge challenge that
currently still only a small percentage of churches are actively involved in reaching out, including
their own “Jerusalem”. Missions mobilizers need new strategies, new insights on how to excite
the 21st century church member about fulfilling the Great Commission.

Jesus did say: “…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
It must be done, it can be done!

                            Internet in the Middle East

                                Family working in Turkey

We have been living and working in the Middle East for the last 14 years. Entering into the
21st century has brought new challenges and opportunities. The media, internet and the
effect of the “Global Village” certainly changed the way we approach ministry. 9/11, War in
the Middle East and the Danish cartoons brought general fear for Muslims and Islamophobia
to the world. The challenge is how to address the Western-Christian world view in order for
them to love their Muslim neighbors. Unfortunately it is only a very small percentage of
Muslims that are fundamentalists, drawing the attention of international media, widening the
gap between Christian and Muslim.

Broad Band Internet has brought a new challenge to the modern day missionary. Email,
Skype, Facebook, Blog Sites, Chat rooms, Google etc. create the danger that almost all of
the missionaries’ intellectual and social needs can be met without leaving the comfort zone
of his/her home computer. The challenge is how to balance life, engaging into his/her new
environment by building friendships with nationals. Far too much time is being spent by
missionaries in front of their computers.

On the other hand it has been amazing to observe the increase of opportunities that
especially the Internet has brought. The website of the Bible Correspondence Course (BCC)
provides the opportunity for enquirers to seek the Truth much easier. When you Google the
words Kutsal Kitap (Holy Book) the first result you find is the BCC’s website. 2007 was a
record year for the internet outreach of the BCC. We had over 450,000 unique visitors to our
websites. Of all the very many articles we have online the one that was read most often is
titled "What should I do to become a Christian?" This article alone was read 17,000 times!
We praise God for these numbers which reflect the curiosity and spiritual hunger that exists
in Turkey today.

From our website it is possible to chat one-on-one with a Christian. One of our chat
operators, Murat, reports "One man received a Bible from us 6 or 7 years ago. He was very
touched by what he read but because there were no Christians meeting in his city he kept
his interest secret. This year he discovered our chat and I was able to explain a lot more
about Jesus and encourage him. He now wants to be baptized. Another lady is a local TV
presenter. She was intrigued by Christian worship and as a result says she wants to become
a Christian. I gave her the address of the local church." Throughout the year there were over
2,000 separate 'chat' conversations.

We praise the Lord for new opportunities. The greatest challenge is if the church will be able
to meet the increase of opportunities that the 21st Century offers.

                What Bless the Nations has meant to me

                                    Anna Gerber

I am not a historian, so I do not remember dates. I do remember going to
Wellington. I think that was for one of the first Bless the Nations. Maybe at the
beginning I have missed a few, but for the past 10-15 years I have not missed

Bless the Nations has blessed and enriched my life in many ways:

   1. Fellowship – inter-denominational and inter-racial.
   2. Widen my mission vision.
   3. Meeting so many missionaries.
   4. Hearing so many positive results in a negative media / world.
   5. Wonderful exhibitors with their displays.
   6. So many faithful, regular people attending, becoming friends. Some you
      see only at Bless the Nations.
   7. Different venues, worship groups, caterers.

What a wonderful family of God of whom I may be a part.

Sometimes I think: “Do I really have to attend every year?” But when the time
comes, I just know that this is where I want to be.

Thanking God for all those who have heard this call for fulltime ministry, obeyed
and the rich fruit! I know, I will be gone, but Bless the Nations will still go on
under God’s anointing.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How
unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counsellor?
 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again?
 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things To Him be the glory forever.
Amen.                                                              Romans 11:33-36

        Missions in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities
                                      Dr. Raouf W. Ghattas

The 21st century arrived full of both expectations and challenges. Shortly after the relief of the non-
existent Y2K bug and hopes for new beginnings, tensions rose with the 9/11 disaster and realities of
fundamentalist Islam. Yet, even with the problems this brought, we in North Africa and Middle East
were encouraged that, perhaps for the first time, Westerners were becoming aware of Muslims and
even studying their beliefs. Through this new awareness, some serious dialogue and innovative
strategies began in how to reach the Muslim world for Christ.

Yet, with the renewed effort came difficult challenges, the primary one being that Westerners,
particularly of the American persuasion, were not only no longer welcomed in the Muslim world but
many times targeted in their areas of service. It has been hard to help the American church work
through this new reality and to see that there are other options and ways to continue to serve.

We are encouraged at the future of missions in the Muslim world for several reasons. The first is the
emerging role of the Egyptian believers in missions. There is a growing understanding and
acceptance of the responsibility that the Egyptian church must play in reaching, not just Egypt, but
the Muslim world for Christ. Many churches are beginning to actively preach and teach missions to
their people. Parachurch groups are training teams of believers in Muslim evangelism, and
seminaries are offering courses in missions.

Egypt is the Hollywood of the Middle East. Her well-established movie industry has touched every
country in the region. The Egyptian accent is loved and understood. Along with movies, Egyptian
teachers have impacted the area, as they were the primary source of Arabic education. These two
factors have been used by God to soften the hearts to Egyptians, and this is why Egypt has taken
the lead in the work today.

While Saudi Arabia may be the heart of Islam, as it is where adherents go to obtain a spiritual
experience through the hajj; Egypt is the mind of Islam, drawing thousands from across the Muslim
world to Al-Azhar, the center for the Muslim missionary movement and training. Egyptian Christians
want to turn this reality into an impetus for Christian outreach.

It is not only among Arabs that the Lord draws out missionaries for His work in the Muslim world. He
is opening doors for believers from many other countries. The Chinese and Koreans are already on
fire for missions, and we are encouraging this and seeing God work through them. Their presence in
the region will continue to increase in the years to come, especially as China has easy access to
many areas where westerners cannot go. This holds true for believers from the Southern
Hemisphere as well. A South African can enter Libya, for example, when an American cannot. God
wants to use all the parts of His Universal Church to see disciples made around the region.

The role of the non-Arab worker is very important in the Muslim world. Many have lived in free
societies and have a courage and boldness which the believers from the Muslim world need.
Discipleship is the greatest need in growing churches of the region. The Lord wants to use ex-pat
workers to help give believers a firm foundation in their faith.

Are the days ahead free from worries? By no means! The struggle between Islam and Christianity
will only increase in the years to come, but at the same time, we see God doing amazing things.
Many are coming to faith in Christ while others are answering His call to serve. Truly, the fields are
white unto harvest! Pray with us that the Lord will continue to send out laborers into the fields.

                            Reaching out to foreigners
                                        Isa Goosen

My parents were missionaries in Nigeria, where I was born. My father died there and my
mother and I returned to South Africa. In 1950 our mission office asked her to go to
Zimbabwe. From 1963 I worked on various mission stations in Zimbabwe. This is where I
learned to speak Shona.

I have had the privilege to make contact with some of the Zimbabwean street vendors here
in Port Elizabeth. The VaShona is a very friendly and, peace-loving nation. Those coming to
South Africa are also hard-working with lots of initiative. One man came here with nothing
but the clothes he had on. He is now selling chairs, and has already bought himself a truck.
This he uses to take his merchandise where he wants to sell it. Their plans are mostly to go
back to Zimbabwe one day, implementing what they have learned here.

Since I can speak their language, I often stopped to greet the vendors whenever I passed
them. In 2006 the Lord convinced me to go more regularly. So now I try to go every Sunday
after church. We gather around God’s Word and pray for their families and the situation in
Zimbabwe. I also make sure that they know the Way of Salvation. Furthermore I make
Shona Bibles available at a subsidised price.

In addition to Zimbabweans there are also street vendors from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and
other African countries. Many of these street vendors are Christians. I enjoy sitting together
with them, speaking about God, knowing that we all, though from different countries, worship
the same living God who died for us all.

The most important thing we as Christians can do for these people is to pray for them, and
for the situation in their countries. They are often discouraged and sometimes feel very
intimidated. The simple act of buying some of their goods, or giving an encouraging word,
can go a long way in having a positive impact on their lives!

                      Jesus wants to be a reality – here and there!

                                             Jean Greyling

As I was listening to a discourse on radio a sad reality dawned on me. The participants of the discourse
were a well known Christian leader from a broad stream denomination and a Muslim academic. The
topic was the role which religion plays in building a new nation. On the one hand the Muslim academic
was strongly arguing that for religion not to be a stumbling block, we need to negate anything in our
scriptures that would cause disunity. A listener coined this well when he asked whether this means that
we need religions which could all be true at the same time! What was more concerning to me than the
academic’s viewpoint was the Christian leader’s response. In an attempt to state the Christian view
while not being “a stumbling block” he really struggled. Again a frustrated listener phoned in and asked:
“But if we love Jesus, will we not love everyone in our nation?”

What does this have to do with missions? I recollect a South African career missionary saying to me
that the greatest challenge to missions in the South African church today, is our underlying fear of
absolute truths. The atmosphere of nation building and political correctness has rubbed off on the
church. Throw in with this the self-serving “gospels” proclaimed by Hollywood personalities such as
Oprah Winfrey, some TV Evangelists and major churches and we have a problem. These “theories” are
believed and practiced by many church goers. This results in a Christian fraternity that is reluctant to
make the sacrifices needed in order to take the Gospel to those (far away) who have never heard

At the core of this is the central truth of John 14:6. For us to have a passion for missions we need to
have a deep understanding of our own sinful nature and an unyielding commitment to the exclusivity of
Jesus’s salvation. Furthermore, we can at no stage be uncomfortable about Jesus. He is more than a
way to heaven – He also wants to be a reality within our difficulties here on earth. How can a Jesus, for
example, that teaches and enables us to love our neighbour be a stumbling block to nation building?

When the church loses the core truths about Jesus, we will lose our passion for missions. It is only
when we have an overwhelming understanding of the spiritual blessing which the crucified and
resurrected Christ is to us, that we will want to go out and “Bless the Nations”! In the early 1980’s David
Bliss came to the South African church with this message (read his essay). While this nation of ours
was much more interested in its own turmoil, David was challenging the church to take the Gospel to a
world in need.

Today we struggle with our own 21st century turmoil: nation building, xenophobia, extreme financial
hardships, AIDS, food and energy shortages etc. The challenge and opportunity is to be a church that
makes a difference within this scenario, but also a church that does not ignore God’s commission for us
to go to the ends of the earth!

                          Church in the market place
                                   Louise Greyling

When we started with Rainbow Hut Colour Corporation (manufacturer and exporter of
children’s paint products) it was soon clear that God had his hand on this company. Our
plans and dreams were small and our motives were often not pure, but God came to
show us what it means to be church in the market place.

The initial plan to make money soon became the secondary passion. The people, rather
than the product and profit, now were the main reason for business. We became
involved in many people’s lives. Rainbow Hut developed as a place where we could see
how God uses and changes his children.

We crossed cultural and racial barriers in a way that we never expected. People from
communities far removed from ours, became friends - brothers and sisters. We got to
know what it means when people have a need sometimes for basic things. It was heart
breaking to see the destructive impact of unemployment. But also heart warming to see
how those with strong faith survived. And within these situations we had new insights in
what total dependence on God for basic survival looks like!

When I look back on the past few years, I realize that this is the place where we were
most intensely involved in discipleship: the excitement to see someone develop, but also
the utter disappointment when someone goes astray. Discipleship also took on a much
broader meaning than within the walls of church. It became teaching someone to be on
time, to have pride in what he does, to work as a team and even to take care of personal
hygiene. And throughout this process we continuously struggled with caring for and
helping people rather than making them dependant on us.

I believe that here in the market place is where the church takes on its purest form. Here
there is no place for superficial and unrealistic applications of our faith. Here you meet
the real person (and he meets the real you). Not the one in the pews on Sunday or the
one at youth meeting on Friday evening!

In the company we experienced how an order was faxed through from Europe while we
were praying together for work! But we also experienced how things went 100% wrong.
Sometimes we could make sense out of what was going on, but then there were those
times that we had no ways of understanding why God allowed certain things. All this
happens while young believers, seekers and non-Christians watch you. This is when the
rubber meets the road!

Real missions!

      Missions in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

                                        Mike Hack

Crescendo, defined: a gradual, steady increase in volume, loudness or force; a steady
increase in force or intensity…

Let’s just say things are heating up. Grey areas are being colored in. Confusion turning to
clarity. You are either for Him, or against Him, middle ground disappearing. The world is on
the boil. The end is drawing near.

There are many so called “ways” to find God in today’s world. Their voices are loud and
dominate the “prince of the power of the” airwaves. They look strong and dominant, crushing
the Jesus people everywhere… making lots of noise (a roaring lion?). Take courage. It is
simply a sign that the evil one is losing his grip, the death throes of the enemy.

Everywhere FEAR has become the by-word… we are supposed to be scared of everything!
Global warming.
Food shortages.
Islamic terrorism.
AIDS and other killer viruses.

Insecurity and fear rule the day. Everyone is trying to secure themselves, with walls, money,
possessions or medicine or some future speculation, etc. Your Mission, BtN, is to live your
lives so that you can be buried in safety and security one day? NO, that is how the
world lives!

If you have read the parable of the ‘Orange Picker’, you will know of the conferences and
seminars and teachings and training programs that are being held to teach us to ‘pick
oranges’… but NO ONE had actually picked one! Attendence @ BtN is not evidence of your
righteousness or eternal destiny. That evidence is shown by the fruit we bare. GO FOR IT!
                                                                                 Janse van Rensburg

                                    The Persecuted Church
                                    Willem Janse van Rensburg
                                            Open Doors
Experiencing the growth of the Church in the East as well as in the Middle East has encouraged me to
keep my head up and be the instrument God wants me to be.
On a recent trip to the Middle East I was heart broken when I realized that we in South Africa are
taking our privilege to worship God for granted. The way that the Christians in these Middle Eastern
countries need to move in secrecy to get together and worship made me realize that God must love
them very much.
I visited a training school, where a couple of students were completing their Biblical studies and were
preparing to go into the field to evangelize their fellow countrymen. I was astonished to experience
their focus on God and the sincere love they had for each other. This is the only way to ever be able to
forgive those that persecute them. The one lady was praying that God would help her to overcome the
fear she had to go out into the world, even if it would cost her, her life. She asked God to use her
soon, as she does not want more Muslims to perish without Jesus in their lives. She asked for
forgiveness about taking so long to make the decision to follow Jesus. This was a longing that He
could use her in His service.
These kinds of prayers only emphasize their real relationship with Jesus. In their lives Jesus comes
first, then their neighbours and then themselves. Everything they do, they first make sure that the
Kingdom will be served, before they venture on to complete their tasks. They live out the words of Matt
16:24...”If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow
Me.” They do deny themselves and know that following Jesus means that they need to carry their
cross. This is never easy and not always a joy, but the price is small to pay for that which is waiting for
them eternally.
Yes they also experience difficulties and the demons also attack them, especially those who are not
grounded in their faith. But they always go back to the Word (sword) of God. These testimonies of
them abiding in the Word we hear over and over from persecuted believers. This is the seed they sow
in our lives and I wonder if we do listen to what God wants to tell us through our brothers and sisters in
the persecuted church.
Some of the believers in the Middle East told us that the thing that haunts them the most is the
loneliness they experience with no other believers close by. They long to have the interaction and
fellowship we have daily. Their desire is to share their testimonies with more people, but it can cost
them their lives if they are not careful. They wish that they could have Christian partners for there are
countries which lack either Christian women or men. I wonder if we ever have given this a thought in
our country. We take everything for granted and hardly ever thank God for the privilege and honour to
have all these privileges.
One of the younger MBB’s asked us during a training session what the Bible says about his parents
who do not want to accept Christ. What I saw, when we had to share that the only way to heaven is
through the Son (1 John 5:11-12) was heart breaking. There was pain and a hunger to love his
parents even more in his eyes. He asked us to please pray for them for their time is short considering
their age. We can all pray for these believers’ parents, but don’t forget the thousands of others with the
same burden and longing for their parents not to perish.

We experience these people in all the countries we visit. I am talking about the locals wandering the
streets. They are very friendly and open. They want to have peace in their heart. They are tired of
Islam that has brought them nothing more than laws, but no love, peace and a guarantee of eternal

The time is so right to take the message of Salvation to these people but the workers are scarce. God
needs more light in these countries. Here in South Africa we have floodlights as in a rugby stadium.
There it is spiritually like a dark night without the moon.


                          Gamtoos Valley Farm Ministry
                                Stephen and Erica Jonas

We have been privileged to be acquainted with Bless the Nations for the past 20 years. We
have attended most of the conferences and have been blessed through this ministry of Bless
the Nations in PE. It was during these conference meetings that we were challenged about
prayer, revival and missions. I thank God also for helping me to focus on world missions
because I was much occupied with my own missionary work on a local level. Both myself
and my wife Erica and our children Samantha and Jenovan have been enriched spiritually at
the Bless the Nations conferences. Our children practically grew up in this atmosphere of
prayer, revival and missions.

Bless the Nations helped me to stay focused. The outreaches that have been conducted as
an outcome of the conferences focused also on our own ministry in the Gamtoos Valley
amongst the farm workers. God has blessed this ministry and I thank God also for the
exposure to Kingfisher FM through Bless the Nations. As a result we have received many
prayer partners in this region of the Eastern Cape. There are quite a number of people who
have become involved in short term outreaches in the Gamtoos Valley through Bless the
Nations. I thank God for a number of local churches who are still involved in our ministry
amongst the farm workers.

In the beginning of Bless the Nations in the Eastern Cape, the conference was very closely
linked to the Love Southern Africa conferences which resulted in outreaches in Lesotho,
Malawi, Gazankulu and even Zambia. The Lord works in mysterious ways. God has brought
Lesotho and Zimbabwe within our reach. We are faced with the challenge of almost 400
people from Lesotho and approximately 200 people from Zimbabwe right here in the
Gamtoos Valley.

The farming industry has undergone a major development through the last 5 years, from
only one central packing store in 1984 we have grown to more than 20 stores in 2008. It is
still expanding. So the spiritual need on the farms in the Gamtoos Valley are growing. The
existing challenges of Poverty, HIV Aids, Teenage Pregnancies, Drug and Alcohol Abuse
are still confronting us and we feel so exhausted and frustrated that there is so little that we
can do about it. This poses a tremendous challenge to us and to the Church of God in the
Eastern Cape. It is also a new challenge for this conference, and I hope we will live up to it.
Thank you for being part of such an exciting challenge. The fields are white unto the harvest,
but the labourers are scattered and few.


                        Being real in the Czech Republic
                         Francois Joubert, OM Czech Republic

The Challenge
My family and I have been working with OM for the last 13 years. The last 2 we lived and
worked in the Czech Republic, in Central Europe. Looking back at our time here, I realise
that there are some definite challenges we as an OM team and also the local church face
daily as we live and minister within the Czech culture.

Czech Republic has a rich Christian history. Unfortunately some events in the past
brought on mostly by the Catholic Church, put all Christians including evangelicals in a
bad light. With the added pressure of communist atheist philosophy, most Czechs’
Christian roots were destroyed. Many people came out of communism very disillusioned
about religion, especially by what they perceive as Christianity. Statistics show this clearly,
as Czech Republic is today viewed as the second most atheistic nation in all of Europe, next
to Estonia. “Austin Cline's Agnosticism / Atheism Blog” reflects this statement clearly

Saying this, I have to add that for a few years just after the fall of communism, there was an
openness amongst people to listen. Unfortunately they were bombarded with everything out
there. Those who stormed in to “evangelize” the Czech used “sales techniques” from the
West that did not sit well with many Czechs. This eventually caused Czechs to turn their
backs on any kind of Christian activities, whether it be selling books, doing open air
outreaches, handing out literature, etc.

Today the Church finds itself without a voice and without any influence in the nation. The big
questions everyone battles with are, “How will we change the perception of the people about
us?” and “How can we show them that God still cares for them?” and “How can we get the
people to listen to us again?”. How do you present the good news of Jesus Christ to people
who do not want to listen, who see no need for God and who have lost their respect for the

Years of communism also made many Czechs very suspicious of foreigners, contributing to
the challenge we as foreigners face as we try to get integrated into society. A Czech friend
once said that all people have two walls around them. Some cultures have a low outer wall,
but a high inner wall. On being Czech, she replied, “We have a very high outer wall, but a
very low inner wall”.

Another major challenge, as in most cultures, is language learning. It is of utmost
importance. Czech is a Slavic language and rated as one of the most difficult languages to
learn. We made some wrong choices on this over the last 2 years and find ourselves still
battling to get around with the language and find it very hard to blend in. This definitely
contributes to your adjustment and to openness of the people towards you.

My wife Doreen, being from South African Indian descent, faced a whole different set of
challenges. So did our 2 girls. All over Europe there are pockets of Gypsy (Roma & Sinthi)
people, who are originally from Asian background. In looks, Doreen and the girls fit in a
100%. Unfortunately the Gypsy community in the Czech Republic, do not have a very good
reputation. Racial hatred is very much alive. This is unfortunately flamed by bad attitudes
and behavior from both Gypsies and Czechs alike. The challenge for my wife and kids were
that they were many times perceived as being Gypsy and from the start not treated well in

shops, in the parks, etc. The same would be for our girls, had we decided to stay longer
here and put them in a Czech School.

Saying all this, it is very clear that ministering in the Czech context is difficult, not only for
national believers, but also for foreigners. The good news is that it is not hopeless.

I believe this is an amazing time for the Church to move back to true Christian living, to be
real in word and deed. It is a time for the Church to live the love of Christ to their
neighbours, whether they like it or not. This is a time for the Church to live like Jesus did;
when He loved, it was true love, when He cared, it was true caring, when He made friends, it
was true friendship. The challenge for those who want to minister in this nation is to not
come in with hidden agendas and evangelistic strategies and more programs. There is no
place for those who want to “feed the hungry only to get them to listen to the Gospel”, there
is no place for those who “befriend only to share the Gospel”.

This is a time for the Church to get their hands dirty on daily issues in the community, time to
get involved in the lives of young people who are searching for meaning in their lives, time to
get involved in the concerns of older people as they face growing financial difficulties, this is
a time for the Church to fight racism, this is a time for the Church to get involved in the
growing problem with orphans and single parent families and alcohol and drug abuse and

This is a time for the Church to model, in word and deed, the love that Jesus has for the
Czech nation. This is a time to be real.

             What Mankind (is still) like in the 21st century.

                                   Dewald Knoetze

Recently we heard of xenophobia or “vreemdelinge haat “that has been the cause of
many deaths and miseries. Where does this come from? Is this a new thing with a new
name to it?

One of the lessons in the Bless the Nations School of Missions that has stuck with me
was one on the importance of culture and the differences in them. The teaching was that
“a culture is different and not necessarily wrong “.

During last year we attended a conference in Mozambique where a missionary - who
has been working in Bible translation in that country for about 20 years - gave a series of
lectures. In one of these lectures he made us do an exercise that answered many
questions and solved many old problems for me. We were divided into groups
determined by our countries where we grew-up. Then we were asked to write down, in
order of importance, the ten most important sins. These lists were then written on the
black board by each group. This was such an eye opener to all of us present, because
this revealed the importance of our own cultures and background in even the way we
see right and wrong! To us, as white South Africans, murder and rape were very high on
our list, but to the Africans from other countries one of the important sins were bad
relationships with your neighbours! Jokingly, to the Germans non-punctuality and driving
slow on the Autobahn were very grave sins!

Does that not teach us a few very important lessons once again? We are all so caught in
our own little groups and we do not reach across the borders of culture – or even
language. We often refuse to see the other’s point and have to drive home our own to
win the argument. Often culture is the one single most important dividing factor!

All this made me think – like these armbands say - WWJD! What would Jesus like us to
do in this situation and of course we have the perfect example in His dealing with the
Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 verse 7. How did He treat her even in the
situation that brought such a division between their cultures? Did He care what was
happening in her life and did He make a difference? Just look at what happened in the
end. Many people came from the Samaritan city to listen to this Jewish Jesus!

Even if we look at the summary of the law that Jesus gave us in Matthew 22 verse 37,
the implication is to “love your neighbour” across the boundaries of culture!

I think that none of us are directly involved in the recent attacks on foreigners in South
Africa, but what are we doing day to day to our “neighbours” walking past us. Are we not
“attacking” with the look in our eyes or just the tone we use to ask or answer? Are we not
in many ways just as guilty as those in the horrific attacks!

“Lord, help each one of us to make a difference in our daily dealing with people. Help us
to move across boundaries that cause separation and to love like You command us.

    A long-term missionary’s perspective on short-term mission projects
                                     Elspeth Liebenberg
                         HR director of Campus Crusade for Christ SA

The short-term missions’ project (STMP) is a phenomenon of the late 20th century, gathering
momentum steadily into the 21st century. For the purpose of this article, I define a project as “short-
term” when it lasts for anywhere between a week and a year. These STMP’s generally fall into five
broad categories which I will discuss one by one. My observations are based on my personal
experience during 10 years in Russia as a long-term missionary (LTM) and on participation in
various STMP’s during my 25 years of service with Campus Crusade for Christ South Africa.

1. Prayer Journeys

These journeys are meaningful in closed countries where proselytizing is forbidden. Small teams go
into the country for a short period of not longer than two weeks, posing as tourists, to pray “on site
with insight”.

The greatest challenge to this kind of project, like with most STMP’s, is that people will go more out
of a “wanderlust” or curiosity to see and experience a foreign country than out of a true desire and
calling to be used of God to reach that specific country. Another danger in any closed country is that
of exposure of LTM’s, which can do untold damage to the missions effort in such a country.

2. Distribution of Materials

This kind of project often is a follow-up on a prayer journey in closed countries, but is also a very
open project in open countries where big numbers of people from closed countries gather. It
involves the “placing” of packages containing Bibles and CD’s in the local language in strategic
places. Follow-up over the internet allows a sifting process before LTM’s and seekers meet,
protecting both parties from persecution.

The advantages to these projects are obvious, but the challenges are the same as for the prayer

3. Service Projects

One of the most effective types of STMP’s are the service projects where a team will go into a
country to provide specialised services, like building projects, provision of humanitarian and/or
medical aid or skills training. These projects open doors for the LTM’s, bringing them favour with the
authorities in the area.

The only challenge here is that one has to guard against it becoming only a humanitarian project –
very close cooperation between the STMP’s and LTM’s is necessary, as well as with the local
church. The aid has to be seen to be connected to the church/missions agency on the ground in
order for the discipleship movement to flow out of it.

4. Member care visits to LTM’s

Here we find a very problematic kind of STMP that is often taken on with the best of intentions, but
which can become negative quickly if not handled correctly. As all LTM’s can testify, there are two
kinds of visitors on the mission field: those who bless and those who drain. Obviously the intention

of this category of STMP is to bless, but unless thorough preparation is made, it can too easily turn
into a drain for the already stretched missionaries. It is important that the LTM won’t be “second-
guessed” and no assumptions be made as to what their needs are.

The challenges are that the STMP could have an agenda that does not agree with that of the LTM
and that the STMP could be wholly dependent upon the LTM because of language and/or cultural
challenges, therefore adding to the work-load instead of alleviating it.

As with all STMP’s there is here also the danger of “spiritual tourism” with a free guide and
accommodation thrown in, in the form of the LTM!

5. Direct Evangelism

A STMP with this objective in mind is to be discouraged in countries where the culture and language
differ vastly from that of the STM. Most LTM’s spend at least a year to get to the level of cultural
understanding where they can make a meaningful evangelical contribution, so it is simply not
possible for the STM to be effective in this way. Any project of this kind, if undertaken at all, will only
be effective if undertaken in close cooperation with local churches and LTM’s.

The biggest advantage of all kinds of STMP’s of course is the effect it has on the participants
themselves. It builds vision and strengthens the home front. It usually also accelerates the
evangelism and discipleship activity at home and generates LTM’s for the ripe harvest where the
workers are few. Therefore STMP’s are always valuable if undertaken in close co-operation with
and sensitivity to the LTM’s and the local churches.

                   “As the Father has sent me, I also send you”

                                           Deon Loots
                                  Pastor, Klema, Summerstrand

It is with great hesitance that I am writing this article since I do not see myself as an expert on
this topic. However, I have quite limited experience of cross-cultural work and learned a few
things out of many mistakes that I made. I also try to stay involved with missions as far as
possible. The following are thus convictions that grew in my own heart over a period of time.

I believe one of a missionary’s biggest challenges is a willingness to learn from the people and
the culture in which you are working. In order to really learn, I believe one has to be willing to live
more or less like the local people live, with the same kind of income, the same transport and the
same standard of living.

I am fully aware that this is a very big challenge and might be considered impossible by many.
My experience however was that my vehicle and my standard of living became the biggest
obstacle in my ability to communicate the gospel effectively.

A willingness to learn means a willingness to show a real interest in the people with whom you
are working. To learn as much as possible about their beliefs, their religion, their culture, their
language, etc. This learning should not be the result of studying books or reading articles about
them. No, this learning should take place by living amongst them, by showing interest and asking
questions, by building relationships with a willingness to serve where and when possible.

My humble opinion is that this would be the best way to win their interest in your message. The
people must first become curious about why you are the way you are. Why are you so willing to
be with them, to serve them, to listen to them? Why do you care so much for them? When they
begin to ask you about the driving forces in your life, I believe the time will be ripe just to testify
about the God you serve and His love for all people.

The next big challenge which faces the church today is: if and when some people become
followers of Christ by the grace of God, to truly disciple them. We are not called to make
converts, but to disciple people, to teach them what it involves to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
Therefore we should be very careful not to make cheap promises about a nice and better life or a
wonderful and happy time after they have accepted Christ.

They need to understand that a disciple of Christ has given away his own life for the sake of
Christ and that it may ask for very big sacrifices. Above all, to lay down your own name, your own
kingdom and your own will. Only then can we truly pray the Lord’s Prayer. It may also involve
persecution, mockery and becoming a laughing stock of many.

They need to be thoroughly introduced into the life of a disciple, which involves accompaniment
through a time of personal healing of hurts and wounds, developing a close relationship with
Christ in order to get to know His voice and the willingness to obey Him, no matter what.

           Missions in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities
                                             Giep Louw

    Since the early years, the Eastern Cape has a rich heritage of missionary involvement which runs
like a golden thread through the history of the country.
   Way back in 1795 and shortly afterwards a number of Missionary Societies commenced work in
this part of the country.
  Soon Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, King William’s Town, East London, Gcuwa (Butterworth)
Mthatha and Queenstown became strongholds for the churches and missionary Societies.
   Throughout the years the Lord blessed the different churches and missionary societies with, a
number of remarkable men and women in the field of missions. Today several of them are still
remembered. The many revivals and the exceptionally good progress missions made were as a
result of the input by faithful prayer partners, and committed missionaries, pastors and churches.
  The Eastern Cape was in fact flooded with a series of most significant revivals across
denomination and race boundaries. As a result of which the most exciting outreaches took place.
One such outreach was that of four Xhosa missionaries from Lovedale to Angoni Land (Malawi). In
1875 revival started amongst the students of Lovedale where 250 of 600 were converted. They
were challenged to go to Malawi as missionaries. Fourteen volunteered but only four were
accepted to go of which two returned. These four young men were the pioneer missionaries from
South Africa to Malawi. Only 12 years later other missionaries from South Africa followed.
  The graves of Shadrak Ngunana and William Koyi are in Malawi with the people they loved so
much. After the funeral of William Koyi it was said: “So died William Koyi, having been a humble
and faithful follower of the Saviour, a trophy from heathenism, and the pioneer of the Gospel in
Ngoniland. It was meet that, his work done, his dust should rest where he had fought the battle
becoming the title deed to “Ngoniland for Christ.”

  •   Bless the Nations is well positioned for creating the same environment as in the previous
      century, being a tool in the hand of the Lord, convincing Christians to accept the challenge:
      “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.”
  •    This is the one organisation with a growing potential to contribute to the unity of the Church
      in the Eastern Cape irrespective of religious convictions, nationality, race or social standing.
  •    With the emphasis on dedicated mission’s related training, it equips and exposes the Church
      to new trends in missions and opens doors to many unreached people groups all over the
  •    God over the years blessed us with dedicated people committed to missions at every
      possible level.
  •    The annual conferences, with relevant speakers of the highest quality and with sound
      spiritual input over a period of more than 20 years, proved to be the highlight of the year for
      many Christians.

  •    Bless the Nations has been involved with several missionary societies and churches. Thus
      it qualifies as a valuable resource centre for the sending-churches in recruiting, scrutinising,
      equipping, sending out and supporting missionaries.
  •    Training of committed missionaries to be accountable and loyal to the Lord of the harvest,
      their supporting bodies and fellow missionaries.
  With this in mind Bless the Nations can confidently face the future with its challenges and
opportunities – rendering a relevant service to the Kingdom of God and the Lord of the church –
depending with humility on the One who called us into missionary activities to reach the lost for

                                       Africa to AfricA
                                            Murray Louw

Sunday 1 June 2008
Lovemore* heard the call from the front. He felt God’s nudging in his heart. Weighing the cost of
living in a totally foreign and difficult environment among people whose language he would have to
learn, he realized that those least evangelized tribes just must hear the gospel. And hear it soon. As
he walked forward, he felt the burden lift and was filled with joy. He was yearning to be one of the
ones to take the life-saving message of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus to some specific community
who had never seen the light of the Saviour in their dark environment.

Something special is happening in many Zambian churches and homes. Prayer meetings are
regularly attended by the majority of members. Families are sacrificing their savings to support their
missionaries. Young couples are taking up missionary training and leaving their own town and
country to plant churches. A few go to Europe and Asia. But mostly to Africa - to Chad, Angola,
Sudan and Tanzania. They plant churches among Non-Christian tribes. Coen Scholtz, leader of Pro
Christo Global Missions, PGM, was puzzled why the Zambian missionary families in those countries
adopt local Aids orphans as their own. Who told them? Maybe Coen didn’t TELL them, but he
certainly set the example. Suria and he have raised and are raising seventeen children, mostly
adopted Zambian orphans, right in their own home in Kabwe.

Mobilize to Evangelize!
On that first Sunday in June, three churches in Kabwe were visited by teams from Pro Christo,
PGM. In each church, a PGM team had facilitated a MISSION POSSIBLE ONE workshop on Friday
and Saturday. The turnout at the workshops had been good. On Sunday in the worship services, a
short testimony by the team accompanied a sermon by a preacher. Most people in church
responded by taking personal responsibility to help plant God’s Kingdom both near and far. They
committed to either support missions or be missionaries. The previous week these visiting teams,
89% Black Zambians, had worked through MISSION POSSIBLE workshops presented in Kabwe by
SAAWE, the South African Action for World Evangelization.

Glory to God!
What happened in Zambia?
David Livingstone brought the gospel. He was buried in Zambia.
Zambian churches have been making their members disciples of Jesus. Some of them understand
that God gave us a church so that everybody in the world may hear. The purpose of the church is to
spread the gospel to all.
Countless numbers of Christians have persevered, pouring sweat and tears into Zambian ministry.
It is bearing fruit.
There is a regular annual world missions conference in Kabwe each August. It is attended by
hundreds of people from all over the world. If you go there, you will meet the Black pioneer
missionaries. They are carrying the light of the Gospel to far away tribes where there are hardly any
Christians. You will hear the reports of the remarkable fruit that God is giving on their ministry under
appalling conditions.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
* Not his real name.

                      Training leaders from Africa for the nations.

                                         Pieter McKarthy
                                 Base Director, YWAM, Jeffreys Bay

As base director here in Jeffreys Bay I share the values and vision of our base. Our base is part of
YWAM's International University of the Nations (UofN) which is geared at equipping people for life and
preparing them for their destiny.

Our desire is to release well-rounded leaders from Africa, to share the vision and gifts God has placed
within them with a world in need of the unique treasures of these diverse and warm people.

Relationships are the motivation for all our activities. Individuals, family and community are more
important than programs or systems. Mentoring others is an important part of everything we do.
Everyone is able to teach someone else what they have learned. Generosity characterizes our attitudes
and lifestyle. We seek to break the spirit of poverty and uplift our community through generosity.

We have a heart for hospitality, believing in and celebrating the dignity and value of all individuals made
in God's image. Prayer is the foundation of all our relationships, plans and ministry. We believe in
hearing God's voice and following His direction. We cultivate a lifestyle of worship and praise to God,
dancing with all our strength to the rhythm of the African drum.

As mentioned, our desire is to train and send young leaders from Africa into the nations. This,
unfortunately, brings its own challenges that need to be faced. There is often not a shortage to find
people with a calling for missions, but more that often it is there lack of financial resources which create
critical stumbling blocks. And it must be said that local churches do not often come to the party. It is
really heartbreaking to be informed by someone with a definite calling, that his/her church has
withdrawn financial support. A further challenge that needs to be overcome is often the lack of
commitment from young Christians. Without this these brothers and sisters will mostly not survive the
field (or even training).

While finances are often hurdles, we also need to see the opportunities that surround us. Because of
an outflow of our love for God and His desire to see people live out their destinies, we therefore take
time each week to share this love practically with those around us. In addition to building personal
relationships with people in need, our base is committed as a body to investing into our community
through regular ministry. New opportunities frequently arise to provide support for individuals and
families, and we are open to serve where God opens the door. Some of these serving ministries include
community empowerment, sponsorship for children’s education, outreach to impoverished farming
communities in the Gamtoos and Aids support.

                           Looking back over 20 years

                                        David Mniki

A few words about the times of the birth of Bless the Nations. My own part is intertwined
with the lives and times of two particular men - the three of us in our thirties. Together
we were carried on a spiritual crest of excitement, challenge and discovery. Here we
were – Francois Vosloo, an Afrikaner who led the young Operation Mobilization - a
gracious man with wisdom beyond his age - a man of a rare combination of prayer and
activism. Then there was David Bliss, an American missionary - a visionary whose belief
in the then hardly existing South African missions dream, led him to resuscitate the work
of Andrew Murray. My driving inspiration was to see the sleeping giant of the black
African church arise to the challenge of cross cultural mission. What we represented –
an Afrikaner, an American, a Xhosa – in terms of the incarnation of cross-cultural
mission, we were aware of. But only in hindsight, can I truly appreciate the power and
the wisdom of God that helped us transcend our sentiments, the barriers of language
and culture, and the racially divided politics of the time.

By the time we reached Port Elizabeth, doing the missions conference from city to city,
the Genesis 12 covenant statement to “bless the nations” had become our “war cry”.
Articulated mainly by Dave Bliss, the call to missions had its greatest and most
intentional response among Port Elizabeth church leaders and Missions people. The
rallying cry became the very spirit of a movement being birthed. It was the Port Elizabeth
leaders who came to the decision to actualize the vision so that it became much more
than a Missions Conference. After that, things escalated. Love Southern Africa
happened with Francois in particular emerging as a missions pioneer in South Africa. I
myself was strengthened in my quest for a rising up of missionaries in the black church.
The greatest satisfaction is to see that the work has not lacked dedicated ones these last
20 years. Paul’s words (if you will forgive the missionary license in quoting) are so
relevant: “Some planted the seed, others watered it, but God made it grow,” (1 Cor 3:6).

God bless you with wonderful celebrations.

  How short-term mission teams help mobilise young people from the black
                    South African township churches
                   Rev. Samuel N. Modise, Missions Mobiliser, OM South Africa.

‘Jack, are you happy to participate in this year’s Global Challenge in George?’ ‘Oh yes’, ‘I’m hoping to
learn as much about missions as possible and take that knowledge back to my local church’. This was the
response of Jack Selolo, a young Christian man from Soshanguve, a township north of Pretoria. He
registered to participate in a short-term outreach organised by OM South Africa, to be held in George,
Southern Cape in July 2007. He wanted to find out if it is God’s will for him to become a career missionary.

I thank God that the number of short-term opportunities has exploded in recent years in South Africa. We
see more young people from all races participating. My prayer is that God will use these initiatives to call
more young people into long-term commitment. Peter Makwela, a pastor from Hammanskraal, north of
Pretoria, started by sponsoring six young people in 2005 to participate in short-term outreaches. In 2006
he sent nineteen young people and in 2007 he wanted to send thirty one young people to OM South
Africa’s winter outreach but the organisers could not oblige to his request since all the remaining places
were already taken. There is a big hunger from the church in the township to be involved in world missions
these days. The question is, ‘Are the mission organisations in South Africa ready to handle this

Missiologists and other mission practitioners inform us that the church in Latin America, Africa, and parts
of Asia has much more vision and zeal for world evangelisation than the church in the West. But this
should not pump us with destructive pride. The short-term missionary movement in the three mentioned
world regions is perhaps the most powerful force used to mobilise new missionaries. The number of short-
term personnel serving mission organisations at least two to six months continues to be the fastest
growing segment of the missions force. Modern trends force us to redefine our concept of a ‘missionary’.
No longer is the mission field viewed as the territory of an elite few. Increasingly, ordinary lay people are
finding that they can be empowered to contribute to the mission enterprise with their time and talent. A
new breed of missionary is being called to the field. He/she may be an Accountant who can afford a
week’s vacation overseas.

Many years ago, lay people were expected to give and to pray, to be senders and not goers. Now, a
growing number of would-be missionaries are exploring creative ways in which they can be involved in
missions. It is exciting that in the last fifteen years many young South Africans who have never had the
experience would like to go on a short-term mission outreach. James Engel once concluded that “Prior
short-term service on the field sharply increases interest in a missionary career…A short-term missionary
service program is a must. Organisations not providing this option will face a manpower crisis”. One can
never overemphasise this truth.

Short-term mission teams may have bad experiences when they are inadequately prepared. But teams
can have a tremendous impact if they are properly trained and go to the field with the right attitudes. The
greatest benefit of short-term missions is that they have challenged the historical notion that career
missionaries are “the real super Christians” The priesthood of believers applies to missions as well as the
church universal.

As we move into the future, waiting for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, God will continue to
raise dynamic models of mobilising His church. Let’s be vigilant and sensitive to recognise these models
and use them for the extension of God’s Kingdom and His glory! AMEN…

                                 One body with different gifts

                                            Anna Mubarrak

Rom 12:5-8 ... so in Christ we who are many form one body... We have different gifts, according
to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion of his faith. If it
is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if
it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him
govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (NIV)

The words of this passage are very relevant in the Middle East today. The Challenges that missionaries
face are wars and suspicion towards foreigners, but that also presents opportunities to love and serve
in all honestly.

I would like to tell you what I have observed in a small English Speaking Congregation in the city where
I serve.

The Pastor of the church is a fulltime lecturer at an indigenous Bible College, where they are training
church leaders. He himself is a local believer and the fruit of the labor of missionary service two
generations ago.

Other members of the congregation comprise of the Director of a Christian bookshop. The bookshop
has a variety of material for building up local believers as well as evangelistic material in order to reach
the lost. The director’s wife while studying for her MA degree at a local University had many
opportunities to share a Christian perspective on issues.

Yet another couple in the church, the husband is a doctor who is currently busy working on a
proposal for the UN in order to obtain finances for a major development project. His wife teaches
French to locals and has many opportunities to discuss religious topics.

Then there is also a single guy, who is serving with a local organization that focuses on peace and
reconciliation between two fighting communities.

Another member of the church is a single lady, who is an anthropologist and did research in a refugee
camp. She got involved with non-violent resistant activities in order to keep authorities from closing an

We also have among our members, two women who are in diplomatic service for their respective

Another family is working with World Vision in order to uplift the local community.
And I am teaching at a local school where the majority of the children are non-believers.
Finally, we also have a couple that is busy with fulltime Evangelism.
Three of the members of the church are first generation believers.
This is only an example of one congregation (body of Christ) with many different members using the
gifts that God gave them in order to be salt and light in the world. And as we cry out to God for the
people we live among, God’s Spirit moves. Graciously He uses us in spite of the fact that we are only
jars of clay.

           Missions in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

                                              Errol Mulder

I am one of those privileged to have been asked to comment on the above, from the perspective of a
denominational pastor for some 38 years, the last 21 attempting to build on the premise “The church
exists by missions as fire exists by burning.” The last 18 months have been spent outside of the
‘traditional church’ in a ‘house church planting’ ministry serving in a community of the poor and young (I
read a statistic somewhere that 70% of the world consists of the poor and young). Together with this I
am researching ‘shapes of church in the 21st century.’ Three points need to be raised….

Firstly, we live in a time when the traditional, institutional church is in ‘meltdown.’ Those churches,
denominations and organizations which fail to transition into incarnational-missional forms/communities
and are busy with their own programs and agendas will be like trees cut down by wind and weather,
even by God Himself. Godly colleagues have independently said to me recently, “The very foundations
of the church are being shaken.” It is no longer about this church or that, but about ‘the gospel of the
Kingdom.’ My comments sound radical, but we are living in radical times. I met a young woman
recently, her t-shirt read ‘The Church has left the building!’ That is but one aspect of the current
‘shaking of the foundations.’ Hans Kung wrote, ‘A church which pitches its tents without constantly
looking for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calling…. We
must play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, live by improvisation and experiment.’

Secondly, there is (globally) a rising number of missional leaders, who see the church returning to
‘simplicity,’ i.e. the kind of organic simplicity we find in the Book of Acts – e.g. Acts 2:42-47. It is not
the form so much as the life-principles. Churches meeting in homes, offices, on campuses, certainly in
small enough groups to experience authentic community. But also to incarnate Jesus missionally in our
society, our particular setting and beyond. It is the time of the Great Commission (Mt. 28) and the Great
Commandment (Mt. 22). This type of church will network with other ‘simple churches ’ and
‘conventional churches’ with new wine and new wineskins. We are hearing of the church ‘at the table
and in the stadium’ (witness the latter, e.g, in the worldwide Global Day of Prayer gatherings of the past
few years). “To the church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Port Elizabeth…” (or Beijing). This church is
uncompromisingly committed to the Scriptures once delivered and particularly the obedience thereof.

Third, ‘missions’ includes incarnational living, true community life (‘koinonia’), and witness by word and
deed, locally and to the ends of the earth. Jesus is taken to the ‘unreached peoples’ in our communities
(homes, offices, businesses, coffee shops and schools) and abroad (see the simultaneous ‘both… and’
of Acts 1:8). What a glorious opportunity as well as aweful responsibility!

A final (uncomfortable) challenge: what do ‘Great Commission Christians’ do in institutional
churches, that, for whatever reason, refuse to give up their institutionalism for the sake of Mt. 28:18-20?
I’d Love to hear from you!

                                      Discipleship Training

                                               Carel Nel
                                             FCE, Wolseley

Jesus commands his disciples to make disciples in Matt 28:16-20. In order to make disciples you need
to be a disciple. You need to be a follower of Christ Jesus so that your life directs others to follow Jesus
in a way that they will bear fruit that will last [John 15:16].

The church’s focus has shifted from this command of Jesus. How many churches are busy with a
church vision instead of a Kingdom vision? We are raising church people, they are accustomed to the
church principles and culture, but their minds are not transformed and renewed to be Jesus minded.
How many churches today give attention to the making of disciples? There is no glory in making
disciples, it is hard work, you need to give yourself, your time and sometimes to expose yourself in a
way that might be embarrassing, and in short to make disciples is a humble experience. IT NEEDS A

We are facing a serious challenge today with especially our young people. They are looking for the
genuine and not the fake. Unfortunately we live in “quick fix” societies which influence all of us, but
especially our young people. Certain norms and values are not anymore in place. There are various
reasons for that. Our families are not in place. Families are intended by God to be a place where His
principles can be taught and practiced. This is the place to get a grip on discipline and submission to
authority, one of our biggest challenges today. The problem of today’s families is working-, busy-, and
absent parents. Children are educated by the media of the day. This is where a big critical area lies.
Young people are exposed to the worldly principals. Through the media the world is shaping our young
people’s mindsets. Everything must be quick, there is no time to wait, and they want to do it now! They
are not confronted with hardships. Their character is not developed to endure challenges.

It is a challenge to disciple people [especially young people] where basic values and norms are not in
place. For instance young people grow up with a mindset to do whatever they want, whenever they
want to do it. Now we try to teach them the importance of the spiritual disciple on obedience and dying
to self. Well they were never taught how to die to self in a practical manner like to receiving orders from
an actual person and exercise them accordingly, even when that is not their desire. How will they be
able to be obedient to God if they cannot obey fellow man that they can see? Overcoming a fleshly
situation [eg. smoking] can create the learning experience to overcome bondages like negative thinking
patterns. It creates a concrete marker in the person’s life which gives the authority to overcome more
abstract situations.

We must create a learning environment or character building situation where we can use practical
situations to teach and practice spiritual disciplines. We must move from the concrete to the abstract.
When we put all focus on establishing spiritual disciplines [when concrete ones are not in place] a
situation can arise where spiritual fruit is temporary and not permanent. We must always have a
strategy in place where concrete disciplines can form the foundation and departing point for spiritual
growth and fruit that will last.

 In the discipling process we need to create physical markers where they are absent. We must move
from the known or concrete to the unknown or abstract in this process. We want to produce disciples
that will bear fruit that will last! And this takes time and effort which we cannot do unless we already
bear fruit that lasts! Let’s go out and make disciples.

           Missions in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities
                                           Gerard Olivier
                                         Pastor, DRC Patmos
The challenges facing the Great Commission in the 21st century are numerous. Some challenges
haven’t changed in ages – the challenge of working across cultural and language boundaries for
instance still poses some huge tests for individuals and groups involved, and it always will. There is
the challenge of more (and more effective) involvement of local churches in world missions and the
ongoing challenge of mobilizing and equipping these congregations to play an affective role in the
world missions’ arena. There is the massive ongoing challenge of distinguishing between Gospel and
Culture and the ever-lurking danger of syncretism. With the emphasis on globalization and
urbanization, there is a distinct danger of forgetting the millions belonging to the “rural tier” of the
global missions’ setup. In fact, the Church of Jesus Christ must remember that “all the nations” implies
a huge and ever expanding urban challenge in the 21st century, but in the process of facing that
challenge, the church must never forget the millions that must still be reached “in the bush”.
Speaking of urbanization, I believe that this is one of the fundamental phenomena of the 20th and 21st
centuries that pose both an enormous challenge and opportunity to the 21st century church. With
urbanization and globalization came about shifting frontiers on a massive scale in the world missions
arena. Huge numbers of citizens from countries that do not allow missionaries to work there, or where
it is difficult to work, are now living in countries where the majority of the citizens are Christians. The
largest community of Pakistanis outside of Pakistan is found in the UK for instance. Urbanization has
brought a huge “chunk” of the mission field right to our doorstep! This places a high premium on
equipping Christians to effectively promote Christianity in the marketplace – at work, school etc. What
needs to be remembered on this (much wider) mission field, is that world missions is more than just
evangelism – it is a lifestyle and life process. Another great challenge that the Church faces in the 21st
century is the slow eroding power of secularization.
But to me the greatest challenge facing the church today is Islam. From a missions’ perspective the
challenge lies on at least two levels: First there is the shear number of people belonging to this faith
together with the fact that most of them cannot be reached by open means and conventional
missiological methods together with its innate antagonism and resistance to the Gospel. The second
level is the resistance and negative attitude from Christians towards Islam brought about by a post-
9/11 era. If we want to effectively face the challenges of Islam, we will have to learn to love our
I would like to conclude this short paper by mentioning a number of opportunities that the 21st century
church should exploit to the full. The role of the indigenous Christian can never be underestimated.
Therefore every effort should be made to equip, train and empower the indigenous church and its
members. The role and potential of modern communicational means can also never be
underestimated and every technological advance possible should be taken advantage of to the fullest
extend for the sake of the Gospel. Although there are numerous prayer efforts – some even very
concerted, we have yet to see the power that a globally concerted, concentrated and intelligent prayer
focus can unleash.
Finally, I would love to see much more of what Eddie Gibbs and Ian Coffey call “apostolic networking”
– the unselfish and mature attitude that makes available what I have for all to use for the furthering of
the Gospel, be it know-how, technology, experience, administrative streamlining or whatever (my
interpretation of networking, not theirs necessarily). This would also imply that mainline groups and
institutions and long standing mission organizations will have to be less cohesive and institutionally
orientated and less controlled from the centre. The alternative however poses a real threat to existing
main line institutions and organizations – that of sinking in the mire of bureaucratic hierarchies where
one trades Kingdom effectiveness for building and protecting little kingdoms of your own. As we are
well on our way towards the 2nd decade of the 21st century, the overall driving force should be an
emphatic and uncompromising, self-negating: “Thy Kingdom come…”

The quest for an authentic mission sending model by the church in

                              Dr. Nicholas D. Osameyan
                     Africa Area Director, World Thrust International

There is no question as to the growing interest of the African church taking its place in global
missions from Africa by Africans to the world.

There is however the quest for an authentic missions sending model that is culturally and
contextually relevant to the situation in Africa. The Euro-centric approach to mission
Training, Sending and Supporting structures and models inherited from the western missions
is both expensive and outdated under the present day in Africa's prevailing cultural and
economic milieu.

Coupled with the challenges highlighted above are some change-drivers with their mounting
pressures on the church in Africa. These include Poverty, HIV/AIDs pandemic,
Urbanization, Technology and the increase in the number of other religions contending for
the soul of Africa. Although it is a welcome development that the church in Africa in the last
decades has witnessed rapid growth and extension through the different church planting
efforts, in some cases they are nothing but church proliferation without strength and
visionary leaders.

We can however celebrate the tremendous missions contribution of some African emerging
missions and mega churches. In spite of the multifaceted challenges confronting the church
in Africa in her involvement in the noble kingdom assignment of world evangelization,
opportunities abound for greater participation in the 21st century.

The global human movement occasioned by economic migration, war, political problems and
global trade has greatly changed the face of the harvest field in Africa. Mission "markets"
have suddenly come to the church's backyards. The poor churches need not cross any
geographic boundaries before reaching out cross-culturally. The freedom from historic
baggage of colonialism and imperialism is an added value to African missionaries willing to
serve in least evangelized areas of the world. Communication and missionary care have
also received a big boost by the arrival of the internet.

Other encouraging developments are the springing up of national missions bodies and
networks like World Evangelization Network of South Africa (WENSA), Ghana Evangelical
Mission Association (GEMA) and Nigeria Evangelical Mission association (NEMA) and the
catalytic efforts of the Movement for Africa National Initiative (MANI).

Mission awareness is increasing in almost all the Countries of Africa. More than ever before
in the history of the church in Africa, calls are being made for the development of an Afro-
centric approach to mission Training, Sending and Supporting in the continent. The church
in the global North is also becoming more open to partnership without paternalism with the
church in the global South (Africa, Asia and Latin America).

I wish to conclude by saying the 21st century is Africa's time in world evangelization, its
various challenges not withstanding.

The brevity of this write-up only provokes food for thought on the topic under discussion, so
thank you for understanding my limitations.



                    The Porridge, the Vegetables & the Steak
                                       Judy Pelleboer
                                      Missionary, Russia

The story in Ezekiel about the man being led into the water at different levels of depth is often
used as an example for depth of prayer life, or depth of spiritual maturity. I want to use as an
example, the stages of our lives from being born, to babyhood, to childhood, to being a teenager
and then on to adulthood, to explain what we are seeing in the field that God has sent us into.

Many missionaries came, gave birth, some even stayed to give milk, but even fewer stayed to
give the porridge, the vegetables and the steak – all things a child and a teenager needs to
grow. Many Christians in Russia, were abandoned at the vegetable and steak stage, the
teenage stage of their growth in Christ.

What does this type of teenager do – the one who was abandoned at this critical stage? He
might welcome finances and material supplies brought to him by the periodical missionaries
who still come faithfully to assist, BUT this spiritually knee deep teenager usually “knows more”
than his spiritually deep swimming missionaries who have been fed so much porridge,
vegetables and steak that they could keep them swimming for years away from their homes .
However, he definitely doesn’t think he needs spiritual input from those well fed, good
intentioned strangers. They’re not going to stay anyway, just like those before them, they’re
going to leave, so why trust, and why get close?

What does the parent or the guardian of such a teenager do? What does the missionary do in
this field of spiritually knee deep waders who “know how” to do deep sea swimming on their
own? Spiritual teenagers who have not had the benefit of porridge, vegetables and steak, but
they are operating in the deep water, and teaching others how to swim there.
You show the same grace and mercy you would show to your own teenager if he is at this
stage. You love when you feel unloved, you serve when you feel used, and you give when you
feel unappreciated – like Jesus did. Finally, you release him like the father of the prodigal son –
and prayerfully watch him climb, stumble, climb, take a few steps back and climb again – and
you prayerfully wait for him to realize that he does actually need more spiritual input, or even
correction from those well fed missionaries.

Then there is the larger section of the field – the vast unreached – who are of the opinion “we
don’t need you, don’t want you, didn’t ask for you to come, what are you doing here anyway?”
The challenge is to know deep in your heart “you do indeed need me, God asked me to
come, and I’m here to introduce you to the King of Kings who really wants you to know
and love Him, because He loves you so much”. You then use every opportunity to come
alongside those who the Father has given you.

We have the luxury of a hungry, porridge, vegetable and steak eating little church, who love us,
appreciate us and receive what we serve with grateful hearts.


                                  Paradigm shifts in Missions

                                              Jeff Pike
                                     Missions mobilise and trainer

A mantra of some popular leadership gurus goes something like this: “If you do what you’ve done,
you get what you’ve got”. In disrespect to this precept, we mission practitioners are forever trying to
tune up and “hit them again” with the same, though polished up, old mission strategies. I believe it
is now time to get a fresh anointing of vision and strategy for this century’s mission endeavors.

Though the pace of world evangelization has increased markedly in the last 20 years, we won’t be
completing the task within our life time at the current rate of progress. If we don’t change some
fundamental methods, strategies and perceptions we will continue to reap the same results of
endeavors past. We must recognize that these results, though remarkable, are not good enough.

History has shown us that a relatively small number of mission practitioners are responsible for the
huge increase of worldwide believers and the resultant shift of the center of gravity of the church
from the West to the global South. A few more people making a difference out there could result in
a tremendous harvest.

We also need to acknowledge that all the relatively easy work and easy places of ministry are taken
or completed. The sober reality is that only the really tough places of the world are awaiting a
Gospel breakthrough.

I will thus give my short list of shifts of “mindset” that will likely need to take place this century:

1. Move over to right theology.
A realignment of theology will take place in the Church of tomorrow. This will include a Biblically
correct interpretation of the mission mandate plus a new emphasis on sharing God’s blessings with
the entire world. Believers will move from the singular, though unspoken goal, of seeking the God
of blessing and move towards sharing the blessings with the world by pursuing God’s destiny.

2. Rethink the purpose of the local church.
House churches, small groups and the “Jesus style of mentoring” will become the effective mode of
discipling the nations. Mass gathering and mass media are now becoming only useful for basic
communication and entertainment. Inviting people to Jesus will no longer include inviting them to an
event or meeting. Each believer will take and share Jesus wherever life takes him.

3. Mission strategy – an oxymoron no more.
Typical mission strategy will no longer be limited to creating and servicing missionaries or training
nationals but will become more holistic in the sense of launching disciple making movements among
the unreached. New modes and practitioners of mission will eclipse those that are more traditional.
Completing the task of world evangelism will be seen as measurable and doable, not the proverbial
“black hole”. Likewise mission training models will be created in order to facilitate the new harvest
force. Training is set to become less formal and less information transfer -- to more of a
mentoring/coaching environment that will transfer motivation and empowerment.

4. Nations – created to be honoured and to bring Glory to God.
God is now giving us the ability to see the nations through His eyes. He sees destiny, glory and
honour out among the strangely foreign places that we tend to see as resistant to the Gospel. I
believe the church will soon wake up to catch God’s vision for His nations.

Conclusion: The last command of Christ should become our first priority. But to complete the task
we must acknowledge our need to fundamentally change the way we think about it. It seems to me
that the rules will change so much that we will soon find ourselves in a completely different game!

                    Moving Beyond the Great Commission
                                       Dualaneo Prins
                  Vice-President of the Christian Association in Telkom SA

Introduction:          The term ‘mission’ is often confused with a secretive assignment ór
something sinister (eg. “I’m on a mission” ór “I’ve been assigned to a certain mission”). In
biblical terms, Christians often use the word ‘mission(s)’ very loosely with no real
understanding of its meaning. Yet Matt. 28:19-20 is clear about this concept: “Therefore go
and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely
I am with you always, to the very end of the age." This is also in line with the Latin word

Mission Transformation: In order for us to be transformed as true “mission vessels” aka
missionaries, we first need to find answers to some of the following questions:
• “Why should I go?” … With changing circumstances in this secular world – other than
   what were the challenges when The Great Commission was given to the 11 disciples –
   this question can only be answered if there is a ‘personal’ experience and
   metamorphosis with God. Thus some sort of “circumcision of the heart” (Deut. 10:16a)
   needs to take place.
• “When am I ready to go?” … Stemming from the first question, it is my belief that when a
   “mission transformation” takes place (ie. after “circumcision of your heart”), you’ll be able
   to declare and proclaim like an Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me!” (Isa. 6:8c)
• “Who should go?” … Here I need to be a bit controversial, based on my experience of
   what people know about mission work ór perceptions in Churches. One needs to realise
   that being a ‘quality’ mission vessel is to be qualified as per Matt. 20:16 (OAVT) “want
   baie is geroep, maar min uitverkies” (“for many are called, but few chosen”) However,
   the challenge still remains for all human beings to accept “mission responsibility,” as God
   is the infinitely perfect Creator who deserves all praise and we need to give Him all the
   glory with all of our hearts; soul; mind and strength (Mrk. 12:30).
• “Where shall I go?” … It is my belief that anyone can be a mission vessel whether in your
   own home; amongst your family and friends; at work; in society; at your local Church;
   across South Africa; and/or in a different country. The qualifying criteria still remains that
   you need to have that personal experience with God and have a “circumcised heart”
   before you can tell others about Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord.
• “What should be done?” … This is where we need to move BEYOND the assignment of
   The Great Commission. To “go and make disciples” needs to be contextualised around
   the day-to-day issues of this secular world and the perceived priority to “clone biblical
   beings” should not be our objective anymore.
• “How shall I do it?” … In Eph. 4:23-24 the Apostle Paul urges his readers “to be made
   new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in
   true righteousness and holiness.” Thus I believe that if the mind is renewed, the
   behaviour will be such that you strive to do the right thing, as prescribed by God’s Word.

Bless-the-Nations:           This Mission Movement of Christian Churches and Mission
Organisations – resident in Port Elizabeth; Republic of South Africa – needs to be applauded
for promoting the Vision of Prayer, Revival and Missions across the world. Its three
cornerstones already move beyond The Great Commission, including reformation and
transformation. As a result of their interventions, many Christians (and previous non-
Christians) are also now actively involved in mission mobilisation and support because of
hearing the Lord’s voice in their conferences and via messages spread through their
“mission vessels.” A challenge for the organisation remains to be VOCAL and ACTIVE in
spreading The Gospel with much more vigour.

Closure:        One realises that Mission & Evangelism is NOT only limited and restricted to
‘registered’ Missionaries. It is the duty and assignment of each one of us, created by God.
Thus moving ‘beyond’ a biblical Great Commission is not such a far fetched idea. The
relationship with God has always been based on belief – a belief that what God said is true.
But for this belief to be real it was always expected to produce obedience. The wonder of
our relationship today is that God gives us His law written on our heart and He gives us His
Spirit to guide and strengthen us to obey: "And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to
follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws" (Ezek. 36:27).

Thus the covenant with Abraham is still relevant today, as per Gal. 3:8b “All nations will be
blessed through you” … and in my words: “Blessed are the Nations!”


      Missions in the 21st Century Challenges and Opportunities

                                  Phillip Scheepers
                   Training Coordinator, Veritas College International

Missions in the 21st century: Challenges and Opportunities. How do you address such a
profound question in such a short article!? I suppose the best approach is to not even try to
move towards final answers but instead to sketch some vague outlines of the issues I
believe will be confronting us over the next few decades. On the challenge side I think that
the resurgence of Islam tops the list while I believe that the changing face of the world-wide
church presents us with our greatest opportunity.

Our greatest challenge – A competing missionary faith
At the beginning of the 20th century Islam would not have made many lists on the issues
facing the missions community. In fact, many people were ready to count Islam out on its
feet as a spent force. How times have changed! A combination of the effects of
decolonisation, the discovery of oil in the Middle East, a Muslim population explosion and the
rise of radical thinkers within the Muslim world all contributed to a resurgent Islam that none
of us can afford to ignore. Gone are the predictions of Islam’s imminent demise, instead we
are faced with growing and well resourced movement with literally global ambitions. We
should therefore clearly understand that we are not the only people entering this century with
a vision as wide as the world. The question of how to deal with Islam (in terms of
Evangelism, Apologetics and even on a Political level) is therefore becoming ever more
relevant. This is not only true in the Muslim heartlands but also in traditionally ‘Christian’
societies. One of the biggest questions in this regard will almost certainly be how we are to
deal with the restriction of freedom (especially in terms of freedoms of religion, association
and conscience) that often goes hand in glove with the growth of traditionalist Islam.

Our greatest opportunity – A radically different church
At the beginning of the 20th century the vast majority of Christians were of European
extraction and based in Europe and North America. Today the church is more diverse,
multilingual and transcontinental than ever. We have never been closer to seeing the
fulfilment of the vision of people form ‘every tribe, language, people and nation’ (Revelation
5:9) worshipping the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. This ‘new face’ of the global church is a
testimony to the faithful labour of so many who crossed oceans and cultures to spread the
Gospel. It also speaks to us of an exciting new phase in the history of the church where
Christianity is truly becoming a ‘local faith’ in more and more places. With this opportunity
also comes the huge responsibility of harnessing the huge potential of all these new
believers and churches for the sake of the Kingdom.

It is sometimes very easy to look at matters like these simply as problems to be solved or
doors to walk through. However, even here at the beginning of the 21st century (or maybe
especially now) we still need to constantly remind ourselves that no challenge is bigger than
our God and that responding to an opportunity in our own strength is just as good as missing

                                     Pray for the Muslims

                                            Eric Simiyu
                               Director of Haradali Mission in Kenya

Indeed God is very humorous. He created one man Adam, and commanded him to fill the earth and
subdue it. This job was to be done using one Eve! Was God serious about filling the earth? What
could he have done to get the job done in a shorter time? The possible permutations of ways God
had at his disposal were many but He chose one, apparently a slow one. What would you have
done to get the job done faster? Give Adam at least 10 wives? Or increase the number of children a
mother can bear per delivery as the norm? Reduce the gestation period in humans from nine to just
two months? Or could you have…?

Today the world population is over 6 billion souls! This alone is reason enough for us to trust God
even in matters mission! Really God is able to save the whole world by a swipe of his hand. But in
His divine wisdom He has chosen that we be involved in it together with Him. Before we reverse the
order of things we must realize that God wants us to pray. This is the highest calling, the ministry of
intercession. Sadly, this is the most neglected aspect of ministry.

Prayer is a mealtime ritual. Fervent intercession is wasting time when we have serious business to
do. Prayer and Fasting is branded fanaticism… No wonder we don’t know God, we trust Him less
and love not those made in His image and likeness. Just as God assigned one Eve to Adam we
have been given one assignment in Missions. PRAY. Matthew 9:35-37. Jesus never told the
Disciples rush and bring in the harvest, not even increase the man hours but simply, pray to the
Lord of the harvest.

Amazing that we can spend 6 hours non-stop watching movies, soccer, soaps, big brother Africa…
but can’t spend 15 minutes in prayer. At conferences on world evangelization you have opening
and closing prayers at the sessions. Please do that, it’s ok, it’s good but where are the importunate
prayers that would move heaven? Why is it that we can’t spend a whole day in prayer not even an
hour a day in prayer? Why do we find prayer so boring?

Islam is a huge spiritual force that is carefully set against the Kingdom of God. Just think about this,
we are raised by God the Father and are seated with Christ Jesus in the heavenly places. The Spirit
of Christ, the spirit of life is at work in us. The Apostle Paul declared, O death where is your sting, O
grave your victory! In Christ Jesus we have conquered the grave. But as for Muslims Muhammad is
dead and yet he is the best example that the Qur’an commands they should emulate. A dead man!
Can a Muslim declare “O grave where is your victory?” No, he can’t. The spirit of death is ruling in
hearts of Muslims. The only way we can free these loved ones is by spending time in prayer. This is
just one aspect of spiritual bondage Muslims are under. We can only break through by prayer and
not human wisdom.

If there is something the devil believes in, it’s PRAYER. Not because he practices it but because he
really suffers when people pray. Friends let us Pray… God’s way is pray - though it may seem slow.

                               Town to Country Mission

                                        Alan Stansbury

Short Term Missions really have come to the fore in the latter part of the 20th Century and in this
the beginning of the 21st.

Mission-minded churches open up opportunities for their members (i.e. Mission Support Group,
Youth Group etc) who have heard about Missions in their churches and elsewhere are being
given an opportunity to find out what the situation is really about through going on short-term
Missions. Mission Schools too, such as "Bless the Nations!"

In September 1998 Ds Dirk van Dyk of the Cookhouse DRC invited the school to do a short-
term Mission to the Cookhouse - Kommadagga areas.

Mr Jimmy Truter, a farmer from Kommadagga and Pastor Reuben Africa assisted in setting up
the mission. Further short-term missions followed due to the very favourable response. And so,
this necessitated setting up a Board to oversee operations from both town & country role
players. (The school did not feel it could or should be responsible in this way.)

One of the basic stipulations of these outreaches was that we, the visitors from town, no matter
what colour, denomination or age would be allocated to a farm worker’s home for the duration of
the outreach. This impacted the whole course of the outreach and also helped the farmer to get
closer to his workers.

There were many wonderful happenings, many problems, many disappointments, but all in all
many people both from town & country benefited tremendously.

The time came in 2001 when a fulltime farm ministry came into the area, known as MET (Mobile
Evangelistic Tent Mission). We realised this was from the Lord so could withdraw from the area
& involve ourselves with the Middleburg area where we were invited. 2002 saw us doing similar
ministry to the farms in Middelburg but we also ministered in the town itself. The chief role
players being Mr Julian Southey, a farmer, Rev. Roy & Lynn Middlecote from the Anglican
parish in Middelburg & Mr Joe Newton, the co-ordinator of the twelve farms that fell under the
banner Schoombe Fellowship with which we became involved. Again, some wonderful
happenings with disappointments, mistakes & distances needing to be covered did not really
allow us to minister to the extent that we would have liked. Fortunately again MET Mission
came into the area & to the rescue and they are still at work in the area. We are hearing very
good reports in what is going on there. Our ministry went into a quiet spell and was invited to
start up in the Nanaga area but this did not materialise and we definitely heard the Lord saying
"That's enough".

I leave you this report of a short term outreach which helped many people to really understand a
little bit of what Mission is really about.


                        Emerging Mission Movement Strategy
                                          Peter Tarantal
                                National Director, OM South Africa

Over the last decade we have been seeing a wave of mission from parts of the world which have
traditionally been recipients of those bringing the gospel message, namely Africa, Asia, Latin
America, the Middle East and even Eastern Europe. God is doing new and greater things in his
church, especially in the Global South, preparing her to take greater responsibility for reaching the
nations with the gospel.

While 61% of the world’s Christians now live in the Global South, only 22% (90,000) of missionaries
are sent out from there, while as much as 78% (330,000) are from older mission-sending nations,
according to Christian Data. In OM the number of workers from the Global South is very
encouraging measured alongside these figures, even aside from the fact that almost a half of the
total OM workers are from India alone.

Outlined below are some of the models that have been proposed to harness this growing movement
and facilitate the sending out of workers from regions where missions have not so far been
financially feasible.

One is proximate sending which involves those closest to the target group geographically and in
linguistics, culture, world-view, and lifestyle. At a basic support level of US$250 emerging mission
workers can sustain basic living conditions at the level of the local people amongst whom they live
and work.

A second is where dual-vocation workers – who require considerably less funding than those who
are fully-supported – divide their time between work and ministry. Their work gives them a higher
level of credibility among their target group who can therefore better identify with them, and they are
less vulnerable to accusations they are paid by foreigners to proselytise. This is already a practice
in many areas in the Middle East.

Overseas employment is another low-cost or even no-cost sending strategy. A prime example of
this is the 8 million Filipinos who work in more than 180 countries. The Chinese and African
Diasporas have similar potential.

There is a call for true partnership between those from the Global South and those from the Global
North. As this inter-dependence develops, people from the former should never see themselves as,
or be treated as, third-class citizens. Consider, for example, the African who is pastoring the largest
church in the Ukraine.

In addition to collaboration, however, there is much to be gained from the church in the Global
South– no matter how rich or poor – understanding its own role in sending, as a recent story from
Zambia movingly illustrates:



A pastor went to speak at a church in one of the rural areas of Zambia. He was accompanying a
member of the church who was interested in joining a church planting team in an unreached area
along Lake Tanganyika. When they took up the offering of the normal tithes it amounted to just
twelve rand (US$ 2). The pastor was reluctant to ask them to support the young man but he felt
prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so anyway.

After praying, the elders came back to say they would take up the challenge to find the 5,000 rand
(US$ 700) for his transport and initial support and committed to finding the money in a month. By
the time a month had passed they had come up with the full sum.

On enquiring how they had done it, the pastor was told everyone in the church with more than two
pairs of trousers or shirts had brought their extras to the church to be sold. However, after selling
their clothes they still had quite a shortfall.
They then agreed to fast one meal a day for the next few weeks and brought the money they would
have spent on their staple maize meal to the church. God honoured their faith and commitment as
well as their sacrificial giving and they miraculously reached their target.

If the church moves in this direction it will see a rich harvest of new workers in the near future.


              Jesus still calls us to “make disciples of all nations”

                                         Ilse Terblanche
                                          Global Careers

The Great Commission is still the mandate of the Church in the twenty-first century, as millions of
people still remain untouched by the Gospel. More than ever before, the whole Church needs to
find new and strategic ways to reach nations, especially where traditional structures and other
barriers prevent the reaching of all nations with the Good News of our Lord, Jesus Christ. In a
culturally complex and changing twenty-first century world, it is time to develop new mission
methods and strategies. Tentmaking missions are being talked about by many mission leaders in
many countries as a key mission strategy of the future. Just sending some good business people to
foreign countries is not tentmaking missions. We all should know that a tentmaker’s priority is
sharing the Gospel and serving the Lord.

Christians everywhere, in all walks of life, need to yield to our Lord’s command. We all have daily
contact with people in our families, workplaces and communities. As each person becomes
intentionally involved in disciplemaking, unbelieving individuals and communities around our
churches experience the goodness of God and are drawn to the hope that they see amongst
believers. Obedience to the Great Commission expressed in the making of disciples as primary
ministry, is the key to the establishment of disciplemaking communities, especially where the need
is the greatest! Societies change as individuals change. Nations are discipled one person at a time.
Jesus‘ principle of making disciples was to have them “with Him”. The apostle Paul spent months
and sometimes years building into people’s lives and hearts. Therefore discipling is a lifestyle,
rather than a teaching style.

 We have an increase in opportunities in the global marketplace, asking for all levels of skilled
workers, drawing many people across borders to work opportunities. When taking these
opportunities to work amongst other peoples abroad, the opportunity to form deep personal
relationships and win people through life and witness, can lead to the establishment of new
fellowships of believers where the Church is not present. Tentmakers are professionals who make
use of their professions and their secular careers to do cross-cultural mission. The term
“tentmaking” is therefore the process by which they are either fully or partially supported by their
professions, while others are supported by a church or mission that send them forth. Many
tentmakers could share the Gospel and win many souls, but fail to make disciples of Christ who can
continue and multiply the ministry when they leave the country.

Where God’s people live in obedience to His Commission, a commitment to the intentional making
of disciples is required, as the nations are waiting…


                                   Not without the sticky rice
                                        Jannie Theunissen
                                      OMF International, Thailand

    What typically happens on a Sunday afternoon here in Bangkok, is that someone in our house
    says, “This is it. I can’t stand this sweaty, diesel coated concrete jungle one more minute!
    Let’s go to Suanrotfai.” Yeeeees! The park! Why didn’t we think of it sooner? Dad grabs the
    ball. Nerina grabs her badminton set. Cobus grabs a snack and we all bundle into the car
    laughing and joking and brimming over with excitement. Uhh ... where is Mom?

    What is taking her so long?

    We are forced to go and have a look. So, the fans and the lights -we forgot to switch those off.
    Mom remembered. And the water bottles -quite essential -Mom is busy packing that in. Along
    with the cucumber sticks, chicken and sticky rice which she magically pulled out from
    somewhere. Yes of course! This park has bikes for rent, but no food stalls. Without supper our
    outing will be very short or very miserable. Then follows the magic moment of revelation when
    we all suddenly realize the wisdom of this woman and that we can stand there all afternoon
    marveling and watching her doing all these things or we can actually help get it all done.
    Such a moment of revelation is the distinguishing thing about missions in the 21 century. It
    makes missions the main work of the Church and not the pet hobby of a few enthusiasts. A
    significant part of the Church have now woken up to the fact that we are the first generation of
    Christians ever for whom it has become possible to complete the Lord’s great commission.

    There has always been a longing to get going. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” There
    has always been that clear goal. We have been longing for the new Jerusalem and the hand
    that will wipe away every tear ever since the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven. We long for it
    every time we disappoint someone, or hear about another rape or a racist joke. But the magic
    moment of revelation is only now dawning on us.

    To be precise though, even as early as 1900 Andrew Murray challenged a sleeping Church in
    his book, The Key to the Missionary Problem, to hold “Weeks of Prayer for the World”. But
    people have only started to size up the extent of what is left to do towards the end of the 20
    century when Dorothea Mission started implementing Dr Murray’s plan in the black townships
    of Southern Africa and in Europe. Out of this praying for the world there came a clear need to
    assess the extent of the work that still needs to be done. People like Patrick Johnstone and
    David Barret started publishing maps and charts and statistics. Terms like creative access
    country, unengaged people group and 10/40 window were coined.
    So, when the Church stepped into the 21 century it was a bit like the Theunissens stepping
    into the kitchen and clearly seeing in unprecedented detail exactly what is left to do. I believe
    that this generation in this century will engage in the final leg of the mission task with growing
    urgency, with greater focus and a thoroughness that honours the Lord Jesus. What an
    awesome responsibility and privilege to carry the baton on this leg of the race!



    Challenges and opportunities of a missionary with children’s ministries
                               in the township
                                             Titi Tutu
                                          CEF, Motherwell


Our Master’s Great Commission according to Mark 16:15 puts it clearly: “... and preach the Gospel
to every creature”. It is sad that for ages God’s enemy had blinded the church to subconsciously
exclude children from the Lord’s Commission. However, praise and thanks be to God for His
servants of the past through whom His concern and will for children was revealed. To this effect Rev
John Wesley, the great 18th century preacher and founder of Methodism wrote : “Unless we take
care of the rising generation, the present revival of religion will last only the age of man”. It is true
that Children’s Ministries organisations are in place for Child Evangelism and teaching. This
precious work is executed in the midst of challenges on the one hand and opportunities on the

Promotion and introduction of children’s ministries

As a children’s worker a missionary has to join forces with the church and parents to be able to
reach children with the Gospel. You have to establish an accepted way to approach the leadership
which differs from denomination to denomination. Finding out who to make an appointment with for
introducing the ministry can take ages, or might not even materialise. Doing the same within the
neighbourhood and community amazingly receives a speedy and positive response. Ironically the
communities (more than the church) are becoming concerned about children’s need to be reached
with the Gospel. Even if there are only a few minutes to spare, a request to speak about children’s
work will often be accommodated. From the missionary’s perspective the local church (in some
parts of the body of Christ) is truly too busy to make space “for this children thing”. Even with
financial support the missionary gets a clear message that the church would rather support some
well known preacher.

Developing the workers of the harvest

Because God will always make a way, people who want to partake in children’s work will come to
the fore. Most of the time working with children is not as fulfilling to those who do not have a heart
for children. It sometimes happens that people would join the ministry, but would then be
disappointed when realising that there is not a salary associated with the ministry. It is truly a
challenge to start up a team especially in the light of our brothers’ and sisters’ tendency of wanting
to receive. This becomes an opportunity to pray fervently to the Owner of the harvest to send
workers. Another opportunity in this process is that you learn to be patient. Through showing that
you care and appreciate what they are doing a working team is gradually being built.

Demonic attacks on children at schools

The pain and confusion which demonic attacks on children cause, has brought about a concern
among teachers, parents, police and the church. This has created a massive opportunity, since the
doors are now opening for the child evangelist to render a service in the township. Many more



children can now be reached easily and regularly. The eyes of the church are being opened as it
joins forces with the child evangelist. When the church starts working together with the missionary,
not threatened of being robbed of its membership, children’s ministry work starts growing.

Assisting working mothers

More opportunities are coming up even as after school classes are an option to assist the working
mothers with their children before they knock off from their places of employment.

The Great Commission of our Master continues to be accomplished. In addition to children,
teachers and parents also come to the awareness of their sinful nature and need to know God
through Christ.

                                                                                          Van der Merwe


                                      The African Worldview
                                         Frits van der Merwe
                                        Missionary, Mozambique

The biggest challenge for mission in the African context is not to communicate the Gospel – that has
been done time and again. Effective use is being made of all possible means of communication;
conversions are common, new churches spring up everywhere. On closer inspection, however, the
evangelism, the pastor-training, and the discipleship still result in tribal churches, in pastors who use
traditional medicine to “strengthen” their preaching, in members who participate in rituals to appease
the so-called ancestral spirits or to invoke their help. The Gospel is often like paint applied to a mud
wall, ready to peel off at the slightest provocation, having had no penetration past the very surface of
people’s lives.

The challenge of mission in Africa, then, is not reaching or preaching or language or understanding
culture, important as these things might be. The challenge, rather, is to change the substrata, the
underlying ideas, and the subconscious way of thinking - the framework people use to evaluate and
give meaning to what they experience. I refer, of course, to their worldview. To change people
outwardly while their entire way of thinking is still dominated by a traditional understanding of reality
cannot bear long-term fruit. The challenge is rather to replace the traditional African worldview with a
Biblical worldview. The worldview is the root that produces the rites, beliefs and taboos that comprise
the culture. So when a missionary works to bring new beliefs, new rites and new taboos, he is often
only working with the results of the worldview, instead of with the worldview itself. The new beliefs are
added to the old, and are only functional on the surface level. In times of crises, the problems people
encounter are still understood in terms of the worldview, and dealt with in those terms.

The immediate challenge when working with African people is to replace their understanding of the
spirit world with a Biblical understanding of the same. As long as they accept that the spirits
communicating with them in their dreams are really the spirits of the deceased, of their ancestors, then
syncretism will be the only result of our mission work. Unmasking these spirits, demonstrating the
complete victory of Christ over them, and teaching people to stand and live in this victory is thus the first
step in accepting our challenge: to inculcate a Biblical worldview. It is possibly also the easiest step,
since the subject has been studied and most missionaries bring with them at least some experience of
dealing with the spirit world.

The rest of the challenge is to identify specific aspects of the African worldview and addressing these
aspects, bringing the light of God’s Word to bear on them until conceptions are changed. This will not
happen unless the specific elements of the African worldview are brought into the open and challenged
– repeatedly. Issues include: Explaining, predicting and controlling happenings (these are mayor
elements in African religion); what is this life for? What is the value of women and children before God?
How do we think about sex and power?

The biggest challenge lies in the fact that worldview (everybody’s worldview, not just the African one)
function on a subconscious level and is rarely, if ever, brought into words. And yet we have to address
this if our work is ever to bear long-term fruit. See “A Letter to Africa About Africa” by Kasongo Munza
(email for some ideas.

                                                                                         Van der Walt

                                  Missions in the 21st Century
    Current global economic developments – how will missions remain relevant?
              Jesus Christ – The Community Development Worker (CDW)
                                       Wikus van der Walt
                                  Pastor, Calvary Church, Malabar

In community development, we learn of the stages in the process of development that every
development worker must pass through in order to facilitate a community to help itself. It was the
intention of God at creation that His creation will sustain itself in dependent harmony and thus be
healthy. Yet sin entered the scene and our human nature was permanently incapacitated from living
fully to our Makers’ glory. He of course sent His one and only solution to this progressively more
hopeless situation.

As Jesus begins his ministry, he declares His intent in Luke 4: 18 – 19 seemingly referring to spiritual
oppression and imprisonment. But He kept addressing also the physical needs of people wherever He
went. He concludes His teaching in Matthew 25 with three parables warning us through the ten virgins,
to be prepared for His return, using all of our talents and doing it also for the physical benefit of the
least in society. The numbers of the poor are currently increasing rapidly due to our global economic
woes. Any outreach seeking to minister a true gospel, needs to identify with Jesus the CDW.

When we meet Jesus at the beginning of the gospels and start walking with Him through His earthly
ministry, the uncanny resemblance to the community development process becomes increasingly clear.

The stages of community development include:

1. Experiencing the environment: As Jesus approaches John for His baptism and the start of His
   ministry, He, like community workers, is entering a “strange” community in deep physical and
   spiritual need, which He keeps noticing (Matt. 9v37-38) and reminding his disciples of as we see
   His four step strategy from Luke 10 v. 5 – 9.
2. Forming of a development work group or action group: Right from the start, after His baptism
   He calls His first disciples, who would later be the action group that would carry on his work to the
   ends of the world.
3. Contact making: Sinners and Prostitutes were his community with whom He kept making contact
   wherever He went.
4. Surveying the community: With His disciples he goes to the area of need in every community and
   shows them how to apply His healing in every one of these places.
5. Needs assessment: Again in Luke 10 v 7 we sense something of spending time with people,
   discovering their needs.
6. Action plan: Enter the community, BE with the people and assess their needs, address those and
   only THEN proclaim the kingdom is near.
7. Resource identification: The Master Himself as the Way the Truth and the Life, which will set you
   free (John 8 v 32) to become a resource to society yourself.
                                                                                        Van der Walt

8. Implementation: Throughout His earthly ministry Jesus demonstrated his action plan to his
    disciples and gave them the opportunity to do the work themselves too.
9. Evaluation: After sending out the 72 (Luke 10), He sat them down on their return for an evaluation
    session. Acts and the letters following repeatedly give feedback on what He accomplished through
    the believers.
10. Termination: Jesus terminated His physical involvement with the development process with his
    last act of leaving the disciples at his ascension, promising the Holy Spirit to empower the future
    Community Development Workers.

As I look at how community workers through the centuries developed these broad principles for helping
a community, I can’t but wonder at the quiet inspirational hand that Jesus had in this when I compare
His strategy with theirs. We as His followers will impact our communities of calling when we too spend
time, hearing people’s deep needs and facilitating them to negotiate through the trouble of multiplying
physical and spiritual needs.


Schenck CJ: Community Development Social Work. Unisa - study guide for HMWGEM – T 1996

The Bible :

      Missions in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges

                                      Francois Vosloo
                                         OM Africa

A group of men and women came together with a great desire to see God use South
Africans and the South African Church in a special way to be a blessing to the nations. The
relationships that were fostered lead to a deeper level of trust and interdependence. There
was also a great understanding that none of us could do this great task alone. The vision
for 'Love Southern Africa' was born out of relationships. We needed one another!

Recently, 15 years since our first LSA, someone again said how God used LSA to change
their thinking about God, the nations and their role. Today we look back with much gratitude
to God for ALL that He has done during these many years in so many people's lives through

In many ways, we are standing at another thresh-hold, just as we did before we started the
first LSA Conference. The biggest challenge that we face in missions today is, I believe,
joining God in what He is doing in the Global South. The Global South is a missiological term
that is being used for describing the Christians living in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

God is doing something very special and extraordinary in the Global South. Within our
organisation, we have been seeing more recruits coming from the Global South than from
the Western World. This is a common scenario that is emerging in many other mission
organisations as well.

Most of the mission 'models', that we have in the world, come from the Western World. We
have seen God do an amazing work through these agencies over hundreds of years. We are
thankful to God for bringing millions to Himself through the prayers, strategies, sacrifices and
efforts of the Western Church.

However, with the growth of the Church in the Global South, we are facing a completely new
missions' movement. We are finding that 'missions' is not so much a programme, but more
an integral part of being the Church. We are also seeing mission structures, policies and
practices that are different from the historical models that we have.

It has been told of a big missions' agency that had planted and established a thriving
Christian community in Indonesia. The leaders of the missions' agency invited the
Indonesian Christians to join the missions' agency as equal missionaries, so that [together]
they could present the whole church to the whole world. The response from the Indonesians
was '... if you are so concerned about presenting the whole church to the whole world that
you want Indonesians to join your organisation, then what hinders you from joining us,
instead of us joining you?'

In some ways this is a reflection of the new day in missions.

This is not a problem that needs fixing, but more a matter of joining God in what He is doing!
We need to focus afresh on building strong relationships that will develop into trust and a
clear, new vision of the role that we can play TOGETHER in seeing lives and communities

There is a great need for inter-dependence in seeing the Global South doing ALL that God
has in mind for the Church. May God help us as we continue to love Southern Africa to the
extent that God's love touches the ends of the earth!

                    The biggest challenge to missions today

                                          John White

The success of any venture depends on getting the right foundation. It has been said that
Christianity in Africa is thousands of kilometers wide but only a few centimeters thick –. Why is
this? Surely lack of proper discipleship is a problem, but I believe the issue goes much deeper
than that.
Jesus began His preaching by a call to repentance. The disciples did the same.
John MacArthur in his groundbreaking book, The Gospel According to Jesus, writes, “One of the
most malignant by-products of the debacle in contemporary evangelism is a gospel that fails to
confront individuals with the reality of their sin… We tell people that God loves them and has a
wonderful plan for their lives, but that is only half the truth… Any message that fails to define
and confront the severity of personal sin is a deficient gospel. And any ‘salvation’ that does not
alter a life-style of sin and transform the heart of the sinner is not a genuine salvation”
(MacArthur: 59-60).
Interestingly, MacArthur’s subtitle for his book is What Does Jesus Mean When He Says,
“Follow Me?” – and that, of course, is a missions question!
Today’s conversions in many settings, whether in a western society or in a rural context in a
third-world country stem from the idea that conversion can be achieved by a mere decision.
Many who show no sign of regeneration believe that they are saved because at some time in
the past they have responded to an appeal.
A close examination of the account of the “Rich Young Man” in Matthew 19:16-22, is a clear
presentation of the gospel according to Jesus. Our Lord gave this young man a test. He had to
choose between Jesus and his old life-style and his old “god.” He failed the test. He was not
willing to forsake all and commit to a life of obedience. Jesus laid out terms to which he was
unwilling to submit. Why did Jesus tell this young man to keep the commandments? Jesus knew
he was utterly lacking a sense of his own sinfulness. The purpose of the law is to show us our
The young man’s desire for salvation was based on an emptiness in his soul, perhaps a desire
to rid himself of anxiety about eternal life. Our Lord offered no relief for the young man’s “felt
needs” – a catch-all phrase that, if fulfilled, is supposed to ameliorate all our problems. It was
imperative that he perceive his sinfulness, that money was his god (MATT 6:24). In many
missionary contexts in third-world countries it could hardly be that! But it could be that in
Western Europe. And let’s not forget that there’s a place for missionary work as it never has
been before!
Salvation is for people who hate sin and want to turn away from the things of this life. Without an
understanding of the reality and gravity of sin, there can be no redemption. In LUKE 14:25-33
we see Jesus again telling his followers that they must be prepared to forsake all, to take up the
cross, be prepared to suffer if they wish to be a disciple. This was no emotional appeal to follow
Jesus in order to have their problems solved. Saving faith is a commitment to leave sin,
selfishness and materialism and follow Jesus at all costs.
How is this possible? In Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus, He challenges everything the man
stood for: his spurious faith, his works based on religion, his Pharisaical self-righteousness and

his biblical illiteracy. The Saviour called for nothing less than complete regeneration. Without
such a spiritual re-birth, He told Nicodemus, no man has any hope of eternal life. Like many
religious people, Nicodemus didn’t want to confess that he was a helpless sinner. Jesus ignores
his profession of faith and confronts him with the truth that He, Jesus, came from God, and was
God in the flesh. His message was “You must be born again.”
Regeneration is not an option. The starting point of the gospel is that salvation is impossible
apart from divinely wrought regeneration by the Holy Spirit. God is the One who grants
repentance unto life. But as ministers and missionaries of the Word, we are accountable to
preach and teach the need for repentance, to turn from sin and to seek evidence of it in the lives
of converts. Real love for God is demonstrated by obedience.
And this is the greatest challenge in missions today – as it ever has been.

               Missions in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges
                                                                Hugo Wolmarans
                                                               Director AWM Media

We live in a time like no other. People from every generation have uttered these words. In this
very short article, I would like to highlight what I consider to be an unprecedented opportunity,
as well as some of the multiple challenges, that face missions in the 21st century.


                     Professor Gilles Kepel, a French academic and expert on Islam said,
                 ‘The battle for the Muslim mind is not being fought by radicals in Fallujah
                              or in the mosques. It is being fought on the Net.’

I believe that the greatest single opportunity before missions today is utilising new media 1 to
reach today’s so-called digital generation 2 .

Today, nearly 1.4 billion people, about 20% of the world’s population, are online. By 2010, this
will have grown to nearly 3 billion people. Each month 61 billion searches are conducted on the
Internet through Google, Yahoo and other search engines. More computers are now being sold
than television sets and there are currently 2.5 billion mobile phone users in the world. The
number of text messages sent each day exceeds the number of people in the entire world.
                                                                ‘Regardless of exhaustive efforts by
In the Arabic-speaking world, we see similar trends. Out
of a population of 300 million, 38 million of them are          governments in the Middle East
currently online and 75 million have mobile phones. Just        and North Africa to crack down on
one simple example: the number of bloggers in the               illicit Internet usage, their efforts
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has tripled since the beginning of      are no match for the infectiousness
2006, reaching an estimated 2000 3 .                            of the World Wide Web.’
The Internet and associated technologies are breaking     Vivian Salama, 
down the social control that Islamic countries have over
their population. More and more young people are going online to find information, to voice
their opinions and to build relationships.

Like young people everywhere they want to share and interact, not just consume. The gospel of
Jesus Christ is within their reach. Are we prepared to take on this opportunity?

 The Internet and associated technologies which are characterized as being interactive, collaborative, relational
and unregulated
    Those who have grown up with the World Wide Web
    Faiza Saleh Ambah, Washington Post, November 12, 2006

Opportunities are accompanied by challenges.

I believe that the single biggest challenge before us today centres around mission leadership
and its ability to:

    1. Constructively deal with and adapt to change

    Mission leadership is struggling with this issue of change, as are mission members. People
    in general do not like change and find it difficult to adapt to new things. Yet, never before
    has there been so much change in such a short period of time as we have experienced in
    the last decade. The ‘adapt or die’ concept is something that missions need to grapple with.

    2. Envision and recruit missionaries with the right skill sets

    Traditionally, Bible-school-trained individuals have been the fibre of the missionary effort.
    However, to minister in closed countries, and to use highly specialised ministry tools such as
    media, Bible school training is no longer enough. We need people with specific skill sets –
    cyber missionaries, people who are skilled in multi-media, software engineers, people with
    background in project management, educationalists, etc. We are not seeing enough people
    of this make up join the cause of missions.

    3. Be Kingdom-minded

    In the secular world, it is not uncommon for organisations to merge or contract strategic
    alliances in order to become more effective in reaching their goals. Sadly, I believe that
    mission organisations struggle with being us-centred when they should be Kingdom-centred.
    As a result, we see duplication of efforts and a waste of valuable resources – both of finance
    and people. New emphasis should be placed on working together, whether that includes
    merging organisations, concluding strategic alliances or developing working partnerships.
    The emphasis in all of this should always be, Can we do something better together than we
    can do by ourselves?

These are three aspects of but one of the challenges of concern to missions today.

                         Declaration of Port Elizabeth

                    Adopted at Bless the Nations Conference
                        Port Elizabeth, 22-24 June 1990

God spoke to us in different ways about the fulfillment of the Covenant responsibility to
“Bless all Nations”. God is challenging the church in South Africa to recognize the need
for urgency and sacrifice and to act in this the Lord’s time as His co-workers in carrying
out the Great Commission. Motivated by these thoughts we have elaborated this
“Declaration of Port Elizabeth” in which we promise:

   1. To thank God for allowing us to take part in this missionary awakening at the
       threshold of this new decade.
   2. To look for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in establishing priorities to the
       unreached peoples as the purpose of our mission.
   3. To raise up in our congregations, institutions and ministries within South Africa, a
       spirit of intercession for revival and the reaching of the unreached peoples.
   4. To summon the whole South African church to a sacrificial obedience which will
       lead us to give ourselves for the unreached with all our resources, both human
       and material.
   5. To maintain a constant cry for a regional revival, being ready to pay the price and
       to participate in this special visitation from the Lord.
   6. To study the countries where there are unreached peoples so that we can inspire
       and promote missions based on concrete facts.
   7. To exchange among ourselves missionary information and experiences in order
       to motivate us more so as to avoid duplicating efforts and wasting resources.
   8. To assume the responsibility in our country for a certain number of unreached
       people groups so that we can send them missionaries in faith as a permanent
   9. To integrate the ministries with which the Lord has blessed the South African
       church in the missionary events in our region.
   10. To organize periodic consultations between those involved in missions in the
       South African region in order to make practical plans for the sending of South
       African missionaries and also for mutual enrichment in the Lord.
   11. To send missionaries from the local church; and, at the same time, to respect the
       church, if there is one, in the unreached people and its country.
   12. To motivate ministers and leaders, and all the church members including the
       youth to get themselves involved in missionary work and training.
   13. To promote unity amongst the South African Christians.
   14. To pray and minister towards the healing of hurts inflicted on one another in the
       South African situation.

Affirming our faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, and in His Word as the only
rule of faith and morals, and having heard this clear missionary challenge from the Lord
to the South African church, we repent for the little done as a region in world missions.
According to the command in Acts 1:8 we are ready to obey the Lord and let ourselves
be guided by Him, at whatever cost, to fulfill the Great Commission. We trust that His
grace and pardon will impel us to be Christ’s instruments for the salvation of the
unreached peoples.
                                                                        Wellington Call

                               The Wellington Call

                 Bless the Nations Conference, Wellington 1990

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as in Exodus chapter three, verse fifteen has
spoken to us as He has done formerly in Covenant with our fathers, to the prophets,
disciples and saints of all ages down to the present. Now, through His Word, by prayer
and proclamation, God has said we’re to act with urgency and sacrifice to bless the
nations to the glory of God with the good news of salvation.

We acknowledge our need for the guidance and empowering of the Holy Spirit, and
earnestly pray that God’s spirit would show us our priorities and obligations, individually
and as churches, to the world’s unreached peoples.

We soberly ask forgiveness, in deep repentance, for our attitudes towards other race
and language groups which we fully understand that God does not allow in the lives of
His covenant-keeping children. We acknowledge that these sins have seriously hindered
and limited prayer and missionary service both locally and beyond our borders.

We accept that the Body of Christ in South Africa, as elsewhere, is made up by all those
called out and redeemed, made new and born again through faith in Jesus Christ, from
all races, tribes, tongues and nations. We resolve to do nothing which harms this God-
given unity, and to take steps to act upon this unity, especially in missionary service to
the unreached peoples in the years leading up to 2000 AD.

We are willing to accept special responsibility, here in Southern Africa, for certain
unreached people groups, some of whom are our close neighbors, that we might send
them missionaries in faith as a permanent obligation until they have their own Christ-
centered churches and leadership.

Should God wish to raise up a "Student Volunteer Movement for World Evangelization"
in our land, we wish to offer it our fullest prayer and support.
                                                     People of the Covenant

                            People of the Covenant

Written by Irene Bom as theme song for the 1988 Bless the Nations conference.

People of the covenant
Children of promise
God spoke to Abraham
And now speaks to you

Bless the nations, bless the nations
You have been blessed
That you may bless the nations
God wants you
God calls you
To bless all mankind

People forgiven
Children of purpose
Christ has redeemed you
That the world might be saved

People commissioned
Children of power
God gave us his Spirit
To reach out to the world

                Bless the Nations Eastern Cape

                       Conference Speakers

1988 Christy Wilson, David Bliss
1989 David Bliss, David Mniki
1990 David Bliss, David Mniki
1991 Joseph Chauke, Christopher Agenbag
1992 Francois Vosloo, Trevor Dahl
1993 Greg Denysschen
1994 Murray Louw
1995 Peter Holgate
1996 Peter Tarantal, Lot Sibiya, David Bliss, Mike Hack
1997 Jos Holtzhausen
1998 Braam Willemse
1999 Frits van der Merwe, Mike Hack
2000 Peter Tarantal, Jannie Theunissen
2001 Hussain Andaryas, Frik Janse van Rensburg
2002 Alex Awad, David Bliss
2003 Eric Simiyu
2004 Nicholas Osameyan
2005 Keith Fraser-Smith, Pieter Mc Karthy
2006 Reuben Africa, Mark Morrell
2007 Daniel Ohide, Christopher Agenbag
2008 Raouf Ghattas, Sam Modise, Hugo Wolmarans, Elspeth Liebenberg
                                                                                       Photo Gallery
                                                                            Bless the Nations Conferences


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             1 ‐ Joseph Chauke  2 – Delegates  3 – Danie van Huysteen  4 – Standing (left to right)  Danie van Huysteen, Alastair and Carmie Jolley, 
             Frits and Nickey van der Merwe   5 – David Bliss  6 – Francois Vosloo  7 – David Mniki  8 – Giep Louw and David Bliss  9 – Christopher 
             Agenbag   10 – Dewald Knoetze   11 – Erroll Mulder   12 ‐  Greg de Nysschen   13 – Gerard Olivier

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