This past week alone has introduced me to members of the Sotho, Shagaan, Tswane and Swazi or Swati tribes of Africa. I taught in five different churches that were located in various townships and villages in Mpumalanga Province. In addition I taught a week of classes on Christian Leadership at the African School of Missions. I found myself exhausted by the end of the week.
The memories etched on my heart are rich and deep. Driving to a poor church in the Township of Mhluzi yesterday the driver pointed out a tree and painted rocks that is the meeting place of the local Zion Church. They are a mixture of the ancestor worship and Christianity. They are led by the local San Goma or witch doctor. You could see them walking around dressed in special clothes adopted by the local group. I have seen Zionists every Sunday when I would go to preach around the province. There is no greater example of twisting the Word of God than these groups.
I think all of you know how special I consider the Word of God. I spent over twenty hours teaching the Word in various locations. But I was deeply blessed by the Alliance Church in Mhluzi yesterday. They sang a song and danced holding their Bibles in the air. First the women followed by the men and boys. They sang we trust in the word of God. I have never seen a group show such love for the Bible. When they had finished a one year old boy came walking in front of me holding his Bible high in the air. He was copying the adults.
The people of the church sang so loud that my ears were ringing. No instruments or sound system was used. They sang with great passion and zeal. Their faith walk with Jesus is in a different situation than we experience in the states. Demonic forces are openly opposing them in the community. Their faith cannot be halfhearted.
I also would like to share with you a letter written to leaders of Deeper Still Missions by a student from the African School of Missions. This is her report on the classes during last week.
Firstly, I want to thank you for the opportunity to have had Danny Sartin with us. It was a great privilege and I have learned a lot.
Danny’s classes were at times inspiring, interesting, motivating and mind stirring, but also had a firm grip on reality. I, myself, learned to be a true detective of God’s Word. Danny taught us how to study the Bible, how to make that which we learned applicable on our daily lives and even on our leadership role in our future ministries. I especially found the intense self-search, to which he lead us, extremely valuable. Danny simply made me see the gap in my life, but even greater than that, he also moved me to want to fill that gap with God’s Word and the application of it.
I have benefitted a great deal from this weeks’ classes, which are by far the highlight of the term. I do not have barely enough words to describe my experience or thankfulness. We would love a future visit of Danny Sartin.
I must admit that I thought Elsa was not deeply engaged in the class. She hardly spoke. Her letter blew me away. You never know what God is doing in someone’s heart.
Thank you for the prayers. Today I leave for Swaziland to work on a water source for hundreds of orphan children whose parents died from AIDS. Pray that I will have wisdom, discernment and vision that comes from the Spirit of God.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.