Ronas and Bussie Marule of Youth for Christ Mpumalanga and Hosanna Christian Church in Hazyview, South Africa.
Ronas Marule, Associate Pastor of Hosanna Christian Church, had me speaking in his church on Sunday followed by three more churches in the last week of February. I spoke at an Assembly of God church outside Nelspruit and two churches around Hazyview. What a contrast going from township to village to small towns.
People seemed to adore the Word of God. It seemed so fresh and new to them. Bibles were opened and many were taking notes. The Scriptures were read in English by me and then Africaanse, Swazi and Lesoto by members of the different congregations. One pastor stood up and said this is what we need. The meat of the Word of God!
A few pastors were present at multiple setting and sitting on the front row take copious notes. It was so clear that their knowledge of the Word was weak but their hunger was unquenchable.
During the second week of our Africa visit we were mentoring two missionaries, meeting with the Board of Mpumalanga, and speaking in 12 settings. Wow it was a fast two weeks.
Cathy spent time with the Oostheizen family and we took two days to get away alone for prayer and focus.
Young people singing and dancing during a heavy storm.
We arrived in a heavy rain storm that made driving almost impossible. The rain was driving like a torrent of wind. I thought to myself, would anyone be here in this heavy storm? When I cracked my window the music was extremely prominent.
Feeling completely inadequate I stepped toward the tent as water rushed over my sandals and ran through my toes. The mud reminded me of the red clay in Walthall County, Mississippi where my grandfather had a farm. The tent for the meeting resembled a small tent I saw in the movie Elmer Gantry. Stepping inside I saw a string of three single light bulbs hanging across the high part of the tent to give a dim glow to the interior. Young people filled the tent and danced while they were singing.
I stood in the back as the rain became so heavy that the tent began to fold on the left side. Young men were rushing to hold it up as others went outside to secure the lines anchored to large metal stakes. I am thinking, Can God really use me here in this setting? Nothing was comfortable as we desire in America for Church. Water rushed through the tent and made a small mud river at the front.
It amazed me to watch God work in such a setting.I had not planned to be the speaker for this activity but the missionaries insisted. These young people had never experienced a youth rally in their village. Very few had heard the Gospel. I spoke through an interpreter. Nearly 40 accepted Christ during the two night event. Pastors took names and contact information to follow-up in the coming weeks.
My sandals were stained with the red mud for weeks and took two washings before they came clean. But what a joy to watch the Holy Spirit move among such a remote village in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Please pray for he continued spiritual growth of these young people. Pastors took names to do followup in the future.
Darryl and Janine Mather-Pike of Nelspruit, South Africa.
This month has found me on Skype with Darryl many times. They are currently in Boston, Massachusetts attempting to clarify some state department issues for their family. Native South Africans, Darryl and Janine have several children here in the states. Unfortunately we will miss them when we visit South Africa this month. Please pray for them and us as we return to Africa soon.
Our vision for Deeper Still Missions is the following.
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)
The ministry of multiplication spoken of by Paul is God’s method of touching the lives of countless generations. Many invested in my life and the resulting years of ministry. Each deposit into my mind, heart and soul cut a pioneer path forward that resulted in the changed lives of many. Our vision is to multiply that wisdom and skill through the lives of other leaders and increase missionary retention in many locations.
Handing over our commitment, character, capabilities and relationships requires great care and wisdom. It also requires a significant investment in the lives of others. Ministry experience, leadership and skills must be deposited in the hearts, minds and souls of trustworthy young men and women who will also be able to pass it on.
Deeper Still Missions seeks to partner with leadership to provide pastoral mentoring and leadership guidance to missionaries in the field. On-site visits are essential in order to assist them in the most effective manner possible.
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.