Danny speaking at Hosanna Church for Easter.
Today is a special day for all of us. Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead on this day. How deep His love is for us that he died on the cross to pay for our sin. Wow.
Here in Africa Easter Weekend is celebrated with conferences at churches that last from Thursday until next Monday. Both Friday and Monday are holidays here in South Africa. We have seen hundreds of buses, trucks with filled beds of passengers as churches gather to celebrate. All day meetings continue for four days with dozens of churches together.
Yesterday I spoke at Bushbuckridge Bible Church to over 300 Pastors and leaders. What an honor it was. I have also spoken at Hosanna Church in Hazy View on Friday and Saturday morning. I will speak again this morning. As you can tell it has been a busy weekend.
The week began with focused mentoring time with Ronas Marule and Darryl Mather-Pike. We spent hours talking and greeting their ministry colleagues. It took us as far as Badplass and Swaziland. We met at the African School of Missions with the Spiritual Leader of the school who sat with Cathy and me to say he needs mentoring from us. Bongoni and Khumbuh Dlamini drove from Swaziland to meet us. It was a four hour drive. They walked into the restaurant for lunch and quickly declared their desire to learn from us. They are good friends with Ronas and had first hand knowledge of the affect Deeper Still had in his life.
Darryl and I sat with Pastor Selby in Badplass who explained the rituals and activities of Sangomas (fortune tellers), Inyanga (medicine men) and Tmthakpathia (witch doctors). His mother in law was a Sangoma in Kwaizulunatal. I was fascinated with the fine distinctions between each function in many African villages. I was equally amazed at the rituals they conduct to deal with issues in many families. He stated that many Sangomas perform all three functions of an Inyanga and Tmthakpathia.
We drove around the village of Badplass and Darryl pointed out the home of the royal chief of the Swati Tribe, Chief Dlamini. There were four rondavals on his property and a huge corral used for sacrifice and court. The chief is paid by the government to gain his loyalty with the government. The day care center built in Badplass for Emoyini ministry was provided the land by Chief Dlamini.
On our way to Badplass we witnessed a head on collision that burst into flames and incinerated five people. I even saw the funerals of two in Bushbuckridge yesterday. It is amazing everything the Lord is exposing us to on this trip.
Continue praying as we leave Mpumalanga on Wednesday and travel to Cape Town on Thursday. This month has raced by and the memories are like a carousel in our minds. There are too many events and people to focus on only one. Pray for our strength and health.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
New Jerusalem High School students in rural Mpumalanga.
How do you put into words hours of conversations that transpired this week? We are astonished at the influence of the Sangoma here in Africa. They have gatherings on the weekend that attract a large number of young people. They are dressed in animal skins, dance to the beat of drums and provide alcohol for the students. Many students leave school on Friday and don’t return home until Sunday. It is the basis of ancestor worship in Africa.
One young staff person told Cathy and me the story of a relative who died and they had to wait two days for the coroner to pickup the body. The young lady was a Christian while no one else in the family would consider Christ. They were dedicated ancestor worshipers and attended the Zion church of Africa. He told of the moment she sat up (after two days) and began to share about heaven and hell. They were sitting and mourning when a miracle occurred in front of them. For over two hours she told her family about the angel who took her around to the dark gates and the bright gates. She talked about some people she saw that she didn’t expect. She also talked about the moaning of people suffering in hell. She told all her relatives about Christ and what she experienced. She talked until exhaustion caught up to her. She said I need to rest. Then she lay down and passed away. This young man is now a minister of the Gospel in Mpumalanga. God got his attention in a big way.
We have just completed an amazing week. All three of us (John Adams, Lemar Walker and I) spoke in high schools on Monday. It was amazing to watch over a thousand students’ line up and stand to hear a presentation. There were no chairs. The girls stood on the left and the guys on the right. There were no talking or unruly young people. They were very polite, attentive and respectful as I shared Scripture and the Gospel. They were captivated by the story of the student who drowned only two weeks earlier. It was a stark difference from high school students in the states. The picture to the left is of Jerusalem School where John and Lemar visited.
Tuesday started early as we met with a group of thirty Pastors in the Hazy View area at 5 AM to pray. It was an amazing experience as they walked around the church sanctuary praying in their native tongues. It was a joy to spend over an hour praying and seeking God’s involvement individually and collectively. Cathy and I loved it! I truly wish you could have been there.
It is now the weekend and we are all in different locations speaking and teaching. Cathy and me are in Graskop speaking at a youth rally in the rural village of Leroro. John and Lemar are in Kinross with Ronas conducting services in a very poor township. We got to see a new church that started from our youth rally last March in very small village over forty kilometers North of Graskop. We were deeply humbled to see what God had done from those two nights a year ago.
Tomorrow each of us is speaking in various churches. Please pray that we will keep our focus on Christ and clearly reflect Him to those we meet. Oh by the way, the Sangomas are what we call a witch doctor.
Cathy & Danny Sartin
Danny, Missionary Ronas Marule, Lamar Walker and John Adams
We just returned to our apartment along with John Adams and Lemar Walker. We spent the day in Hazy View, South Africa with a group of Pastors. It was very interesting to hear them articulate their needs in the rural areas of Northern Mpumalanga Province. Their greatest need they highlighted was water. There is very little running water in many of the villages of the area. They talked about their need to move as a collective of churches to help the most desperate communities.
The discussion naturally led to the need for them to know each other better. They have recently been praying every Tuesday morning and learning the struggles of one another. It has now led to some friendships that prompted this gathering again. Last March Ronus and I met with six Pastors to discuss their needs Biblically and spiritually. My eyes were opened to another world of issues that these leaders face collectively and individually. Now the gathering had grown to nearly twenty. What an encouragement!
Tomorrow Lemar is preaching at Hosanna Community Church while John is going to a second church to speak. We weren’t even given the name of the church. Danny is preaching at Bushbokridge Bible Church another hour north of Hazy View. He will follow that service by speaking at the Word of Life church in a very poor village outside of Bushbokridge. Tomorrow will be a full day and we would covet your prayers. Cathy will be attending Calvary AOG church with Busie Marule, the wife of Ronas.
Friday night I spoke at the Nelspruit Youth for Christ banquet. There were around seventy people there to hear about the local ministry. It was a beautiful evening and Cathy looked great! Lemar and John wished their wives were along for the evening. It capped off a full week of activity in and around Nelpruit. Ronas introduced me to staff, fellow missionaries and board members as we made the rounds.
Next week we (John, Lemar and myself) speak in several schools around White River. We will also speak at a missionary school nearby. On Tuesday the four of us take Ronas into Kruger National Park for some time of refreshment and refocus. Wow it seems to be going fast.
On Friday Ronas will take Lemar and John to Kinross community over four hours away near the boarder of Gautang and Mpumalanga. It is a very poor township. Lemar will speak at an evangelistic outreach Friday and they will each teach leadership on Saturday. Sunday they will speak at the services of the young church.
At the same time Danny and Cathy will be going to Graskop for youth evangelistic outreaches on Friday and Saturday night. On Sunday he will be speaking at Pastor Ken Skinner’s church. We will also visit the new church of Leroro. Last March Ken had me speak at two evangelistic outreaches in the village of Leroro. We will now get to see the church that has been birthed from that initial effort. What a joy to see the fruit from a year ago.
Praise God that He has allowed us to be a small part of building His Kingdom. Thank you for your prayers. We will be distributing Bibles provided from various sources to these rural churches including our Sunday school class in Memphis.
Cathy & Danny Sartin
Buyela Team 2011
This week has been very eventful as the final commissioning of Buyela and I-Themba was last Sunday. We had some outstanding Bible study with the teams for the week prior. Questions would sometimes extend the sessions for more than two hours. Those young people were deeply thirsty for God’s Word.
Monday, which was to be a rest day after the teams left, ended with a major blow. Dick Wynn, a member of our Board of Reference for Deeper Still, passed on my birthday the Friday before. As I was learning of his passing a new camp group arrived from Mpumalanga. Over the objections of the counselors a group of kids raced to the pool and began to swim. Within a few minutes one young man was drowning at the bottom of the pool. None of them could swim. A second young man jumped in to try and save him and he was overcome. One of the staff members of the camp heard of the incident and raced to the pool. She dove in and retrieved both bodies. Within minutes they had revived one young man but the other passed away.
Rolf Wiechardt called me and asked me to go on his behalf to the scene and minister to the leaders and students as he made a return to the camp. It was surreal as I walked up on the body of the young man who was now officially considered dead. He was alone as the paramedics were cleaning up and the leaders were distraught. It took me several minutes before I found some of the leaders and began praying with them and helping. Police arrived and the questioning began. The one pastor with the group was calling parents to inform them of their son’s death. This group was a scientific mentoring group of 50 students and teachers. They had brought them to the camp for an introduction to spiritual issues. It was a long evening as the coroner did not show up until midnight.
The next morning I was asked to conduct a brief memorial with the group before they loaded and returned to their homes. Their several day trips were now over. It included all the staff of the camp, the teachers and students. What an honor to share the Word of God with this distraught group. These young people were the brightest science students in three schools from Mpumalanga.
Tuesday through Friday Cathy and I took Blessing Mpofu and his bride to be Ingrid to Kruger Park to discuss their future in marriage and ministry. It was a nice break and a wonderful time.
Yesterday we met with the board of Mpumalanga and made plans for next weeks fund raising dinner that I will speak at for them. We are preparing to preach this morning at Calvary Church in White River. Please pray. John and Lemar arrive on Friday of this week to join us. We meet with a group from Memphis on Tuesday who are from Fellowship Memphis. There is a lot going on and we covet your prayers.
Cathy and Danny
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.