The challenge of reaching the millions in Southern Africa
Dear Friend, Once again in the past month we have seen how a tropical storm, this time in the Philippines, can wreak havoc and misery. We send a large amount of literature to the Philippines to quite a number of people and missions. Some have contacted us and are well.
This tragedy reminds us again of the fragility of life and also the importance of making peace with God. In a matter of minutes thousands of unsuspecting people were swept out into eternity. As believers work among these stricken people to bring relief and the hope of the Gospel, pray that many might heed that verse which states: “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: …” (Job 22: 21)
On 13th November we shipped an 18 Tonne container load of literature to China Tourist Ministry in Hong Kong. Included in this container was 240,000 Gospels of John, 240,000 “Pardon and Assurance” booklets, and 240,000 copies of “Meet the King” which has just been translated into Chinese. We also included 400,000 Gospel tracts for distribution to the tourists from mainland China.
On 19th November we shipped a container of Gospels of John, Scripture and Gospel booklets to our friends in India Bible Literature. During the month they sent us some reports from the School of Evangelism and testimonies of those who have trusted the Lord as their Saviour as a result of the Gospels of John being distributed.
On 21st November we sent 60,000 Gospels of John in Portuguese to Fernando Silva to be distributed by various pastors and Christian workers in Portugal. In December a team led by Jim Strain are also planning to visit Fernando and encourage and help him in the distribution of these Gospels of John.
On 21st November we sent 10,000 Gospels of John to Poland for distribution by Colin Tinsley and the team who will be visiting Poland in the new year. The same day we sent 12,000 flashcards to Child Evangelism Fellowship in the Solomon Islands. This is the first consignment of literature that we have sent to this country.
On 21st November we shipped a container of literature to our depot in Brazil. They continue to have many requests from across the country of Brazil asking for supplies of literature. Frequently they cannot supply the very large requests that they receive, but instead they share the literature amongst the many churches and evangelists in the country.
On 26th November we shipped a container of literature to friends in Sri Lanka. In this container we included 200,000 flashcard Bible Lessons for the work of Child Evangelism Fellowship. We also included 2,000 sets of our own children’s Bible lessons in the Tamil language with 30,000 Gospels of John in Tamil and 70,000 Gospel booklets in the Sinhalese language for the work of Every Home for Christ. This is the first time that we have shipped a container to Sri Lanka.
On 28th November we sent the following consignments: 12,000 flashcard Bible lessons for the work of Child Evangelism Fellowship in Malawi. Then we sent to CEF in Sierra Leone 50,000 copies of “Meet the King” with 30,000 Wonder Devotional booklets and 60,000 Mailbox Club correspondence courses. We also sent to CEF in Liberia 20,000 copies of “Meet the King” with 60,000 Mailbox Club Bible correspondence courses. We sent to French Guyana 20,000 “Meet the King” booklets, 10,000 Gospels of John and 1,600 flashcard Bible lessons for the work of CEF. All of this literature is in the French language.
On 30th November we shipped a container to Kenya. In this container we have included 200,000 of the BES Bible Educational Service booklets for the work of Emmaus and Teens for Christ ministry who use these booklets extensively throughout the schools in Kenya. We also included 6,000 flashcards for the work of CEF and 10,000 sets of the Bible lessons for “Feed My Lambs”. We also included in this consignment Gospels of John, Gospel tracts and Scripture booklets for the work of Diguna in Kenya.
Pastor Harold Peasley leads the work of Multi Ministries in South Africa. Recently he visited the factory and spoke to the staff. The following is some of the report which he shared. We are deeply grateful to you as an organisation for all of the literature which you have sent to us. Our work is involved not only in South Africa, but in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana and so on. The work that we are involved in is called Multi Ministries which, by virtue of the name, is a multiplicity of ministries seeking as Paul said, “That by all means I may win some” and, so to utilize every possible way of getting the Gospel out, there are five main areas that we are involved in and try to put all our energies into:
1) Is of course outreach. We look at different ways of spreading the Gospel in and around. One of the ways is bringing teams who come and then we will assign them to a given area and in that area they will be involved in evangelistic work.
For instance we have an outreach on the North Western part on the Botswana border of South Africa in a place called Lichtenburg and we have about 5 teams involved in 5 simultaneous missions and outreaches in this area. We have been going there for 7 or 8 years and sometimes we have up to 3,000 responses to the Gospel over the 4 or 5 days. The team are involved in active evangelism. They visit schools, prisons, hospitals and then we go onto the streets and distribute the Gospels that you have sent us.
2) Then tent crusades are held. God has given some remarkable responses to the Gospel there. In one case one of the witches came to Christ. Another case there was a miraculous healing of a person who was blind and could see and it was just a miracle that God just touched that person. I was back in that area and they brought to me a man who was left to die with Aids and God just raised him up. I don’t say he is free of Aids, but he is walking around. So in these various types of evangelism we are seeing scores of people coming to Christ.
3) Third aspect of the ministry is literature to evangelise. None of our teams can go out without being loaded with literature. One of the areas where we have a great type of outreach is right on the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe, as you know, is completely destroyed by a dictator. Poverty is on every hand, the maize used to be 10/15 foot high. It is not even a foot high now. For 50 years farmers have been driven off their farms and farms have been given to the buddies of the Prime Minister or Cabinet and, as a result the country which was the “bread basket” of Africa, now has nothing.
Today the people of Zimbabwe go over the border to Zambia begging for food. Folks are streaming across the border as a result of the extreme poverty. And secondly because of the Aids pandemic. As you can well imagine all over Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Botswana 1 out of every 4 has got Aids. In a village in Zimbabwe the oldest person is 9 years of old, everyone else has died! So there is extreme poverty and people are coming across the border in hoards and gathering in a place called Messina.
We have erected a church there and, at Messina which is the crossing point into Zimbabwe and North of South Africa, trucks line up to go North. They stand there for about 3 weeks sometimes waiting to get through the border because of the crowd wanting to get through. Prostitutes just parade up and down and it is a horrible place to be in. In that church we provide coffee for the truck drivers and then we have an evangelist who preaches to them and then gives those truck drivers literature and off they go North.
It has been amazing to see what God has done. Many of those men who were entertaining the prostitutes have come to Christ. And so, when they stop, they say, “Where’s the literature!” They want it and they take it up to Congo or wherever. Now they are taking their wives with them. They are learning the new style of Christian living and not to depend upon the prostitutes to take care of them. That just shows the impact and only God knows where that literature gets to.
The human trafficking of children who have been stolen and brought to the border and sold is horrific in that area. There was a little boy, 7 years of age, he said, “I don’t know who I am, don’t know what my name is, I don’t know who my father is, I don’t know where I’m from, I don’t have a passport. My uncle brought me and sold me. I have run away. Can anybody help me?”
There are two refugee camps for boys and girls and they are about 14 – 15 years of age and they arrive there in absolute tatters. They have walked from Mararrie and Bulawayo and many of those towns, 400, 500, 600 kilometres and the young girls have been raped along the way. By the time they get to the border they are pregnant and nobody wants them. They put them in these little refugee camps absolutely poverty stricken and we send up our trucks every two or three weeks with food and clothing and then we take them the literature, the John’s Gospels and whatever else we can get, to try and teach them to read and to get them some hope. After 3 months they have got to get out of that place and either go back to Zimbabwe and die, or become prostitutes or give themselves over to whatever vices are available in South Africa.
It is one sad story after another. I have seen them respond when you have given them the Gospel of John and you think you have given them a bag of gold! They will take it, they want to read it and learn it. So literature will find its way into many homes where you and I would not be able to get into and, as a result of that, the Holy Spirit will take it and cause it to have an effect in the lives of people. So our teams use the literature strongly.
4) One of the other aspects of the ministry is Conferences. We will have a huge Conference next month in December. They come from many different countries. We minister to about 400 leaders and then we will load them up with clothes and as much literature as each one can take and send them back with what is needed to help them and strengthen their hand. One cannot put enough emphasis on what goes out as far as the printed literature is concerned. We are deeply grateful.
Speaking to students in a school in Sekhukhuneland.
I look at our programme for next year. Almost every month we have planned an outreach. There are teams coming from Australia every year. 25 come and help us in street evangelism. In the middle of Johannesburg we will hand out the literature on the station. In one day we will hand out 17,000 Gospels or whatever we have got in our hands to folks and not one piece will be left on the ground. Everyone will take them and use it because of the interest in reading something. We have teams coming from America next year. We have got a big outreach in March in Zimbabwe. We have three evangelistic outreaches around Bulawayo and then in Victoria Falls, then we have the Eastern Cape area and all the rough areas and we send our teams in and with the guidance of missionaries and pastors that we have trained, they handle the follow-up and continue the work.
5) Fifth point is providing of tools to get the job done. For instance there are 85,000 evangelists who walk every day in the jungle or the bush of Africa. If you give him a bicycle, he can multiple himself 5 times over. So we give him a bike, we give him a bag and we load it up with literature. Give him a flipchart of the Gospel presentation and off he goes and it is amazing to see what can be accomplished. We have seen guys start new churches in the bush just because of the literature they have handed out and using the flipchart under the trees. We will help them with the building of churches. We will help them with clothes and food and teach them in the orphanages that we have in Bulawayo and Swaziland. All of that goes to having the privilege and honour of sharing the Gospel.
There are 256 prisons in South Africa. Most of the prisons are completely overstocked as you can imagine. In one prison we have a huge ministry. We have got a church of 700 there at the moment. It is supposed to take 4,500 people. It has 17,000 in the prison and so the conditions are horrific as you can well imagine! But there is a whole network of Christians, folks who have come to Christ, and now learning through Bible study, have been baptized and are having church every Sunday morning. It is a strong church which has grown and developed. We are really grateful for what can be done in a practical way to help many of these people.
One final story. In a place called Kadoma which is in Zimbabwe, about 2 years ago the pastors in that town decided to gather on the town square to pray for the country. They gathered on the Friday at 12 o’clock, the police moved in and said you are praying against the government. They arrested all of them. There were 30 of these pastors. These are the men that we have been helping. They were put into this huge prison into cells which were supposed to take 6, they put 30 into each cell. The place was just overstocked. I asked, “What happened?” They said, “We stood like that the whole weekend.” There was no place to sit. There were no toilets, nothing. During the weekend we were allowed out for 1 hour, that was all, into the open square. I said, “What did you do?” “We sang praises to God.” There was one blind evangelist and, if you are blind in a prison situation like that, you have no hope of getting out alive.
This evangelist on the Saturday morning called the governor of the prison over to him and said, “I want you to please move me over to another cell.” He said, “Why should I do that?” He said, “Because I am an evangelist and I have led everyone to Christ in my cell. Give me another cell that I can witness for Jesus!” They moved him. On the Monday afternoon they were released but not this guy. He said, “Do you mind if I stay on until Wednesday because my work is not complete?” There is a tenacity, there is a spirit of committedness, no matter what the price, what the cost is they want to share the Gospel and to preach where they can.
My job is to equip them and to strengthen their hand so that they can be strong in their situation or in their village to be able to be a witness for Christ. Out there in the field there is a hunger for literature. They told me years ago when Ethiopia was taken by the Communists, they took it without a single shot. They just took it with literature, that is all. So your work is critical and eternity will reveal the results in time to come. What He has done already is amazing, He will just continue beyond your wildest dream and God will get all the glory and the praise and the honour.
During November Multi ministries safely received another container load of literature which we had sent to them in several different languages.
As we approach the end of the year we still have container loads of literature requested from different missions, please pray that we will be enabled to fufill these requests from our Christian brothers and sisters who want to reach out to their own people with the Gospel.
Yours for a Great Revival,
Samuel Adams Clive Allen