“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:13-15
Pray, Give, and Go is something at FUGE we emphasize. In late March, twenty FUGE staffers had the opportunity to “go” and to be the Church in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ministering to people in the inner city and Soweto proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. It was Christ in the 28th chapter of Matthew who commanded his disciples to go and make more disciples of all nations, and we had the opportunity to be obedient to this command.
Having so many people we were able to break into two teams to serve the inner city and Soweto of Johannesburg. In a city full of millions it could be frustrating to not see the fruit of our labor on this short trip. We live in a “we want it now” society, but we were reminded that out God is faithful. Hebrew 6:10 says “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” We are incredibly blessed that God allowed to be apart of his ministry to the people in South Africa, and we believe He is faithful to that ministry.
The Inner City team partnered up with missionary Kurt Holiday and Bellevue Baptist Church to serve an area needing the Gospel. In the same area as Bellevue Baptist were five to six other churches who claim Christ, but are not Bible teaching/believing Churches. There signs pointed to Christ but unfortunately their message does not. As we spoke with people in the community many would claim to be Christian, but when we asked them what it meant to be a Christian they could not tell us. Many went to these false churches and our prayer is God lifts up Bellevue in that community as a light to the people, and is able to deliver to them sound doctrine rooted in Christ. We also praise God that we were able to speak with many about our faith, and introduce them to leaders at Bellevue who invited them to their Easter service. God displayed his power through our work as we did see one woman come to know Christ and we praise the Father for that.
The Inner City team with CentriFuge founder, Don Mattingly
Sharing the Gospel on the streets of the Inner City
Part of the inner city visiting Moma Stella in her home during Holy Week
Another thing that the Inner City team had the opportunity to do was participate in Sport camps in the afternoon. Working with local students in basketball and a little league baseball team from Alexandra. We were able to teach them new drills, financially support the baseball team to travel to Cape Town, and teach daily devotionals with them. It was an incredible opportunity to love on children and show them Christ through Athletics. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Some of the Inner City with the Alexandra Baseball team
The Soweto team had the incredible opportunity to go into the Tshepisong commuinty. There they visited patients (some infected with HIV), homes of people, and played with children while putting on a Bible School. They were able to share scripture and speak about the love God has for us with the people. They worshipped alongside them and served them faithfully all week. Led by missionary IMB Allen Locke this team gladly went into areas that many back home would not deem as safe to proclaim the Gospel and obediently serve our God.
The Soweto Team playing with children during Bible School
The Soweto team with missionary Allen Locke
One of the best parts about having two teams on one trip is the stories you get to share when you are done for the day. Every night we were able to come together and worship through devotion and song along side one another. Speak of the great works God had done through us, and how to continue to pray for the people we ministered too. To be able to do this during Holy Week is an experience I do not believe any of us will ever forget. Just as Christ was obedient to the Cross we had the opportunity to be obedient to the Great Commission. To be able to so clearly meditate and focus on these things among a people who desperately need the Truth is something that you never forget.
On Thursday before Good Friday the teams had the opportunity to partake in the Lord’s Supper and focus on what Christ did during Holy Week.
Though our trip is over and we are now home does not mean our focus is away from our ministry in Johannesburg. Please join us in prayer from the people we ministered to and the churches/missionaries we served alongside with. One focus is that the ministry we had there does not end when we come home, but we continue to proclaim the Gospel. Whether that be in Africa or across the street that the Great Commission never ends. Our God is faithful to those who serve Him. So yes please pray, and please continue to give, but also join us in going and serving others. Love God, love others-Serve God, serve others.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:3-5