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Jacob Meads’ short term mission report # 2.

July 18, 2011

Jacob Meads’ short term mission report # 2.

(*Jacob is leaving on the day of this posting and it has been an absolute pleasure to have him here. We pray that the Lord will show him the way he must go from here on in*)

Since the last time I wrote something for the website, we have been fairly busy. Salvador and I have been going out fairly regularly and witnessing/evangelizing. Sometimes the gospel message seems to be received (or at least thought about) and other times it is rejected. It can be difficult to know what other people think, when they hear that they can’t mix a bit of following Jesus with Shembe (who some folk believe was the black messiah) or with ancestral spirits. To some it seems to come as a surprise to hear that Jesus is the only way to receive eternal life and forgiveness.

There are many false doctrines and teachings that many folk are misled by because it can sound appealing to the nature of man but these doctrines do not follow the scripture!

Salvador has been instructing me in the basic structure of creating a sermon and the different ways of looking at a biblical passage. Salvador has an incredible knowledge of the bible and what it teaches. He is very diligent in searching the scriptures to make sure what he presents to various different groups is lined up with and following the word of God. He ministers to many folk, disciples, shares and translates messages into Zulu etc.

Over the period of time that I have been with Salvi and Di I have had an increasing respect for this couple, who are constantly endeavouring to follow the ways of God, and who are heavily involved in sharing the gospel, ministering to those in need, teaching and encouraging new Christians and also encouraging and discipling Christians, each in a different way in their various walks with Christ. Salvi and Di are diligent in doing in doing the work God has entrusted them with, even though often they may not see an immediate effect from their selfless work in the cause of the gospel. They keep on persevering even when the results of their work may not even be obvious to either of them at all. They have been a blessing and an encouragement to me, and also to the many, many Christians they are in contact with!

God is doing a work in this country and in the lives of the people in it and through the name of Christ and repentance working in hearts, and through the witness and testimony of Christians believers (including Zulu folk who have left traditional beliefs and turned to Christ) a little bit at a time, more people are realizing that they need the salvation and forgiveness that can only be through Jesus, and they are forsaking the ancestral worship or whatever they are following and coming to a knowledge of the Saviour. And not only believing in Christ, but also putting their trust in Him. Then God is using the lives of these new believers to start reach the lives of the many who are unbelieving!

Salvador has led me in preparing a couple of messages while I have been here. One on the words ‘fellow labourer’ and what it can mean to be a follower if Christ. And the second was on the book Philemon. I was able to present these to both the church and also the bible study group. One of these messages did not go so well, so was rewritten and the structure changed a bit. I praise the Lord that both messages either had a small impact on those hearing it or was very applicable to some things folk were going through at that time!

We had the privilege of sharing in a pre-school/crèche in town, in which we present a story from the bible or something that can be learned from a passage of scripture and sing with the children. Once I was able to lead it, and so I did an object lesson on how God sees our heart. Salvador and I also practiced a play that he had written with a gospel message in it which, with some help from Di, we acted that for the children. It was a good deal of fun, and they really enjoyed it, and afterward they had some quite good questions which they asked.

We have also been involved in a small way, with helping with Children’s club (which is run by Phumlani’s sister, and we take it on the odd occasion). They sing a lot of songs, learn memory verses and sometimes do an activity/project.

Not long ago, we had three young folk from the Baptist church in town staying with us for a couple of days. So we told the story of the Good Samaritan and acted it out for them. Hopefully the children will remember all or at least part of the lesson behind the story.

I have been privileged to meet and spend time with many different people, with a vast difference in upbringing and culture. Both Afrikaans folk and Zulu folk (and others) have always treated me with generous hospitality, and care for Salvador, Di and myself as if we were their own family. Many of them give resources to us to assist in many different ways. During life it is often easy to take many things for granted, but do we always thank God and those who live around us for the many different ways each of us are blessed in many ways? I wonder if we forget even to show gratitude at times. We should spare a thought for the many folk who really suffer. Sometimes those by the world’s standards with little, are more grateful for what they have than those who have in abundance! A little food for thought! J

I have been able to spend a few days in Johannesburg where I saw what a friend, Jessica, was doing and the organization she is involved in who take in babies who have been dumped or that their mothers are unable to provide for or care for them. These babies are cared for by paid and volunteer staff and are eventually adopted out. That was pleasant to catch up and see all the babies and how they are cared for.

While there I met a family, a bit larger than my own. They are friends of Salvi and Di called Allen and Sue Wells, and I had an enjoyable with them. And I caught up with a couple who I met at Phumlani’s wedding called Bernard and Mabel Mathe that have a ministry in an informal settlement called Kwazenzele. It is hard to comprehend how people live in these settlements in tin shacks almost right on top of each other!

Through the generosity of friends here. We have been treated to a trip to Shakaland (showing a bit of Shaka and his wars , traditional Zulu dances and how they lived etc) a game park (and a couple of quick visits to one in search of elephants) and in my last couple of days here we are in a beach house enjoying the sea and getting a bit of a pleasant break away! It all has been greatly appreciated. And so I’d like to say to those people, May God continue to bless you as you have so kindly blessed us in many ways! Thanks!

It seems that I have been here for many years, so quickly have I got to know people here and make many friends. Saying goodbye to everyone has been very hard, especially to Phumlani and all those at the kraal who almost seem like a part of my family. Other friends I have here also seem like family. I am going to miss each one of you. I keep you all in prayer as you continue to follow Christ. If it is the will of God I hope to one day return to this country and see you all again.

I have been very well looked after the whole time that I spent here by many people but especially by Salvador and Di. I am very blessed and thankful to have been involved for a time in their ministry and receiving training from Salvador. I also can’t help but feel very thankful to Di, who does so many things in caring for the needs of others! Di always seems to be doing things for others’ needs, often putting the things of her own on the back burners. She ministers in many ways doing plenty of washing (by hand!), cleaning, taking folk to the clinic, caring for people when sick, sewing ripped Jeans and shirts, and cooking such nice food, that it’s hard not to put on a few extra kilos! I can definitely say that I have not been starving, in fact far from it!

Thank you both very much for what you have done for me, how you have cared for me, and helped to make my stay here, both enjoyable and memorable. You both are a light to those you work with and you have a testimony of Christ in your lives that point to a Saviour and a loving heavenly Father!

May God pour His blessing on you and cause the work you are doing through and for Him to grow as you share with people why Jesus came, and as those who are saved are discipled into a deeper walk with their Saviour.

I look forward to seeing you both in the future! Many thanks,

From Jacob Meads.

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