South Africa & Zimbabwe 2017 Mission Report

Dear Partner in the Gospel,

It has been a week since I returned from the latest 2017 mission encounter to South Africa & Zimbabwe and my heart still overflows as I reflect on the awesome things that we witnessed at the hands of our Awesome God! As most of you know, the travel itinerary was challenging from the beginning. Because of severe storms in the Atlanta area all flights were cancelled therefore what is normally a 30 hour trek became a three day ordeal. The Lord reminded me of Paul’s travel challenge on his missionary journey to Rome in which he reported, “The winds were contrary to us…we arrived with difficulty…the winds not permitting us to proceed…” (Acts 27:4,7) We arrived with difficulty and I have learned over the years that contrary winds mean God is up to something BIG! That proved to be true on this mission. Thanks for your PRAYERS!

In Kimberley, South Africa we served in partnership under the ministry of Norman Schaffer who I met in Botswana in 2007. He connected us with a ministry called Africa 4 Jesus, a farm dedicated to restoring and ministering to young adults. We shared the basic gospel and helped disciple 40 thirsty souls for an entire week. This was an awesome experience as every morning when we arrived the students were sitting around a table with Bibles open, notepads & pens ready. Each of these students came to this place in life with a lot of complicated baggage; however they were like sponges as they received the transforming message of the gospel. The end result was that 8 were baptized at the end of the week. Hallelujah! Over Easter weekend we helped conduct a camp for Kimberly Baptist Church as we focused on the cross and resurrection of our Lord and preached in area churches.

We moved to Cape Town (one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!) where we connected with friends who linked us with a host of ministry leaders & pastors. We dreamed, prayed and planned for future partnerships. We have discovered that exploring the possibilities of future partnerships is best done in person not email. Please join me in PRAYER as we explore these ministry possibilities in the future.

On the 24th we were off to Zimbabwe and a joyous reunion with our special partners in the gospel. In Livingston we met with about 40 pastors from the surrounding area and cast a vision for the future. It is always a blessing to meet with new pastors as we seek the will of the Father concerning expansion into needed areas. God seems to be leading in that direction. On the way to Bulawayo, our home away from home, we stopped at a village called Chodobe for a special time of ministry. We provided a meal for the community, dedicated a mission point facility purchased by Gillam Springs Baptist Church in Arab, preached the gospel and witnessed 24 receive the gift of salvation. Following the mission strategy of Paul, we returned to many places of ministry “strengthening the brethren” and preaching the gospel to those who needed to hear. At Ngoze Mine Church (that meets in a garbage dump!) we experienced glorious worship, I preached and saw 26 respond to the gospel message! It was an added blessing to observe 178 family units receive enough corn meal to last for one month. We travelled to a new village called Tsholotsho, a grueling journey because of horrendous road conditions, and conducted a leadership conference. The response was very positive because many of these leaders feel forgotten and cannot afford to attend the conferences we conduct in larger cities. In fact, this conference revealed a new vision strategy for reaching more leaders in remote areas. PRAY for us as God builds on this vision.

We made “strengthening” visits to two other ministries that where we have previously invested time and resources and one new ministry. (1) a pastor training center located on a farm where men are trained in theology and other life skills because African churches cannot financially support a pastor so they must have other skills to support their families. I was shocked to see the progress from previous visits. PRAY for this endeavor as it expands to develop spiritual leaders for Zimbabwe! (2) a family farm that will become the home of restoration for delinquent youth. This ministry is in the early stages but God has great plans for this place of peace and beauty. PRAY that the Lord will send partners to help and encourage them in this vital discipleship work. (3) We encouraged a new ministry, a home for unwed mothers giving help, hope through the gospel. Many young women come to know the Lord here, discover new self-esteem and a fresh direction in life.  PRAY for this work because they struggle every month to provide food and basic necessities for the residents. They raise chickens and other farm products to meet basic needs but it is a harsh struggle. Through church services, personal evangelism, rallies we rejoiced to see 127 new Kingdom citizens! 

In complete agreement with Paul, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.“ You are a valued partner in GRACE (v.7), in the GOSPEL (v.5) and in GOING (v.12) for the continuing of the gospel (Philippians 1:3-13.) Debby and I thank you from the depth of our hearts for your support, prayers and friendship!    

 

On Mission & Enjoying the Journey!

Larry Wright

Romans 1:16