|Borders, Bribery and Blessings|
Mission to Zimbabwe
"Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your Name? For You alone are Holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested." Revelation 15:4
We serve an Almighty God and Risen Saviour, who has given us Great Commission! Our recent mission to Zimbabwe was blessed with successful ministry, safe passage, revived believers and converted sinners. However, there were many difficulties experienced in addition to these great blessings.
Zimbabwe's Humanism and Self-deception
group of people in Zimbabwe requested our team to speak to them about Humanism.We informed them about the dangers of this self-destructive worldview, and even showed them how it has influenced the Marxist country in which they live. While I was not blaming this group of people for humanism or socialism, many seemed quite defensive. I further warned them about the dangers of Islam, and how Muslims will propagate their religion through social relief aid and education in their country, which has already begun. Some launched into questions about why the West is so immoral, and they seemed to believe that their own country was not guilty of humanism and of allowing Islam into its midst, building mosques in their communities and persuading parents to sign their children over to them for "education."
From Deception to Understanding
Thankfully, after some discussion, there were certain individuals who seemed to grasp the serious nature and dangerous threat which other religious worldviews present to their country. One man admitted that he had never considered that there may be an agendbehind the relief aid and "education" offered to his people by Islam.
Uncritically defending Humanism is only one small part of Zimbabwe's problem. Many people who are church goers are not even Saved, nor do they understand the Gospel. At one rural church, I interacted with the congregation in an evangelistic style. I asked numerous times about how one can be Saved, and I was often given weak or wrong answer. "You have to forgive other people" said one. "You have to pray" said another. Sadly, this has been my experience throughout most of the Country. I took the opportunity to share about the way of Salvation by Grace through faith with this church.
We took some time to walk through rural village of Zimbabwe where I bumped into lady from an "apostolic" church. As I spoke with her, I asked what her church taught about salvation. She said that "the prophets have spirits and through prophecy they can take any problems you have away". I asked specifically what they do about sin. She said that the preachers will present message and the people can respond. They go to the front and receive salvation. I was able to share the true Gospel with her before she left, and warned that there are no prophets, apostles, or clergy who can save her. I found out later that she had walked very far to retrieve some "blessed" water which would cure her of her problems.
Hesitant to Believe
Pastor friend of mine introduced me to someone from his home village. He introduced himself by saying, "I heard that you are very passionate about the Gospel, and I am not". I accepted his invitation to visit and hear what his story was. He began by asking me questions. First, he asked about the difference between Jews and Gentiles, then about the Sabbath. There were areas of Christianity which he did not understand and desired clarification on. I asked him whether or not he believed in God. He said that he struggled with the idebecause he finds the Bible hard to believe. Then I asked him about how he decides on moral values and pointed out to him that without God there is no need for morals and no basis for any absolutes. He understood what I said. I then took him through the 10 commandments, and he admitted that he was liar, thief, adulterer and murderer at heart. He said that he was deserving of hell, but he was unsure if he believed all that. I explained that he knew God is real and his desire for justice came from God. God is just and He will punish sins. He began with other arguments about the reliability of Old Testament stories, and he said that one day he hopes that he can become Christian, but for the moment he had too many questions. I asked him if his reason for denying God could be that he loved his sins. He said "yes, very much". He told me that he enjoys beer, and he has six girlfriends whom he had been committing adultery with. And he said that "I like it very much". I warned him that if that was the true reason he was staying away from God, he should repent of his sin. We clearly laid the Gospel message out for him, so that he could not have an excuse for his unbelief. The Gospel is the power of God unto Salvation for all who believe.
Take Time to Teach
Often, in cross-cultural environment, many concepts are misunderstood through miscommunication. One has to take time to sit down with individuals and slowly walk them through new concepts. One pastor of rural church publically challenged me about the way I interpreted passage Scripture. I sat down with him over few meals, and made an effort to explain my viewpoint to him. After lot of backward and forward discussion, he understood the matter misunderstanding.
"He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding." Proverbs 15:32
The Victorious Gospel
Not everybody received our message with eagerness. It was, at times, difficult. community, we have laboured in before was eager to receive us back. We had previously spoken about the Gospel and the need for evangelism. One man told us that since then, they have been "so passionate about evangelism!" They were even able to plant new church as result of their evangelistic outreaches.
Pray for Zimbabwe
While we praise God for the spiritual growth of many people in Zimbabwe, there is pervasive amount of corruption and greed both in the political and religious sectors. The ruling ZANU-PF political party uses mass confusion and terror to keep people in state of fear and dependence on the same state which causes their suffering. Within the "Church", multitudes of false teachers and prophets are rising up. These ravenous wolves worship their belly, stealing time and money from their followers. People in Zimbabwe are facing desperate situation with the lack of rainfall during the last rainy season. Many farmers reported to me that they have no crops! By next year, Zimbabwe will need relief aid to feed about 4.5 million people.
Pray that God will continue to raise up firm Gospel preachers who will show Zimbabweans the Way of Truth. Pray that God will destroy the evil works of the ruling political party and grant people discernment to see the tyrannical reign of Robert Mugabe for what it is - ungodly, corrupt, brutal, and satanic. Pray that people humble themselves, seek God's face, and turn from their wicked ways so that their land will be healed. Finally, thank God for the pastors and preachers who know the way of righteousness and are proclaiming it to others. Ask God to strengthen them and give them boldness to face the strong opposition which regularly comes their way.
"All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And they shall glorify Your Name." Psalm 86:9.
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021689 4480