Hope this finds you all doing well. It is October and no stopping time. It has been a wonderful year so far once again and we give God the Glory, and you all the appreciation, for helping us serve God in this way. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please see below some of the happenings taking place this 3rd quarter. Hundreds and hundreds are being baptized into Christ every year and we cannot thank you enough.
The new Kenyan chariot is now up and running and, believe it or not, we have plans, Lord Willing, of trying to build a new gospel chariot for Nigeria. Please pray for this new goal to build a new, big gospel chariot for Nigeria. There are 163 million people in Nigeria. Wow! Late September we flew a sales engineering manager from Nigeria to Kenya to measure up and see if we can build a gospel chariot in Nigeria and not export from South Africa.
Tom Opondo from Kenya e-mailed the following report: "Brother George. Sanyaolu (seen below measuring up and taking photos), the sales engineering manager, from ANAMCO completed his Kenyan assignment yesterday. In this way, border challenges and struggles will be reduced and the cost of chariots become affordable. Taxes will not eat big % of GCM funds. I took him to the airport this morning at 4.00 am. Prayers for safe flight home. Prayers for the church in Nigeria to be able to receive a chariot truck for evangelism. May the Lord bless George and all GCM supporters for sending him to Kenya. He has done a very good job. It was intensive work. Praying for good results for the brethren in Nigeria."
Amen. Let's all pray as we wait for a price on building a chariot in Nigeria. To God be the Glory. Thank You Lord.
At the end of July I thought the export on the Kenyan chariot was home and dry, but it was then held up in Tanzania and also took more than three days to be cleared at the Kenyan border. We eventually received the news on August 11 that it had finally reached it's destination. Thank you to Dimpo, Machona, Lyman and Lucas who drove the truck up from South Africa. Looks like nothing comes easy, but all good things come to those who wait. Thank You Lord.
Below shows the chariot before its departure from our Pretoria office.
The team on the road...
11 August and Amen! We finally had pictures of the new gospel chariot and the excited leaders in Kenya accepting it and then inspecting it!
After building the new chariot in South Africa and exporting it to Kenya, with many issues along the way and the corruption at the many border posts, by August 18 it was finally up and running and having its first gospel meeting in the Nairobi area.
Thank you to all for your prayers and big thank you to the team that had to endure the problems along the way. The cool thing now is, every time we see lives being changed we can sit back and say, it was worth the problems.
Here are a few more pictures of the ribbon cutting and first meeting in Kenya. As you can see - leaders coming together, praying, preaching and dreaming about God's work in Kenya and surrounding countries.
In early September the Kenyan chariot was working in Kisumu and there were 12 souls baptized. God Bless Julius and the leaders working there. Please pray for Kenya and all involved.
In late July the Gospel Chariot and the Ghanaian Preachers, along with Bob Bauer - Minister for Orange Street Church of Christ, Florida - took the chariot and workers to Tarkwa in the western region of Ghana for evangelism.
Preachers and church members were organized to work during the day and night to save souls. The brethren came from surrounding towns to assist in the program. There was daily devotion and briefing at the beginning of each day's work. Daily personal contacts and teaching of God's word was done in market places, offices, homes and on street corners.
In addition, there was night street preaching which attracted a lot of listeners. The average attendance at each night meeting was approximately 600 town folks who listened to God's message and asked questions until about 11pm each night. The Lord added 17 souls to His church after the two week program.
NZEMA DISTRICT TRIP
Evans Lartey reports that he, Winfred Sackey, Osei David and Peter made a working trip to the Nzema district of the western region of Ghana to meet with the churches in that district. The fifty-two congregations in this region gathered together for a combined service. The service was meant to initiate, consolidate and combine efforts to win souls for Christ in the district. The Chariot committee took advantage of the meeting to introduce the work of the gospel chariot to the gathering.
Evans said that after the service they met with the church Leaders and Preachers present. After deliberations on how to use the Chariot, they confirmed using the chariot from September to December 2016. This decision was welcome news because working in the western region is part of the Chariot's itinerary for 2016. We allowed the church members present to take turns to inspect the Chariot. The churches that met greatly praised the sponsors of the Gospel Chariot project and wished the truck will work for a year in their territory. Bibles and literature were also distributed by us. It is our prayer that great harvest results when these congregations host the Chariot.
Wow, have a look at how many Christians were present. A picture tells a thousand stories. The Church of Christ is alive and well in Ghana and we are so blessed to have a gospel chariot working in that country helping them reach all corners of their country and beyond. Please pray for Ghana and all those working to spread the wonderful name of Jesus. Thank You Lord.
2016 YOUTH EVANGELISM AT JUKWA MFOUM
Then, toward the end of August, 132 young souls were baptized into Christ. Evans Lartey sent us the following amazing photos and information from Ghana.
Jukwa Mfuom is surrounded by six towns. Jukwa Mfuom was the choice of the Annual Youth Evangelism committee because the Church of Christ in these towns trumpeted the Macedonian call. The Youth's response to the call brought "light" into the life of the inhabitants.
The Word of God was spread through dawn preaching, day time house to house teaching and night street preaching. The Youth also organized a clean-up campaign by cleaning the streets, desilting choked gutters and educating the people on personal hygiene issues. A sign of patriotism and the practice of "washing the feet" as taught by Jesus.
The Gospel Chariot assisted in this campaign and distributed bibles to the campaigners who used them as tools for their evangelism. It was heartwarming to observe the Youth using these bibles with lessons to win souls for Christ.
At the end of a week long campaign with 573 youth from 42 churches, the Lord added 132 souls to His Church. Glory be to God for greater things He will always do when we avail ourselves. Amen.
Below shows Robert Hara preaching on "Faith and God's Word" in Tanzania in August. Robert reported that: "Evangelism and preaching work started very well at Maninga village in Mbozi District and that the Chimala Mission helped give Bibles as a weapon to each and everyone who was baptised at Maninga. There have been more than 40 baptisms in Tanzania with many preachers working together like, Robert, Tumelo, Joseph, Lusekelo, Frank, Lenkosi and many other local leaders."
In August the team spent time working the Ikonya region. Robert and Tumelo worked with the Tanzanian brethren and together they reported 56 baptisms by mid August. Please pray for them all as they preach the word.
Chariot 2 continued its travels and meetings in Tanzania working with the brethren there. They then headed to the Mbeya region and there were 65 souls baptized into Christ. The team then crossed back over into Malawi in September to work with the US campaigners. Please pray for all especially Robert and Tumelo who have done an amazing work.
During September there where more than 80 souls baptized by the team working on Chariot Two.
Below you can see they also had some tyre issues along the way before they crossed into Malawi.
Below shows the first gospel meeting for Chariot 2 in Malawi in early July this year. As you can see, the first step is erecting the tent and that's a weekly event, the setting up and then breaking down again. There were 8 souls baptized into Jesus at this meeting and more than 300 in Malawi this year.
FOOD RELIEF, MALAWI
As the big Gospel Chariot 2 started its gospel meetings, the mini Malawian chariot headed in a different direction distributing maize to the widows and orphans. Moster reported the following:
"On food relief thank you again for the transportation of maize as we distributed to the needy. The church has received overwhelming requests from several churches who seek help. As the GCM Chariot 2 went to Jeketera, the food relief team packed and distributed relief to elderly widows, orphans and really needy people. I drove the team to Chikangawa Forest church where William Shonga is the preacher and helped with food there."
"We then stopped at Traiply Church of Christ and helped there. We then drove to Chamaji where an old aged widow received relief, her name is Tafwakose Kajani aged 94, she touched my heart with her walking stick standing next to the mini chariot as the leaders at Chamaji church helped us in distribution (in photo below). We met and distributed to 60 families in that area."
That was in Mosters own words. God Bless Moster and team. Thank You Lord. Please pray for Malawi as our team preaches Jesus, but most of all has compassion like Jesus.
In mid-July Chariot 2 moved to Kajorwe Chikangawa and Layman reports that it was cold, but the turnout was good and 14 souls were baptized into Christ.
Below you can see the meeting and Layman also working with the village children. He does such an amazing job with those little ones in every village that he travels to.
Chariot 2 then worked its way north towards Tanzania. They worked a gospel meeting where brother Layman Mpharo, our GCM driver/evangelist, preaches when he's home in Malawi. Layman reported the following: "There have been 50 souls baptized into Christ so far in Malawi and over 115 Registrations of World Bible School students. Today the chariot will be going to Doroba, still in Mzuzu area, but tomorrow it will be going to the Rumphi Region and will have 4 gospel meetings at Bale." Amen! Please pray for Layman and our Malawian brethren as they serve God.
Wow, here is a classical example of how effective the gospel chariots are when brethren work together and allow God to work through them all. This Malawian chariot had just arrived in the Rumphi District at the Bale Church of Christ and brethren came together and effectively preached the Word with 28 souls coming forward to be baptized. Even the traditional chiefs were out supporting the gospel meetings during the weekend.
Layman and Robert were excited and mentioned some of those who were responsible for the preaching. They were Brother Robenson Mhango, a teacher in Rumphi and Brother Chidimba Mhango - who was followed by our South African young preacher, Brother Tumelo Ncolloane who was interpreted for by Brother Japhet Nyirongo, During this time we were also blessed by the teachers from Mzimba Bible college, teachers from Kaviwale Vocational School in Mzuzu and teachers and preachers from Lubagha Mission in Rumphi District.
Wow, to God be the Glory for all the good being done by brethren working together. God Bless Malawi. Thank You Lord and Thank you brethren.
The Chariot 2 then moved on to Chitimba and Robert Hara reported the following:
"At Chitimba we preached in two different places with other four preachers from Thekero church of Christ, Luwuchi church of Christ and Luwezga church of Christ, who also preached at these two different places in Chitimba Village where 15 souls were baptized which has now resulted in 110 people being baptized into Christ in Malawi. The brethren are very excited when we travel through and help them have gospel meetings."
Amen, thank You Lord.
KARONGA DISTRICT MEETING
Pictures below show Chariot 2 holding the last tent meeting at Thunduti Church of Christ in Karonga District in Malawi with Moster Kanyinji preaching and baptizing some souls into Jesus. Amen. God Bless Malawi and all involved.
In September Bob Mathews sent through these photos of the tent meetings and also of Moster preaching in Kasinje.
Wow, thank you to Bob Mathews and the brethren from the Southern Hills Church of Christ in Buda Texas, who once again campaigned and worked with the Gospel Chariot in Malawi and more specifically with the Mua School for the Deaf. Thank you Bob, Cathy, David and Moster Kanyinji and not forgetting the GCM team and our local Malawian leaders.
Below shows David Suddath of Austin, TX baptizing a deaf man at Mua School for the Deaf in Malawi. There were 20 other deaf men and women baptized, marking the beginning of the first deaf congregation in Malawi.
This chariot headed South to cross into Mozambique for October and will then finish off in South Africa later this year. To God be the Glory. Thank You Lord. Please let's all pray for Robert and Tumelo as they continue their journey South.
On it's way South the chariot preached and worked with the brethren at Namadzi Trading Centre in Chiradzulu and Thumbwe Trading Centre also in Chiradzulu. The baptisms here brought the total to 106 souls baptized into Christ during September in Malawi.
Please pray for them as they head towards Mozambique and then on home to South Africa. Thanks to our good friend Ron Pottberg, who you can see below, who once again worked with our Malawian chariot. Ron then stopped off at our Pretoria office at the end of September to meet with our World Bible School follow up men.
An open air meeting was held on September 29 at Chigumukire. Layman reports that a crowd appeared after a very short time and they were able to preach and teach which resulted in 29 souls repenting and being immersed into Christ.
This brought the total of baptisms in Malawi for the month of September up to 172. The chariot then headed on to Sorgin after which it will then return to Blantyre.
The Kenyan Gospel Chariot made its way through Zimbabwe with some struggles, and then headed towards Malawi. Below shows bibles being distributed, preachers being encouraged and brethren working together in Zimbabwe. Please pray for Zimbabwe and thank you to all for making this happen.
There were two campaign groups who visited Zimbabwe. Below shows Tony Hopper from Alabama teaching at the campaign in Ngundu. He was accompanied by brother John Reese who came to speak to us about World Bible School and the Gospel Chariot Missions partnership.
Below shows Beth Reese (with blue hat) registering WBS students who attended the WBS seminar.
And below we see the chariot at Ngundu and a baptism that also took place there.
Below shows some of the second group of workers who worked with us too.
Wow, as I travel and work with the gospel chariots and African brethren and, at times, with American campaigners, I am amazed at the amazing, amazing things God is doing through us all as we unite and reach an entire continent. At this campaign I experienced our partnership with the Venda brethren in South Africa and the short term school we have there and how we have over the last couple years got them to cross over into Zimbabwe and Mozambique and have them now being a mission minded African work, planting congregations over the border in partnership with Gospel Chariot Missions and the Park Plaza Church of Christ in the US. This is truly a success story.
Below shows us in Ngundu where we managed to plant two congregations with a Zimbabwean brother, Amos, who came to study at the Venda short term school and was then sent back by the Tshidimbini elders and supported by them. You can also see the preachers accepting their bibles and Teachers Bibles which were distributed in Beitbridge and Ngundu.
Our goal from Venda is to assist and evangelize the southern part of Zimbabwe from South Africa and it's really working thanks to our working with the Zimbabweans and the South Africans. Below you can also see us visiting with a influential political leader in Zimbabwe who housed all our preachers working with us in Zimbabwe. This same leaders has allocated a piece of land for the church building in Zungu. This is all so exciting. Thanks to all who work with us. To God be the Glory. Thank You Lord.
While I campaigned with the Zimbabwean brethren in Beitbridge and Ngundu it was great and I reported about our travels. Bongani sent more photos of the happenings after we left. They eventually found water for the baptistery, amen and 12 souls were baptized. Bongani reports the following.
"It was so touching and encouraging to work with brothers in Zimbabwe. The zeal of the brothers was so amazing. We have 12 people that were added to the church in Ngundu. We are short of words to thank God for using us to touch people's lives. When we see people responding to His word it humbles us! We can boldly say it is not by our might or our power but by the spirit of God."
"Above you can see Amos, the preacher and our former student at Venda short term school. It was good to see him again doing great work in Ngundu. Bibles were given to newly baptized believers. We pray for him and the preachers that join him in the area." - from Bongani.
Above shows Bongani baptizing one of the new converts and below you can see Bongani cleaning his chariot at the Beitbridge border on his way back to South Africa where he was held up for two days whilst they inspected his truck and made life difficult for him, but God once again provided and he was eventually sent on his way. To God be the Glory for all the souls and good work being done, even the hard times as we learn through them. Thank You Lord.
Chris Magadu reported that this campaign saw 17 people being baptized at Beitbridge and another 4 being baptized in Ngundu and 14 people baptized at the seminar in Harare.
Below shows Bongani and Chariot One working in Venda.
They were in a place called Matangari and De Villiers' (below right in white shirt) congregation is in the process of planting a new congregation there. Souls are being saved and brethren encouraged.
This is the chariot which then crossed over into Zimbabwe. From Matangari the chariot then moved on to the village of Tshitereke with brother Mathose preaching. You also see the bible students helping to reach out. Please pray for Venda as they reach their region and beyond.
I then arrived safely in Venda with our US campaigners from Tulsa. We had our leadership seminar on Saturday, July 16, and attended the mini gospel chariot preaching in the village.
8 souls were baptised into Jesus during the gospel meeting. We then worshipped in Venda on the Sunday and crossed into Zimbabwe through the Friday and worked with the gospel chariot team there. Thank you to all the Venda brethren and campaigners.
In September our Pretoria office supplied English and Shona bibles to our Venda mission, but also Teachers Bibles along with the Biblical Research Library Commentaries. The mini chariot in Venda drove down to Pretoria to collect supplies. Please pray for Venda as they cross borders reaching out and for our Pretoria office that allocates the supplies and for our partners in Tulsa who sponsor the bibles and Venda work.
In mid August Bongani reported that God was working in Swaziland as they all united and reached out. Bongani says the students from the bible school joined us on the weekend to help with preaching and house to house visitation. It's so great that the school uses August as their outreach program. There were many souls saved and teachers bibles distributed to students.
In late August Bongani reported that they moved into the rural area and things went well. The bible students from the bible school joined them on the weekend working with the youth and reaching out in the area. Again, bibles where distributed and teachers bibles also give to the bible students. Two souls were baptized into Christ.
Bongani then headed back to South Africa to restock the chariot after an amazing trip to Swaziland where brethren where encouraged and souls baptized. Amen Swaziland.
Below shows outreach at its best in Togo, West Africa. Thank you Willie Gley and the team.
In September Willie reported that the Togo chariot was on the road again reaching out, distributing and pulling in the crowds with their night videos and preaching.
Below shows the work done in Kpeta at the end of July. Willie reports that a new congregation was planted there and at the end of their four day campaign there were three new souls added to the church.
Below shows Daniel preaching from the chariot at dawn - he would get up at 4.30am to be ready to start teaching and preaching over the sound system by 5am - as a result of his dedication and early morning preaching three people obeyed the gospel.
It is so good to hear of the work happening in Benin. The chariot was out working for the entire quarter (July - September). First stop on the trip was Dassa-Zoume as the Christians there needed encouragement - they had not been visited since January 2015. The team worked there for four days and the visit resulted in one new baptism.
From there they moved on to Gobe where they also spent time encouraging the brethren.
Leaving the Gobe brethren re-ignited they moved to Kobogoun - a place they have not evangelized before. They spent four days preaching and teaching here and this resulted in six baptisms and a new church being planted (they now worship under the tree you see them pictured in front of - in photo below).
The team went to Kaboua for a week where they spent the days teaching and the nights watching Christian films in the open areas.
Eleven people were baptized as a result of this work in Kaboua.
After a week spent in Kaboua and then another week in Gbede the two new churches were encouraged to meet together as they are very small groups near to each other and they would benefit from working together. The team then moved on to spend a few weeks in Cocotomey. There they first worked with the youth, then with all the women and then they brought everyone together for a week long campaign were they worked with the church during the day and then held meetings for the public in the evenings.
The chariot then worked in Abomey and Ayou for the month of September. In Abomey they visited with and encouraged the church and also held prayer meetings and day and night teaching sessions.
In September Isaac reported the following: "I request special prayers for our gospel chariot and WBS campaign for Christ in Gblah Nimba county Liberia in my last mission report I let you know of our prayer requests and the Lord is answering our prayers, the team left and arrived late Monday night and started work on Tuesday and I just got word from Emmanuel that 32 souls have been baptized with three more days to go."
Isaac also reported Amara, a Muslim bible student and convert who I met when in Liberia, is facing threats from his father and family back in Sierra Leone due to him accepting Christ. Please pray for Amara and the situation.
The work in Namibia is going well. Below you can see some alterations that were done to accommodate more students at the Tsumeb Bible Academy. Dimpo Motimele (from our Pretoria office), Lazarus Munetsi (from our Plettenberg Bay team) and also Zonge (from our Pretoria office) have all taken turns rotating out and spending time teaching and working with the students there. Lord Willing, in years to come, we will have Namibian brethren overseeing their own school. Please continue to pray for Namibia.
In July Gospel Chariots first semester started at the Tsumeb Bible Academy. The students arrived and Lazarus Munetsi (below right in GCM blazer) got to work teaching them. Happy, happy. May this be the first semester of many.
While Lazarus was teaching he sent a report saying: "The Gospel Chariot Missions is using every opportunity to reach every corner of the world with the message of the cross. Nations University is used as a means to educate leaders of tomorrow. May the good Lord bless all the efforts as we all join hands to reach out to the unreached."
The pictures below were taken during exam time for the students.
Then you can also see some souls being saved. When the water is scarce you need to be creative!
Amen Lazarus and all involved. Lazarus then returned home and Zonge (pictured teaching below) replaced him. Then Dimpo, Machona and Mike Knappier will be doing their turn as well as they develop and dream God's work in Namibia.
During September the students got some hands on experience sharing the gospel as they teamed up with the mini chariot to reach out in the local communities.
Below shows our Pretoria office and Dimpo Motimele hosting Ron Pottberg from World Bible School in the US. We, in conjunction with them, have taught hundreds of thousands of students over the years and in some cases helped plant new congregations. Below you can see Ron encouraging our South African WBS leaders and workers regarding follow up and new developments. Thank you Ron and thank you brothers for networking and using World Bible School as a tool for reaching the millions on our wonderful continent.
When Lazarus was working from home he travelled with Gladman from the Western Cape into the Eastern Cape doing World Bible School follow up in Grahamstown and also doing some open air meetings with the church in Port Elizabeth assisted by our brother Dennis Bellairs, who is a good leader in the Lord's Church. I will be with brother Dennis and the brethren there in October doing a leadership seminar. Please pray for the Port Elizabeth brethren.
Below shows our GCM office in downtown Durban with Paulus Sotetsi and Leslie Khumalo. Paulus reported the following. "We still receive lessons through mail and Leslie does the grading and mails them back. Some students do come to collect and hand submit their lessons. I also hand-deliver some lessons to the students around where I stay in Clernaville, and collect them to be graded. Leslie did a follow-up trip to one of our students at the location of Umlazi township, and handed the student over to the Umlazi congregation for further follow-up."
As per usual our Saturday bible classes are continuing - students are coming around and classes are thriving. Paulus also met with Wiseman Jili, a WBS student, and he attended a bible study with his friend, Christopher Ngcobo. Paulus has arranged to meet at their place, in Pietermaritzburg, for the next sessions of bible studies so that they can also invite other WBS students in the area to join them.
Brother Elphas Ndawonde and Brother Frans Molefe (seen below left in blue jacket) are continuing with their hands on work in the WBS office as well. Please pray for Paulus and Leslie and all those being taught and encouraged. Thank You Lord.
In September Leslie and Paulus studied the Zulu WBS courses with a woman who had heard about WBS through the radio adverts. She attended one on one studies with Leslie and was later baptized by Paulus.
WORLD BIBLE SCHOOL FOLLOW UP
This is amazing! As you know, we do World Bible School follow up where teachers in the US teach through the post and we do the follow up regardless of where they are in South Africa.
Some time back we reported about a pub owner who is studying with us and who was encouraging all his beer drinking clients to study with WBS as well. He even has church service for them in the pub on Sundays. Well, on September 22, Dimpo and the team reported the following:
"We made it to Belfast yesterday, we found Cyprian Zimu, a WBS student of L. Thompson (TN-112). There were about 25 gathered for the meeting in the pub and they were quite eager. The singing was good, the response was so marvelous.
Bongani and Machona facilitated the study. We had 10 baptisms and the rest showed interest and promised to call us again. Our plan is to get one of them to the bible school here in Pretoria so that we can help equip them and help establish the church."
Amen to that. Thank you Dimpo, Machona and Bongani. Please let's all pray for these new souls. Thank You Lord.
Below shows Machona (left) and Dimpo (right) after baptizing Cyprian Zimu.
MANDHLA NGWENYA - July 31 (pictured below)
Result: Zonge met with Mandhla for a bible study and Mandhla was then baptized. He has since been worshipping with Downtown Pretoria Church of Christ.
Teacher: Roben Hanes, WBS Internet
Below shows Zonge (left) and Mandhla (right) after the baptism.
NICOLAS BOATENG - August 23 (pictured below)
Result: baptized by Bongani after study with Bongani and Dimpo. Dimpo also presented him with his own new bible so that he can keep on studying God's word.
Teacher: Willy Trotty, TX
CYPRIAN ZIMU - September 22
Result: Baptised along with a group of 9 others who he's been teaching the WBS courses to and who he's linked up to WBS.
Others baptized along with Cyprian are:
- Flex Masombuka
- Mathew Mtsweni
- Dorcas Maseko
- Happiness Mohlala
- Solomon Sithole
- Sonto Mthimunye
- Boy Nkosi
- Sesi Jelle
- Oupa Magane
Teacher: L. Thompson, TN-112
MANGALANE THEMBA - September 14
Result: Mangalane was baptized by Matthew, the youth minister from the Atteridgeville church. Mangalane is an advocate in private practice and he has committed to worship with the Downtown Pretoria Church of Christ.
Teacher: Reesa Hensarling, WBS Internet
Result: Dimpo and Machona visited with Lucky and they have had a bible study with him. He is very busy at work at the moment as he is doing his internship to become a doctor. He has asked Dimpo and Machona to join him for a bible study again when he is free.
Teacher: Sherry Townsend, WBS Internet
PLEASE HELP AS WE REACH A CONTINENT
All funds can be sent to: Gospel Chariot Missions, P.O.Box 51, Benton, AR 72018
To God be the Glory. In Him Love,
Brother George Funk
Gospel Chariot Missions
P.O. Box 1686, Plettenberg Bay
Western Cape 6600 South Africa