New Zealand

A whirlwind trip to Africa felt like "something out of the book of Acts"says Murray S, SOWERS' Partnership Coordinator. Here he writes about his amazing African adventures.

"Would you please allow us the privilege of taking the gospel to the people in this region?" asked Saidi as he swept his hand over a map of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, outlining an area roughly twice the size of New Zealand.

"It is a remote region", he said, "and they still haven't heard." Katanga DR CongoHe and his five friends had traveled 220km over three days to meet us - Saidi by bicycle and the others by truck.

"What resources do you have?" we asked. "One bicycle, one sketch board, some paper, paint and brushes, but hearts aflame with the love of God", they replied.

My eyes were leaking (real men don't cry) - here they were imploring us to allow them to travel thousands of kilometres with just one bicycle over rough bush tracks, rivers and swamps so that they could take the gospel to a new area. It felt like we were witnessing something right out of the book of Acts - people willing to undergo great hardship and deprivation in order to "have the privilege" of spreading the gospel. I haven't heard many sermons on that lately!

I was there with my son Jared and David S, Chairman of the Executive, as part of a trip to visit Sowers in South Africa, DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast. We had been asked by Murray and Joy S to come and help advance the work of SOWERS in DR Congo, but I couldn't help wondering who really needed help. Saidi and his team had already planted eight churches and like Caleb of old, wanted the challenge of morSaidi and teame territory to conquer.

Their wish was granted, and they were provided with four sparkling new bicycles and extra SOWERS equipment.

Fast forward two weeks: David, Jared and I had already been to South Africa, DR Congo, Zambia and northern Malawi. Now we were driving four hours to get to a village on the Malawi/Mozambique border. For the last couple of hours our 4x4 never got out of second gear.

Three years ago there was no Christian witness in this remote place, but a Sower and his wife spent a few months living in a tiny 2m by 2m room with a tin roof so that "all may hear." People were saved and a new church building was started, but before the roof was even put on the place had become too small for the 140 believers that were meeting together. What a joy to encourage these dear folk.

Next stop Zimbabwe. Harare is a beautiful modern city but the supermarket shelves are empty. When we were there inflation was an unbelievable 10,000 percent - now, eight months later, it is over 2 million percent and rising! After spending the afternoon with the SOWERS Board we treated them to a meal and together ate our way through $55,000,000 worth of food (ZIM55,000,000 = USD70). Rodwell, the Board Chairman later said, "We are living one day at a time." It is like 2 Corinthians 4:8,9,16-17 was written especially for them - go on, look it up!

"And what more shall I say, I do not have time to tell you about...", says the writer to the Hebrews (11:32). Ngoy, Puta, Steven, Godfrey, Paul, Samuel, Joel, Hassane and Auguste and many others who are all worthy of a mention. As these folks give their all for the gospel in far off lands, working under trying circumstances, let's not forget to do our part of praying and giving so that ALL may hear.

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We partner with and train local churches around the world to spread the gospel in their region using open air evangelism.

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