While lovely hot summer days were enjoyed in South Africa, Raymond and Fanie were challenged by -20̊C temperature in Asia. Their visit in January 2014 was a folow-up on a visit of the previous year. The aim was to train pastors and evangelists in church planting, specifically Phase A of the training.
A large number of leaders were trained in the capital city and they were eager to receive all the material. In the city the atmosphere was more relaxed in terms of prosecution from the government. This, however, changed when the training moved to the countryside.
The people in the countryside were much more influenced by government rules and regulations. Secrecy about Church was the order of the day, and even Raymond and Fanie were smuggled in to the venues. It was important that they should not be seen by anyone except the church members as they would immediately have been under suspision. This could have put the whole church in danger. As an example, the Bibleschool where they trained during the previous visit, was discovered, closed down and one person has been prosecuted.
Despite this, the mood was joyful. After they were smuggled into the church, they were struck by how familiar everything was. The church inside looked like any church anywhere in the West and the fellowship they shared with these believers was the same as in Africa. It was a wonderful experience to meet with God’s people.
In both places where leaders were trained, those present made a commitment to plant a certain number of churches in the next six months. “Their commitment has greatly humbled and excited us”, Fanie wrote in his report. “Already others have asked for someone to come and train their leaders in evangelism and church planting. We expect to see exponential growth”.
We believe that a great number of churches will be planted in this huge nation. God is already at work. Millions have turned to Christ and are turning to Christ every year. Our role, though a small one, will be to focus on multiplication church planting and pastoral training. There is a great need for discipleship and training of leaders across this nation.