Today we didn’t have house church but attended a small church in Bellville in the Bellpark Primary School hall. This is the church which Wilhelm Els attends. It is a wonderful group of people, brimful of the Holy Spirit and desire for people from many nations to hear the gospel. We were very warmly welcomed, even though Wilhelm was late several guys came and introduced themselves and invited us and made us feel at home. One of them was Anton who is also very involved in Abundant Life Seed/Farming God’s Way, and Tertius the leader of the church. The church is very Afrikaans, so the kids didn’t get much of what was happening, but I translated some of it for them as I could. There are a lot of men in the church — I would say its pretty even since almost all there were in families, which makes it feel very full of men, and men who are bold and leading — another wonderful Afrikaans trait. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t cease to amaze me how much Afrikaans Christians are doing in Africa.
There wasn’t any preaching today but rather a feedback from a prayer outreach to Algeria by the church where two of them (William & Tertius) went there and toured praying and witnessing. They also met the church in Constantine (a city in Algeria), these are very hard-pressed on every side — there are only seven thousand Christians they estimate in the whole nation, and this is localised to a strip of some hundreds of kms along the coast, but nothing in the interior. They don’t consider themselves persecuted because they are not killed for their faith, however, they can’t own property, struggle to get rentals, jobs are hard to come by for them, court cases always go against them, they may not meet in groups larger than 12 people, their children are forced to attend Islamic schools where they are bullied and required to learn even more of the Koran than the Muslim kids, so they are very discriminated against and consequently poor, but they consider themselves not persecuted! Tertius read a letter they received from the church after their return, it was written in such a way that I immediately thought of the movie Behind the Sun which we got from Open Doors, and with the “colouring-in” of that context made it all the more moving to hear a word of thanks and blessing from brothers in that nation.
There was a long list of God’s special provisions for them on the trip and words/verses being confirmed in deeds and meetings and events through the trip, along with proclamations and praise sing and prophesies being made at many strategic points (not without commotion either ) in the nation’s interior where the gospel is non-existent. (Only the Roman Catholic churches are there, but they serve more to keep people away from Christ than to draw them in, many declaring that Christians and Muslims worship the same God effectively sending them back to Islam, and then more obviously not presenting the gospel). It is exciting to think of God moving over that land, and his glory moving over millions of people trapped in the darkness of Islam.
In short if an Afrikaans speaking person is in need of a church, this would be my first recommendation as the fruits of the Spirit are there in abundance. Praise God for He is building his church, and it is growing in strength. May the whole earth soon be filled with His knowledge as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9)!