2023 November Newsletter
|We are delighted to share Gary’s Newsletter with you. As you may know, he was our first Regional Leader and currently covers South Africa, Zambia, Cameroon, Mozambique and Malawi.
|“We take this opportunity to thank you once again for many years of faithful support of our ministry to the rural pastors of Africa. Our PFA ministry currently covers South Africa, Zambia, Cameroon, Mozambique and Malawi. Our mandate for the past 25 years has been to help pastors “Plant and Establish” new Churches and to “Strengthen and Encourage” existing Churches.” ~ Gary Deetlefs
|Each month House of Prayer endeavours to have a Weekend, Day or Night Mission Trip to a rural Church within a 3-hour drive of Durban. We begin with ‘hut to hut’ Prayer Evangelism. After lunch we have Children’s Ministry with games, a jumping castle and face painting. Early evening, we send the truck out with a portable sound system to evangelize and invite the whole community to the evening revival and Sunday morning Service.
This mobile ministry certainly increases the footprint of these local Churches in their community. In our segregated society it is not every day that one would see people of all nations gathering together. Just staying in the homes of the rural folk brings such healing in a nation previously divided by apartheid. It has been amazing to see how these Mission Trips have encouraged both the pastors and the members of these rural Churches to grow and expand. I personally love hearing the amazing stories of the miracles upon their return home.
These Mission Trips also stir up passion in our folk in the local House of Prayer Church. We strongly encourage every local Church to send out Ministry Teams to help other Churches. Paul Ravs has brought over 200 Aussies on Africa Mission Trips. These three-week trips are life changing. I was amazed to see the lasting impact these trips had on the young folk who came to South Africa 20 years ago. Do chat to Paul Ravs if you are interested in joining an African Mission Trip. At the House of Prayer-Durban we have three Sunday Services each week. We start at Queensburgh @ 08h00, then travel to Eagles Rest Mission for the Hillcrest Congregation Service @ 10h00, and finally return for the Young Adults led Service @ 18h00 in Queensburgh. So good to see the church firing on all 8cylinders again after the long Covid 19 restrictions.
|Teams of Teams
|We have also been encouraging pastors to build a team in their own town or district where they can meet each month for ministry and training. Our message, “You are not alone.”
It has been exciting to see the relationships developing and becoming fruitful. Synergy is an amazing principle we can leverage to grow the Kingdom and His Church. #Stronger together.
Most Sundays, pastors from our Malawian team take turns to travel and minister in other churches, often having to walk 25 to 45 kms to get there.
|This team of 10, including 3 pastors and 3 ladies, borrowed bicycles for the Mission Trip across the Shire River, 120 kilometres into Mozambique, to one of our most remote village churches. On a bicycle it is a 2-day trip there and a 2-daytrip back home. Crossing the mighty Shire River in canoes takes 4 hours plus 3 other smaller crocodile infested rivers. What amazed me the most is that they hired a motor bike to transport their sound system and generator.
When I was recently in Malawi one pastor from Mozambique walked 3 days to attend our training times, another walked one day. The rest spent hours of walking, some down the most treacherous mountain paths.
|African Ministry Trip
|Each year we try to sow time into other nations of Africa and host a National Conference. This year in August we had a trip to Malawi.
For the first time, I understood what famine really means. Previously when I read of famine in the Bible I put in the words ‘poor’ or ‘poverty.’ Malawi has been struck by floods and now by drought, Whole villages have no idea what they will eat tonight, tomorrow or next week. They survive on Drought Food which are the dried pods from water lilies. The problem is that they have to dive into the crocodile infested section of the Shire to find it. Local Medical Teams estimate that the last 90 kms before the Shire River reaches the Zambesi, an average of 360 people are attacked every year. Many just disappear and never return home.
|We have some amazing stories of the floods where Luca, one of our pastors, was stuck in a tree 15 kms from dry land. He had stayed behind to try and save some of their meagre belongings after his family and the villagers had evacuated to the safety of higher ground. Three days later I got frantic message to “Pray for Ps Luca.” As I prepared a prayer message to send to our folk, I clearly heard the Lord say: “PAY not PRAY”. We quickly raised the money in the local Church and were able to send out a motorboat to rescue our pastor Luca. Turned out we had to pay a little extra for the other 4 villagers stuck in the tree or the skipper was about to leave the non-paying folk behind!
We held several successful pastor and leadership conferences and visited many small village Churches for ministry. Here again we found that pastors working together in teams was key to their success at Church Planting and the strength of the local Churches.
|In the past year we have built a Church in Ntuzuma Township in Durban. Ps Cliford and his wife Khanya are in their 50s and for the past four years have pitched a marquee tent every week for their Saturday night revival services and Sunday morning services. This is where they slept each week no matter what the weather.
It was a blessing to have Paul Ravs join us for this five day church build. The Church is now thriving and growing in their new home. We call them the ‘dancing church’ as they have such a spirit of joy and dance.
In Nsanje, Malawi, in 2022 we bought an acre of land for Ps Manthando who pastors our main Church there. This is their temporary Church structure. While in Australia I sensed the Lord leading us to look to the future and buy a second acre that became available. The church has now made 45 000 clay bricks which should be fired within the week and then they can begin the building process
The price of cement in Malawi is 4 times higher than in our countries. They cannot afford to pay the high prices so use mud mortar without cement. This proves disastrous in times of flood. We saw so many churches that had been reduced to a pile of bricks.
We are currently raising funds for cement to rebuild the destroyed churches and for bicycles which greatly reduces the travel time of the pastors there. I have so many amazing stories of the rural life and ministry here in Africa. Men and women who never give up preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom no matter the opposition, difficulties and discouragements they encounter on a daily basis.
|Australia Ministry Trip
|What a delight to recently spend four weeks in October ministering amongst the Australian Partnering Churches. It was a delight to catch up with so many Live Connection partners we have lived life with over so many years.
A foundation Scripture of our Church and Ministry is Proverbs19: 17 “He who gives to the poor, lends to God and He will repay him in full.” The Lord has proved this to be true time and time again.
Thank you once again for all your valued support as we reach out to the rural pastors of Africa.
Warm regards, Pastor Gary Dee and the Pastors for Africa Team.
|SPRING APPEAL UPDATE
|We are now in the last week of our spring appeal. Thank you to those who have donated. We are currently up to $930. This appeal provides funding for our current and future operations. Small and large donations can be made at https://liveconnection.org/donations/
Thank you everyone for your support.
|For they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:18
Shalom & Blessings,The Live Connection Team