I’m thankful that I could go on this mission trip to Pretoria. Here I’ve been able to witness the Lord’s wonderful work among the local Africans, and experience a personal renewal in how I view my ministry and this movement as a whole.
Why did I decide to journey to Pretoria? I was attracted by sharings from brothers and sisters who had visited this place and reported how local African people were responding favourably to our ministry efforts. I knew this was a great step forward for our movement, and I wanted to do what I could to support the work there.
Over here, what I do is assist in adults fellowships, conduct home visits, and tutor in math and English classes. I help local brothers and sisters understand and experience precious truths that transform their relationship with God, such as how the Lord delights in them.
This trip has helped me to appreciate what our church has even more in terms of the truth and the way of doing God’s will. In Vancouver we often hear B/S comment that the whole world needs what our church has. This statement hit home when I saw the work in Mamelodi. Many of the African B/S who join us used to attend other churches, but they comment that we share the truth, such as the gospel, in a clear manner. This helps them to truly understand what they believe in. Additionally we share simple practices that help the African B/S to experience God personally, such as beholding, singing content-rich hymns, and how to worship in a group setting. These are practices I admittedly took for granted in Vancouver, but I felt both touched and thankful when I saw how they helped the African B/S to enjoy worship.
The coworkers in Pretoria have also inspired me in how they show wisdom and love in shepherding the sheep and saving souls. They follow up closely with the African B/S – whether it’s through phone-based fellowship or conducting home visits. Through it all, the coworkers show genuine concern for their sheep and never give any indication that it’s tiresome work. On another vein, the gospel work is inspired by the biblical premise of using family connections as a bridge for saving souls. Through our weekday youth programs, the coworkers have been able to connect with many adults in the community to begin the gospel work.
One improvement I had on this trip was in maintaining a stable corner time at the end of my day, something that I was lacking in Vancouver. I would spend perhaps 15 minutes to reflect on my day and record key learnings and spiritual gains, and also plan ahead for the next day. The key benefit to this was that it reminded me of the Lord’s grace. I found there was virtually always something to give thanks for. This practice also helped me to see how the Lord used different ways to teach me, whether it was how to share a message more concisely or how to be more efficient in simple chores. Writing down these learnings helped me to retain these lessons.
Overall the trip has reaffirmed that the truths we have, and our way of carrying out God’s will, can indeed be the blessing of many people in this world. I am encouraged to keep equipping myself in the truth and practicing what I have gained from Violin’s Saturday trainings, particularly how to experience the Lord deeply in personal and group worship.
I hope that next year I’ll be even more skillful in using the truths restored among us to help many, whether that’s in South Africa or elsewhere.