My biggest praise

Political instability in Africa has meant that South Africa is one of the countries where many refugees go. Zara* works with a community from East Africa where most women do not speak English, yet their children go to the local schools. 

The community I work in is very closed and can be very suspicious of ‘locals’ showing an interest in them, if they are not purchasing what is in their stores. For the first year, our team had a hard time finding people who would talk to us. But one day, I went to the office that deals with community concerns and asked for assistance in finding a language teacher. I was asked to teach English to businessmen, and they in turn would help me with their language. Then, I got invited to help their wives and children at home. That paved a wonderful way to live for Jesus in their homes.  

Recently I ended up being away from my usual ministry for 11 months, when I had originally planned only to be away for one month. When I returned, even people who normally look away when we walk by wanted to know where I had been. One gentleman said, “Now that you are back, life can go on!” That meant a lot to me. This door is still wide open for sharing the gospel, teaching English, and helping with homework. But people move around a lot. Some want to remain in South Africa permanently, while others want to go to Canada, or to the US, to join family. 

As a team, we are convinced that, ‘greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world’, so we are not discouraged by the threats from some of the people we talk to. The people group are known for selling clothes, crockery, and coffee. Sometimes we are chased out of a shop, so we go on to the next one. If nobody wants to talk to us, we look around the shop and sometimes buy something, or we sit at a coffee shop until someone sits down next to us. 

Concerns and challenges 

When we walk around, our intention is known. There is an equivalent of the ‘Sanhedrin’ who keep us under surveillance and intimidate some of the women who are friendly to us. 

We have been blessed with a friend who, when warned against us, told the leaders that every religion has good and bad people. We are ‘good’ Christians and her family had just been cheated out of their business by her countrymen. She is the only one who ignores the ‘Sanhedrin’s’ advice. The women who pay attention to us in public get asked to report on our conversations. There is also a warning not to accept literature from Christians.  

We have a message to share, but on the other hand we do not want to endanger people’s lives. The same people group is very active and bold in inviting people to be part of their religion. Recently one of the leaders I was talking to said, “Make sure that before you die you come to our side, otherwise you will be in trouble on judgement day.”  

Hopes for the future 

Our desire is to have more people praying for the ministry, particularly on the days that we visit shops and homes. The devil does not want the veil to be removed from the eyes of this people group, so the war in the spiritual realm is fierce. Sometimes it translates to the physical realm. 

All four of our team members are women. Occasionally we get visited by a brother, so we would appreciate your prayers for Christian brothers to join our team. One lady has successfully roped her retired husband into the work, but we need more men! 

*Names have been changed for security reasons.

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