Letter From Francois – Beloved
3Jn 1:2-8 KJV 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: 7 Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellow helpers to the truth.
As I sat down to write a short letter to you this morning, the word ‘Beloved’ came to my mind and I was drawn to the 2nd letter of the apostle John, one who knew what it was to be a beloved of the Lord Jesus Christ, even resting his head on the chest of the One who is the Son of God, a mere few hours before He, an innocent man, would endure the most horrific beatings and torture for people who was not innocent, many who was not even born yet but whom He knew and foresaw. And He knew, they would someday believe in Him and on Him, for their salvation.
Reading those few verses warmed my heart with the Love of God that he has for each of us and I was reminded how many of us do not even know the ones we are supporting but because of the Love of God in our hearts we receive them and support them in their vision to reach the lost for Christ in these last days.
In Rivoni I have found such a team. Men and women devoting their whole lives to the cause of this Gospel. It is not an easy life. There are many hardships, very little income, sicknesses with Malaria often rampant, attacks in the natural and in the spiritual but these men and women endure. Every time I meet with them, I am reminded of the privilege I have of sitting down with people of such character. And I am not alone in saying this. Read our newsletters and the testimonies of those who had gone on a trip with us to Mozambique and see their testimonies. Even better, come join us on a trip and see for yourselves
God Bless You
1 Financially Speaking
Written by Francois
This month we had to start cutting back on allowances even though our people receive less than half of what a South African servant in a private household is to be paid. The need for our classes is simply too great in the rural areas of Mozambique. We still need to reach so many villages with our teaching on the Word of God, without even allowing us to attend to calls for the same from other countries such as a brother in Christ in Kenya who has contacted us and asked me if we could come and help them do the same.
Many of us believe that it is the work of the church to support missions and that is true, IF you consider the church as the individuals who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and are spending their lives in building the Kingdom of God. But this is not true about the vast majority of organised institutions where people attend services on a Sunday. Consider this, it is a fact that less than 1 cent of every 100 cents (R 1.00), will reach the mission field. That is 99% going in to the church coffers. It is the old story of self-preservation. Many will not even allow their missionaries to bring one sermon from the pulpit when they return on furlough after spending years in the mission field. Often there is a fear that people will stop giving to the church if we allow these ones to speak, to tell about what God is doing through them. When I read the words of or Lord Jesus Christ saying, if you have 2 shirts, give one to your neighbour who doesn’t have one. (See Luk 3:11). It doesn’t mean you have to take your only shirt of your back. But will God really allow all funds to dry up in a dynamic, active church in the Kingdom of God? I doubt that.
But what if the money that pays for the nice flower arrangements every Sunday, or the comfortable chairs, the nice curtains, snacks on the tables, best sound and audio visual equipment could be better used to reach the lost, the dying, the unsaved, who are often sitting in ill-equipped churches or will never go to a church building? What if we can rescue one more lost soul, or 100 or 1000 or…. What do you think will be the response of our Leader and King of Glory, Jesus Christ, to that? Will He vote in favour of the flowers, the beautiful church surrounding, or will He Himself come out to the garbage heaps of lost humanity, the dirty streets, the stinking rubbish dump of life’s outcasts?
Many of our fellow countrymen believe it is the government’s job to look after the people. Quite right, IF you understand that a government is only mortal men and women elected by the people of the country, to look after the interest of those who have elected them. By using the taxes collected from those who have elected them to office they create laws, maintain order, build infrastructure, allowing businesses and entrepreneurs to function and create wealth in an ordered, God fearing society. But if you do not understand this, government is a grey ‘thing’ that is able to produce money out of thin air and look after the needs of everyone. That sounds more like a God than a government doesn’t it?
Someone might say that I am generalizing and quite correct. But isn’t that the meaning of the word? Does it not indicate a ‘norm’?
Having had a heart for the reaching of the lost since the time I was saved at the age of 33 by a fellow worker who was a born again Spirit filled child of God at my place of work, I have had interaction with people involved in missions for more than 20 years and I can rightly say, it is a hard life. Many will have no medical aid or even life or retirement policies as they simply do not receive enough support to allow for these ‘extravagant’ expenses. The little they receive will be ploughed right back into providing basic necessities for their families while the rest will be used to fund their mission activities. Many will work from home to try and supplement their meagre income while at the same time running their missional activities in a professional and godly manner and trying in the midst of a hive of activity to find enough time to spend with their families and the souls that need their care.
May this word inspire you to become part of a mission organisation somewhere if you are not already part of one. Find out their goals, their needs and become part of the volunteer army raising funds, providing in their needs, praying for them. Read their newsletter, tell others about the work they are doing, go on an outreach yourself (and not just giving out food at the local shelter for half an hour once a month, although that is needed too!)
Be alert to what the passion is that God stirs in your heart and be prepared to do the ‘small’ things that do not seem to amount to a lot, because that is where you will start so that God may know your heart. And if you are one of the about 13 people giving regularly to this mission, know that we pray for you and thank God every day for you.
2 Recent trip
Written by Francois
I was planning a trip to Mozambique in February and as usual invited some people along. However, as time drew near for departing, things started interrupting everyone’s schedule and I started considering postponing the trip. By God’s grace I decided to proceed with the trip travelling by myself and had a very productive week in Mozambique.
In Mozambique everything was up and running. Classes had resumed after the December break and the first graduations of classes that were busy with their final preparations were scheduled for March at Mapai and Chiqualaquala.
We had a staff meeting where we discussed the progress and implementation of the third-year course known as LR. (Letters and Revelations). After meeting with our staff, all superintendents being on-site, we had a Skype meeting with oom Ben in Philippolis to decide on the rollout and the next phase of the training.
As translations on the LR material were being finished, our staff went through the modules one by one as a team and then started implementing it by starting the lectures with students. At the Skype meeting it was reported that already a number of 512 students were being trained. This represented 47% of those who are in classes at the moment.
After discussing the material and the time needed to finish the course with oom Ben, we realised that the course was too long to add the second part, which is topical studies, in the same year. The LR course will now be added as a 3rd year course with topical studies becoming the fourth year of studies for our students.
Most of the fourth-year material is already written by Ben Lubbe and will now have to be translated into the local Shangaan dialect. This job will be done by our own brothers Nelson Muiambo and Boavida Baloi.
We are reaching the level where students that are entering the third and fourth year now comes to a place of being very mature. This is extremely pleasing, as we are so looking forward to equip the students to the position where everybody will be an instrument in the Hand of the Lord, fully equipped to share their faith and lead others into knowledge and a relationship with God, quoting and using scripture relevant to issues they may need to deal with in supporting one another and people that do not know the Lord.
3 Covid-19 Impact
Written by Francois
By now I doubt if anyone in the world have not heard about the Covid-19 virus. Mozambique is no exception and on Monday the 23 March 2020 the border quarantine process came into place. Anyone entering Mozambique will be quarantined for 14 days. Numbers of people allowed to meet has been restricted and people are advised to avoid contact with others. We urgently took our mission’s vehicle to the border to renew all papers required over the weekend preceding the quarantine, as br. Nelson was at risk of being quarantined for 14 days if he had gone later.
I had a Skype meeting with our Rivoni Mozambique leaders at Chinhacanine on Thursday 26 March 2020 and following government direction, as a group, decided that we will discontinue classes for one month. We will, God willing, meet again on the 25th April and decide whether we can continue with classes given the situation then.
Please continue to pray with us that the situation will soon be back to normal so that classes may resume, but also that this time will be a time for people to reflect on the priorities of their lives, to make Jesus Christ the Supreme Lord of all they are and what they do.
4 Upcoming Trips
As mentioned in my previous newsletter, there will still be several trips coming up this year and we would like to hear from you.
Please contact us if you would like to join us in an upcoming trip. Dates can often be adjusted to accommodate your needs. Please let me know if you are interested.
- May : Thu 14/5-Tu 27/5/2020 (This trip date may vary depending on pandemic influence after quarantine measures are lifted)
- August : Sun 23/8- Fr 28/8/2020.
- November : Rivoni Yearend function, Thu 19/11 – Sun 22/11/2020.
5 May God Bless You For Your Support!
Myself and our staff are indebted to those who are giving faithfully every month to continue this work. We see the results of what is happening in Mozambique and we experience the change that it is making in the lives of people there but we cannot go on without the support of those who faithfully give every month towards this.
We love you and pray for the blessing of the good Lord on your sowing. May you be richly rewarded not only in the next life but also in this, to see the favour of God and all that you are doing.
God Bless You!
FRANCOIS AND DORATHEA DU PLESSIS