Jon Long is the Marketing Manager at Catch The Fire. He loves, loves, loves, media and technology. One of his...
From 2 – 16 October 2010, a multi-national team of 39 (pastors plus normal folk like-you-and-me) joined together for a team mission to South Africa and then to Iris ministry (with Rolland and Heidi Baker) in Pemba Mozambique. Spring is a good time of year for travel to these regions as temperatures have not yet risen much above 30 degrees Celsius, and humidity in Pemba is manageable. The trip was organized by ‘Catch the fire’ hospitality manager, Lisl Wessels, who is a South African.
South African mission (2 – 9 Oct)
During the first week of October, the mission’s team gradually gathered in Pretoria, depending on their schedule of preference in South Africa. Excursions/outreaches included:
1) A 3 day safari into the Kruger National Park (Sunday 3 – Tuesday 5 Oct)
Early on Sunday morning, the team was collected in Pretoria by Uyaphi Safaris(http://www.uyaphi.com) and travelled for approximately 3 hours to Timbavati Safari Lodge (http://www.timbavatisafarilodge.com/) in Hoedspruit, just outside of the Kapama entrance gate at Kruger National Park (http://www.krugerpark.co.za/). On the very first ‘sunset’ game drive, they were blessed to view a pride of 7 lions eating the buffalo they had just killed. Over the next few days, a variety of elephant, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, buffalo, hippo, and (the very rarely spotted) leopard were sighted. October is a good time of year to view game as the Summer heat has not set in and the bushveld grass is not that tall.
2) Oasis Revival Ministries Church Service (Wednesday 6 Oct)
Pastor Steve Long preached on healing at the Pretoria Oasis Revival Ministries church(http://www.revivalministry.co.za/) whilst the mission’s team ministered. Our wonderful heavenly Daddy healed many, including someone with long-term back problems, another with stomach ulcers, another with a shoulder problem and also another person’s foot.
3) Tshwane (Pretoria) Leadership Foundation (TLF) (Thursday 7 Oct)
TLF Foundation (http://www.tlf.org.za/icc.htm) is an organisation that strengthens the Pretoria inner city movement of churches, communities and programmes with capacity, resource development, advocacy and policy work, communication and marketing, and spiritual nurture. It consists of a number of ministries including: The Potter’s house (for vulnerable women and children in crisis), Lerato house (for young girls from 11 to 18 years, including abused children, those affected by prostitution, and victims of trafficking), Arkani street ministry for the homeless, the Ikukulekho community centre (day care, homework supervision, children’s clubs, development forums, adult groups, creative project etc). The missions team visited the Inkululeko Day Centre (http://www.tlf.org.za/icc_daycare.htm) and ministered to the children and delivered handmade gifts with prophetic messages attached.
5) Vastfontein (orphan care and Pastor’s college)
Pastors Steve and Sandra Long and a small team visited Vastfontein, an organisation funded by NG Moreleta Church in Pretoria (www.vastfontein.co.za). Their focus is on providing for orphans and children in the area just outside of Pretoria and training pastors: Their services include providing children homes (with a widow as house-mom with about 4 – 6 kids per home) and a school up to grade 6 (which grows with a grade each year), and they have a Pastor’s school where men from poor communities are trained and supported in finding employment.
5) Soweto tour (Friday, 8 October)
Some team members elected to join a tour of SOWETO, the South Western townships of Johannesburg that are infamous in South Africa’s political history and now host the world class ‘Soccer city’ stadium built for the Soccer World cup 2010 which was recently hosted in South Africa. They then joined the rest of group for a real South Africa ‘braai’ (aka barbeque deluxe!) in the evening.
Mocambiqe Mission (9 -16 Oct)
The team flew to Pemba on 9 October. They were met by Iris ministry’s hospitality team and given an orientation around the Compound. Facilities include: A visitor’s centre and self-catering kitchen, single-sex dormitories and couple’s bedrooms – including bedding and washrooms (with flushing toilets!), the babies nursery and children’s dormitories as well as the communal compound eating area, the local pastor’s training centre and the Iris school of ministry. Visitor’s had the option of eating with the children in the communal area (bread beans, rice) or could buy food from the local village and cook in the visitor’s kitchen. Local taxis and Iris trucks drive provide transport into the village. Internet facilities are available at both the compound and in the village. Guards provide security in the compound, yet foreigners are advised to be very careful with their valuables as local children visit the compound each day. For day visits outside the compound, people are well advised to walk in groups, preferably with men, and to take special caution at night.
Both Rolland and Heidi were in Pemba for the week together (which is rather unusual) and Heidi spoke at a number of meetings, including her usual cultural class at the school. Members of the mission team selected where they preferred to serve for the week. The Pastors generally taught at the Local pastor’s training centre and Missions school, the doctors served at the local clinic, some people chose to spend time in the nursery or with the children. 200 children live on compound grounds in Pemba and 1600 at the Iris base in Maputo.
Some mission team member selected to participate in a bush outreach. Twice a month, an Iris team visits one of their many bush churches which are mostly established in the predominately Muslim province. Because of the vast number, a bush church may have to wait up to 2 years for a much anticipated Iris visit – a real highlight in their lives. The Iris team would typically erect a tent in the outdoors and fellowship with the local church and evangelise in the area. Miraculous healings and deliverance from witchcraft are daily occurrences. However, locals whom God has healed are reticent to provide testimony for fear that they will be charged double rates as this is what the witchdoctors do, and so it is important to let them know that the healings are for free.
Mozambique boasts a beautiful coastline of white sand beaches. Excellent swimming, snorkeling and diving opportunities are right on Pemba’s doorstep at affordable rates. Of particular attraction are the infamous whale sharks, dolphins and manta rays.
By Juliet Close
This archived article was written by Jon Long for release in Nov, 2010. Circumstances and situations may have changed regarding the author, locations and ministries. This content may therefore be outdated or misinformed.
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