The Brown Family in Gauteng
It took three months for our furniture to arrive from India, we were thankful that all items were intact without any damages. Even our Indian fridge worked again!
Our hosts really showed us Christ without complaint, making it easier for us to adjust to the “freezing” climate and start the search for housing. God supplied our needs through family – a small sedan vehicle, furniture we did not have, and a member of the church offered us his property at third of the rental of similar places!
The “backyard” of our house is massive (was a used farm). It is wonderful space for the children. After India, with open life in the streets, we initially found it hard to make the adjustment to the security situation here. During the first few weeks in our new home we experienced at least 6 attempted break-ins! It was harrowing trying to sleep at night, attempting
People here often ask us, why come to this country, risking your lives, when you are American citizens and can return to the USA any time?
That is a complicated question to answer. Some will accept it and some will not. I think it lies in the sovereign purposes of God and our responsibility to decide to work where He calls us. Our lives are no more at risk here than in India or the USA. Sure, we have been afraid at times, we take all the wise precautions we can afford, knowing that He is the One who has numbered our days. We will live not one day shorter, nor one day longer. This life is a drop in the ocean of eternity that lies ahead, and there is much of His ministry to be done here.
India prepared us for this ministry as well. We are “foreigners” here and we work mainly among foreign students and so understand their many struggles in coming here. People think Africa is evangelized, actually it is the opposite. What little of the missionary church remains here has been decimated by false teaching, mainly the Health Wealth Prosperity gospel.
Our primary ministry is teaching and training students at a university called Monash University. 98% of the students we have are from countries north of South Africa as far as Nigeria, even from overseas – South Korea.
1. To establish a solid core group at Monash – teaching through 1 John
2. To identify and build up leaders for ministry – Leadership Training
3. To emphasize local church importance – integration into membership and ministries, Bible studies, Ironmen (Men’s ministry), Theology Breakfast (teaching systematic theology), Ladies ministries.
The Rezolution Conference was a new for us as we arranged for Steve Lawson, Conrad Mbewe and Phil Johnson to come and teach. With a shoestring budget, over 600 attended from all over Africa. Our goal was to introduce many pastors to the dangers of the Health Wealth Prosperity gospel.
It is a joy and blessing to be increasingly involved in the local church ministry of Antioch Bible Church and working closely with the elders, especially Tim Cantrell. Counseling, men’s ministry (Ironmen), Theology Breakfast, preaching and teaching, helping wherever needed.
PRAYER FOR THE MINISTRY
- Settling into a the country has been initially difficult and been taking longer than we thought, we emigrated 17 years ago and have never lived in the north where we are now, so it is a very new country. But the love and generosity of believers here has pulled us through. Now pray we can find our stride in the ministry here and be very effective for the Lord.
- Pray for the Gospel to work mightily among the students at Monash, that as they return to their countries they would be effective in churches and their families. Pray the Lord would grow the depth of the ministry as the students are challenged to live godly lives in a very godless place
- Pray for the local church ministry as we seek to strengthen the church here. The Lord continues to bless Antioch Bible Church in so many ways, it is a privilege to be part of what He is doing here.
PRAYER FOR THE FAMILY
- Pray for wisdom for us as we face some challenges with our children being educated on the American system and we are looking at further cost-effective tertiary education here
- Continue to pray for family safety
- We were told by a mechanic here that this is the most expensive second hand car market in the world. We need a family van (seating for 6 or more), pray we can find a cheap one!