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Grahamstown, South Africa - February 2006

Pages From the Team Journal in Grahamstown

Day Eight - Made Absolutely Free

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free." Joh 8:36

From the YMG E-News

Greetings Mission Friend,

Our team has been very busy spreading the gospel in Grahamstown.  It's a simple and powerful message, but it takes a lot of work and planning to get things organized and people prepared to give it out.  I'm happy to tell you that we have over 600 recorded decisions for the Lord Jesus thus far.  Pastor Philile thanked us for coming and said "Now we know what we can do.  You have helped us see how to win the souls." Pastor Geelboi told me, "I am a happy man, so many are being saved."

Julie preaching in the townshipGrahamstown was founded by British settlers and missionaries in the early 19th century.  A conflict still exists between the gospel and indigenous Xhosa practices, such as circumcision of boys in the bush; sangomas- traditional healers; practicing witch doctors; and the worship of ancestors.  In the practice of circumcision of boys, rites are observed in which goats must be slaughtered and the boy is given to a spirit.  I am told by Dr. Eddie that many boys die in these initiations because of the non-sterile conditions.

Indigenous people believe the spirits of their ancestors speak to them, bring healing, and also guide them.  They are willing to accept Christ but they want to keep their ancestral spirits.  It reminds me of the situation in Israel under the kings of Samaria.  They wanted to worship the true God of Israel, but they wanted to worship Baal and Astarte, too.  They figured that the more "benefactors" they had the better off they would be.  It's the same situation among the Xhosa.

John Baker and friendWitchdoctors and healers hold a central place in the lives of people here, too.  One pastor told us how his wife had been cursed by the neighbors, out of family rivalry.  They told her she would never get married; she would never have a child.  More serious curses were levied.  These practices have a real and demonic power over the people.  People die because of these curses.  It is our job as believers to bring the freedom of Jesus to the Xhosa people.  The truth of Jesus not only triumphs, but the practices of Jesus do-He is a powerful and loving Saviour.  He is the way, truth, and the life.  Each night we see people being delivered from demons.  John Baker has taken an interest in a man who was set free a few nights ago and has come every meeting since.  If you look at him now you wouldn't know it was the same man.  John finds this guy in the crowd and checks on how he is doing.  The man is finally at peace and the demons are gone.  He will now go into a local church and learn how to serve the Lord.

Prayer at the nightly meetingsThe triumph of Jesus' truth against all this darkness is seen in lives that bear the mark of Jesus.  Peace, love, and joy from the Holy Spirit.  Freedom from alcohol, drugs, sexual sin, and evil habits.  This has been a transforming time for the city.  Pastors and their wives have remarked on Christ's power being released and the changes they see in Grahamstown.  The atmosphere has been changed.  This is the triumph of the True and Living God, and I am grateful to see it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Jesus.


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