Mrs Stella Hlongwane, one of a team from KwaSizabantu Mission, who visited Namibia and Botswana, reports on their trip:
In the book of Acts in the Bible we read how Paul had a vision in which a man from Macedonia called to him asking him to come and help them. We were called in a similar way by brethren from Namibia and Botswana. They had heard how the Lord is working here and asked that we come and help them too.
It was an interesting group that presented itself at the border post and we were questioned as to why we would come so far to help addicts. We replied that it was because we had been able to help addicts in our area that we had been asked to come and help addicts in these countries.
It is a well-known fact that `once a drug addict always a drug addict.` For this reason many came to hear how a drug addict can be set free. Numerous government officials, including the Prime Minister of Namibia, the Minister of Education, various governors and others attended the meetings and conveyed that the ministers of the gospel had failed them until now. Many attend church and feel wonderful at the time but afterwards there has been no change. We made it clear that we need to all leave lives of hypocrisy and self-deceit. We should respect people but should not live before people but before God. The people accepted the message with joy.
One day Grade 11 learners from 15 to 20 schools together with their principals and teachers and a number of government officials were addressed by Keegan Pillay, a previous drug addict and gangster set free by the Lord Jesus through the CYPSA programme. When Keegan had finished speaking, the audience stood to their feet and acknowledged the grace of God that had worked such miracles in his life.
We were given the opportunity to speak to the Khoisan. Their language is full of clicks. Through an interpreter we could present the gospel to them. They have been disappointed by the government. We could encourage them saying people disappoint us but God will never disappoint us, we can trust Him. Mr Vermaak explained to them how they could improve their living conditions by planting food. Eventually we had become very good friends with them.
We had limited time and opportunity to speak so we attempted to train our listeners to be able to pass on the message of salvation to others. We explained that in order to be able to do this, one must have experienced it oneself. We pointed out that Peter and John in the book of Acts, told the lame beggar to ‘look at us’. We cannot tell people to look at us if there is still sin in our lives. We need to cleanse our lives so that we can teach others. As we read in Psalm 32:2: ‘Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity.’ Many came to unburden themselves, confessing their sins and receiving freedom from their burdens. It was amazing to us to see the joy that so many could experience as a result.
There were officials in charge of the schools who would have liked to take us to all the schools. We told them that if they were free from their sin, God would guide them and help them in their quest to reach the people with the gospel.
In Botswana our hosts were sad that they did not have time to prepare their special delicacy for us – mopane worms!