First off, this wasn’t just a random trip to warmer climes to escape the onset of winter! It was a significant, God-ordained mission that had its roots in the historic relationship between the UAFC in Africa and the HCN in England. The UAFC in Africa, which has thousands of congregations across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, was birthed out of the UAFC in England, though we changed our name in the UK in 2001 to better reflect our purpose.
Over the years contact diminished and relationships drifted but when Arthur and Lesley Vos from UAFC Cape Town visited us in March this year, we felt the Lord was saying a reciprocal trip was called for. And there were good reasons why we felt Graeme Hotter of New Zealand, Keith Rudman of Stroud (but originally South Africa) and myself from London – were the right team to go. We all came to faith in the UAFC in Africa and we all trained together for the ministry at the UAFC Bethel Bible College in Johannesburg – “Class of ‘82”!
But a more important reason was that we felt the Lord had burdened us with a double-edged message for the church – firstly that the unity of the church is critical to city transformation and the success of our mission (John 17:23) and secondly that increased intimacy in our personal relationship with God is the key to the end times revival we’re all longing for.And so the three of us spent three weeks ministering in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Boksburg and Vereeniging. I took my guitar to lead worship at many of the meetings and the Lord blessed us with some amazing times of intimate worship. We had the privilege of praying for many as people responded to the messages, and I had the opportunity to speak to several city-wide gatherings of pastors to share the stories of the world-wide phenomenon of church unity and city transformation.
Perhaps the most significant time of all came at the UAFC leaders’ retreat where pastoral couples from across South Africa and Zimbabwe gathered. Not only were hearts open and receptive to the messages of “Unity” and “Intimacy”, but we also enjoyed a wonderful time of renewing old friendships and restoring relationships.
So what next? Well, prayer for starters. The churches in southern Africa are vibrant in their faith and many are flourishing. But unity is low on the agenda and society is facing mounting problems of violence, crime and corruption. Daniel 11:32 says “the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits”. What South Africa needs more than anything else right now is a church moving in unity and power, not just building empires but seeking a kingdom. South Africa needs a people (unity) who know their God (intimacy) – and they will do mighty exploits! Please keep our brothers and sisters in South Africa in your prayers.
written by : Pastor Brendan Munro