Friday, November 20, 2015

A Goldmine of another Sort Part 2 (November 2015)

. Jesus, a Man of Sorrows: An Example of Preparedness to suffer Persecution

            Jesus declared us happy if we are persecuted and slandered because we are His followers (Matthew 5:8). He taught his disciples that they should not be surprised to be hated by the world (John 15:20). The reason for the persecution of Jesus, and hence of his followers, is not easily understood by the Western mind. The claim of the Sonship of God drew fierce opposition in His life-time. Those among us who have grown up with the concept of Jesus as the ‘only begotten Son’ can hardly comprehend the major problem that a Jew or Muslims have with such a notion. And the arch enemy has made sure that any possible way of a bridge to them has been blocked or destroyed. No other doctrine than this one - especially if it is brought in connection with the deity of Jesus (His being divine, that He is God) seems to enrage oriental people even more.
             The challenge to let Him be Lord of our lives has made people of all generations angry because it goes against the grain of human independence. The pride in natural man rebels against the idea that someone else should lord over you. The thought that we can get forgiveness of sins without doing something for it, opposes every human effort to earn the atonement for his sins on one’s own accord. Anyone of these doctrines could harvest opposition and even persecution of some sort.

            There exists no real love without sacrifice and there is no sacrifice without pain. Thus there is also no genuine love without suffering. Even God, whose character is marked by love, cannot love without great cost in terms of suffering. What a pain it must have cost Him to allow His Son Jesus to receive the full measure of His wrath to atone for the sins of the world (compare 2 Corinthians 5:21, God made the blameless Jesus to become sin to reconcile us unto Himself). The essence of pure love is the sacrificing of yourself, putting your own interests on the back seat to the advantage of the other person. This can even include your ‘enemy’. Because of our sinful, fallen nature - slaves of sin - we have become enemies of God. But exactly that is where God displayed agape in sending His Son who ‘...did not come to be served, but to serve’ and to pay us free from the bondage of sin, ‘ give his life as a ransom for many’ (Matthew 20:28).

Biblical Roots
Throughout the Bible the atoning death of an innocent lamb or son can be traced. To cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve an animal had to be slaughtered. That Abel’s sacrifice was regarded acceptable to God rather than that of Cain would be completely in line with the biblical thought that there is no redemption of sin without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). And then there is of course the classic example: the Israelites had to slaughter a lamb without blemish as they left Egypt. The blood on the door-post saved the family from the wrath of the angel of death. The latter took the first-born males of every house-hold where the blood was not applied.               
            That a son had to die (to atone for) sins is also depicted in 1 Samuel 12. David was destined to die after his adultery with Bathseba and the calculated killing of her husband. The prophet Nathan pronounced the divine ver­dict. However, because of David’s genuine repentance, the son who was born out of the adulterous intercourse, had to die in stead. In a sense this is another type of Jesus, as a Son of David, who had to die innocently.
            In 2 Kings 3:24-27 an interesting precedent of Golgotha in the negative is narrated when the King of Moab sacrificed his first-born son. The principle that a sacrifice releases spiritual power is enshrined. The Moabite looked down and out in the fight against the three-nation coalition when this happened. After his gruesome sacrifice the coalition was thwarted and he was saved. Thus the death of another Son of David, God’s one and only – his unique Son – is prefigured.

Persecution at the Heart of the Gospel
Persecution goes back to the heart of the Gospel. The world religions, the Jewish Faith and Islam even more specifically, have difficulty with the atoning death of Christ on the Cross. All religion which has ‘works’ as its base - the earning of one’s salvation in one or the other way - has hence opposed evangelical Christianity in one or other form.
            The persecution of the first generation of Christians however also caused the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. From Jerusalem Jews and proselytes returned after Pentecost (Acts 2:8) – many of them to places in the Middle East that are Islamic today. From Antioch the ancestors from different nations and races formed a dynamic congregation with the Cypriot Barnabas and North Africans in leadership. The Samaritans and the Assyrians, the ancestors of many Muslims, were possibly part and parcel of the teams spreading the Gospel from places in Assyria, the present-day Iraq, together with Jews. Thomas and Peter (1 Peter 5:13) were probably at the helm of the churches that took the Gospel to India and as far afield as China.
         This phenomenal outreach was hardly discerned, let alone acclaimed in (Western) Church History although John Stewart, a British church historian described the work of the Assyrian-Nestorian Church already in 1928 as a Church on fire. This Church, that later had its centre in Baghdad, stemmed from believers, who returned to Asia after the first Pentecost. Stewart suggests that Jewish believers, of whom many ancestors had once been exiled to the rivers of Babylon, took the Gospel to Central Asia, for example to the Uigur people by 61 CE. Was it merely politically inexpedient to highlight that the ancestors of Jewish Christians and Muslims worked together to spread the Gospel? Or was the arch deceiver behind this move?
The ancestors of this Muslim tribe in North West China would thus belong to the first century followers of Jesus. Recorded history has still not solved how the Christian women slave Marotta, whom the first Moravian missionaries found on St Thomas in 1732, had been influenced in the Guinea Coast of West Africa. The amount of biblical knowledge she possessed was just too much to be incidental. The possibility of African missionaries from either Egypt, Sudan or Ethiopia cannot be ruled out.


Suffering as divine Preparation

Throughout the Bible we see how God took hold of men or women during a time of crisis. Their struggles were written down for our benefit to help us discover the true nature of God.
            One of the most dramatic accounts in Scripture of coping with crises is the narrative of Job. He apparently exceeded all other biblical personalities in the amount and suddenness of calamity that befell him. It was reported about the ancient Job that ‘he was the most righteous man on the earth’ (Job 1:8). And yet he was afflicted beyond recognition, for no apparent reason other than that God allowed this suffering to bring Job in a closer relationship to Him. Through the ages this has been the irrational experience of many people, that physical suffering has the quality of bringing one closer to God, especially if one can get to the point of accepting it without murmuring.
            The most astonishing thing about the story is that it appears that God allowed these calamities to happen to Job as a test of his faithfulness and a witness to satan! Although it does not answer the question fully why his life was chosen as a battleground between God and satan, it does console the believer, when seemingly inexplicably one calamity after the other befalls him or when he or she sees it happening to a dear family member or friend.
            Though Job was baffled by the mystery of his suffering, he allowed it to refine his character. He never doubted the character of God. With all great leaders in the Bible there appears to have been a preparation and a calling. With both Moses and Paul this was the case although it was so vastly different. Moses was prepared at the Egyptian court and by Jochebed, his mother. Paul received teaching in Judaism at the feet of the prominent scholar Gamaliel. We have insufficient material in the Bible available to prove it, but I think that we can take for granted that in Jochebed’s teaching to the boy Moses suffering for your faith must have featured at least somehow. (Of course, this was chronologically long before Daniel was arrested and thrown into the lion’s den because of his custom of praying towards Jerusalem and defying the royal prohibition into which King Darius had been tricked!) The mere fact of the courageous two midwives at the birth of Moses along with his mother Jochebed who - challenging the Pharaoh’s instruction by hiding Moses as a baby - was protest in the best sense of the word. This was civil disobedience, defying the authority of the ruler! She was obedient to the divine ruler. If we consider that Jochebed surely was also the driving force behind Aaron and Miriam, two further Israelite leaders, we discern the importance of a prayerful home in the preparation of leaders.
            The book of Hebrews noted this connection in the following words: ‘Moses chose to be mistreated along with the people of God... regard(ing) disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value...’ We also discern a close relationship between persecution and prayer in the book of Acts. Thus the believers were at prayer when Peter was miraculously led out of prison.
            Paul was witness of the persecution of Stephen, who is accepted to be the first Christian martyr. This was an experience that must have moved the great apostle deeply, although he continued persecuting the young church. That would have haunted him, as it has been doing to so many persecutors right into the present time in places like Indonesia and Pakistan.


More ‘NT’ Lessons of Persecution

Somehow the Church in the West seems to have overlooked what value Jesus attached to persecution and innocent suffering. In the so-called beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) the whole latter part, a third of the pericope  is devoted to related matters: ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness... Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you...’
            In the run-up to the crucifixion our Lord had to experience the terrible emotional suffering among the twelve special disciples of a lack of understanding of his passion (Luke 18:31-34; John 18:11), the sleepiness of the trusted three (Matthew 26:40) and lack of power in his greatest moment of testing. Thereafter the Lord also suffered under betrayal, denial and desertion (Matthew 26:56) of his disciples. As the Lamb of God, Jesus was slaughtered so to speak innocently for the sins of the world, crying out in agony ‘My God, why have you forsaken me.
            After taken down from his pedestal of arrogant self-confidence, Peter learned the lesson of innocent suffering thoroughly. Peter in his first letter (2:19, 21; 3:13, 18; 4:1, 2, 12-14 , 16) and James (1:2) go to some lengths to explain that Christians should regard it as an honour and privilege, that they should even rejoice when they are suffering from causes beyond their control, when they are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel. Paul likewise stated that it is a privilege for the Christian to suffer for Christ’s sake (Philippians 1:29). Years later, after the resurrection and ascension of our Lord, when Christians had been spread throughout the Roman Empire through fierce persecution, he encouraged believers with the following words: ‘Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ…’  (1 Peter 4:12, 13a). Not only Peter, but also the other disciples grasped the message very well. Ten of the first disciples died an unnatu­ral or ‘premature’ death and the eleventh, John, was banished to the island of Patmos.
            In their epistles (letters) to the early Church, there was hardly an apostle who did not mention or at least allude to persecution because of the Gospel. Paul writes for example to Timothy as if persecution is the most commonplace thing in the world: ‘...Yes, and suffering will come to all who decide to live godly lives to please Christ Jesus, from those who hate him’ (2 Timothy 3:12). Soon after he came to faith in Jesus, Paul himself was shown how much he had to suffer for the name of Jesus (Acts 9:16). To the Romans he wrote: ‘If someone mistreats you because you are a Christian, do not curse him; pray that God will bless him’ (Romans 12:14). In the first letter to the Corinthians he mentioned how ‘we have been kicked around without homes of our own’ (1 Corinthians 4:11). The church at Ephesus is reminded casually that he had been imprisoned because he served the Lord (Ephesians 4:1).        

Suffering and Persecution closely linked
Suffering and persecution thus became closely linked. Paul hoped and prayed that Christ would be glorified in his body (Philippians 1:20), that he would get to know the ‘fel­lowship of sharing in His sufferings’ (Philippians 3:10). 1 Peter 5:9 speaks about satan prowling around like a roaring lion, but in the very next verse Peter reminds us about the suffering, which fellow believers have to experience throughout the world. In the same context (v.10) he reminds his readers that the persecution on this side of the grave is only for a short time. In the light of this, the believers are exhorted to stand firm.
            Also Paul pointed to the relativity of suffer­ing. In 2 Corin­thians 4:16 - 5:1 he does not only refer to the time factor, the short moment of suffer­ing compared to eternity, but also to the measure of eternal glory in the hereafter. In 2 Timothy 2:11f suffering for Christ and dying for Him is mentioned with the pros­pect of reigning with Him in the hereafter. Liberal theolo­gians have some­times referred to this aspect of suffering in a scoffing way as ‘pie in the sky when you die’. It is possible that Paul had to face similar notions, because in the same context he spoke of men whose words have been operating like cancer (2 Timothy 2:17). These learned men have poss­ibly been displaying little under­stand­ing of the real consola­tion which the believer experiences when he suffers for his faith in Christ.
            But also from another viewpoint the accusation is groundless. Paul definitely also referred to power, which the believer receives, to endure during this life. In 2 Corinthians 1:8ff he wrote about hardships, afflictions and great pressure of his team in Asia ‘far beyond our ability to endure’, from which God delivered them. And yet, he expects to have to be delivered again and again, amongst others through the inter­cession of the saints. The believer in Jesus is not afraid of suffering and persecution on this side of the grave, but he may expect that God would see to it that he is not required to endure more than he can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). If it does occur occasionally - as Paul paradoxically testified - the believer will be carried on the strong eagle’s wings in a supernatural way.
            It is this which could inspire John on the island of Patmos to write about those who thrashed the accuser: ‘They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony; for they loved not their lives but laid it down for him’ (Revel­ations 12:11).

Suffering turned into Blessing
Jan Amos Comenius and Zinzendorf towers among historical personalities in whose lives suffering was turned into blessing. During the thirty years war in Europe (1618-48) Comenius lost his wife and only child, after he had refused to renounce his biblical convictions. Warfare repeatedly erupted around him, always in such a way as to destroy much of his work. Again and again he was driven from his home just when it seemed that the roots he was putting down were beginning to bear fruit. Each time calamity struck he would just formulate an even greater plan to be implemented. This would be the model for Moravians thereafter and also for Zinzendorf, who would not allow disappointments to ground them. Zinzendorf had to experience one child after the other die. The worst was possibly when his only son who survived childhood, Christian Renatus, also died as a young man in the prime of his life. The father went through deep pain when he realized that he himself was the cause of the depressions under which the devout ‘Christel’ suffered. The Count tackled his son very harshly after the erring ways of the sifting period at Herrnhaag in his absence.[1]  His remorse was great after losing his only son, but perhaps not quite comparable to David’s deep penitence after the exposure of his adultery and cool-blooded scheming to get Uria, the husband of Bathsheba out of the way after she had notified him that she was pregnant from him.

Imprisonment and Banishment as a Blessing
In the letter to the Hebrews (13:2f), we are exhorted to share the sorrow of the persecuted, to suffer with those who landed in prison because of their faith ‘as though you were there yourself.’  Through the ages believers drew courage from the fact that they were regarded as worthy to be attacked by the arch enemy. This is so to speak proof that you are still on track. Persecu­tion has been used by God to spread the Gospel ever since the first Jerusalem church was scattered after the death of Stephen (Acts 8:1). This seems to get people out of their cozy comfort zones.
            South Africa in general and Cape Town in particular has had special stories in this regard. For two well known clergymen incarceration on Robben Island became a turning point in their life. As the son of an Anglican priest, Njongonkulu Ndugane was sentenced to three years imprisonment because of his political activities on behalf of the Pan African Congress of Azania (PAC). There he found himself wrestling with God: ‘How could a good God allow so much suffering in my country and now on the island? It was in the course of that wrestling with God that I found inner peace, as if God laid his hand on me. It was in a prison cell that I felt the call of God to serve him in the ordained ministry’ (Ndugane, 2003:5). In June 1996 he was elected as successor to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He also made a statement, claiming the island to be ‘a place of pilgrimage and reconciliation. The island of incarceration has become an island of faith… It is part of that spirit of hope, that reconciling effect that people who were incarcerated on the island can bring to the world’(Ndugane, 2003:3).
          Stanley Mogoba was given a book called The Human Christ on Robben Island.  It touched Mogoba very deeply to encounter the sorrow of Christ when he saw the young man of Matthew 19 leaving, unable to take the final step to true fulfilment. Mogoba was himself very unhappy, pondering what all that meant, considering whether he should serve Christ in a new way once he left the island. ‘But it was only when I said “I will follow you now, I am prepared to give my entire life to you and enter the ministry” that my sorrow left me and I experienced a sense of joy…’ After his release he became a Methodist pastor, later to be ordained as Bishop in the denomination.

The Moulding of the Believer

In Christian teaching it has often been neglected that suffer­ing and persecution is part and parcel of being a Chris­tian. The Bible teaches directly and indirectly that suffering prepares one for ministry. Jeremiah was taken to the house of the potter to receive a lesson (Jeremiah 18:2-4). The manufacturing of a precious jar is basically a painful process, for example when the initial product of toil is all but completely destroyed. In fact, sometimes this actually happens- that the potter has to start all over again. The Almighty had to start anew with them repeatedly. But jusst as the end result brings satisfaction and glory in the natural to the potter, this will also happen to the apple of His eye – when Israel will discover as a nation whom they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10). The gifted, but arrogant young Joseph could only become an instrument to be used by God to save His people after he had been afflicted by persecution, landing in prison innocently (Genesis 37:39ff). Moses was useless for God until he was humbled in the desert for forty years (Exodus 2:3). Paul was struck blind (Acts 9:8) and had to disap­pear from the scene for many years until Barnabas searched for him, finding him in his home town of Tarsus (Acts 11:25). Paul wrote about the hardship and troubles which the Thessalonians were going through: ‘God uses your sufferings to make you ready for the Kingdom’ (2 Thessalonians 1:5). Jesus Himself had to learn it: During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (Hebrews 5:8). To mould us into the image of Jesus, God often uses unpleasant circum­stances and hardship.
            It is special when one is taken above the storm like the eagle - when one can so to speak ‘smile at the storm’. To use another metaphor with this majestic bird as the example: Even when the baby eagle is cast out of the nest, the resulting initial feeling might be one of help­less­ness, but the mother is on hand to catch the chick before it can crash to the ground. The experience of suffering and persecu­tion makes the Christian stronger, helps him to get strong wings, to ‘fly’ even better. Just as the caterpil­lar gains strength as it breaks out of the cocoon, in order to get strong wings during its process of metamorpho­sis,[2] diffi­culties are part of the transformation which the Christian needs in order to grow spiritually.
            Second century North African theologian Tertullian proclaimed that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. The truth of Tertullian’s adage can be easily verified when we take a quick look at the greatest Christian contri­butors through the centuries. One has to look very far indeed to find anyone who made a significant contri­bution, who did not experience hardship and/or persecution. On the contrary, a cursory view of special personalities like Raymond Lull, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, John Bunyan, Jan Amos Comenius, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, Count Zinzendorf, William Carey, Watchman Nee and Festo Kivangere to discern that suffering and persecution helped to mould these men of God into mighty instruments of the Gospel.
            Accepting suffering and even persecution has been the soil of more than one revival. The event on 13 August 1727 in the East German village of Herrnhut, the prelude to the 24-hour Moravian prayer watch that started two weeks later and the preparation for an unrivaled missions venture, is often connected to Zinzendorf - not incorrectly at all. But it is generally overlooked that this was preceded by a revival in the Moravian towns of Zauchtental and Kunwald, from where so many refugees had been brought by the fearless Christian David. Steeped in the tradition of being prepared to go to prison or even to die for one’s faith, the Moravians and Bohemians thoroughly influenced the Germans. And the first years of Moravian missionary endeavour was accompanied by many deaths, so much so that Zinzendorf came up with a new variation of seed sown. Many new missionaries had died in 1834 in the West Indies. Of the eighteen missionaries who ventured out originally, only nine were left there at the end of that year. In his Mohrenkantate, (Negro Cantate) that was sung on 8 June 1835, the Count wrote as poet
Es wurden viele ausgesät,
Als wären sie verloren,
auf ihrem Beeten aber steht
„Das ist die Saat der Mohren[3]

More Scriptures pointing to the Lamb of God
Innocent suffering, persecution because of a righteous life, is a characteristic that features throughout the Bible. Thus Abel is killed by his brother for no other obvious reason than because the former’s sacrifice was acceptable and that of Cain was rejected. Superfic­ially this looks very unfair, but the Scrip­tural principle - which does not make sense to the rational Western mind - is thus enshrined: ‘without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins’ (Hebrew 9:22).[4]
Similarly, the envy of Joseph’s brothers – called forth by the implied rejection via the multi-coloured robe given to him by their father – misguided them towards the wicked deed. Again, an innocent animal was slaughtered!
            Jewish tradition accentuates the voluntary character of Isaac when he was about to be sacrificed, prodding his father to be obedient to the divine demand. That prefigured the death of the innocent sinless Son of God probably more than any other Scripture. Likewise the ‘almost death’ of Joseph in the well and his subsequent ‘resurrection’ has been seen as a type of the Gospel message through the ages. Lot is a sad type of the person saved but smelling like smoke. The letter to the Hebrews saw a special dimension in the innocent suffering of Moses. He suffered ‘for the promised Christ’ (Hebrews 11:26), which he is stated to appreciate more than the riches in the palace of the Pharaoh’s daughter.
            All these Hebrew Scripture examples point to the innocent Lamb of God who was slain for our sins. Pointedly the purpose of His innocent suffering was prophesied by Isaiah, through the images of the suffering servant, especially in chapter 53. It is no co-incidence that John the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

Links between Trials and Temptations         
The three friends of Daniel concretely experienced the presence of God in the fire, when the heat was on (Daniel 3:25). We may compare their experience to that of Christians who try to go through life the easy way, who attempt to evade perse­cu­tion and suffering for the sake of the Gospel. It is recorded about the three friends as they came out of the fire - ‘They did not even smell of smoke’ (v.27). Lot was another ‘OT’ example who escaped the fire of Sodom and Gomorrah by a whisk, along with his family. In 1 Corin­thians 3:13ff Paul spoke of fire to be used in the judgment, as a test to the quality of our lives as believers. Of one type of Christian he wrote: ‘if the house he has built burns up, he will have a great loss. He himself will be saved, but like a man escaping through a wall of flames.’ Every follower of the Lord is treated like silver in the crucible. In Malachi 3:2 the Almighty is compared with a goldsmith who purifies the special metal from all impurities in the red-hot fire.
            In the first letter to the Corinthians (10:13), Paul reassures the believers that God does allow us to get tempted, but that he will also give us the strength to come through it with flying colours. The first chapter of James (1:2-17) alludes to an interesting link between trials and temptation: The same word (peirasmos) is used inter-changeably in the Greek original. The Afrikaans word beproewing (meaning affliction) has something of this where the stem of the word proef means test. But also in the chemistry laboratory we see fire in the form of the bunsen burner - used in many a proef, in many an experiment. Indeed, the diffi­culties in life are a test and a temptation at the same time. In the negative we can give in to temptation or give up after affliction. If we come through it however - with God’s help - we are spiritually strengthened.
            The opponents of Daniel could not find anything on the moral level of which they could accuse him (Daniel 6:5). Yet, Daniel landed in the lion’s den. Not all believers who have been persecuted unjustly were saved like Daniel. The Psalmist (109:2-4) had the experience that his love and prayers for the ungodly people who accused him with lies and slander, were answered with animosity. David experienced innocent persecu­tion as Saul tried to hunt him down. He displayed the spirit of Jesus when he refrained from killing Saul, retorting with the moving monologues in which he called on God to be his lawyer and the judge (1 Samuel 24:10-17).

The Principle enacted in the Early Church  
The principle can easily be detected in the Early Church. It had been prepared centuries ago with the exile to Babylon and other places. The story of Daniel and the three young friends is well known. God brought Jews from all directions to Jerusalem supernaturally at the special Pentecost of Acts 2. If the great persecution of Christians had not taken place, with Saul of Tarsus prominent in an attempt to destroy the church (Acts 8.1-3), many of them might have been tempted to remain in the Holy City. I take it that many not only preferred to go back from where they came originally, not only to Rome and Damascus, but also to places known today as Baghdad and Alexandria. Churches were started in Turkey and Libya. Via the revival in Samaria the finance minister of Ethiopia was impacted (Acts 8:26ff). The interaction and exchange of people between Samaria and Assyria is quite interesting. (In Samaria one finds today the Palestinians and the descendants of the Assyrians). From the small town of Babylon on the Euphrates Peter wrote his first epistle that refers to persecution and suffering so much. Tradition holds that Thomas, another apostle, was in the region that we today call Iraq, before moving on to India.


Relativity of Experiences of Suffering

Paul has taught us that experiences of suffering should be nothing special. In 2 Corin­thians 6 he starts off in verse four: ‘We patiently endure suffering and hardship and trouble of every kind.’ Then he lists them: ‘We have been beaten, put in jail, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, stayed awake through sleepless nights of watching, and gone without food’ (2 Corin­thians 6:5). There­after Paul derives that through all this ‘we have proved ourselves to be what we claim to be by our wholesome lives and by our understanding of the Gospel and by our patience.’ He also taught how relative all human suffering becomes if one compares and weighs it in the light of the glory awaiting the faithful believer (Romans 8:18). In conclusion he gives God the honour when he mentions the role of being filled with the Holy Spirit: ‘We have been truth­ful, with God’s power helping us in all we do.’
            A clear rejection is applicable with regard to a martyr complex. Martyrdom is not something one aspires. If it comes your way, you may expect to be enabled to carry it in a supernatural way, for God will see to it that you can bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).


Suffering as a Weapon of the Believer

An inter­est­ing feature is that Paul continues to speak in the context of suffering about the spiritual weapons of the righteous man. The inference is that suffering and persecution are weapons in the arsenal of the believer, because the suffering of the believer for the sake of the Gospel contains the seed of resurrection: ‘We always carry in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body’ (2 Corinthians 4:10). Accepting innocent suffering and persecution with joy, is one of the strongest weapons in the armour of the Christian. Indeed, it is one of the best weapons of the believer when he patiently endures suffering/persecution and then experiences how the ‘wings of the eagle’ (Exodus 19:4; Isaiah 40:31) undergird and sustain him. It is a weapon against which the enemy has no counter.  We may be perse­cuted, but God never abandons us (2 Corinthians 4:9). In 2 Corinthians 6:5 Paul states ‘We pa­tiently endure suffering and hardship and trouble of every kind’ and he then proceeds to list a plethora of different ways of persecu­tion (see above). In chapter 11 of the same letter Paul gave a similar list of the sufferings and persecu­tion which he experi­enced as he set out to bravely preach the Gospel. The book of Revelations gives us a glance of the martyrs at the end of the times and of their victory over the enemy: ‘They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb, and by their testimony...’ (Revelations 12:11).[5]
            Stephen became the first martyr of the ‘New Testament’ Church for his bold witness of the crucified and resurrected Jesus. To the early church to be a witness (in Greek martus) meant to be prepared for persecu­tion and suffering. Many were to follow Stephen through the ages.

An excellent Representative of the Principle
Let us have a closer look at the life of Comenius as an excellent representative of the principle. Starting as an orphan in Moravia and attending the schools of the Church of the Brethren, he was impacted at the universities of Herborn and Heidelberg in Germany, expecting the speedy return of Jesus and the 1000 year reign of peace under the Messiah as ruler. However, in stead of experiencing the reign of Jesus, the ‘sun of righteousness’, 30 years of war - starting in 1618 - would throw big shadows over his life. All around him people were fleeing after the Catholic legions had defeated the Protestants in 1620. The Church of the Brethren had to go underground. In Fulnek, where he had been minister, all his writings were burned. There he also lost his wife and children through the pest epidemic. He remarried but went into exile in February 1628 to Lessno in Poland, where he was soon the minister of an emigrant congregation. Here he wrote many books that earned him an invitation to come and lecture at the new Harvard College in North America. He however felt called to operate from Europe, teaching in England, the Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary. Comenius did perceive a task of becoming a teacher to the nations - also on behalf of the oppressed (North American Indians, Asians and Africans), doing it from Europe.
            In 1656 war and fire ravaged once again. In Lessno he lost his house, his library and a part of his writings. On his 64th birthday he had to look for a new home. He chose Amsterdam, a city from where ships went to the whole wide world. He foresaw what that could mean in terms of the exploitation of Africa, Asia and America and warned against it. But he also had the vision that the ships could take emissaries of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Comenius became known as the teacher of nations, especially through his writing on education. He blessed believers of all time even more through the way he handled adversity and his teaching in that regard. As someone for whom pansophism, a wide general knowledge was dear, he saw in his lifetime a lot of war, destruction, fire and tyranny in Central Europe; division and enmity was widespread in the churches and quarrels in science was rife. Already after the burning of his writings in 1624 on the church plain of Fulnek, Comenius reacted not only with hiding, but also with the writing of material to comfort others. The most famous book at this time was The labyrinth of the World and the paradise of the heart. Van der Linde (1980:48) described the following as the gist of his writings at this time: the World - life without God - is a labyrinth, but a heart committed to God through Christ is paradise.
            Furthermore, Comenius always looked for positive solutions and peace in science, in the churches and in politics (Van der Linde, 1980:48). He believed that followers of Jesus should not passively await the return of the Lord and his sovereign rule of peace, but that Christians are called to erect signs to usher in that reign.
Persecution responsible for Blessings
The persecution of the Quakers in England and Protestants in France was directly responsible for blessings in North America and other parts of the world. Significantly, the ship that took the British religious refugees to New England was named The Pilgrim Fathers. At the Cape the persecuted French Huguenot refugees brought with them spiritual correction at a time when corruption and immorality was rife amongst the Dutch and early German opportunists.
            When everything looked completely hopeless, John Amos Comenius, the last Bishop of the Church of the Brethren in Bohemia and Moravia, wrote in 1660: ‘Experience clearly teaches that particular churches are sometimes destroyed by the hand of God stretched out in wrath. Yet, sometimes other churches are either planted in their stead, or the same churches rise in other places. Whether God will deem her worthy to be revived...or... resuscitate her elsewhere, we know not...Ac­cor­ding to His own promise, the Gospel will be brought by those Christians who have been justly chastened, to the remai­ning peoples of the earth; and thus, as of old, our fall will be the riches of the world.’ How pro­phetic these words have become: the church was revived in Herrnhut a few decades later with Bohemian refugees spear-heading the movement, along with Count Zinzendorf.


Failure regarded as Hidden Seed

The profound writings of Comenius himself remained hidden seed for centuries, only really discovered in the late 19th century. The beginnings of the Moravian Church 550 years ago were marked by persecution and suffering. While they had to worship the Lord in secret as the ‘hidden seed’, they had a good grasp of the truth which Jesus Himself expounded: ‘...un­less a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces many seeds’ (John 12:24). In the case of Raymond Lull, the martyr seed has only just started to bring fruit among the Kabyle of Northern Africa, i.e. after many centuries. Some ‘watering’ was done among the people group and in Algeria in general by dedicated missionaries like Lillias Trotter, Charles Marsh and his wife in the 19th and 20th centuries as well their daughter Daisy, for many decades. Only now in our time the seed appears to germinate.
            Very fittingly, Andrew Murray summarized the motivation for mission work by the Herrnhut Moravians: ‘...making our Lord’s suffering the spur to all their activity (Murray, 1901 (1979):44). Count Zinzen­­­­­­­­­dorf was still a secondary school scholar when he practised the missionary principle of being prepared to suffer for the Gospel when other learners treated him with scorn and disdain because of his faith (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:3). He responded by praying for them. Also teachers punished him disproportionately for the least of offences. When one of them commented on his being put on the street with donkey years so often, he replied in Latin: ‘This punishment will not suppress me but uplift me.’ Zinzendorf conceded that he was not an angel between his 12th and 19th year, but he was carried through by the prayers of the saints. The result of this is that more than once he succeeded in praying with those who wanted to tempt him into mischief and ‘win them for my Lord(Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:4).

Slander and false Accusations as Gospel Seed
Zinzen­dorf encouraged his followers to see the slander which they were subjected to as Gospel seed. The seed germinated on the short term. He taught the fellowship that they should not defend themselves but leave their defence over to the Lord when they were falsely accused.  The persecuted believers had to regard slander and false accusations gladly as fire through which they are cleansed, purified and glor­ified (Spangenberg, 1773-75 (1971):1280).
            Hartmut Beck, who had been a Moravian missionary in East Africa and the Eastern Cape before his return to Germany in the late 1970s, refers to the ‘vielfaches Leiden’ (manifold suffering) of the Christians who had come to Herrnhut from Moravia (Beck, 1981:24). He notes that the suffering for their faith made these church members prepared to persevere under extreme circumstances (Beck, 1981:22). The Herrnhut congregation remembered their origins as persecuted Christians. It is reported how they prayed ‘for their brethren still living under persecution’ at the occasion of the memorable communion service of 13 August 1727, when the revival broke out (Lewis, 1962:58). Persecuted like the first Jerusalem church, people from the area were disallowed to have contact with them from the outset. However, they were not to be deterred by this. When two brethren were arrested on 17 August 1727 for preaching in a house in one of the surrounding towns, they simply continued the sermon in the prison (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:42). When brethren from that town came to report the matter, there was ‘herzliche Freude’ (great joy) in Herrnhut. That sort of joy was still prevalent on 26 December 1730 when they celebrated a love feast in Herrnhut after it had become known that 56 brethren and sisters had suffered persecution and prison (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:37).
            They also ‘...set out to preach to the Buddhist Calmucks and beyond them to the Chinese.’ But at St Petersburg in Russia they were denounced as spies and thrown into prison for five years. At their trial the judge declared that ‘their behaviour and manner would convert the heathen. Such was their spirit of utter trust in the Lamb that they called their prison a ‘Hall of Grace’...
            Slander, which was not completely without ground because of some excesses that occurred during the Count’s absence at Herrnhaag after their banishment from Saxony in1736 - but also quite a few false accusations - was the cause once again to move on. The Pilgrim Church made no attempt to defend themselves. In stead, they saw this as another stepping stone for missions. A new party set off for the ‘new world’.
            The principle of the seed of slander and false accusations applied throughout church and mission history. The mission agency OM came into being after George Verwer, its founder, was shattered because he had been accused of spying. During a spiritual retreat in the mountains near Vienna God met with him giving him the vision that led to the birth of OM.[6] Similar stories could be told of other missions, which came into being after so-called failure. The founder of Open Doors, Brother Andrew, had been turned down because of health reasons at  a mission agency after his Bible school training and later he became persona non grata in many Communist Countries by the mid-1970s.

The Nitschmann Clan: Witnesses and Martyrs
Christian David’s teaching and example during his itinerant ministry, that included forays into Moravia must have included profound guidance that suffering and martyrdom was part and parcel of the follower of Jesus. The Nitschmann clan surely got the message. One of those with the name David Nitschmann was imprisoned in 1729 when he visited his father in Bohemia. There he died in prison as a faithful martyr for his faith. Not a powerful preacher at all, he had a very concise theology. The Lord Jesus meant to him ‘Love, love and more love’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:21). Nitschmann conveyed the message to the church from prison: be so restful and contented when you are imprisoned because there is such a power in it that you can be a free man in chains. The love he radiated was so powerful, his nature so friendly and full of joy that even his enemies typfied him as a holy man. They wished to be like him.
            A second David Nitschmann, a carpenter, was one of the first two missionaries who went to St Thomas in 1732. Three years later he was ordained as a bishop of the Unitas Fratrum by Daniel Jablonsky, a grandson of Comenius.
            Taking his cue from Isaiah 53:11 as well as from the book of Revel­ations, Zinzendorf challenged the believers in Herrnhut. They were called to win souls for the Lamb as a reward for the suffering of the Lord. 
            When Melchior Nitschmann was nominated to become one of the four chief elders of the church, Zinzendorf had reservations. He thought that they should not have included the teenager into the lot because of his age. The Count apparently did not even know Melchior Nitschmann that well. The bare-footed youngster evidently had the trust of the congregants, demonstrating a steadfast attitude that soon enough impressed Zinzendorf (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:95). Melchior wanted to visit Moravia with Georg Schmidt, but the rest of the fellowship objected. The other elders hereafter celebrated an agape meal with him, pointing out the dangers of such a trip. His final words were: ‘Even if they burn me or let me languish in prison, I am sure of my calling.’ Thereafter the elders kneeled down, blessing him for the proposed trip. In 1728 Melchior Nitschmann went to Moravia with Georg Schmidt where they were arrested as they were fellowshipping with believers. Melchior Nitschmann died in prison the next year.
 He had also been God’s instrument to challenge Susanna, the 11 year-old daughter of the elder Kühnel, who witnessed all this. Before Melchior Nitschmann left, he asked her: ‘Susel, don’t you also want to become the Lord’s?’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:29). Along with Anna Nitschmann, Susanna Kühnel was to be a special channel that God used in the revival among the children.

Suffering as a Spur to missionary Activity
In 1728 revived young men from Herrnhut moved into 8 loft rooms of the guest house, which in no time became a school for missionaries. They were not only taught in medicine, geography and languages but also about ‘the glory of the martyr’s death and the liberty of the apostles in witness’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:32). This was surely their strength, so that by 1737 already 56 of them were already in missionary service abroad. They grasped the message, because after 1732 generations of Moravian missionaries went out to the various mission fields, prepared to die there. It soon became customary to take your own coffin to the mission field. Many of them never returned.
            The Moravian missionaries who set out after 1732, suffered ‘a thousand hardships’. Avred Gradin, who was imprisoned in St Petersburg, wrote in 1743: ‘imprisonment, persecution, shipwreck, plague, privation, death... only increased the zeal and fervour of our Brethren, whose firm resolution it was, rather to die, than to go away without fruit’ (cited by Murray, 1901:48). Their experiences read like excerpts from the Acts of the apostles.[7]
            About two missionaries, a surgeon and a doctor - in their attempt in 1747 to reach out to the Kurds in Persia - we read: ‘Near Baghdad they were robbed and left for dead by the bandits. At Isaphan they were well received but the civil wars crushed any hopes of an immediate mission in Persia.’ One of them, Dr Hocker, proceeded like an apostle Paul of old, to learn Arabic in Cairo and then attempted to reach the Copts of Abyssinia (today called Ethiopia). The Coptic Patriarch accepted the letter that Hocker had brought from Zinzendorf which he called ‘a piece of his love to all Chris­tians’.
            Spangenberg wrote how - because of the persecution of the missionaries in Surinam - ‘the Negroes came to the knowledge that they should not look at the example of those called Christians[8] but at the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ(Spangenberg, 1773-75 (1971):1173).

Death as a Prelude to Resurrection
In America Zinzen­dorf’s enemies tried to kill him thrice: once through scalping, once through poisoning by puff adders and a third time he almost drowned when the girth of his saddle broke. ‘None of these perils were acciden­tal’ (Lewis, 1962:150). In all fair­­­ness to the Indians, it must be mentioned that Zinzendorf had become a victim to culture shock himself. He did not live up to the principles he himself had set for mission­aries when he lived among the indigenous ‘Indians’. He put up his tent hundreds of yards away from the village. Furthermore, he ‘regarded the Indians as crude and made no effort to hide his feelings (Weinlick, 1956:176). By way of contrast, our own Georg Schmidt could be mentioned. He put up his hired tent next to the Khoi hut of the indigenous Africo. On purpose he chose to move away from the residential area of the Dutch Company colon­ists. This - and especially how Schmidt assisted the Khoikoi with agriculture - helped to convince them that he was ‘not like the other Europeans who only wanted to get some cattle and sheep from them.’[9] Of course, Schmidt’s fraternalizing with the ‘Hotten­­tots’ did not endear him to the colonists. When he baptized Africo and four other Khoikoi in 1742, this was just the handle they were looking for, the reason the Church at the Cape needed to get the smear cam­paign into top gear. This eventually led to the semi-deport­ation of Schmidt. His enemies thus succeeded to separate him from Herrnhut and to get him removed. Fifty years later the gospel seed that he had sown with tears, had germinated. The three new Moravian missionaries could see how it had brought forth fruit richly at Baviaanskloof where Schmidt had laboured.
          In Herrnhaag Kriegsrat (Martial Council) was held constantly to discuss new ventures. On one of these forays Zinzendorf and his son Christian Renatus were imprisoned in Riga - albeit only for a short time. The lot was often consulted. Thus it was determined that the Count should go to Latvia for a month to make the Lord known there. Going back via Berlin where he discussed matters with King Friedrich Wilhelm I, he rushed home to be at the Ronneburg to be in time for the birthday of his wife. However, there was nobody to welcome him there. The Pilgrim Church had been evicted from Ronneburg after instigation of Zinzendorf’s enemies.

Suffering under the Church?
Dr Andrew Murray exemplified how death as a prelude to resurrection can operate practically, in both positive and negative ways. In the letter sense the disunity of the body of Christ caused him a lot of sorrow. In the middle years of his life it seems as if discussions and negotiations played too big a role when the gifted young man was catapulted as translator between the British and the Boers of the new republics in the 1950s and after he was elected as moderator of the Dutch Reformed Synod. I get the impression – perhaps incorrectly – that he temporarily depended too much on his skills and gifts. I surmise that the church splits of that period in the Reformed camp – which were clearly demonically orchestrated around semantics – could have been averted if the Church had been called for more urgent prayer. He suffered trials and tribulations in the Transorange from 1850 to 1860, especially with what was happening in the church there. His skills and talks with many pastors could not prevent the establishment of the Hervormde Kerk (1853) and Gereformeerde Kerk (1859) on petty grounds. It grieved him profoundly. His battles on the theological front as church moderator to ward off liberalism brought him into court cases against other clergymen, which he surely would not have enjoyed. He and his Dutch Reformed colleagues – along with the Anglican Bishop Gray would have achieved a significant breakthrough in the spiritual realm in the negotiations on church unity in 1970. A wonderful opportunity was however missed to influence the Body of Christ world-wide.
          Some modern German theologian coined a nice-sounding phrase ‘Leiden an der Kirche’, (suffering because of things pertaining to the Church), which was still resounding in the 1990s. To suffer because of the Church (under its structures and people), is however not biblical. Although the pain inflicted by fellow-Christians is experienced very severely, this can never be raised to a norm, it may never become a matter of course. The issue gets an awful smell when a bossy pastor requires of his church members to suffer patiently when the attitude of the leadership of the congregation is the real cause of the affliction. At most this sort of suffering could become an instrument used by God to ‘prune’ believers so that they can bear more and last­ing fruit (John 15:2+3). Prophetically, our Lord must have suffered some of this pain already, for example when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that his followers ‘may be brought to complete unity’ (John 17:23).

Discernment of Dangers        
On the other hand, Dr Andrew Murray did discern spiritual needs which had not been taught in the Church at large, and which the Herrnhut Moravians had practised. Thus he wrote the booklet Blijf in Jezus (1864) when it became apparent that many of those impacted by the remarkable revival of the early 1960s were waning in fervour. Abide in Christ was the first of many books to be translated into English. From Jesus’ lessons about the vine, Andrew Murray emphasized the central word in. There is no more profound word in Scripture, he averred. His life philosophy – next to prayer, prayer and yet more prayer – can be aptly summarised with a verse (From his Collected Works, VII,200):
“No struggle will help you abide,
No worry to bear your fruit
Be one with Jesus and fruit will come,
It is sure to grow from the root
          After being silenced for two years because of illness, and thereafter supernaturally healed, Andrew Murray was God’s instrument to bring the work of the Holy Spirit in general, along with faith healing back into the scope of the global Church. The enlightenment and rationalism had pushed the human intellect and skills to the front at the cost of the supernatural.
          In chapter 1 we highlighted how Andrew Murray rectified the errors of the big conference of New York (1900) through his  booklet: The Key to the Missionary Problem and its emphasis on prayer, even though the Alliance Movement at large did not take up his suggestion to have a week of prayer for missions at the beginning of the year. A similar correction happened after the global conference in Edinburgh (1910), albeit with less of a global impact. This time his booklet received the title The State of the Church – a Plea for more Prayer. At the Cape, there followed a prayer conference in 1912, organised by Professor de Vos of Stellenbosch with significant ramifications. Andrew Murray’s Leiden an der Kirche’ (suffering in the Church) when he was over 80 years of age thus proved to be quite significant, a blessing to the Church. His pain at the disunity of the Church became for him a first step in the direction of closer union (Du Plessis, 1919:366). His warnings against nationalism were not heeded, at great peril to the country. Afrikaner nationalism – piously calling it Christian Nationalism - later led to apartheid. Students from this country had listened more to Adolf Hitler and his Nationalist Socialism. The danger of African nationalism has still not been properly discerned on the black continent, albeit that a significant correction occurred when the term African Renaissance started to be used in stead.

The crucified Christ 
Like few others before him, Zinzendorf discerned the importance of having the crucified Christ central in all teach­ing. He stressed that even the most primitive peoples know about the existence of God in some way or another. What they needed to know was that His Son died for their sins. That had to be shared lovingly.
          In a parable in his Fetter Lane sermon in London on September 4, the Count showed how the arch enemy dislikes the idea of the wounded Christ, how the enemy emulated Jesus in a vision. ‘...there was a bishop named Mar­tin... (who) had the experience that Satan appeared to him with heavenly glory...’ Martin: ‘If you are Christ, where are your wounds?’ The reply was that he did not come to him as the wounded, as one from the cross, but rather he came from heaven; he wanted to show himself to him in his glory, as he sits at the right hand of the Father. To this Martin answered, ‘You are the devil; a Saviour who is without wounds, who does not have the mark of his sufferings, I do not acknowl­edge.’[10]
          In our day and age dreams and visions have become popular. The discernment of the crucified Jesus has attained a new actuality. It should be a sobering thought that the devil can even emulate Jesus in dreams and visions. Many believers have become followers of ‘prosperity’ theology, where the suffering Christ is pushed aside.
          The suffering of Jesus and his innocent death on the Cross has influenced many devout men of God. ‘When I survey the wondrous cross...’ became the inspiration of many to commit their life, their all to His service. This was also the inspiration to C.T. Studd, the founder of WEC International, who stated that no sacrifice could be too great in the light of what Jesus has done for us on the Cross of Calvary.

The same Breed of Missionaries in Genadendal       
South Africa has also ‘imported’ the same breed of Moravian missionaries. It has been reported how a missionary at Genadendal spoke about one of his prede­cessors as he took a group of visitors around the mission graveyard: ‘And that... is the grave of Pieter Leitner, who worked amongst the lepers of Hemel en Aarde and died as he was baptizing a woman.[11] The suffering of parents and children can hardly be fathomed, when the missionary kids were sent back to Germany from the fields to the Moravian hostels of Niesky and Kleinwelka. This was the practice until deep into the previous century. Very often parents and children never saw each other again. We could debate from our ivory towers about the wisdom of these decisions, but the willingness of these believers to suffer for the Gospel remains a challenge to us. It should also be remembered that these children were the responsibility of the whole community. The parents on the mission field knew that the sprouts ‘were being loved and cared for with that same love in the fellowship of the Lamb as they themselves would have given them (Lewis, 1962:69). Their preparedness to risk all puts those modern missionaries to shame who major on soft targets.
          During the rule of Adolf Hitler, the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer,[12] who suffered under the wicked Nazi regime, warned against ‘cheap grace’. Bonhoeffer evidently also saw that suffering was a prerequisite of being spiritually fruitful - part and parcel of true discipleship.
          The biblical truth of suffering (with the poor) is dawning with the church universal. In the book Praying through the 100 gateway cities..., which was widely distrib­uted at the occasion of the month of prayer in October 1995, Viv Grigg (1995:26) wrote: ‘Out of our sufferings God gives us a level of authority for a part of the warfare in a city. Jesus gave an absolute principle that ‘unless the grain of wheat dies it does not bear fruit. ... Incarnation among the poor releases the power of the Spirit. To choose suffering with the poor produces the character of the Spirit, enabling an outflow of his power.

Fallacies about Suffering
Some fallacies have however crept in with regard to persecution and suffering. Amongst other things there is confusion about what biblical persecution entails. Sometimes suffering occurring as a result of provocation - yes, due to a mistake or sin of some sort - has been confused with suffering for the sake of the Gospel.  Biblical suffering happens. It is never the result of sinful provocation. Similarly, if one suffers through stupidity and carnal bravery, it cannot be called suffering for the sake of the Gospel.  
          A related fallacy is a sort of masochist enjoyment of persecution. According to this pattern, the occasional believer would appear to enjoy narrating how the enemy has trapped and tricked him or her. With such a rendering, the enemy of souls gets undue recognition.

The Germinating of the Seed of Martyrs
The seed of the martyrs of which Tertullian wrote, has been germinating in many parts of the world. Nowhere has it been more spectacular than in China. At the beginning of the 20th century 130 foreign missionaries and 3000 Chinese Christians were massacred in the Boxer revolution in the city of Taiyan. ‘Gospel Seed’sown much further back in history, has in recent years started coming up in the Muslim world, for example in the village of Bugia, where Raymond Lull, the first missionary to the Muslims of North Africa, was killed in the 1300s. In fact, thousands turned to Christ among the Kabyle in recent years, the people group among which Lull toiled.[13] In a sense this had already started to happen in the 19th century when Lavigerie, another French Catholic missionary, was called to work amongst the Kabyle. He went to Algiers in 1867. Also this time the message was not accepted. Learning the hard way, Lavigerie concluded that if the Algerians did not want to become Europeans, the missionaries should become like the Algerians. His followers, the movement of the ‘white fathers’, earned the respect of Algerians to this day. Protestant missionaries have been profiting from the goodwill which the ‘white fathers’ earned. In recent times more seed was plowed into the Algerian soil when missionaries were killed by fundamentalists.
          Also in other countries of the Middle East the seed is germinating. Gerald Derstine recorded some supernatural divine interventions among the Palestine Muslims, but he also not­ed some harsh persecution.[14] In an autobiogra­phy published in 1996, Mark Gabriel, a for­mer lecturer in Islamic History of Al Azhar University, Cairo, wrote how he escaped death more than once because of his decision to follow Jesus.[15]
          For years Samuel Doctorian has been toiling in various countries of the Middle East. In the 1990s the Lord used him to lead many to Christ. Joy Magazine (July 1996) reports in an interview with him how he refused to stop prea­ching, in peril of his life. The guns of sol­diers were already pointing at him.

Suffer with Dignity    
The apartheid past has given South African ‘Blacks’ a special faculty: to suffer with dignity. At the same time it left many ‘Whites’ with a guilt complex, even though many tried to camouflage it in one way or the other. The rotten side of recent South African history is that some of us have become conditioned to accept suffering, when others are on the receiving end. That is exactly the opposite of what Christ did. He, the innocent, without any sin, died on our behalf. If meaningful solidarity and sharing with the poor and afflicted take place, it is quite possible that persecution could follow from it, for example from those who get money through injustice, corruption and greed. Alternately, hatred and enmity could evince from those who feel their riches and privi­leges threatened when they see believers sharing meaningfully and sacrificial­ly with the poor.
            It becomes just as rotten when it is too easily being taken for granted that Muslims, who have come to believe in Christ, are isolated and/or persecuted. We should not accept this as normal, not even if it takes place in other parts of the world. When for example we hear of Christians suffering because of their stand for Christ in Pakistan, this should ideally spur a reflex reaction on our part: to meet with others for prayer on their behalf. Christians in the West should however also give serious thought, about what we can do to demonstrate our solidarity in a practical way: not only to alleviate the suffering of these brothers and sisters, but we should also become more prepared to suffer for Christ’s sake, to get out of our own comfort zones.[16] It is no compliment that new believers from Islam have not always been warmly welcomed into the church community. We should not make a fuss out of them, but it must be stressed that new believers should experience fellowship and receive mentoring. After having left the Islamic ummah, the close Islamic fellow­ship, they really need this. As a rule Muslims experience extreme pressure from their family and Muslim friends when they decide to follow Jesus. In South Africa, persecution of Chris­tians sometimes take the form of hatred and resentment by those who detest the unity and fellowship of all races in Christ, for example from those who dislike followers of Jesus becoming friends to Muslims and Hindu’s. (On no account do I suggest a cheap compromise of one’s faith. I firmly believe that one can be a committed Christian and still have friends among adherents of other faiths.)
            The African continent boasts many stories of hardship and sacrifice which resulted in whole tribes and even whole nations south of the Sahara having been transformed. The name of C T Studd has been mentioned a few times. In addition to this the Cape’s Dr John Philip could be listed. He played a major role in the outlawing of slavery in the British Empire. The name of David Livingstone should also be added. The latter’s incessant call to Christianity to put an end to the wicked trade in humans was heard, striking a double blow in the process. He exposed the greed of scrupulous European colonizers while at the same time the Arabian dealing in slaves was knocked almost fatally. (A resurrection of the slave trade occurred in our days in Sudan in the last decades of the 20th century. In South Africa domestic workers are still fetched from the rural areas and abused as little more than modern slaves. East European females have been coming to the country under false pretenses and then exploited. Euphemistically they are called sex workers or exotic dancers.)

Doubtful Practices
The sufferings of Jesus have sometimes led to excesses. Zinzendorf and the Herrnhut believers entered a sift­ing period when they were ban­ished from Saxony. Their cause was seriously harmed when some believers - during an extended absence of the Count - seemed to loose sight of the lost. They turned inward­ly to themselves and were constantly celebrating the blood and the wounds of Jesus. The Moravian Church had great difficulty to recover its initial missionary drive after this period of an inflated emotionalism at Herrnhaag.
            In the 1990s the arch enemy also succeeded to deceive Chris­tians who had previously been concerned for reaching the lost. Laughing and weeping in the Spirit have for example took over in services, with the result that (the preaching of) God’s Word was sometimes neglected. For hours Christians could be found celebrating, while the vision for the lost evaporated. That splitting of churches sometimes resulted, demonstrates how the enemy can creep in. He is the ‘diabolos’, the separator. However, we dare not allow any excesses to cloud the biblical truth that God invariably uses suffering to get to His sover­eign purposes. Two opposite positions - with poss­ible vari­ations - can be distinguished:
a) A complete chaotic situation where experience becomes paramount. b) A dogmatic clinging to traditional beliefs. The danger in the second position is that we could close ourselves complete­ly to anything new that God would like to bring into His church. The Word has given us the litmus test: we must test the spirits (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1). If the new practices are not in line with the Word, they can have only one source: from the arch enemy.

The Triumph of Tragedy

On 25 July 1993 PAC (Pan African Congress) activists stormed into the St James Church in Kenilworth, Cape Town, during the evening service. The two men threw a grenade into the auditorium and started shooting with a machine gun. Many worshippers were killed in the process. A much bigger carnage was prevented when one of the worshippers shot back, forcing the rebels to flee. It is sad that the massacre at the St James Church and many PAGAD (People against Gangsterism and Drugs) bombings from 1996 to November 2004 was needed to bring Capetonian believers to serious prayer.
            Bishop Frank Retief, the spiritual leader of the St James Church, who became known world-wide after the massacre, wrote a book in which he reflected on the events around that tragedy. He gave it the title Tragedy to Triumph. In this powerful book on human tragedy and suffering, he quotes from a Chris­tian classic A lifting up from the Downcast. I gladly use a part of this quote, especially from the point of view that this country could be regarded as a gold­mine for future missionaries: ‘Affliction is a bag of gold given to the people of God: though it seems like nothing more than a leather bag on the outside, there is gold with­in...’ Referring to Isaiah 43:2, Bishop Retief says elsewhere: ‘God’s presence is with us in a special way when we pass through the water and walk through the fire. We cannot expect the same measure of grace on a day-to day basis for we walk by faith - not by sight - but in times of great stress the Good Shepherd of the sheep draws near.’ A similar reaction of loving attitude towards them by some Americans – different to a general resentment and panic after 11 September - surprised many people.
            It is no co-incidence that every human being has a natural tendency to evade suffering and persecution. The natural man does not appreciate suffering, but prefers to be loved, honoured and adored. Frank Retief gives a good summary of what suffering for our Lord’s sake might look like in a Western setting: ‘...the more covert kind of family ostracism or displeasure, domestic break-up or job discrimination. But it is true that sometimes we are called to walk a lonely road because we believe in Christ and for no other reason’ (Retief, 1994:75).
            The St James Church was the centre of media attraction for many days. This made the impact of the teaching of Christ all the more powerful when it seemed as if all the mourners were given the grace to forgive the brutal misled perpetrators. This may have helped many others in the months to come. During the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) hearings many a parent offered forgiveness to the assassins of their children.

Food for thought:
What suffering have I experienced (lately) because of my stand for Christ, because of my stand for justice, because of my interven­tion on behalf of the weak and the lost?
What specific forms of persecution do we find in our society? If the road has been very rosy for some length of time, soul searching might be appropriate.
Where have I tried to evade suffering because of the Gospel?
What person is, which group of people is being discriminated against by my (peer) group? What could I do to alleviate the suffering or hurt which has been (or is being) caused?

And some ideas:
How about combining with other churches, to rent/buy a house where persecuted Christians can be accommodated, for example ex-Muslims or messianic Jews who had to leave their homes?
Get concrete information for example from Open Doors, so that you can pray intelligently for the persecuted. An email or a card on behalf of a persecuted Christian to an embassy or country might just be the instrument in God’s hands to alleviate his/her suffering.
What could we do to alleviate the suffering of brothers and sisters in the faith: a) in other cultures locally b) in other countries?

                                    9. Jesus delivered People from all Forms of Bondage

            Jesus was prepared and willing to take suffering and the sins of men upon himself, yes even to the extent of being prepared to become a curse, by allowing himself to be cru­cified. Yet, His whole life was a rebellion against illness, disease and bondage of all sorts, especially the bondage of sin. An objective reading of the Gospels will make it abso­lutely clear that prayer for the sick and a deliver­ance minis­try in the name of Jesus should be part and parcel of the teaching of any church. God paid a costly ransom to set us free from the bondage of sin: the blood of His Son, the per­fect Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:18f). The prophet Zechariah foretold the ramifications of the liberation, which would come through the fountain flowing from the house of David: it will cleanse from every sin and impurity in the last days (Zechariah 13:1f). One immediately thinks of the living water, the abundant life of which Jesus spoke (John 7:38).
            Jesus clearly rebelled against a legalistic approach with regard to the law. In no uncertain terms He attacked religious leaders who put a burden on their followers which they are not prepared to carry themselves (Matthew 23:4). In fact, Jesus also said that tradi­tions can nullify the power of the Word of God (Mark 7:13). In his healing practice Jesus came up time and again against the guardians of the law because he healed on the Sabbath (for example Luke 13:14; John 5:18; John 7:22; John 7:22). In fact, our Lord’s attitude in this regard was the proof to the religious establishment of His day that He could not have come from God (John 9:16).
            Through faith, by accepting Jesus as your Saviour and deliverer, a relationship results, one becomes a child of God (John 1:12). The believer in Jesus is no more slave, but son/daughter (Gala­tians 4:7). Paradoxically, we are exhorted to become slaves of another kind, servants of Christ who do God’s will (Ephesians 6:6). Faith in Christ sets free, brings one into a relation­ship with God; mere religion enslaves. This is the basic difference between the believer who experienced deliverance through the atoning death of Christ and that of any other religious person.

Bondage of pseudo-religious Activity

Pseudo-religious activity has brought many in bondage. Because of ignorance many a Christian has inadvertently come under the spell of the enemy through the use of horoscope and ‘white magic’. Many people have come under occult bondage through healing practices which sound religious. Thus a so-called alterna­tive healer without a personal relationship to God may even speak of ‘the Lord’. He may use ‘laying on of hands’, but basi­cally he would be only interested in getting money out of patients. There are psychiatrists who carry the tag of ‘Chri­stian’, without daring to use sin and repentance in their vocabulary. It has become the vogue to play down genuine feelings of guilt in stead of simply doing what the Bible teaches: to confess your sins and get cleansed from all impur­ity (1 John 1:9). Instead of healing, bondage is the result.
            A related issue is the bondage of lies. Jesus did not call the enemy the father of the lie by chance (John 8:44). Right from the very first distortion of God’s Word in Genesis 3:1, satan has kept people in bondage of all sorts. It is no sur­prise that sects and religions distort biblical truths - for example by citing Scripture out of context. Conversely, Jesus said ‘I am the truth...’ (John 14:6) and somewhere else ‘the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). Even if the doctrine of the Holy Trin­ity is not expli­citly taught in the Bible, it is interesting to note that John said that the Holy Spirit is the truth  (1 John 5:6) and Jesus described the same as the ‘Spirit of truth’ (for example John 14:17). There is also the teaching that the Spirit will lead us into the full truth (John 16:13). It goes of course without saying that God is light, God is truth (Isaiah 65:16). There are quite a few qualities like these which are attributed to the different persons of the God-head. The principle of the first among equals is also included in the concept. Jesus said for example on the one hand ‘I and the father are one’ (John 10:30), but also that the Father is greater.
            Because Jesus made the abso­lute claim that He is the truth and the (only) way; nobody can come to God by any other means (John 14:6). Therefore the deceiver must come up with lies to bring people in bondage. It is thus not surpris­ing that many Muslims believe for example that the promised paraclete, the com­forter of John 16:7, is Muhammad.[17] This should give all of us as believers in Jesus Christ an even greater sense of urgency to pray for a lifting of the veil in all religions where the spirit of the lie rules. We should realize that this is really a demonic spiritual stronghold.

Worship on high Places

It is typical that people flee into religion when they are cornered by the truth. When Jesus confronted the Samaritan woman in John 4 with her sinful living, she seems to have first tried to flatter Him: ‘I see you are a prophet.’ Then she reverts to her own religion: ‘Our fathers worshipped...on this mountain.’ It is typical of the strategy of the enemy to distort or emulate what God had started. Abraham took his son up to Mount Moriah, which points to God allowing His Son to die on the hill of Golgotha. According to a Jewish Targum (the Aramaic traditions which were initially primarily passed on orally), Isaac carried the wood like someone would carry a cross. This was nullified by another tradition, viz. that only the blood of an animal - contrasted to human blood - can atone for sin. Of course, if one is prepared to be less academic or legalistic, the fact that Jesus was described as the Lamb of God - thus an ‘animal’ - it might help many a Jew to discover in Him the Messiah. Simi­larly, it is not surpris­ing that Islamic Hadith traditions - those sayings of Muhammad which were not included in the Qur’an - made Ishmael into the son taken to be sacrificed on Moriah.[18] 
            The law was given on Mount Sinai. Its 'New Testament' coun­ter­part, the law of true worship, was started by Jesus in his days of fasting when the enemy tried to tempt him from a high moun­tain. The accuser attempted Jesus twice to abuse the fact that He was the Son of God (Matthew 4:3, 5). The death of Jesus on the Cross and His being the Son of God are main issues, which are anathema to Jews and Muslims alike.
The battle against the Amalekites was fought out on Mount Horeb when Hur and Aaron supported Moses (Exodus 17:10f). This has become a model of spiritual warfare for Christians, to support the ‘soldiers’ who face the brunt of the battle.      
            In the light of these examples, it is completely in character for the enemy to emulate prayer on the heights. This happened with the Baal cult worship, when Israel­ites were tempted time and again. Therefore it was very appropriate that Elijah had to inflict the Baal worshippers a defeat on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:19ff).
Here in South Africa, satan took over Ekuphakame­ni, ‘the high and elevated place’, where worship was nowhere chris­to­centric. In fact, in so many words Jesus Isaiah Shembe (1870-1935) was regarded as ‘God for us Black people.’[19] This also still happens when Cape Muslims go and pray at the Kra­mats (shrines), which are situated on the heights in the form of a crescent around the Cape Penin­sula, from Robben Island to Macassar. The Christian equivalent is the visits to cemeteries, which sometimes come very close to ancestor veneration. God used Caux, situated high in the Swiss Alps, to challenge many people to godly living with the four moral absolutes of the sermon on the Mount, but the arch enemy high-jacked the Moral Re-armament movement to become a fore-runner to New Age ideology, where the uniqueness of Jesus was seriously impeded and compromised.


At this point the issue of inculturation should be addressed, to adapt your life-style to the relevant culture. It is surely a very healthy matter that the African Church is coming of age in thrusting off the shackles of cultural colo­nialism. Many mainline churches only woke up when the young people started leaving the church in droves. Even in the Moravian Church that should have been the leader in the field of inculturation, a major crisis developed in the early 1990s in some congregations, albeit in this case there was conflict between tradi­tionalists and charismatics, notably in Ravensmead at the Cape. Zinzendorf had taught his missionaries not to apply the Herrnhut yard-stick wherever they went.
            It is a good thing that African Christians are claiming for themselves the right to interpret the Bible as they under­stand it. A major problem in this country is that the occult is so often mixed up with cultural patterns. The pioneer of inculturation in South Africa is the above-mentioned Isaiah Shembe. It is typical that he was initially challenged in dreams and visions to get rid of sinful ways that belonged to the normal practices of Zulu culture. Struggling with this inner conflict he went to pray and fast for 14 days at the Nhlangakazi Mountain. He developed a system of ‘strict adherence to Zulu socio-cul­tural thought patterns and an adaptation of the Bible to fit the Zulu way of living’.[20] Ek­upha­kame­ni became the headquar­ters of the church of the AmaNazaretha. This denoomination surely led the way of blending Christian beliefs with Zulu traditions and prac­tices, but the problem seems to be the priorities. If the cul­tural pattern becomes the norm in stead of the Bible, a bad compro­mise is apt to follow. Nobody will probably have major qualms when someone suggests: ‘The rituals we value - initi­ation, marriage, burial - must be examined and incorporated into our celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.’ But when the author goes on to say ‘the Gospel does not ask us to live separated from the dead of our families and with no possibility of contacting them in times of illness, famine, homelessness and senseless killings’, it becomes prob­lematic. This is not biblical anymore. The problem is of course that the Lordship of Jesus has not been taught and lived out sufficiently. The practice of another Gospel, a distorted Gospel, misled many Africans to revert to witch doctors and Spiritism. This would never have happened if every new believer was taught clearly that the faith in Jesus as Lord gives one power to face adversity.

Communion and not Communication with Saints
In a sense we cannot blame Africans who feel themselves tricked on the issue of ancestral worship. Many of them feel that they should have the right to call on their ancestors because the so-called Apostolic Creed[21]speak of ‘communion of saints’. There is however a significant difference between communion with saints and communication with saints. Another problem is that theologians have included the clause in the creed on very scanty grounds. When the ‘New Testa­ment’ speaks about saints, it refers to living people and not to the dead. The Bible actual­ly forbids com­munication with the dead (Deuteronomy 18:19; Isaiah 8:19). Saul was clearly bashed because he consulted a spiritist to call up the spirit of Samuel (1 Samuel 28:7ff).
            Many people react with "I’ve got my church, I’ve got my religion" when they are challenged by the absolute claim of Jesus as the truth, the way and the life. Even within the confines of the traditional church, some theologians are not so happy by this ‘intolerant’ claim of Jesus. Jesus also spoke about a broad way. ‘The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for the multitudes who choose its easy way’ (Matthew 7:13). If this is the real option, it should be clear why we might accept the fact of different avenues to God - every person is unique - but they must lead to the one way, to the one door: Jesus. Any other way ends up in the broad road and event­ually to eternal damnation. That may sound very intoler­ant, but that is the basic ‘New Testament’ position.

Bondage of Denominationalism

Bondage can also come in by the back-door. Paul clearly taught that religious practice can develop into bondage, into slav­ery. In stead of a guideline, God’s laws then become a choking legalism. In this context the letter of the law kills (2 Corinthians 3:6). Coming from the background of a Pharisee, the apostle discerned how the law can blind (2 Corinthians 3:14ff): ‘the same veil remains when the old covenant is read’. He had to become blind first, so that his spiritual eyes could be opened. That is why Jews and Muslims find it so hard to break through into living faith.
            The saddest thing with regard to bond­age is that there are many Christians who got bound through religious practices. This does not only occur in the Roman Catholic Church where traditions with an occult back­ground have been passed on from generation to generation. Also in Protestant-evangelical circles certain practices have brought legalism in by the back-door, keeping Christians in bondage, without them even realizing it. The best example is probably those traditions which were given the name sacra­ments. The practice in churches often deviates considerably from the obvious scrip­tural tradi­tion.
            The un­scrip­tural usage spawned a lot of unnecess­ary ‘theology’ to justify the prac­tice of certain ‘sacraments’, causing church splits in its wake. A case in point may be baptism. On the one hand the followers of Luther and Calvin often became legalistic on the issue of ‘re-bap­tism.’ Baptists on the other hand, have often refused church membership to those believers who have not been immersed, but doing it with an unloving doctrinalism. (In Scripture itself, there is an instance (Acts 19,1-5) where the believers were baptized a second time. It seems rather semantic to stress that they have previously been baptized with the baptism of John.[22] What should Christians do in countries where there is an absolute water shortage and/or drought? The legalism and arro­gance of Baptists and Pentecostals (ab)using Scripture to convince others that christen­ing of infants and confirmation are unscrip­tural, have so often been very uncharitable. This is possibly a case of applying truth without grace and love.
            On the other hand, sound doctrine has been abused to bind people denominationally. Even a virtue like humility can become a negative tenet if the person in question boasts about it. Under the guise of the expectation of submiss­iveness by wives or congregants, church leaders sometimes become guilty. The Christian should display humility, but he is no door-mat. Humble submission is a virtue, but slavish subservience is sinful. The believer in Jesus may assert his authority in humility, but he does not have to allow anybody to abuse him as a slave (2 Corinthians 11:20). If we have been liberated by the Son of God, we are free indeed (John 8:36). There is thus a subtle difference between biblical submission and bondage of subser­vience. Those who are trampled upon in this way are however not blameless either, because we should not allow ourselves to be brought under a yoke of slavery, under a new bond­age (Galatians 5:1). After all, believers may invoke the anointing of the Holy Spirit to break every yoke of bondage (compare Isaiah 10:27).
            A good check in every denominational situation is whether there is a good balance with regard to freedom. Where the Spirit of the Lord reigns there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). If there is a lack of freedom for adherents and members to associate with Christians from another Bible-based denomination, the red light should flicker. If unbliblical prohibition of any sort is present, like with Jehovah’s Witnesses or the New Apostolic Church, the lack of liberty is clear. But we should not allow it to come even near to that stage. On the other hand, the freedom to which Christ has liberated us, contains a healthy restraint, not to be brought into a new bondage.
            Bondage to strong personalities and their often one-sided interpretation of Scripture - in combination with their teach­ing of these interpretations - has also been another major cause for splits. This has especially been the case in Black churches.

The bad Smell of Theology    

Zinzendorf’s views on these issues - to let love prevail in stead of doc­trine and the letter of the law - could have averted much pain if they had been taken seriously by the church universal. He detested the bad smell of theology. He stated that ‘all the essential theology can be written with large characters on one octavo sheet’ (Cited in Lewis, 1962:15). Thus he was very con­cerned at the development at the Herrnhut Seminary during his absence in America, fearing that ‘the brethren would move away from simplicity, that their bishops would start filling the young people with learnedness’ (Spangenberg, 1773-1775 [1971]:1492). In one of his Fetter Lane lec­tures in London, the Count made the astonish­ing remark that the philos­ophers and theolo­gians ‘have made that which was before obscure so pitch dark that, if earlier, before hearing it explained, one did understand a little bit; now after the explanation one no longer has the slightest idea what to make of it.’ In the sentence just before this remark, Zinzendorf offers the reason that was so typical of him: ‘they have been intent on hunting for expressions outside of Scripture in order to expound... those passages of Scripture which they found obscure.[23] The Count referred to the vain quest of academic theologizing as odium theologicum. To put the record straight: The Bible does not teach that intellect must not be appreciated. Paul sat under the feet of the famous Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), but he only became a spiritual giant after his mental capacity came under the rule of Christ. Thus the warning is possibly just as apt for our day and age as in by-gone times.

Diminish the Differences between Churches
Zinzendorf taught missionary candidates not only to refrain from getting involved in denominational disputes, but rather to try and diminish the differences between churches (Spangenberg, 1773-1775 [1971]:1272). By contrast, He himself set the concrete example. In an age of tremendous Protestant bigotry, he wrote:
            ‘I have been severely censured for not acknowledging the Pope to be the Antichrist, as I am sure he is not, and cannot be deemed so upon the authority of the Bible...’ In the same context the Count said ‘...Every church bearing the name of Christ... (is) to be (seen as) a congregation formed for his sake; more or less erroneous … I never will boast of it (my church) and despise others’ (Cited in Lewis, 1962:20).
            The people of Herrnhut caught the broad vision. They sought nothing for themselves, wanting only to be ‘used by the Lamb of God as a leaven of his unity wherever he might call them’ (Lewis, 1962:61).
            Zinzen­dorf fell into the enemy’s trap himself through his doctrinal bicker­ing with John Wesley and George Whitefield, God’s instruments in the great mid-18th century revival in Britain. The bickering appears to have started with Wesley.. In his journal he proudly recalls the interaction at Marienborn in the Wetteravia in 1738:… the Count insisted that “to be justified is the same thing as to be born of God.” I take issue with this.’ (JOHN WESLEY, His life and theology, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1978:207). But there was no serious rift between the two as at that point in time. Quite positively Wesley reported a little later (p.209): ‘before leaving Marienborn I had opportunity to observe another intercession day. The ninety brethren from the next community (though gathered out of many nations) - together with many strangers (from different parts) - met for prayer and fellowship. I remember writing: “O how pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
The Methodists finally went their separate way. Of course, Zinzendorf was the one who had the vision that every denomination had a specific ‘tro­pos pai­deia’ (practise field), from where they should be linked into a common bond of mutual respect and com­munication. Jonathan Edwards, the great contemporary, also seems to have discerned the need of unity as a counte­rfoil to the attacks of the enemy.[24] 
            In a similar way, the great Dr Andrew Murray was caught in the web of doctrinal disputes, albeit not completely of his own volition. Having been elected as Dutch Reformed moderator for the first of a record seven times in 1862, he became involved in fierce theological polemics arising from the alleged liberal tendencies of two Western Cape clergy colleagues.

Faith Healing neglected
Western Theology has often made an unbiblical dichotomy between the suffering Christ and Jesus the healer/ deliverer. Sometimes the patient acceptance of illness - which of course does have limited validity[25] - has sometimes almost been taught as a virtue. To suffer physically is sometimes equated with suffering and persecution for the sake of the Gospel. In the process, many a Western denomination has thus not only been impov­erished, but this castrated Gospel was sadly also exported through­out the world.
Faith healing has often been neglected by mission­aries. After the Reformation, such a special emphasis was put on the proclamation of the Word, that sickness and healing were gradually pushed to the periphery of the theological interest. Hospitals became one of the hall-marks of missionary work around the world. At these institu­tions healing was of course - at least in theory - expected first and fore-most from our Healer Jesus. However, a subtle emphasis on the medical profession, technological know-how and human skill, came through. Supernatural faith healing, which is definitely a biblical tenet, was at a later stage not even expected any more at many a mission post. This happened even in health care institutions of faith missions. (The enemy often sees to it that Christian doctors and nurses are often overworked. Fre­quently they are so involved with the medical work that they neglect their walk with the Lord.) The mission hospital sometimes had (often still has in many countries) scant relation­ship to a local church or congregation.

Holistic Teaching       
On the other hand, the healing ministry of Jesus has been part and parcel of the ministry of many churches in the South African townships. This generally occurred in Pentecostal denominations. Thus this country already has a rich tradition and many people have gone through the ‘school’ of holistic teaching. However, in many of these denominations the other dimension of healing - healthy human relationships - is often underdeveloped. Too often the peace of the soul is separated from justice and healthy human relations. When the apostles used the root of the word which we recognize in hygiene, they referred not only to physical hea­lth. Thus Paul wrote about ‘healthy words’ (2 Timothy 1:13) or healthy doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3) and John encouraged his reader, Gaius, praying that he might be ‘healthy’ all round, in body and soul (3 John 2). By way of contrast, we note the words of men that can work like cancer (2 Timothy 2:17). A comparative notion is the Hebrew ‘shalom’ - usually translated with peace - which means much more than only absence of strife. Healing is too often separ­ated from the broader minis­try of the church. This has espe­cially been a result of evan­geli­cal campaigns and superfi­cial scalp hunting where hardly any follow-up or disci­pling of converts is practised.

Other Forms of Bondage
Other forms of bondage have to be tackled before Black South African missionaries can stream forth in numbers of any magnitude. All sorts of magic, horoscope, witchcraft and ancestral worship have brought millions in bondage through the influence of the occult. Secret curses and spells have been put on Christians. Many Black pastors have made compromises with ancestral worship and hereditary occult forms, sometimes under the pressure of the family or their society. Even though the power of the blood of Jesus has protected them, it may still be that a ministry in power is effectively hampered through this occult influence of the past. As a rule, the people involved must first be liberated and the hered­itary effect of their ancestors’ wor­ship cut off in the name of Jesus.
            On the other hand, an over-emphasis on healing has also caused bond­age. Some Christians have been running from one faith healing service with prominent speakers to the next, becoming addicted to consumerism in the process. Even some gifted speakers have been deceived in this way, unwittingly encouraging superficial­ity in stead of encouraging believers to seek holistic liberation. It has often been overlooked that Jesus denounced the chronic sign-seeking attitude of people. We read that he ‘sighed deeply’ because of this (Mark 8:10-12). Could it be that his sigh was so deep because the religious leaders of his day, the Pharisees and Sadducees, were taking the lead in this sign seeking? We note that Jesus warned his disciples to beware ofthe ‘yeast’ of these people. The ‘yeast’ is still fermenting, operating unchecked. Churches often radiate a sour or morbid atmosphere rather than a sweet fragrance unto the Lord. Thus one often finds serious and sour faces singing ‘halleluja’, clearly not conveying the content of the hymns. Matthew 23 contains a stinging attack on the religious estab­lish­ment of his day. Much of this could be applied to present-day conditions in churches, where the words of men ferment like yeast, yes, like cancer that makes the Body very sickly indeed. The start of watering down the authority of Scripture at the ecumenical conference in 1910 at Edinburgh ushered in a fermenting process. Fairly big denominations have difficulties to define marriage for example in a biblical way, viz. as the union between one man and one female. A return to the unadulterated Word of God is absolutely necessary to stop the rot.

Cape Muslims and Jews as potential Missionaries?
Two religious groups should be strategically looked at for future mission work. Cape Muslims and Jews may be seen as potential missionaries to the Middle East when significant numbers start believing in Christ as their Lord - after they had been discipled and trained. Both groups have major traditional baggage: messianic Jews are often burdened with national pride and Muslims who have become followers of Jesus sometimes still feel that they owe it to their former religious peers to harbour resentment towards the Jews. If Chris­tian believers who have come from these two groups, can find each other in a city like Cape Town, which has significant communities of both, it could have a world-wide spin-off in terms of missionary outreach to the Middle East.
            There is often only a very thin divide between religiosity and occultism. This is especially seen in ancestor veneration and the worship of saints. It does not take much for the appreci­ation of the ministry of a ‘saint’ to deteriorate until the enemy uses his grave or his memory in an occult way to bring people in bondage. One finds examples across the board with different religions and throughout the world.
            The Cape Muslims still have those occult prac­tices in common with the most resistant present-day Indonesian tribes from which they stem predominantly (genealogically). These tribes have many roots in the occult. To this day some Cape Muslims frequently visit the ‘doekum’ (a sort of witch doctor) to have curses removed or placed. The fear of the unseen ‘tokolosh’ - which probably stems from African Black culture – used to be common in Cape Folk Islam. The religion itself is steeped in the occult, right from its roots when Muhammad declared Hubal, the main god of the Ka’aba, to be the only one to be worshipped, calling him Allâh (the god).
            For a spiritual breakthrough in the Muslim world, we need people who are not only aware of demonic powers which keep people in bondage, but who can also set them free in the name of Jesus. Possibly one could think in the direction of using teams with a deliverance ministry, including ideally at least one former Muslim.
            Drug addiction - as well as other forms of addiction - is another area where a deliverance ministry is very relevant. It is no co-incidence that the root of the word for practising witchcraft in ‘New Testament’ Greek is pharmakeia.[26] It is significant that many satanists are also drug abusers. That people who have once been in such bondage can become missionaries - after their deliverance - is not only theory. The biggest evangelical church of Madrid is one which consists of former drug addicts and their families. Under the auspices of WEC International, evangelists (many of them former drug addicts) have gone out to such diverse parts of the world as Britain, India, Italy, North Africa and New York. Many of them have led others into the Kingdom before they died from AIDS.[27]
            Temporarily the church in South Africa started to face the problem of gangsterism head-on. In May 1995 a task group of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council of the Catholic Church came up with the question: What can the Church do to combat crime and violence? One of the suggestions put forward by the task force was promptly followed up, namely an appropriate pastoral letter by Archbishop Lawrence Henry. It appears however that not much happened with regard to the other two sugges­tions structurally, viz. that parishes support and seek repre­sentation on the community policing forums and that priests could act as go-betweens for people who are too scared to approach police directly about information they may have on crime and crimi­nals. Individually certain people, who have been doing stalwart work among prisoners throughout the country, have quietly been a blessing to many whose lives were changed through personal faith in Jesus Christ.
            However, individual efforts have had limited effect. What can happen when churches do something together was demon­strated through Operation Hanover Park in 1992 when crimi­nality was drasti­cally reduced temporarily in the township with that name, within two months after its inaugur­ation. At that stage not much more was done than to come together for prayer, with one person taking respon­sibility to mediate between gangs on behalf of the churches. Unfortunately internal bickering caused the oper­ation to disintegrate. Since then piecemeal and uncoordinated attempts were made, e.g. in Lavender Hill (Vrygrond), but there has been a dearth of sustained persevering efforts over some length of time

The Holy Spirit as the Mother Figure
On doctrinal issues Zinzendorf’s views of the Holy Spirit as the mother figure in the Trinity was truly innova­tive. If it had been taken seriously, much of the sharp edge of the prob­lem, which Muslims have with Jesus as the Son of God, could have been averted. The supposed one-sided father image of God has been a prime issue on which feminist theology was based. More recently, the New Age oppo­nents of traditional Biblical theol­ogy climbed onto this bandwagon. This would have been blunted if Zinzendorf’s ideas had been given appropriate consider­ation. Of course, the Count never really regarded himself as an academic theolo­gian. Thankfully, Floyd McClung reminded us in his booklet The Father Heart of God that the Bible depicts both male and female characteristics for God, that a full revelation of God is incomplete without the presence of both father and mother and that it was always His will that both parents are present. Only when they complement each other, it approaches the picture of the divine character. The progress of the gay movement in the new millennium caused a major setback in this regard.

Taking Criticism of Critics seriously
Zinzendorf nevertheless took the criticism of his critics seriously. He encouraged his followers to do constant self-examination, setting the personal example. When they found the criticism justified, they would leave no stone unturned to rectify the aberration. Thus he once sent a respected delega­tion to Halle to take along a letter of apology and correction from their synod (Spangenberg, 1773-1775 (1971):1252). On many an occasion Zinzendorf painstakingly invited inquiries into the activities of the church. When this was taken up, the Moravians were invariably cleared, often with a recommen­dation, for example after a commission of inquiry from the British parliament (Spangenberg, 1773-1775 (1971):1774).

Various Approaches
It was this rich variety and the varying approaches to the Lamb which led Zinzendorf to appreciate the various denominations: they were to him clear evidence of God’s providential care for the different temperaments and needs of His children. He thus clearly saw in this an expression of the Church radiating the multi-coloured wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10).
            Nevertheless, Zinzendorf did not ride roughshod over the ecclesiasti­cal disunity, and we should not do so either. According to him the main ecumenical task was a deep sense of repentance and need of forgiveness because the holiness, the apostolicity and the unity of the Church had been broken by the narrowness, bigotry and pride of nominal Christian­ity (Lewis, 1962:108).
            To-day we fortunately tend to question denominationalism as such. The Bible definitely does not teach it. At most it can be seen as a concession to the flesh, a compromise for different tastes. But it is exactly therefore diabolic; almost all denominations started with a split of some sort, so often with dire consequences. The biblical counterpart is networking, working together towards a common goal. Probably the best example of this is the building of the Jerusalem wall under the leadership of Nehemiah (see below). A negative in the same context is how the exclusion of the Samaritans. On the surface the scribe Ezra’s views appear rather bigoted and nationalistic on this score. Some divine element can be detected on closer examination. A divisive element between Jews and Samaritans seem to have been present throughout history.  This is seen not only in the instances mentioned in the era before Christ, but also thereafter. Jesus attempted to rectify the prejudice towards Samaritans in various ways, notably in the Gospels of Luke and John.
            Simon Magus, mentioned in Acts 8, was a Samaritan. After his disappointment with the apostles he has been described as an heresiarch, the founder of the Simonians. (Simon came from the Samaritan village of Gitta. The Simonians worshipped Simon like Zeus, a sort of God.
            Second century Justin Martyr has generally been hailed in Christian circles as a great apologist. Justin, called the Martyr, likewise had Samaritan ancestry. Few would regard him as heretical, but his haughty arrogant attitude towards Judaism possibly escalated into the gradual side-lining of Jews. He stands on record as the one who contributed in a big way to what became known as theology. Justin went overboard in his haughty intellectual arrogance, teaching that the Greek philosophers and the ‘barbarians’ such as Abraham... all who at any time ‘obeyed the same guidance, were really Christians’ (Walker, 1976:47).  In due course the Church was seen as the new Israel that replaced the Jewish nation.
            Differences which could lead to splits should be addressed timely. Where separation has occurred, no stone should be left unturned to effect reconciliation and/or resto­ration. Two examples should suffice to illustrate the principle. The dispute in the church in the third century around the deity of Christ, caused the followers of Arius to be side-lined. Later this spawned the development of a teaching, which became one of the major problems that Islam had with biblical teaching. The question is in how far discussion between Arius and his bishop or a settlement on a personal level could have averted the rift. Similarly, we have to question the wisdom of Luther’s fiery confessional attitude of ‘Here I stand, I cannot help it’. In no way I would like to suggest that he should have diluted his confession. What I do maintain however is that a less dramatic stand could possibly have avoided the split, which played in the hands of the arch enemy, causing unnecessary separation between Christians up to this day. In addition to that Luther also engaged in petty arguments with Ulrich Zwingli.

Was Count Zinzendorf too accom­mo­dat­ing
Ephesians 4:4,5 shows that Zinzendorf was probably too accom­mo­dat­ing. Biblically, there is no such thing as unity at all costs, only unity on God’s terms. The issue of ‘one baptism’ to which Paul refers among others in the verse quoted, may bear out the above theory in the years to come. Without a dramatic ‘Here I stand’ position of Baptists and Pentecostals, the Holy Spirit has brought movement on this issue which was unthinkable a decade or two ago. The loving accept­ance of diver­gent views - allowing God to bring about the shifting of positions through his Holy Spirit - is apt to bring about more unity than heated synod discussions on doc­trinal issues. However, Nehemiah 3 does indicate that different (church) groups can work towards a common goal, the building of the wall. Various groups worked next to each other, each with a clearly defined ear-mark within the bigger purpose: the completion of the wall around Jerusalem. Thus the Bible under­lines unity in diver­sity.         
            On the other hand, Zinzendorf’s desire for church unity was inspired by the tragedy of the fragmentation of the body. He referred to his own church as Secta Morava (Spangenberg, 1773-1775 [1971]:1230). And if he may still have erred in being too accommodating, he made up for it by going out of his way to take differing theological positions really seriously. He succeeded in a special way with a great balancing act, succumbing neither too engaging in bickering nor by offering cheap compromises.
            Yet, an even stronger stance is needed. Differences (such as in worship forms) should not be merely tolerated, so to speak condoned where they are unscriptural and not conducive to unity. Unbi­blical sec­tarian views and practices must be addressed and rec­tified, but at the same time the unity in the diversity must be stressed. The diversity should demonstrate ‘the mani­fold wisdom of God’ to the spiritual powers in the heavenlies (Ephesians 3:10). It is no optional, but part and parcel of being the church of Jesus Christ to make the unity of the body more visible.
            Co-operation on the missionary front is slowly coming into its own. The coming together for prayer across denomina­tional boundaries is apt to unleash a new power. Prayer can spawn a vision of what God can do and this will build mutual trust and sound relation­ships.
            The trend of ‘back to basics’ and ‘back to the Bible’ looked promising in the 1990s, but seems to have fizzled out since then. A radical honesty - to listen in humil­ity to what the Bible teaches - has often challenged followers of Jesus to go out to spread the Good News. It probably basically boils down to the question of how radical we are prepared to be. Are we prepared to take a critical look at the roots of our deno­mina­tional divisions in the light of the Word?[28]

Food for Thought:
Have I been set free from every bondage? What about nice habits, treasured possessions, addiction to TV or sports? Is it not time that Christians should voice their disapproval loudly and clearly that millions of rands are being wasted for the spon­soring of sports? This happens while the same firms which sponsor so ‘generously’, under­pay their workers. Thousands in the country are hungry and unemployed, and many other objects which are ethically more sound for financial support, go a-beg­ging! Millions of Rands were spent on sports stadiums of whom the bulk are now more or less white elephants.
In how far am I a prisoner of ease, luxury and comfort?

And some Ideas:
How could Christians in the area join together to do something to counter bondage of people to drugs, to alcohol?
What can we do to counter the idolatry of sport in our coun­try? Little can be said against healthy practice for the body - Paul ascribed greater value to spiritual practice (1 Timothy 4:8) - but the sad fact is that many South Africans are addicted to TV sports entertain­ment.  
                                    10. Jesus, the great Missionary Strategist

            In 1963 Robert Coleman wrote a booklet that he called The Master Plan of Evangelism. In it he unfolds eight guid­ing principles of the Master’s plan as part of a clear strategy. Without referring to this booklet in depth, I do want to endorse it in the main. This ‘master plan’ reinforced my conviction that it is tantamount to the splitting of hair to search for differences between evangelism and mission.
            The missionary verse par excellence, John 3:16, speaks of God’s love for the whole world, which culminated in the sending of his unique Son. Christians should however be careful with their handl­ing of this verse. (It is repugnant to Jews and Muslims, the two world religions which are the closest to Christianity, because both of them cannot accept Jesus as the Son of God.)  Yet, the context of John 3:16 gives us some idea of the inclusive missionary heart of God. It is placed between the narrative of the Lord’s ministry to Nicodemus, a high-ranking Pharisee (John 3:1-17) and that of His ministry to a Samaritan woman (John 4, see also chapter 11). The message is clear: the Gospel is meant for all social strata, for the influential people of His day and for the ethnic minorities like the Samaritans and for social outcasts of society.

Discipling in Depth as a Priority
From the gospel narratives we can safely surmise that Jesus was not interested at all to boast with an impressive number of followers. Thus, after‘many disciples turned back and no longer followed him’, Jesus said to the twelve in John 6:67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?’ On another occasion, when one of the disciples cried wolf after they had seen someone driving out demons in His name, the Master only responded coolly with ‘Don’t forbid him...Anyone who is not against us, is for us’ (Mark 9:38f).
            Without neglecting the masses, the Master sent away those who wanted to follow him for ulterior motives, for example because of signs and wonders. As we have just seen, He even offered this generously to the twelve disciples. (Compare this with Saul who became nervous and disobedient when His soldiers deserted him (1 Samuel 13:11). Our Lord invites us to follow him for what He is and not for what we hope to get out of the deal. Jesus taught the few, who had to become multipliers. In mission strategy, discipling in depth should always have the priority over evangelising in breadth.
            Jesus led by example rather than by precept. In so many words, servanthood - feet washing - became the example, which His disciples had to follow (John 13:15). The Master probably spent more time with His disciples than with everybody else put together. Whether He addressed the masses or whether He spoke to the Scribes and Pharisees, the disciples were close at hand to observe and to listen.
            Thus it was good missionary strategy by the Herrnhut Moravians to concentrate on a few dedicated believers who could work alongside the missionaries to evangelise their own people. In fact, Count Zinzendorf encouraged His missionaries to be especially on the lookout for those individuals whom the Holy Spirit had already prepared. In one of the Moravian litanies a prayer was included: ‘Save us from unholy growth.’ (Literally guard us from an unholy getting big[29]).
            Count Zinzendorf was one of the few people in Church history who really discerned the importance of this principle. He discerned on the one hand the untiring will to reform of the ‘children of the world’ but on the other hand the ‘sleeping churches and their inactive congregations.’ Not much has changed since then. Influenced by the principle of the ecclesiolas (small fellowships inside the big churches) of the Pietists, the Count organized the Herrnhut community in small ‘bands’ and ‘choirs’, which would of course be easier to handle. Therefore he also put much emphasis on young people. He guided and nurtured them, even during conferences so that they could grow into the church work, but he also used them for experimentation, because thus he could also stop any new endeavour more easily when it did not succeed. Following the Master, the vibrant Herrnhut church under Zinzendorf’s leadership openly discussed the success (or lack of it) of missionary ventures.
            In recent decades the house church movement has been making great strides, notably in different Asian countries. Will the lessons to be derived be heeded or are we just going to continue as we have or - just as bad - are we going to proceed with pouring new wine into old bags, wasting the precious wine?

Quality rather than Quantity
The Bible repeats the message time and again that God often uses a single committed, obedient believer to effect radical changes, even in nations. Abraham discovered that it is not so easy to find committed believers as he wrestled with God on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:22ff).
            Jesus gave us the example that quality rather than quantity is the best strategy. He was quite happy to invest much time in only twelve men. But then the teaching must be done properly and in depth. It is not surprising that the Master concentrated on a few. It is not surprising that Jesus concentrated on teaching a few. He was a realist. Jesus knew that he could not possibly give masses of people the personal care which they needed. Thus he imbued a few men with His life who would carry the message forward on His behalf. He seems to have spent more time with the twelve than with everybody else. The Master invested much time in His dis­ciples.  Whether He addressed the masses, spoke to the Scribes and Pharisees, they were close at hand to observe and to listen.
            An important advantage of working with a few is that one is more flexible to make changes on the spur of the moment. On more than one occasion Jesus withdrew from a particular area with his dis­ciples. Thus John 4:2 narrates how he left Galilee when the rumour of the Pharisees was brought to his attention.
            Comenius had some interesting suggestions with regard to books. Quoting the apostle, he notes that the judgment will show its quality (1 Corinthians 3:13). One should not be in a hurry with publication. What is pressed ripe, rots quickly. And may the plague of polemics die out (Van der Linde, 1979:128).

Sowing with Tears
The prophet Jeremiah’s calling can be typified with tears. The book of Lamentations stemmed from his pen. God used his sadness and tears to express the divine sorrow at the unfaithfulness, the idolatry, the spiritual adultery of his people. But this was part and parcel of the process of the restoration, of the healing of the nation.
            The sowing of the Gospel seed entails suffering of a different kind. The Psalmist wrote: ‘Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. Yes, they go out weeping, carrying seed for sowing, and return singing, carrying their sheaves’ (Psalm 126:5). This is surely prophetic of the seed of the Gospel to be sown with the expectancy of a rich harvest. It comes to mind how Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. He encouraged his followers to pray for workers in the white harvest after he had displayed deep compassion over the shepherd-less mass of people. We should note that the quick-fix methods of evangelization - without tears and toil - become at least doubtful in the light of these references. In some circles there is such an emphasis on ‘decisions’ in ‘revival’ meetings that it is hardly emphasized that the hearer should also count the cost before deciding to follow Jesus. People are often manipulated to ‘raise their hand’ and ‘go forward’ at such events. Sometimes people follow the crowd without knowing clearly what they are doing. The high rate of backsli­ding in South Africa - perhaps also in many other Africancountries - might be attributed to these ‘still-born’ Chris­tians who sometimes bring more shame than honour to the name of the Lord. Their being born-again is a sham, which is not so much because of their own doing. The blame is often to be laid at the feet of result-seeking evangelists, who do not know what it is to travail in prayer, to pray people through into rad­ical birth. (Some of these ‘evangelists’ are semi-experts in manipulating, using mass psychology to coerce people into deci­sions.) Follow-up and discipling are often neglected or sometimes even non-existent. The result is Christian cripples or babies who have not grown spiritually. (The Bible however also relates how God has sovereignly helped those to grow spiritually where the evangelist had no apparent opportunity to disciple the new believer (see for example Acts 8:39).
            A lack of repentant remorse over sin and unfaithfulness can also be counted to this category. Forgiveness and restoration are available for those who recognize their failures and repent of them. The eyes of Jesus fell on Peter at the time of the disciple’s unfaithfulness, when he had denied the Lord thrice. Jesus’ eyes rested on him once again after his resurrection. Repentant Peter was forgiven, restored and commissioned by his Lord.

Discipling in Depth as a Priority
Without neglecting the masses, the Master was aware that some were following him for ulterior motives, for example because of signs and wonders. He was probably not surprised when many left when He spoke of himself as the bread of life (John 6:66). Earlier in the same chapter (John 6:15) we read how the multitude wanted to proclaim him as their king.
            Hereafter our Lord offered generously to the twelve disciples to leave him also if they found the word of the bread of life too hard (John 6:67).[30] Jesus invites us to follow him for what he is and not what we hope to get out of the deal. Jesus taught the few who would become multipliers. In mission strategy, discipling in depth has the priority over evangeliz­ing in breadth. Jesus took a big risk in terms of his reputa­tion to be alone with a Samaritan woman, but she became an evangelist to her whole town (John 4). She made her towns­people inquisitive enough to want to meet the supposed Mess­iah. This led to their discovery which had universal ramifica­tions: ‘He is indeed the Saviour of the world’ (4:42).

Jesus led by Example
Jesus led by example rather than by precept. In so many words servitude – feet washing - became the example which His disciples had to follow (John 13:15).
            Although Jesus evidently concentrated his energy and teaching on the twelve, He simultaneously took the masses seriously. It is especially interesting how the Lord faced his critics. He was also a learner. Already as a twelve-year-old we find him in the temple at the feet of the Scribes listening and putting intelligent questions to them (Luke 2:46).                          
            As a young believer Timothy went with Paul on missionary journeys where he could see the power of God demonstrated. Although it soon became apparent that he was well qualified to lead them as a pastor, Paul continued his mentoring relationship by writing two letters to Timothy.  Paul’s instructions to Timothy in the first letter (4:12,13) imparted five ways to set an example to believers.
            In an earlier chapter we saw how John Wesley was impacted on a trip to Georgia to propagate the Gospel. After August Spangenberg’s challenge about a close relationship to the Lord, the Anglican missionary realized that it was not enough to see people saved. They also had to be discipled. God led him to develop a ‘method’ by which new converts could be taught to live a spiritually fruitful life. He grouped believers for intimate fellowship as well as for moral and spiritual growth under a mature believer. After Wesley’s death a denomination was formally established called the Wesley Methodist Church. A major weakness of cell groups, home ministry groups or by whatever name these church structures are called, is that the leaders themselves have sometimes not been properly discipled before, thus being actually still babes in the faith.

Concentration on the Jews
With regard to missionary strategy we note that the Master concentrated on the Jews. In the Scriptural context of John 3:16 He made use of the account in Numbers 21, to show that His eventual death on the Cross has its precedent in Moses’ elevation of the serpent in the desert. Moses is a great prophet of the Jews (and the Muslims.) In the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus constantly refers to His ministry as fulfillment of prophecy. This should be a pointer to our careful and sensitive using the Hebrew Scriptures in interaction with Jews. In fact, the use of the Word of God as such is a powerful tool. Jesus demonstrated it in His life, by quoting from the Scriptures time and again. The implication of our Lord’s last commission was that the spreading of the Gospel should start in Jerusalem, in the case of the Jews among the Jewry (Acts 1:8, also Luke 24:47).
            This would of course not remove the major problem which the two world religions, Judaism and Islam have with Jesus being the Son of God. Basically only the Holy Spirit can illuminate to adherents of these religions the loving Father-heart of God. If we practise sensitivity in our dealings with the followers of Judaism and Islam, the Lord could use a loving approach to weaken or even remove some of their prejudice against ‘offensive’ Christian doctrine. To some of them it is only a matter of understanding, for instance where many Muslims have a literal comprehension of Jesus as the physical son of God. Some of the sharpness of their hostility could be removed by showing for instance that ‘only begotten’ Son comes from the Greek monogenos. This word should be understood as the unique Son of God. A parallel is found in Genesis 22:1 where Isaac was to be sacrificed as such a unique son. Alternate­ly, the use of son as a metaphor - in this case for the divine charac­ter of Jesus - is not completely unknown.
            In mission work, our Lord’s concentration on the Jews has hardly been taken seriously. It is not completely clear why Jesus instructed the twelve to stick to the house of Israel in Matthew 10:5+6 and omitting this specific instruction to the seventy (Matthew 11:20-24). Or is here already the expansion - ultimately to the ends of the earth - implied?[31] But it is clear that Jesus started with the Jews, and Paul followed him in this. It could be argued that our Lord’s involvement with the Jews was not missionary, not border-crossing at all; that He concentrated on his home culture. Don Richardson showed quite impressively how the disciples initially appeared very reluctant to obey the Great Commission, only staying in Jerusalem (Richardson, 1984:197ff). Right from his very first public appearance in Nazareth, Jesus showed the way to the acceptance of the other nations and the mission to them. In fact, this may have been one of the main reasons why the Nazareth congregation rejected him. According to the Gospel of Luke, the examples of Jesus with the Samaritans seem to have been intended to soften the nationalistic Jews up because of their nationalist pride and prejudice.
            There is a special anointing on the Jews as a people group. Whether one likes it or not, the Word teaches that Israel is the apple of God’s eye, the head, not the tail. (Deuteronomy 32:10; Zechariah 2:8)[32]. In stead of quarreling about it being repulsive/favouritist or not, we would do much better to use their anointing positively. Matthew 13:52 points to the possibility that the teacher of the (Jewish) law has a special faculty to bring out of the store-room of the Hebrew Scriptures those treasures which we gentile Christians could use profitably. Paul, undoubtedly the greatest missionary of all time, was a Jew. It just cannot be ignored that there is a blessing on the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob up to this day. Therefore it should be high on the list of our priorities to pray and work that the Jews’ eyes may be opened to the one who was pierced on the Cross of Calvary, that they may discover that He is really the promised Messiah (cf. Zechariah 12:10). It is very encouraging how Christians have started to use this source, notably via Jewesses. In Germany Ruth Lapide has been featured on television quite prominently and here at the Cape Edith Sher has a regular radio programme on Sunday afternoons via CCFM.

The Gospel to the Jews first
Paul practised what he preached, including the notion that the Gospel should be brought to the Jews, his nation, first. In every city he came on his missionary journeys, he first went to the synagogue. That Paul fought for the right to bring the Good News also to the Gentiles, sometimes clouds this sense of priority. Paul advised in Romans 11:25 that the Gentiles should not be conceited, reminding the Roman believers from Gentile stock that they are merely branches that had been grafted into the true olive, Israel.

Precedents in Church History
Jan Amos Comenius, the famous Czech educator and theologian, was a faithful scholar of Disiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam who taught: ‘teach first the Jews and the neighbours nearby, thereafter all the nations of the earth' (Van der Linde, God’s Wereldhuis, 1979:197). Contrary to the practice of his time, Comenius refrained from polemical writing. He suggestedhowever erroneously that the Church had to be reformed totally before the conversion of the Jews. The holy books of the Jews, the Law, Psalms and the Prophets need to be valued highly. He furthermore reminded that the Jews are collectively to be a light to the nations. Even though they have rejected the Messiah and the apostles, they must be allowed to keep their law and rituals until God will reveal the truth to them in his good time. The light of Moses (the Hebrew Scriptures and the light of Christ (the ‘New Testament’) form together the indelible light for all nations. As Christians, we have to respect them as our librarians, to expound the prophetic Word that had been entrusted to them. The resistance of Israel is merely temporary.
         Count Zinzendorf had a similar view, but he propagated that the Gospel must be preached to the Jews. Already as a teenager he was impressed by August Hermann Francke’s sermons that stressed our responsibility towards the people of the Old Covenant. In his teenage years ‘the conversion of the Jews’ can be found before ‘the conversion of the heathen’ in the hopes and expectations of the order of the Mustard Seed (Steinberg et al, 1960:25).

Interest and Love for the Jews                                                                                                               In general, the Jews and the Muslims have been neglected where mission work is concerned. The great exception was Count Zinzendorf (and his Moravians) who did have an eye for the Jews (and the Muslims). In fact, the Count had a special affinity for the Jews, because Jesus was also a Jew (Spangenberg, 1773-1775[1971]:1105). When he was still a student, Jews were included in Zinzendorf’s prayer lists (Beyreuther, 1957:187) and he included a prayer for the Jews in a church litany, which had to be used on Sundays. At the castle Ronneburg, the Jews who were living there, trusted the Count because he not only respected their religion, but he also vocalized it fearlessly. Many Jews of the area between Darmstadt and Giessen called him their great friend (Beyreuther, 1965:95). Yet, it was never his intention to wipe away differ­ences in inter-faith fashion. He strived for a good and harmonious living together between Christians and Jews, but simultaneously he chal­lenged the Jewish people to fulfill their divine calling to be a blessing to the nations. In order to do this, they had to bow before the Man of Nazareth who came from their ranks as the King of Kings. The Christians on the other hand were admonished not to forget Israel as their first-born brother (Beyreuther, 1965: 94).
Zinzendorf took the evangelization of the Jews serious­ly. He gave a rule that once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the Moravian Church should pray for the conversion of Israel (Spangenberg, 1773-1775 [1971]:1105). Zinzendorf believed that the time for the conversion of nations had to await the conversion of the Jews (Weinlick, 1956:100). This high expectation from the converted Jews brought him to some special translations and paraphrases of Hebrew Scripture portions. Thus he would paraphrase the old father Jacob’s prophecy over Naphtali (Genesis 49:21, Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns). Highlighting that the northern land given to Naphtali is the region where the later Galilee would be situated, Zinzendorf interpreted the verse in the following way: ‘From Naphtali will come the flight-footed messengers, who will carry the Gospel to the ends of the world’ (Steinberg, 1960:39).
Count Zinzendorf’s open interest and love for the Jews were not generally welcomed. At a conference in Berlin in 1738, the work among the Jews was seriously dis­cussed (Spangenberg, 1773-1775[1971]:1100). The Moravians demonstrated the priority of the outreach to the Jews by calling one of their best men, Leonhard Dober. to pioneer this ministry. (He had been recalled from St Thomas to be the chief Elder after the sudden death of Martin Linner.) Dober promptly moved into the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam with his wife. When Dober was needed elsewhere, the very able Samuel Lieberkühn who had studied Hebrew thoroughly in Halle and Jena, was asked to lead this ministry.

A Jew to the Jews
Like very few others before or after him, Lieberkühn practiced the Pauline instruction to become a Jew to the Jews, refraining from all food which Jewish custom prohibited. He respected the views of Messianic Jews when they still preferred to follow Jewish law, as well as their expectation of a significant return of Jews to Palestine in the last days. Lieberkühn used the life and testimony of Jesus rather than Hebrew Scriptural quotations to prove the Messiah-ship of our Lord in his altercations with Jews.
Many Jews came from Amsterdam to the Moravian congre­ga­tion in Zeist when Samuel Lieberkühn was the pastor there from 1751. Although the christo-centric Count Zinzendorf differed with Lieberkühn on some of his opinions and approach, he respected that. The Moravian Synod of 1764 endorsed the ministry of Samuel Lieberkühn.

            For both Comenius and Zinzendorf the Old and New Testaments belonged together. Thus the Count did not see the beginning of missions with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19 or Mark 16:15), but rather where the ‘mission’ of the Saviour started, it is before the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 1:4). His wish to see a separate Jewish part of Moravian mission, was however never fulfilled, although various missionaries had a vision for it. The astounding Christian Richter, who pioneered work amongst slaves in Algiers wanted to see work started among the 8,000 Jews who were living in that city in 1740.[33]
In the modern era the priority of Jews in evangelistic work was clearly noted as part of the Jewish Evangelism track at Lausanne II in Manila in 1989. Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus. highlighted 'Jews first' from Romans 1:16. He opined 'God’s formula' for worldwide evangelization as the bringing of the Gospel to the Jew first.  Highlighting the example of Paul: I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek’ (Romans 1:16), Rosen proposed in his paper thatby not following God’s programme for worldwide evangelisation – that is, beginning with Jerusalem (Israel and the Jews) – we not only develop a bad theology because of weak foundations, but we also develop poor missiological practices.’

Using Research and Short-termers 
Moses was one of the first to discern what power there is in the divine name, a fact which young David exploited so pointedly in his fight against Goliath. Similarly, the 12 spies into Canaan (Numbers 13) and the use of 2 spies to prepare the invasion of Jericho (Joshua 2) are well-known stories. Joshua was the pioneer for ‘prayer walking’ and prayer marches, as the Israelites walked around the stronghold of Jericho. The concept of taking enemy territory was likewise practiced by Joshua in obedience to a divine promise, ‘I will give you every place where you set your foot’ (Joshua 1:3).
Jesus sent his dis­ciples to prepare his ministry in towns and villages that he planned to visit later (Luke 9:52; Luke 10:1) and for practical ser­vice to fetch the colt on which he entered Jerusalem. They also had to reserve and prepare the upper room for the last supper. We note furthermore how Jesus followed Hebrew Scripture precedents. Jesus thus made use of ‘short-termers’. His using them highlights how they could be effectively utilized, notably for research. Much unnecessary work can be avoided through proper research beforehand.
An added bonus of using short term workers is that many of them sense a calling while seeing needs and possibilities of which they were not aware, many getting deeper involved in mission work in various ways.
Not sur­pris­ingly, Zinzendorf followed the Master also in the field of research. When the very first missionaries were sent out David Nitschmann was expected to return after a short stint to report back about the living and working conditions in St Thomas. We read about a visit of Count Zinzendorf to the Indians in North America with the following purpose: ‘to get a good insight in the condition of the heathen and the means to contribute to their salvation ... Also he wanted to see whether there was anyone among them where the word of Jesus, the Saviour of all men, has found entry’ (Spangenberg, 1773-1775[1971]:1438).

Using Teams  
Also, Jesus utilized teams of missionaries (for example Luke 9:52, Luke 10:1). This is something to look at, especially in the light of His making use of less experienced people alongside ones who have already been in the crucible; call it on-the-job train­ing. But the require­ments are nevertheless not less daunt­ing. These short-termers are expected to be willing to suf­fer,[34] and be prepared for a simple life­style.[35] They are used in nearby towns and vil­lages, in contrast to the disciples who are sent as missionaries[36] further away after they had been trained for three years by the Master himself. The Assyrian-Nestorian church with its centre in Baghdad utilized the principle of ministry teams in an exemplary way.
Herrnhut under Count Zinzendorf also made use of the principle of teams. A team of three missionaries resumed the work in Baviaanskloof/Genadendal in 1792. In recent decades Greg Livingstone started the agency ‘Frontiers’ working with teams and in recent years Floyd McClung began with his All Nations International church planting initiatives. The major difference between the latter two agencies and other more traditional mission organizations is that individual initiative is given full scope: enterprising men/women can start up their own team and do their outreach in any form they feel led to after much prayer and guidance by the Holy Spirit.    

Zinzendorf, the ‘Architect of Missions’        
Jesus was a missionary strategist - Zinzendorf was a worthy follower of His Master in this respect. The Count has been labelled quite rightly ‘The Architect of Missions’ (Lewis, 1962:27). In this regard it is worthwhile to note some of the points he made. Many of these aspects have been neglected in recent times to the peril of the Kingdom. Zinzendorf tested aspirant missionary intensely, often using discouragement and delay, ‘not because he was among the faint-hearted, but because he wished to give his volunteers full opportunity to count the cost(Weinlick, 1956:98). Even if a missionary was already on board ship, Zinzend­orf would tell him to disembark if he had any doubt at all about his ‘call’ (Lewis, 1962:89). It was obligatory for missio­n­ary candidates to ‘count the cost’ before they set out, rather than hinder the work later by faint-heartedness or disloyalty.
Furthermore, Zinzendorf supervised the instruction of the missionary candidates in medicine, geography and languages. Special emphasis was given to the original languages of the Bible. Leonard Dober, a potter, who was one of the first two missionaries from Herrnhut, led Hebrew Scripture readings in Herrnhut, only using his Hebrew Bible (Lewis, 1962:90). Zinzendorf’s missionary candidates were not required to learn a lot of theology, but they had to know their Bible. Yet, he made clear what the main thrust of the message was that they had to preach: ‘Tell them about the Lamb of God until you can tell them no more.’[37] In stead of philos­ophy and the ‘weapons of the mind’, pastors were encour­aged to preach the word of the Cross (Spangenberg, 1773-1775[1971]:1223). But Zinzendorf impressed on his candi­dates that they had to make an all-out effort to learn the indigenous languages. Thus Georg Schmidt set out to learn the Khoi language at the Cape and Dr Hocker learned Arabic in Cairo.

Concentration on dedicated national Believers

Zinzendorf’s ideal of getting ‘first fruits’ from all the nations of the earth was inspired by his eschatological hope ‘to hasten’ the coming of the Lord (2 Peter 3:12); to prepare the fulfillment of Revelation 14:4, ‘First fruits unto God and to the Lamb’. It seems that it has all too often been overlooked that it was good missionary strategy by the Moravians to concentrate on a few dedicated believers who could work along­side the missionaries to evangelize their own people. Jesus gave the paradigm to the world with the rejected Samaritan woman of John 4, who became the forerunner of the world-wide harvest of Muslims. Georg Schmidt was a worthy follower of our Lord when he consciously chose to minister to the Khoi of the Overberg, after experiencing relative success among the Dutch and German colonists at the Cape. His concentration on a few, including the five he baptized in 1742, (which led to his semi-deportation), paid off handsomely. Of the prayerful Magdalena, with whom he left a ‘New Testament’, it is known that she rose to the occasion to lead the faithful in the absence of any missionary. And the death of another convert impacted the Groote Kerk Dutch Reformed minister Ds. van Lier in a deep way, forty years after Schmidt’s departure.
         Zinzendorf encouraged his missionaries to be on the look-out for those individuals whom the Holy Spirit had already pre­pared, which is of course in line with 'New Testament' strategy. Already in April 1732 Zinzen­dorf expressed his strategy of missions along three lines: a) The missionary is never allowed to ‘lord over the heathen but to live humbly among them.’ b) The missionary has to come to the point quickly and preach the crucified Christ. c) The aim is not to convert whole nations but to look out for individual seekers after truth. Another issue - already mentioned - which also influenced his ‘first fruits’[38] concept - was the Count’s convic­tion that the evangelization of the world can only really get off the ground when the Jewish nation has been evangelized. Zinzendorf would probably have opposed the notion that missionaries among Muslims of later generations would extract new followers of Jesus from their culture. This is definitely not what he meant when he taught those who were sent out to concentrate on discipling individuals.
         The ‘first fruits’ concept needs nevertheless to be rediscovered in missionary work without isolating and estranging new converts from tribes from their clans and people. The excitement of a new convert drove many a missionary to make this mistake, creating problems for further outreach to the family. 
          The preaching of the crucified Christ without any frills was the example Paul had given in 1 Corinthians 2:2. Zin­zen­dorf showed in a parable in his Fetter Lane sermon in London, how the arch enemy dislikes this idea. Zinzendorf discerned that the enemy can emulate Jesus in a vision.) It could well be that the ‘frills’ of visions, dreams, slaying in the Spirit - none of which are central tenets of Scripture - are used by the enemy to detract believers from the crucified Christ. Along the same lines, Kenneth Cragg pointed to the suffering Christ as evidence of the greatness of God. He sees this as a much more feasible way in terms of strategy to converse for instance with Muslims about their creed Allahu akbar (God is the greatest).[39]

Use of Research and Team missionary Work
The Dutchman Anne van der Bijl – much better known as Brother Andrew – took the issue of research seriously in an effort to bring Bibles into the communist countries of Eastern Europe from the early 1960s. Encouraged by the example of ‘Diakonessen’ of East Germany, nurses who threatened to quit their compassionate work when the communists wanted to stop them from praying and singing with their patients, he landed more or less in the middle of the erection of the notorious wall of Berlin in 1961. He hereafter refused to accept closed borders, in spite of being turned down for missionary purposes after Bible School graduation in 1955 on medical grounds.[40] It all started with a slipped disk in 1953 when he had no money to go to Holland for the holidays, visiting Oswald Chambers and his wife Biddy. The reprimand by Stewart Dinnen, his Bible School director, became to him a challenge to do simply what was at hand. Constant excruciating pain in his back over a period of eighteen years could not stop him from entering countries that had declared themselves ‘closed’ to the Gospel. Open Doors, the organization he founded, bathes every operation in prayer, ‘but at the same time we were constantly brainstorming and trying out new ways to take the Good News across the closed borders’ (Brother Andrew, 1998:38). Comparing the spreading of the Gospel with farming, Brother Andrew (1998:43) noted that ‘every step from plowing to harvesting must be considered and adequately planned for.’ To this end he devised ten strategic steps, ten P’s (prophetic, planning, persistence, preparation, presence, penetration, profiling, permanence, proclamation and power) to which he linked a prayer apiece. Innovative was what he dubbed presence evangelism - using prayer walking where no form of evangelism was allowed in a country like Albania under Enver Hoxha.  A prayer chain since 2006 resulted in major changes in that country.
We must be realistic enough however, to see that satan can use things that had initially been given by God. A biblical example is how research - which had once been divinely commanded in the case of spies - became a negative thing, for example when David was tempted to conduct a census (2 Samuel 24:2ff). On the other hand, that should never bog us down because through Christ who gives us strength, we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). He makes us more than conquerors.

Using ‘Tent-making’ for mission Work
Even South Africans with minimal secondary schooling have some mastery of the English language. In fact, many countrymen could go for some training in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) straight away.[41] The certificate obtained would enable such people possible entry into many countries, some of which would be closed to missionaries in any other way.
         The country has an added advan­tage on the African continent, with regard to professional and occupational training, which could be used very well in ‘tent-making’ ministry. Greater use could be made of missionary teams. Three Moravian missionaries came in 1792 to Genadendal as a team of ‘tent-makers’, represent­ing three different professions. Paul was of course the classical tent-maker, giving us the example of working with and reaching out by using one’s profession (Acts 18:3). It is clear that he did not use this as a last resort. He deliberately used his profession to reach out to different groups. For those Christians who look down condescendingly on ‘tent­-makers’ as second-class missionaries, it should be a sober­ing thought that God allowed his only son to start off as a car­penter. We should guard ourselves against false alterna­tives and note in this regard that Paul evidently gave a place in the sun for both forms of service, full-time and part-time. For his own person he was happy and proud to be able to make a living from a secu­lar job (tent making), but he also encouraged the Chris­tians of Corinth to con­tribute towards the daily needs of those who spread the Gospel full-time (1 Corinthians 9:3-19).

Cities as a Priority
Two issues could be added at this point which cannot be detected from our Lord’s missionary strategy, but which can definitely be deduced from Pauline teaching. The visionary Paul seems to have discovered the strategic value of cities in outreach. A major precedent was of course the preaching of Jonah to the wicked city of Nineveh, but it is known that Jonah did not go there out of conviction or missionary zeal. In this he became the sad nationalist example of the apostles after Pentecost, when they had to be thrust out of Jerusalem because of persecution.
            Paul and his helpers were always open to the guidance and correc­tion by the Holy Spirit. They clear­ly got the vision to bring the Gospel to the stra­tegic centres of the Roman Empire. Cities like Rome, Corinth, Athens and Thessa­loniki were on the crossroads of the traffic of those days and therefore import­ant for the spreading of the Gospel to the sur­rounding regions. This happened very much at Thessaloniki (1 Thessalonians1:8). We should however not get the idea that Paul was going for soft targets. Like Nineveh of Jonah’s days, Corinth was a city where vice was the order of the day.
            Comenius had really travelled Europe when he decided to settle in Amsterdam - after he had to start his life anew for the umpteenth time. He had the vision that ships could take missionaries from there to far-away countries.
            Zinzendorf emphasized the ‘first fruit’ from those people groups which had not been reached by the Gospel. Yet, they did not seem to have the vision to reach the cities of their day. The Moravians did however work in London and Amsterdam - in the latter city also among the Jews - which were the capitals respectively of the Dutch and British empires. The reason for starting work at‘s Heerendijk (Holland) was to get an outpost in a country from where missionaries could spread the Gospel to Asia, Africa and the New World.
            Zinzendorf was impressed by the commercial life in the Dutch cities, but of more interest to him was the contact with persons of differing religions (Weinlick, 1956:42). However, also in Berlin, Zurich, Basel and Dresden the Moravians tried to get a foot-hold, although in these cases the emphasis was more on diaspora work, to start little congregations within the bigger state churches. Missionary work was however also attempted in Cairo. Christian Richter had the special vision to pioneer among the 8,000 Jews in 1740 as well as amongst slaves who lived in Algiers. The Moravians later also pioneered in Ramallah near Jerusalem on the Jordan’s West Bank among Arab speakers. A good example of a modern day protagonist and implementer of the principle is Floyd McClung. Using the cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam as base, he led many short term outreach teams into Communist countries. Coming to Cape Town with his wife Sally in 2006, it was a part of their vision to reach the unreached northern parts of the African continent.

Training of prospective Missionaries
Zinzendorf’s teaching, which was a most important part of his missionary strategy, can be best summarized by the way he imprinted on his people to have a Christ-like life-style: ‘Let the people see what sort of men you are and then they will be forced to ask: "Who makes such men as these?" (Lewis, 1962:91). The life of the worker was to be missionary in itself.
            Zinzen­dorf was centuries ahead of his time, when he stated in his instructions to missionaries that they should try to discover how God has already prepared so-called primitive peoples for the Gospel. In recent decades this was re-discovered by people like Don Richardson, as expounded in his book Peace Child.[42]           
            The quality of any teacher can be seen in the products. It was evident that the Moravian missionaries put into practice the holistic theory which they had learned. ‘The missionaries healed the sick; in their school the heathen first studied the geo­graphy of their land, learned the simple trades, and read the Scrip­tures in their native tongue. The converts were taught to care for the sick and aged, for the widow and the orphan. In Greenland old-age pensions were introduced. In St Thomas the Negroes were trained to give to the poor-box and buy their own candles for the evening meetings’ (Lewis, 1962:93).
            The Moravians were not seeking to again impressive numbers. Compare for instance Surinam where Friedrich Martin baptized only 30 odd of his 700 con­verts (Weinlick, 1956:199). ‘Sheep-stealing’ was actively countered. After a few hundred came to Christ in London in 1743 after the preaching of Zinzendorf, many requested to be discipled further in the faith. The Brethren consented, on condition that those who belonged to the Anglican Church should sign a written agree­ment that they would not leave their church (Spangenberg, 1773-1775[1971]:1473).
            Zinzendorf made an interesting deduction from the ques­tions of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:20, 26: ‘Where are the rich? Where are the eminent?’ In his sermon at the Moravian fellow­ship of London on September 4, 1746 he said: ‘Thus Paul demon­strates to them how to proceed in preaching the Gospel, to avoid fruitless work and threshing empty straw. The rich and the eminent are not excluded; but they do not have the least prerogative. They have no privilege before others with respect to salvation, but rather a hundred difficulties which others do not have, and therefore one must not stay too long with them; one should not go to them could result in a great loss of time.[43]
            In terms of missionary strategy, South Africa could become a springboard for world missions ‘to the ends of the earth’. South Africa was the skunk of the world because of the repugnant apartheid policies. This effectively hindered the spread of the Gospel from South African soil in the past.

Education as a Tool in Missions
Both Comenius and Zinzendorf had a great love for children. The pioneering work of the Czech educator is known world-wide, the first to use pictures in language learning. Comenius became known as the teacher of nations, especially through his writing on education. Zinzendorf can be said to have implemented the Czech educator’s teachings like no other before him. All of us would do well to take to heart Zinzendorf’s educational concept: ‘In Herrnhut we do not shape the children. We leave that to the Creator’ (cited in Lewis, 1962:173). Of course, in saying that, he took for granted that parents and teachers would display Christ-like lives.
Zinzendorf utilized the zeal and enthusiasm of children and young people to the full for mission projects. Young single men, to whom single ladies were later sent by means of the lot, formed the bulk of the initial missionary force. When he was still at boarding school of Halle, he formed the order of the mustard seed with four other teenage learners. Amongst other things they committed themselves ‘to succour all those who are persecuted for their faith’ (Lewis, 1962:26).
            A few years later, near to his nine­teenth birthday, he was intensely chal­lenged by the painting of the head of Jesus crowned with thorns in a museum in Düsseldorf with the caption:
            ‘All this I have done for you,
                what have you done for me.’
There and then the young Zinzendorf asked the crucified Christ to draw him into ‘the fellowship of his sufferings’ and to open up a life of service to him. The start of their work in Holland was motivated by the need to have a post near to a port, but Christian David also helped building the institution‘s Heerendijk in Holland - to have a place where their children could be educated when it became tough in Saxony. In America, Moravian children participated joyfully in spinning and other appropriate activities to further the mission cause. Zinzendorf was surely very much of a revolutionary when he also sought to use education to create an ecumenical sensitiv­ity. The premise was the unity in Christ.
          Zinzendorf also saw the need of training and education when few people had a vision for it, starting schools and hostels not only in Germany but also in North America. Almost every­where the Moravians went, they were the pioneers of education to the native peoples. Also in South Africa, the teachers trained at the first teacher training institution for people of colour in Genadendal, served many denominations through the years. (This institution existed even before the White colonists had established any teacher training in the country.) Through the pioneering work in education, Genadendal contributed in no small way to the democratization of South Africa.[44] The Moravian Press in the mission station printed not only the organ of the church for decades, but also the journal of the Teachers League of South Africa. This periodical was very clear in its oppo­sition to apartheid ideology. The Wessels clan which became synonymous to resistance to the repugnant regime among the ‘Coloured’ population, hailed from the first mission station of South Africa. When Beyers Naudé - known worldwide for his opposition to apartheid ideology - fetched his bride as the daughter of a Moravian missionary from Genadendal, the ‘Coloureds’ there served as a model to the church leader: He saw what education could do to uplift people (Ryan, 1990:33). This is only one of numerous examples of how the Mora­vians indirectly contributed significantly to the model democracy of Africa.
Moravian educational Excellence around the World
In due course Moravian mission stations and educational institutions displayed excellence around the world. A divine hand can be clearly detected. The theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, who studied at the school of Niesky, would become a worldwide renowned product of Niesky, albeit that the Moravian Church had become too small for him at the end of the 18th century.  Nevertheless, he fought valiantly against the new Aufklärung (Enlightenment), which despised religion. (In his book Über die Religion (On Religion) in 1799 Schleiermacher especially addressed the ‘Gebildeten unter ihren Verächtern, the learned among their despisers).
            The Niesky church and institutions were suffering under the traditionalism, which was slowly encroaching on the denomination, probably only held alive by the 24/7 prayer that was still going strong in Herrnhut. Thus the pranks and bad behaviour of the boys in the Pädagogium of Niesky in 1832 and its hostel is on record. God used the diligent brother Kleinschmidt who emulated the example of the Count using individual spiritual counselling in stead of the cane.  By 1836 there was still no change.  His last offer to them - as he took all students individually – was whether they wanted his ‘Seelsorge’ or not. If they would not stop to oppose it, he was prepared to leave. God used ‘the most hated’ educator’ of the institution to prepare the soil for a revival in 1841 after the death of King Heinrich LXIII, whose sons were studying there. The revival at Niesky of November 1841 had effects around the world injecting new vigour into a church which had become very traditional, albeit that the devout Johann Baptist von Albertini could hold up the rot until his death in 1832. One of the products of the revival was Theobald Wunderling, who would influence a next generation of Moravians decisively.
            Already a century before this the brilliant Magdalena Tikkuie of Genadendal was one of a few indigenous believers who made their mark. Not only did she master reading in no time, but her exposition from the Dutch ‘New Testament’  along with the few believers that Georg Schmidt had left there, brought (one of) the first indigenous fellowships south of the Sahara into being.  From Genadendal positive influences went out into the Cape Colony for many decades.
            At that time the Moravian missionary educational endeavour worldwide, the work among the Aborigines in Australia easily takes the cake. The school of Ramahyuk got a 100 % rating for four consecutive years, the only school in the state of Victoria – out of 1400 schools - to achieve this.  The feat was made possible with the aid of two Black teachers, one of them a product of the school itself. The mission school of Ebenezer was not far behind (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:316).[45]
A Xhosa Female missionary Pioneer
A special quality of the Moravian missionary endeavour was how it impacted indigenous people. One of the most striking examples occurred in Genadendal in the early 19th century. Wilhelmina Stompjes can be regarded as the equivalent of Magdalena Tikkuie of Genadendal.
          Wilhelmina Stompjes was an enterprising lady, who had a deep yearning to share the Gospel with her own people, the Xhosa. She succeeded to impart this to the children of the German missionaries for whom she cared in the Kindergarten there. She taught them Xhosa, while she learned Geman. Johann Adolph Bonatz, her most pronounced protégée, had exceptional educative talent. When he took over the leadership of the school at Shiloh in the Eastern Cape, the institution prospered. He himself went on to become the missionary among the Blacks par excellence, making various translations into Xhosa. Increasingly, Wilhelmina became ‘the advisor and support of the missionaries, besides having to act as the sole interpreter.’ Her translations were of a special order. She did not simply render the German words of the missionary into the corresponding Xhosa. Instead, she regarded his thoughts and words rather as being in the nature of an epigram, ‘which she then expanded to include what she considered would be suitable for the listeners and easily understood’ (Keagan, 2004:22). ‘She added picturesque illustrations and vigorous exhortations of her own and her private conversations proved a blessing to many’ (Krüger, 1966:174).
          The situation at Shiloh became so unsafe at some stage that Bishop Hallbeck seriously considered abandoning the mission enterprise there. In fact, an instance is told how the missionaries would have been killed in an attack if Wilhelmina Stompjes had not intervened resolutely: ‘She then violently berated Maphasa, who was so dumb-founded that he quietly retreated with his men’ (Keagan, 2004:22).   
          Magdalena Tikkuie and Wilhelmina Stompjes ploughed the ground for equality of women by their involvement in ministry for which women would normally not have qualified. As the translator of missionaries, Wilhelmina Stompjes was perhaps one of the first women worldwide and as a female church planter, Magdalena Tikkuie was the first known indigenous one.

A major Deficiency in theological Training
A major deficiency in theological training, not only in South Africa, has been the theoretical emphasis. There are thousands of Hindu’s and Muslims living within the borders of the country. But as yet, these faiths, and a biblical answer to it, unfortunately are still on the periphery of the curricula of theological institutions. Efforts have been made to rectify this deficiency. Various courses in evangelism for lay workers are available to equip them, for example in preparation of outreach events at the Football World Cup of 2010.
         Increasingly, churches have started evening Bible Schools to equip their members. At the Johannesburg Correspondence Bible School and many similar institutions there has been an increase in interest. At the moment it does not seem however as if these efforts have led to an increase in evangelism; discipling and teaching are integral parts of the Great Commission, but they should also lead to border-crossing evangelism. We may not forget that there are still well over 3 billion people in the world who have not been reached by the Gospel.

Missiology as a compulsory Subject
On the positive side, Missiology has become a compulsory subject in some Bible schools. The best tribute we can pay to the late Prof. David Bosch, who has done more than anybody else in South Africa to put Missiology on the theological map, would be if this subject becomes compulsory at all theological institutions for at least two of their years of study. In fact, in his major work, Transforming Missions, Bosch demonstrated magnificently how the various theological disciplines are covered in missiology.[46] Bible Schools and theological institutions could make use of tested and tried (former) missionaries and ministers in their area to assist pastors and their congregations to become mission-minded. Mission agencies could assist by compiling lists of such missionaries and ministers for the different metropolitan areas. (Perhaps something could also be worked out for rural Bible Schools.) In the weekly mission programme of Murray Louw on Radio Pulpit, interviews with various ministers and missionaries in different parts of the country have been taken place for many years. Karen Berry did the same in a weekly Sunday programme via CCFM in the Western Cape for years. Helen Philips has been doing this now already for quite a few years as well.

Evaluation, Acknowledgment and Encouragement
We note how Jesus expected the disciples to report back. After the twelve were sent out on their first assignment, they returned to tell ‘what things they had done’ (Mark 6:3; Luke 9:10). The Gospel of Luke suggests a marked improve­ment in their performance the next time round. When the seventy were called upon to report back after their return, they were amazed at the authority they had in Jesus name (Luke 10:17). However, the Master corrected them immediately, lest their success could go to their heads: ‘However, the important thing is not that demons obey you, but that your names are registered as citi­zens of heaven’. Triumphalism is definitely not part of the armour of the follower of Jesus. Thus Jesus has taught the important principle of evaluation of all missionary efforts. How many errors in Church and mission work are repeated, just because little or no evaluation is done.
         Acknowledgment of the efforts of His pupils and rejoicing with them in their success are two further lessons the master strategist imparted. Proper supervision is necessary in all mission work because the enemy will be quick at hand to counter and bring the work of the Lord in disrepute. Good supervision is however much more than criticism. Jesus acknowl­edged the contribution of His disciples for instance in the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 8:19). He rejoiced in the success of the mission of the seventy: ‘Then he was filled with joy of the Holy Spirit and said: "I praise you, O father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the intellectuals and worldly wise and for revealing them to those who are as trusting as little children"‘ (Luke 10:21, 21). Yet, he ‘rejoiced in their success, but nothing less than world conquest was His goal and to that end he always superin­tended their efforts’ (Coleman, 1963:99).
         Following the Master, the vibrant Herrnhut congregation discussed the success (or lack of it) of missionary ventures. The lot played a big part in their decisions to take on new challenges or change their course. Yet, they did not jump into new enterprise haphazardly. Thus they first gathered information about the missionary work of the Greek Orthodox Church. Thereafter they charged the Swedish academic Arved Gradin to write a treatise in Greek, in preparation for his audience with the Patriarch. But even then, some unconventional means had to be used to achieve their purpose of getting missionary openings. When it was pointed out to Gradin how dangerous it would be if he were seen and advised to come very early, Gradin got up at 3 a.m to visit the Archbishop. ‘I was back in my home by 5 or 6 for the latest’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:93).
         A problem with much of the traditional Church and mission work was that hardly ever present effort was (or is) evaluated with regard to its efficiency. It is for instance strange how so often much faith is still put in meetings or the length of it. Confidence is attached to the duration of training in stead of looking at the quality of it. Patrick Johnstone has been highlighting how research, in combination with new challenges, could revi­tal­ize the work of the mission agency WEC every half generation since its begin­nings.[47] A challenge of recent decades was the remaining unreached peoples, which became a significant spur for the calling of new missionaries to Islamic peoples groups.

Who should be sent?  
The church of Antioch sent their very best - Paul and Barnabas - on their missionary venture. This seems to be a far cry from some modern-day short-termers who practise a ‘ministry’ of fund-raising to go to far-off lands without sufficient mission prep­aration. The importance of proper orientation for mission service cannot be stressed enough. Missionary work is not for adventurers and misfits, but Jesus can transform such people into valuable workers in His Kingdom. After such people have been tested and tried on home soil, they should get sufficient training and orientation before getting involved in cross-cultural evangelization. When Paul and Barnabas set out on their first missionary journey, they took the inexperienced John Mark along as their assistant ­(Acts 12:25, 13:5). However, this was not without controversy. The presence of John Mark was eventually the cause of a rift between Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:39).
         From this example we should however not deduce more than has been reported in Scripture. It does not imply a disqualification of inexperienced workers; in fact, one could also reverse the argument. The end result was a doubling of the work after the two great missionaries had parted. Many mission agencies were established because the vision of gifted individuals had been stifled in the agencies with which they initially started off. Some of the best positive examples are possibly Open Doors, ‘Frontiers’, and Floyd McClung with his All Nations International church planting initiatives. Less known ‘simple church’ planters like Gaylan Currah from the USA, who started off as a missionary in Senegal many years ago, has seen hundreds simple churches coming into being by emphasizing rabbit-like reproduction, a process of multiplication.
         Parting of ways after serious disagreement need not be a negative thing as such. The condition is however that the parting takes place in mutual agreement or at least that reconciliation will have taken place. In Colossians 4:10 Paul passed greetings from Mark, indicating that their relationship had been restored by that time.
         Making mistakes is part and parcel of this process. The disciples possibly for example had not noted how important detail of cross-cultural outreach can be. When Jesus entered Samaria - the lion’s den for the Jews - he went in a northern direction (John 4:3). When the disciples thought they could also go there - but this time coming from the opposite direction, heading for Jerusalem - they ran into problems (Luke 9:54).

A great evangelistic Strategist          
In the modern era Dr Billy Graham and his team can be reckoned to the greatest evangelistic strategists. In 1970 the association utilized the latest technological advances to relay the evangelist’s messages from the German city of Dortmund in Westphalia to other European cities simultaneously.  Four years before that, his team helped to break the deadlock between ‘Evangelicals’ and ‘Ecumenicals’ with a conference in Berlin, but a weakness of that conference was that it was very much an event of Western Europe and North America. This was rectified in 1974 when the Lausanne Committee was born in the Swiss city with that name. In a sense the YWAM base in Lausanne can be regarded as God’s instrument to overrule a demonic attack when Israeli athletes were killed at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. That occasion was the first outreach of young people at an international event of great magnitude. Joy Dawson shared with a thousand young people in a tent just outside the city how ‘God is always Greater’. Landa Cope (The Old Testament Template, Burtigny (Switserland), 2006), one of those young people, wrote the following lines in Potchefstroom (South Africa) in August 2005, where she was addressing students: ‘From that one outreach and Youth with a Mission’s one base in Lausanne, Switzerland, our mission exploded to over a thousand bases in 150 countries and hundred of outreaches all over the world ... over the next 33 years. YWAM, OM, Campus Crusade  and other Spirit-led youth missions launched what missiologists now refer to as the third wave of missions.’
         The Lausanne conference of 1974 represented the greatest conduit and catalyst for the spread of the Gospel in mission history. The big evangelist conferences in Amsterdam of 1983, 1986 and 2000 saw evangelists from all parts of the globe converging on the Dutch capital. In some cases indigenous evangelists came from remote villages which one would not even find on a map. Almost all the major evangelistic and missionary evangelical movements of the last quarter of the 20th century had roots in the Lausanne movement.
         Quite a few of the principles which had been implemented by Zinzendorf and his fellowship like the pre-eminence of getting the Gospel message to the world’s unreached people groups and greater sensitivity when presenting the good news to other cultures, came to the fore at Lausanne 1974. Furthermore, Dr Graham asked that 60% of the participants be under forty-five years of age with an eye on the years ahead (Drummond, 2001:199). Significantly, an Argentinian, Dr Luis Bush, was the driving force in the 1990s of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement, which can be regarded as one of the sprouts of Lausanne. 

... also to Muslims?
Jesus demonstrated with the Samaritan woman how powerful the loving outreach to the ‘spiritual ancestors’ of the Muslims was. According to the report in the Gospel of John they recognized – before the Jews at large – that Jesus is the Saviour of the world (John 4:42). It should be remembered that the Muslims also have a special place in salvation history. Generally, it has been overlooked that the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 60:6+7 extends to the Muslims. The Medianites who were Ishmaelites (Judges 8:24), are likewise children of Abraham. In Messianic prophecy, for example Isaiah 19:23-25 and Isaiah 60:6+7, there seems to be a special role for Egypt, Assyria[48] (which includes modern-day Iraq and Syria) and the descendants of the Midianites, Nebaioth and Kedar, the two oldest sons of Ishmael.
         Comenius challenged his contemporaries who proclaimed that mission work is not necessary any more because the apostles had purportedly already divided the work amongst themselves (Van der Linde, 1979:196). His expectation of the Lord’s imminent return was a stimulant to improve the state of affairs in school and church so that the Gospel could be brought to Jews, Muslims and pagan nations. Comenius noted that Western nations had become guilty because of the chaotic exploitation of raw material and goods that the nations abroad have been supplying to Europe. In exchange, they should be served with spiritual goods (Van der Linde, 1979:197). Comenius foresaw that evangelization and civilization could lead to colonization and subjection (Van der Linde, 1979:246).
            The Muslims soon got the attention of the missionaries sent from Herrnhut. A few were sent to the Arabian Peninsula and to Persia. The mission work among Palestinian children on Star Mountain in Ramallah, on the West Bank of the Jordan River, remained as a beacon of reconciliation down the years. In the person of David Nitschmann, who worked in Ceylon for three years from 1738, also the Hindu world was touched. (It seems that the Moravian missionary endeavour did not impact the Buddhist or Chinese religions, apart from their general prayers that the Gospel should be brought to the ends of the earth).
            For many Christians the idea that ex-Muslims and Messianic Jewish believers will one day operate together to spread the Gospel, may still not be politically sound. It is high time that we get used to this notion. Kevin Greeson blazed a trail of house churches in the Muslim world using the Camel Method, whereby the Qur’an was used extensively to evangelize South Asian Islamic adherents around the turn of the 21st century. Christian missionaries learned the Method from Muslim-background believers (Greeson, 2006:16). This is nevertheless not the ultimate or perfect tool. It is not more than a bridge to the heart of a Muslim.

Food for Thought:
Jews and Muslims have been neglected in missionary endeavour. In how far have our missionary efforts been guided by expedience? Has the resistance of these groups and our yearning for quick results not perhaps been too much of a guiding factor?
What am I prepared to do (risk?), to bring about a freedom for the Holy Spirit to operate in my church?
How radical - going to the root of any matter - am I prepared to be? Am I willing - with the help of the Lord - to uproot if necessary, anything which has grown as a habit or tradition; Are we prepared to eradicate structures that cannot stand the test of Scripture?

And some Ideas:
The theoretical emphasis of theological training should get urgent attention. Farming God’s way has been initiated by Pastor John Scholtz of Port Elizabeth and implemented with great success in a few African countries. Training in the use of the Camel Method should become a standard ingredient of all theological training.
                                                11. Jesus’ View of Unity as a Priority

            The Church universal should learn to put the priorities where Jesus put them in His prayer life. Jesus deemed it fit to pray in His high priestly prayer for His disciples and for those who would believe in Him because of their message, ‘that they may be one’ (John 17:21). It is surely no exaggeration to state that all sorts of disunity in the body of Christ boils down to crucifying Him once more. We should take to heart that we have to be in unity ‘so that the world will believe’ that He was sent by God.
            Actually Jesus was only echoing what Psalm 133 had expounded so powerfully centuries before him, namely that God commands His blessing where there is unity, where brothers live in harmony. In that psalm the unity is depicted as an image for the anointing of the high priest, bridging hundreds of kilometers (From Mount Hermon near Damascus in Syria to Mount Zion, Jerusalem). Would it be too preposterous to suggest church unity as something which is so powerful that it can incur God’s special blessing, to unite Muslim background followers of Jesus and Messianic Jews?

Jerusalem Believers acted in one Accord
After our Lord’s ascension, his followers were united in prayer (Acts 1:14a). The word homo-thumadon, which has usually been translated as ‘of one mind’, indicates a common purpose, a common goal, an emotional and willful agreement. ‘Of one mind’ is a characteristic of ‘New Testament’ leadership. This unity in prayer formed the natural base for the revival at Pentecost.  But also after Pentecost the Jerusalem believers acted in accord, ‘of one mind’ (see Acts 2:45, 46; 4:24; 5:12; 6:2; 15:25). The new-found unity was grounded in their trust in God, which minimized all possible differences - perhaps even cancelled some of them. Thus the meeting of pastors primarily for prayer to get God’s mind for their city or town should be a top priority.
            Lies and its accomplice dishonesty are the main contributors to disunity, also in the church. The enemy often succeeds to add misunderstanding to the mixture. If the disunity is not properly addressed, bondage ensues. It is no co-incidence that 10 of the 11 occurrences of the phrase ‘of one mind’ occur in the Acts of the apostles.[49] If we consider how important unity was for the first church - no, how important it is in God’s eyes - we cannot stress it sufficiently.

Consultation with the Church Leadership
An issue which was forcefully demonstrated in the life of Paul was the relationship to the local church. Paul showed how valuable a healthy relationship to the church leadership can be. Even though God had already revealed it to him previously to bring the Gospel to the heathen nations, he did his mission work completely in consultation with the church leaders (Galatians 2:2ff). Initially they did not even share his vision and views. The end result of the consultation however, was a doubling of the outreach: Peter would concentrate on working with the Jews. Paul would pioneer the work among the Gentiles (v.7). Because he did not do his own thing, Paul and Barnabas eventually received the right hand of fellowship. Finally they were commissioned and sent out by the body, the church at Antioch (Acts 13:3). On the same score it is unfortunate that the other apostles had nobody to record their missionary journeys as Paul had in the physician Luke. A single verse, 1 Peter 5:13, gives indication of the rock-like apostle’s presence in Babylon; about the activities of Thomas in India and Mark in Alexandria we have to rely on scant oral traditions.
            On the issue of continuing consultation with the church leadership, this was part and parcel of missionary life in 18the century Herrnhut; in fact, it was the laborious writing of diaries and reports, which have enabled later generations to get such a good picture of church life there and of Moravian mission work.

Unity in Diversity
It is interesting that Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage in North Africa from 248-258, already saw the importance of the unity of the church, yet allowing for diversity. He wrote: ‘The church is a unity, yet by her fruitful increase she is extended far and wide to form a plurality; even as the sun has many rays, but one light; and a tree many boughs but one trunk, whose foundation is the deep-seated root... So also the Church, flooded with the light of the Lord, extends her rays over all the globe; yet it is one light which is diffused everywhere and the unity of the body is not broken up....yet, there is but one head, one source...[50] Comenius, the last bishop of the old Czech Unitas Fratrum (Unity of the Brethren) wisely discerned that there should be unity in essentials. Differences in minor issues should be allowed. Unity does however not imply uniformity. Count Zinzendorf took matters further, spelling it out that differences could even serve towards mutual enrichment. Sigurd Nielsen, a bishop of the Moravian Church in South Africa and a Danish national who served for many years in the Transkei, examined the idea of tolerance in Zinzendorf's theology. He summarized the tension with the word homopoikilie, a term which expresses the unifying in diversity and the diversity in unity (Nielsen I, 1951: 60).

Winning Sectarians over through Love

God commands his blessing where brethren live in love and harmony (compare Psalm 133:1,3). The enemy of souls is therefore always on the lookout to cause disruption and disunity. We are challenged to get believers to stop quarreling with each other over petty issues.
            It is no wonder that Herrnhut received its fair share of sectarians, who converged on the village from all geographic and spiritual directions. The practice of winning sectarians over through love initially won the day. The refugees from Moravia refused to be drawn into religious quarrels until a separatist with the name of Krüger came to Herrnhut in 1726. He typified Zinzendorf as the ‘beast from the Abyss’ and in his view the Lutheran pastor of the neighbouring town Berthelsdorf was a false apostle. Even the faithful Christian David was misled, so that ultimately only three brethren remained with Zinzendorf. When the Count discerned that the fiery Pastor Johann Rothe merely aggravated the situation with his sermons, he requested leave from his lawyer’s office in the city of Dresden to move to Herrnhut at Easter 1727. He hereafter spoke to the erring members individually with patience and love. In public he shed tears, heiße Tränen, because of the evident disunity.
            By Sunday 9 July 1727 the tide had almost turned, but Zinzendorf was not yet completely happy. Hereafter he endeavoured to meet every member of the community individually, sometimes with one other person who had their trust, discussing the respective spiritual condition of the person concerned. This developed into small cells of mutual trust. The big turn-about came when he called all the inhabitants of Herrnhut to a public meeting on May 12, 1727. There he taught them for three hours in the new statutes - the rules and regulations - that everybody had to sign who wanted to stay on his property. The general vibe of these statutes was significant. The brothers and sisters of Herrnhut were enjoined to live in love with the children of God in all churches. Internally, the mere critical judging of each other would be regarded as a ‘Greuel’, an abomination, to be fiercely resented. He ‘discoursed on the sole ground of salvation – without entering into the various notions which had caused confusion and division among them’ (Langton, 1956:72). One after the other the members agreed until only a few separatists were left. (On 12 May 1748, twenty one years later, the Count recalled how the village had been weighed.  He used to  call the 12th of May, 1727 the ‘critical day’, upon which Herrnhut would prove to be either a ‘nest of sects’ or a living congregation of Christ.)  On 12 August the statutes were signed by all the inhabitants. The next day the congregants went to Berthelsdorf for the Lord’s Supper, where a ‘sea of tears’ - mutual love and forgiveness - drowned the occasion. It seems as if God was only waiting for the unity to let the revival break out in force!


Taking Critics seriously

A major problem in Church History has been that leaders often responded to critics inappropriately. All too often these critics were either not listened to properly or church leaders over-reacted.
            Count Zinzendorf was exemplary in listening even to critics of the Gospel. Although he was self-confessingly not an avid reader, he stayed a humble learner throughout his life. Beyreuther sees the greatness of Zinzendorf amongst other things how he even looked for help in his religious struggle at Pierre Bayle, an eminent 17th century harsh critic of the Church. Beyreuther shows quite convincingly how Zinzendorf understood Bayle much better than anyone before or after him, better even than the renowned philosopher Feuerbach (Beyreuther, 1965:201-234). Whereas Bayle kept on waiting and hoping for new revelations of faith in the churches, Zinzendorf surged forth towards the realization of it (Beyreuther, 1965:233). It testifies of special grace that Zinzendorf could throw ‘a concili­atory light on the tragic figure of Bayle’ after the lonely fighter had bravely put forward uncomfortable views (Beyreuther, 1965:233). That Zinzendorf openly confessed that he was reading Bayle’s works as a close second to the Bible, did however not earn him acclaim.

Co-operation in missionary Endeavour

A major contribution of Zinzendorf in missionary strategy - which has often been ignored by many ‘faith mission’ agencies at their own peril - was that he succeeded in getting other denominations to co-operate in the support of the Moravian missionary endeavours. Already in Germany he exploited the Moravian tradition of music to the full when their groups were invited to conduct ‘singstunden’ (singing services) in both Reformed and Lutheran congregations. His emphasis on the body of Christ was not appreciated everywhere, but in this way committed believers joined them from almost every denomination of the time. In England he could call on support from Anglicans, Methodist and Quakers. At the first Pennsylvania Synod of the Reformed Church the representatives of the denomination were called upon by one of their leaders to support the non-denominational Moravian work for the furtherance of the Gospel in the Americas and the West Indies. Little groups of contributors were organized in Philadelphia and New York and in the homes of many synod members (Lewis, 1962:149). Similarly, someone worked alongside the Lutherans. In the teaching of Zinzendorf to his missionaries he made it clear: ‘You must not enroll your converts as members of the Moravian Church, you must be content to enroll them as Christians’ (Lewis, 1962:95). At a church conference of the Moravians in ‘s Heerendijk (Holland), he stated emphatically: ‘I cannot ... confine myself to one denomination, for the whole earth is the Lord’s and all souls are His; I am debtor to all’ (Lewis, 1962:143). The reason for this activity The Count expressed himself thus in 1745: ‘For thirty years I have yearned that all may be one in the Lord’ (Nielsen I, 1951:44).

            The Republic of South Africa have no excuse any more to be hesitant about engaging in missions. Opportunities have opened up all over the world. Since the elections of 1994, South Afri­cans are welcome everywhere: in fact, we must pray to be able to remain humble, not to be carried away by pride. An abundance of untapped language talent still lies dormant in the Black townships. These South Africans have an almost unparalleled faculty for language learning. There is hardly a Black in the urban townships who does not speak three or four languages, and the mastery of six or seven is not such a big exception as in other parts of the world. I should think that these people could be ideal missionaries in pioneer areas where oral communication is required, where the Word should rather be translated on CD/DVD than in written form. Some form of over-arching unity – perhaps using a vehicle like the Consultation of Christian Churches (CCC) – would go a long way to achieve this goal.

The Love of God as the only real Motivation
We should also not forget the repeated warning of Andrew Murray: ‘The missionary problem is a personal one.’ It is not the sheer effort which will get missionaries to the fields, but the love of God personified. He allowed His Son to die for our sins. After seeing the Ecce homo painting of Christ - the head with the crown of thorns with the challenging caption, the youthful Zinzendorf was deeply moved. He knelt before the painting, pleading that the Lord might ‘draw him forcefully into communion with his sufferings.[51] He sur­rendered his whole life to the Lord and the Cross: his name, rank, his fortune became relative. He was more determined than ever to give his everything in the service of the Lord. Andrew Murray took the cue from the Herrnhut Moravians: ‘Get this burning thought of personal love for the Saviour who redeemed me into the hearts of Christians, and you have the most powerful incentive that can be had for missionary effort’ (Murray, 1901[1979]:44). Or in different wording: ‘Missions was the automatic outflow and the overflow of their love for Christ. It was to satisfy Christ’s love and express their own love that they brought to Him souls that He had died for to save(Murray, 1901[1979]:158). This somehow also puts a question mark behind some modern-day worship services. This happens, when the love to Christ is expressed vocally, but where the logical follow-up, outreach to the lost, is conspicuous by its absence.

Potential Missionaries among other Faiths
Until recently hardly any cognisance seems to have been taken in the churches of the fact that there are so many people of other faiths in this country, people who have not been clearly challenged with the possibility of a living faith in Jesus.
            What a chance has been missed to reach out to the Muslims in the Western Cape. There is probably no single ‘unreached people group’[52] in the world, which has been exposed so well to the preaching of Jesus Christ than the Cape Muslims. Not only through various mass media, but also through commuter train evan­gelists, open air meetings and personal contact many Muslims in this area have heard the Gospel in one way or another. However, these evangelistic efforts were not always sensitive to the beliefs of the hearers. So often Muslims were crudely addressed and offended, sometimes even in their own homes.
            Animists, Buddhists, Hindu’s and Muslims in South Africa have had the opportunity to listen to evangelistic programmes via Radio Pulpit or see TV programmes with a similar slant. The work of SIM Life Challenge and WEC International among the Muslims has not gone unnoticed, especially in the Cape Peninsula but petered out in the new millennium. They deserved better support of the churches.

An emerging Unity high-jacked

The enemy of souls succeeded in high-jacking an emerging unity of believers in South Africa at the end of the 1950s. Professor G B.A Gerdener could still write in 1959: With thankfulness we observe signs to come together and work together. Also in our own Dutch Reformed Church’ (Gerdener, 1959:92).[53] Gerdener rightly saw exclusivism and isolation as a danger to mission work: ‘Nowhere is isolation and exclusivism so deadly and time-consuming than in the fight against the mighty heathendom and nowhere is co-operation and a unitary front so necessary and useful as here’[54] Unfortunately, the issue of race was used by the arch enemy to send the Dutch Reformed Church on the path of isolation, causing a deep rift in the denomination. White theologians legitimized a biblical heresy of racial separation. On the other hand, the open letter which was signed by 123 Dutch Reformed ministers in 1982, stressed the unity of the church. This proved to be a major correction.[55]
Their counterparts of colour - especially the ‘Coloured’ dominees - responded by politicizing the Church. The Black, ‘Coloured’ and Indian sectors of the denomination drifted further and further away from the Moederkerk, linking up with other churches that propagated inter-faith. Danger signals however also started to surface, namely a bad compromise with inter-faith notions which undermine the unique position of Jesus as the Son of God.
            The concrete fear of civil war before the 1994 elections was a common goal that spawned prayer meetings which straddled the racial divide. Although much of the mutual distrust was overcome, Christians thereafter more or less lapsed back into traditional racial and denominational divisions. Though there were for example many prayer meetings in South Africa for the gateway cities since October 1995, they were all too often either confined to prayer within the own church - but this was already the big exception - or to prayer within the own racial grouping. Therefore Grigg’s recipe is very appropriate: ‘If there is not significant unity, the first step is to bring together the believers in prayer or in renewal and teaching until there is reconciliation and brokenness.’ At the Cape a correction took place with big citywide prayer events.
A significant Correction
On the global level, a similar pattern could be discerned. What had been intended as a practical solution within the predecessor of the World Council of Churches (WCC), developed into a rift. Basically it was the age-old problem of ‘faith’ versus ‘works’. Apartheid became one of the dividing lines between ‘evangelicals’ and ‘ecumenicals’. The decision by the world church body to support all agencies that fight racism brought matters to a head. This ultimately developed into a strange situation where many evangelicals in Europe hereafter thought they had to support the apartheid regime in South Africa because the WCC deemed it their duty to support the freedom fighters of Southern Africa almost indiscriminately.
            At a time when the schism between so-called ‘evangelicals’ and ‘ecumenicals’ appeared almost unbridgeable, when  ‘faith’ versus ‘works’ seemed logical, God used Dr Billy Graham to initiate the Lausanne international conference on World Evangelization in 1974. At this occasion third world theologians were divinely used by God, showing that these two tenets of evangelical faith are not alternatives, that both are equally needed. Thus Fouad Assad, the Lebanese executive secretary, bridged the gap between liberation and the common Western evangelical theology during a devotional session. He pointed out that the apostle Philip broke through the taboo of the religious people of his time by communicating with a eunuch (Acts 8).[56]
            Anthropologists were accusing evangelical missionaries of destroying indigenous cultures. At the above-mentioned congress in Lausanne the Korean Okhill Kim brought the evangelicals back to the best of their roots when he reminded participants how the missionary Mary Scranton started a school for girls in their country in 1886. She intended ‘not to force Koreans to give up their own ways’(From the official report Let the Earth hear his voice, 1975:657), but to show them new ways of being Koreans . Okhill Kim brought a new challenge to the West that was reeling under the threat of a moratorium of new Western missionaries. (Liberal African theologians had been suggesting that the West should send money rather than workers who had no feeling for the culture.) In Lausanne Kim highlighted the wrong alternatives, stating that it was the task of Christian evangelism to make the old new. He encouraged the Church ‘to cultivate the educational forms of our own cultural heritage in the arts, combining the arts of the West and the East’ (ibid, p.659).
            The Lausanne conference became the watershed for world evangelism during the last quarter of the 20th century. Many movements flowed from it, which aimed at reaching the unreached people groups before the end of the millennium. The DAWN (Discipling a whole Nation) and AD 2000 movements, along with the ‘Concerts of Prayer’ of Dave Bryant are a few of the catalysts of a resurgence of prayer. The role of South Korea has to be mentioned in this regard. It was fitting that a major prayer conference of the Lausanne committee was held in Seoul in 1984. The Koreans taught the Western world how to pray.
            Two Africans from different parts of the continent, contributed significantly to the bridging of the gap between evangelicals and ecumenicals, viz. Bishop Kivangere of Uganda and South Africa’s ‘Mr. Pentecost’ David Du Plessis. Bishop Kivangere, who had to flee the wrath of the dictator Idi Amin in the seventies, became a blessing to Christians around the world with his challenging message of love and forgiveness. Du Plessis assisted in the thawing of the relationship between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Yet, in many quarters the denominational division, is still not recognised as a demonic stronghold.

Other Options
The establishment of an affordable language school in Cape Town where prospective missionaries can learn basics in foreign languages, and receive some cross-cultural orientation at the same time, has been mooted. Retired pensioners might also find it easier to enter so-called closed countries. Even if they do nothing else than being there prayerfully, it could go a long way towards bringing down strongholds for the Lord.
            But also for those Christians who stay ‘at home’, there is more than enough to do. First of all there is the all important prayer ministry. Tract distribution may not be everybody’s cup of tea. But on a practical level, Christians could use email to interact from their own homes to people in places all over the world         Campus Crusade have been using many South African volunteers extensively in the distribution of material and through practical short-term service in the Middle East. As a result of such outreach in Afghanistan one of their workers was touched by the plight of young widows. This inspired her to write the script for a movie, Magdalena, which got well known across the Muslim World within a matter of months. The life of Jesus was depicted as seen through the eyes of the former demon-possessed prostitute who became such a devout follower of the Lord.

Food for thought:
In what way am I involved in spreading the Good News? Am I, is my church supporting any missionary (ies) regular­ly? Have I ever considered supporting someone from another church, from another culture? Has my church ever considered doing it together with other churches, for example with those in the nearby location/township(s)?
With so many Black families affected by HIV/AIDS, the church has to take corporate responsibility and not only wait on the State. We are thankful for all initiatives TEASA (The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa) has taken in this regard.

And some ideas:
Write what strategy could be appropriate from your local area to a) get involved in local evangelization b) get the local churches interested in border-crossing missionary outreach. Break the idea up in smaller portions. List them in a possible order for implementation and go for it.

                        12. Jesus, the Homeless: a Refugee as a Baby and a Vagabond as an Adult

Great biblical personalities as well as many prominent figures in Church History had all been out of their home country against their will for one or another reason. In the case of Joseph and Daniel they assumed high office in their countries. Daniel had the special distinction to have served with aplomb under three different rulers Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar and Darius.
            The refugee status of the baby Jesus and his parents should fill us with compassion towards all refugees. As an adult the Master replied to someone who wanted to follow him: ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head’ (Luke 9:58). During his earthly life Jesus was so to speak only at home with his Father. In fact, already as a twelve year-old he referred to the temple as ‘my Father’s house’ (Luke 2:49). When traders defiled the temple, Jesus jealously guarded the sanctity of its precincts, a house of prayer, driving the traders out:  ‘… but you are making it a den of robbers’ (Matthew 21:13).
We should be quite aware that God can turn seemingly difficult circumstances to the good, to His end. I suggest that the presence of refugees should be regarded as a challenge and a chance. At any rate, they should definitely not be seen as a threat to our jobs and livelihood.

Foreigners and Refugees in the Bible
About Abraham it is specifically mentioned that he was a stranger in various places (Genesis 12:10; 17:8; 20:1). Likewise were Isaac (Genesis 26:3), Jacob (Genesis 32:4), Joseph (Genesis 37ff) - Moses (Exodus 2:15ff) and Nehemiah. In fact, it can be argued with some substance that in the case of David and Moses, their years as a refugee served as training ground for later service. The Israelites were strangers in Egypt. Repeatedly they were reminded of this fact. Exactly because they had been oppressed there, they were expected not only not to do this to foreigners, but Leviticus 19:33,34 includes the astounding verse Love the stranger as you love yourself. In fact, the Law commands them more than once to treat the stran­ger as an equal (for example Leviticus 24:16, 24). The Israelites were repeatedly admonished to be hospitable to strangers. If the foreigner/stranger is destitute, he should be supported and given hospitality (Leviticus 25:35).
The Hebrew Scriptures furthermore depict clearly how foreigners became a blessing to the people of God. The prime example in this regard was Joseph who was an Egyptian in the eyes of his brothers when he reminded them of their God and the God of their forefathers. The Ethiopian servant Obed-Melech who rescued Jeremiah and the prostitute Rahab are only two of quite a few ‘foreigners’ who are mentioned favourably. Both were rewarded when their lives were saved in the respective sacking of Jerusalem and Jericho.
But God also used other nations to chastise the ‘apple of His eye’, the Israelites, when they strayed from Him. God wanted His people to be a blessing to the nations. The idea of the ‘New Testament’ Church as a replacement, a spiritual Israel, is nowhere clearly taught in the Bible, but the inference is nevertheless correct that Israel is the example to the Church. The body of Christ should also bless the nations.
            With the Moabite Ruth, the biblical condition becomes clear: faith in the God of Israel is the criterion. When Naomi returned to Israel with Ruth, they came to Bethlehem (the “House of Bread”). It was the beginning of the barley harvest.

An Exile with a Mission
The prophet Nehemiah was normal and yet special. Not quite an exile ‘by birth’ in the mould of Moses, his illustrious model – possibly coming to Babylon with his parents as a child, Nehemiah grew up in the foreign environment, without however losing the love and compassion for his Hebrew heritage. That may be normal for Jews down the centuries - with some exceptions – but it also thus becomes a challenge for any foreigner to be a blessing to his adopted country. 
            The function Nehemiah performed as cup bearer of the King did not require any special training. But he had in this way set the pattern for any Christian to excel in his secular vocation, so to speak making his mark even with mundane work. The attitude in which Nehemiah performed his tasks was apparently quiet and inconspicuous as he joyfully did what was required of him. But he was honest enough not to hide his feelings. After his brother came to him, reporting the desolate state of Jerusalem, he was so saddened by it that the King soon noticed it. This was risky business. To be sad in the presence of the monarch was punishable by death.
            Nehemiah is a model for openness and transparency, as well as for being radical. He had a good position at the palace, but he was willing to sacrifice all that to return to Jerusalem. With regard to openness and being honest about one’s emotions, Westerners are especially challenged. ‘Cowboys don’t cry’ has become a standard expression especially for men. And yet, we read in the Bible that Jesus wept when he attended the funeral of his good friend Lazarus (John 11:35). All foreigners are challenged by Nehemiah’s demeanour to be radical and willing to return to their home countries when desperate needs beckon them to get thus involved.
            The example of Nehemiah apparently rubbed off on his fellow exiles as they linked up with the Jews who somehow remained in Jerusalem. Nowhere do we read of internal rivalry or accusations. In fact, we could even say that there seems to have been hardly any bickering and jealousy as they set about the job at hand. Everyone had to do a certain job and thus every part of the wall could be erected in quick time. Yet, all was not plain sailing, which points to the human frailty of the group. They were nowhere perfect because somewhere along the line we read ‘...their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors’ (Nehemiah 3:5).’ But Nehemiah apparently did not allow that to upset him too much.
            We should note in respect of the preparation which Nehemiah had performed beforehand, that every step was important - from listening, waiting, prayer, repentance, organization and planning.

Daniel, an Exile in royal Service
In Babylon, where Daniel was taken to, the special gifts of the young man was spotted soon. Along with his three young friends who received the names Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, he sought the face of God on more than one occasion when their lives were threatened. In the narrative where the three friends refused to bow down in worship of a golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected, they dared to incur the wrath of the king, ready to be thrown into a scorching furnace. Significantly, the enraged king saw a fourth person, whose form was like the Son of God (Daniel 3:25).
Daniel kneeled down when he prayed as a sign of his humility before God. He prayed three times a day as a token of his continuous dependency upon the Father in heaven. He stands in this way very much in the same line as Abraham and Moses as a friend of God, as someone who had an intimate relationship with the Almighty.
His habit of praying thrice a day towards Jerusalem brought the idol worshippers to extreme rage. With this practice he was clearly distancing himself from those who worshipped the sun as God. The practise does not have a biblical injunction as basis as far as I know, but it may have served as a model to later generations. It is known that Muhammad was deeply impressed by the practice, modelling the qibla, the prayer direction on it. He made it incumbent upon all Muslims. The salat prayer - five times a day - possibly also has Daniel’s habits as model and origin, via the Jews living in Mecca and Medina around 620 CE.

An Explosion of Missions
Jews were probably already coming from Central Asia to Jerusalem at the great Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What we may take for granted is that many Jewish believers will have returned to places like Damascus and Babylon after that special event. They had been dispersed already from Samaria by the Assyrian king that led to the Babylonian captivity and replaced from Babylon, Cutbah and other places (2 Kings 17:24ff).
            The persecution in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1) caused possibly the biggest explosion of missions in history ever.  It is noteworthy that this persecution in the first century was the main catalyst of the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Together with the Babylonian exile, that circumstance prepared Jews to become vagabonds for the Lord. The hardship experienced under suppression made all other problems and tendencies to ‘settle’ relative. Automatically the Gospel broke through geographic, racial and nationalist barriers. Philip obeyed immediately to go the Gaza desert where he met the Ethiopian finance minister (Acts 8:27) who in turn pressed ahead to bring the Gospel to Africa. The Cypriot Barnabas became a leader in Antioch along with the Africans Simon, the Black and Lucius from Cyrene in North Africa (Acts 13:1). Different parts of the known world were reached with the Gospel from Antioch.

Special Refugees and Exiles in Church History
Jan Amos Komensky (latinised to Comenius) was one of the greatest refugees of all time. In 1614 he became a teacher at the Moravian school in Prerau. It was there that he introduced revolutionary teaching methods that would change the world. The inspiration that fueled Comenius’ insatiable search for knowledge was his belief that all things were made through Christ. For Him, Christ could be seen in everything (Colossians 1:16). Nature is God’s ‘second book’.
            Comenius’ notes about this period did not survive long. The war clouds turned dark over Europe. For thirty years, from 1618 to 1648, murder, violence and hunger were the order of the day. The population of Moravia was reduced from three million to one million. Apart from his precious library and all of his writings, Comenius lost his wife and only child, after he had refused to renounce his biblical convictions.  Hereafter he felt that he now understood better what a great sacrifice the Father had made in giving His Son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
            This was only one of many calamities to follow. However, each time a calamity struck, he would just formulate an even greater plan to be implemented. In 1624 the ever faithful Pastor Komensky of Fulnek led a small band of exiles out of their native land to seek a safe haven. For the rest of his life Comenius remained a refugee.
             As the last bishop of the old Unitas Fratrum did not only lose almost everything through fire and persecution, but he was also forced into exile, first from his home country and on his 64th birthday, also from Poland, his adopted country. From his new home country Holland he became a blessing to the nations of the world through his writings, notably on education.
            The Moravians in Herrnhut in the 18th century most prob­ably also thought about the refugee ‘problem’ in a positive way. It is surely no co-incidence that the first mission­aries who left Herrnhut after 1732 were predominantly former Bohemian and Moravian refugees. Their preparedness to leave home and hearth to spread the Gospel, soon ‘infected’ the Germans. I dare to put it even more radically and it is not difficult to prove it: The history of missions would have been completely different if Count Zinzendorf did not allow himself to be impacted by the Bohemians and Moravian refugees. When Zinzendorf returned from Holland in 1736, it was conveyed to him that the government of Saxony had banned him. He thus became an exile himself temporarily. God turned around the period of exile from Herrnhut for the extension of the Kingdom. During these years missionaries were sent to many parts of the globe.

Denmark leading Protestants in Missionary Sending
Denmark led Protestants in sending missionaries to the rest of the world in the early 1700s. The Germans Plütschau and Ziegenbalg, sent as missionaries to India by the Danish Lutheran Church, were used by God to influence Count Zinzendorf decisively when he was still a teenager in the boarding school at Halle. The missionary endeavour of Denmark in Greenland by Hans Egede was decisive to get Herrnhut young men trained for missionary work. The slave Anton, working at the Danish royal palace, was to be God’s special instrument to get the Moravians in action when he challenged Zinzendorf to bring the Gospel to his people on the island of St Thomas.
A Danish colonial pastor – working in the Gold Coast (today known as Ghana) has the distinction of spreading the vision in Europe to train Africans on an equal footing. He took along Christian Protten, an African from mixed parentage, to Kopenhagen. He was the son of a European soldier and the daughter of a tribal chief, one of the first persons from the third world to become a Moravian in Herrnhut in 1735.  
Christian Protten was probably the first indigenous person to minister in his home country as a missionary since the Eunuch of Ethiopia (Acts 8), landing in St George del Mina (Elmina) on 11 May 1737. The initial work had to be aborted when his companion, the German Huckuff, died a few days after their arrival. The governor-general changed his attitude. In a second attempt Christian Protten started a school in Elmina, but because of conflict with the authorities he was imprisoned for one and a half years. He then became seriously ill. After his recovery he was recalled to Herrnhut.
Christian Protten married Rebecca, the ground-breaking mulatress and the widow of Matthäus Freundlich, one of the St Thomas island missionary pioneers. He returned to the Gold Coast, albeit without his wife, starting a school there (Beck, 1981:110). After a sad incident when he accidentally killed a child when cleaning a rifle, he was recalled to Europe once again. His bad temper and alcoholic habits prevented him to get a hero’s place in the annals of the Moravian church. Nevertheless, as a pioneer in Ghana he should be remembered. He returned with his wife to the Gold Coast after disagreement with the church leaders. There he translated Luther’s Small Catechism into Ga Fante (Beck, 1981:111), probably the first African language translation of that work.

Vagabonds of a higher Order
Christian David, the first Moravian refugee who found solace on the estate of Count Zinzendorf, was challenged when he heard about Christians who were imprisoned for having religious services in their homes. He started reading the Bible, something which he was not supposed to do as a born Catholic.[57] He was convicted by the Holy Spirit, but no Lutheran pastor wanted to have anything to do with an apostate. Subsequently Christian David roamed through Bohemia and Austria before he finally came to Leipzig in Saxony. But also there he was ridiculed and told to go back where he was born and bred. He moved to Berlin and from there to Breslau. But also from that city he had to flee when Jesuit priests got to know about him. This brought Christian David to Görlitz, near to the border of his home country, from where he started on trips to encourage the persecuted believers there.
The Neissers were one of the evangelical families he visited in 1717. He challenged them speaking about a complete commitment to the Lord, even to the extent of leaving their homes in faith; that it would be returned to them hundredfold. The clan had already indicated that he should look for a place across the border where they could be taught in the Scriptures. On Easter Monday 1722 Christian David brought them the good news that he had met the young Count Zinzendorf, who was not only himself a follower of Jesus, but who also endeavoured to lead souls to Christ. Just after Pentecost two Neisser families fled adventurously over the border into Salesia to Görlitz. On 22 June 1722 Christian David felled the first tree for the start of the village Herrnhut on the estate of Count Zinzendorf.     
When the flight of the two Neisser families became known, the other three family members remaining there were called to book. Imprisonment ensued. After their discharge, they decided to join their family in Herrnhut, where only one house had been built by the summer of 1723.
            Christian David continued with his missionary forays into Moravia. In the village of Zauchtenthal Martin Schneider had been treasuring the heritage of the old Unitas Fratrum (Unity of the Brethren), holding secret cottage meetings where he taught young people reading and writing, They were also taught the catechism written by Amos Comenius. After the death of Martin Schneider, spiritual lukewarm-ness set in. Christian David met the grandson of Martin Schneider, going from there to Kunwald, where the Unitas Fratrum had started in 1457.
A spiritual revival broke out in Moravia in 1723 that was ignited by the preaching of Christian David. This happened in both Zauchtenthal and Kunwald. The revival there was followed by fierce persecution. Just like in biblical times, this was the fuel the believers needed to leave their home town. Many of them came to Herrnhut and later to other places.
As a carpenter Christian David helped building houses also in Herrnhaag in the Wetteravia, in ‘s Heerendijk (Holland), in Greenland, in Pennsylvania and Latvia. He conceded his major ‘weakness’ that was so powerfully used in the service of the Lord: ‘I do not think that it is my calling to stay long in one place... Once things get started at one place, I love to hand it over to others’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:16). He would work only for something to eat.

A Pilgrim Church      
Like the first generation of Christians, which was dispersed by the severe persecution (Acts 8:1), the persecution only served to change the Herrnhut Moravians. His reaction when the Count Zinzendorf read the notice of their banishment in 1736 showed that he had learned the lesson well: ‘Then we must gather the Pilgrim Church’[58] (Nielsen I, 1951:44). The extremity was soon overturned into a divine opportunity. As a travelling church they went from place to place where Zinzendorf would preach. Sowing seeds of the Gospel, he regarded it as the privilege of the Pilgrim Church to be salt and to anoint, to bless other churches. The reason for this activity he expressed thus in 1745: ‘For thirty years I have yearned that all may be one in the Lord’ (Nielsen I, 1951:44). Zinzendorf used the acute threat of new persecution in Saxony as a catalyst. He relocated a part of the Brethren to North America. True to the biblical principle, the mission to the American Indians started, spear-headed by the fearless David Zeisberger. When Zinzendorf was accused of only sending others to go and sacrifice their lives in the tropics, he went there himself and subsequently almost died as a result of a disease that he picked up there.
            The community had to leave Saxony mainly because of their support for the Bohemian refugees. The opposition did not quite succeed in this because hereafter almost the whole community joined him in the Wetteravia area, some 50 kilometres to the northeast of present-day Frankfurt (Main). For a start, the group that called themselves the pilgrim congregation, moved into the Ronneburg, a dilapidated castle that was inhabited by the despised of their society, ‘thieves, gypsies, sectarians and Jews’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:68). Significantly, the whole family of the Count was involved with the Pilgrim Church. Zinzendorf proudly testified a few years later that after 25 years of marriage his wife Erdmuth was the only one that suited his occupation. She did not allow herself to be overwhelmed by the needs of the large Pilgrim Church. In fact, it had been the practice of the original occupants of the Ronneburg to go begging on Tuesdays and Fridays. Instead, bread was handed out and they were encouraged to work. Although Erdmuth was quite sickly, her room was seldom empty between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. She counselled many in the community, because her husband travelled profusely. Also other emissaries of the Gospel were constantly on the go. At the Ronneburg almost everything was shared and nobody worked for wages.
            Also in the ‘new world’ the notion of the Pilgrim Church was meticulously adhered to. The settlements at Bethlehem and Nazareth were started for no other purpose, than ‘that the work of the Lord would be rendered a hand not only in Pennsylvania but in the whole of America’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:122). Bethlehem only had to be a barn, a Pilgrim house, a school for prophets and the smith for producing the Lord’s arrows, from where workers would be sent into the rest of America. At any time a third of the adults would be on the road somewhere to spread the Gospel.)
Itinerant Preachers
The 18-year old David Nitschmann was one of the clan that would impact Herrnhut intensely in the next few years. He went around the Moravian environs of Kunwald with others of his age, speaking about what they had experienced, spreading the fire even more. All people who attended the meetings were imprisoned and some were locked up in the tower of a castle during the hard wintry conditions. The authorities hoped to get information about the books they were reading and how often the bush preacher (Christian David) visited them. Three young men with the name David Nitschmann, along with two other peers, Melchior Zeisberger and Johann Töltchig, appeared before Judge Töltchig. He was the father of one of the five young men. After they had been given heavy sentences and prohibited to have religious services in the homes, they went together to stage a prayer meeting on a meadow outside the town, concluding their service with a song that their ancestors had written. It was sung a century before them when the ancestors had to leave their fatherland (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:19).
            The younger generation was however not solely used as itinerant preachers. In 1740 they prepared a plan to use older couples whose children were not small. Fifty ‘anchorites’ as they were called, would go from place to place as witnesses of the Gospel (Nielsen I, 1951:44). From this source Zinzendorf also developed the idea of a Diaspora Church where members could visit Herrnhut every five years.
            Another variation on the theme is found in the practice of sending artisans from home to home. The habit was grasped spontaneously in Herrnhut to send these men as missionaries and witnesses, even to the ends of the world – albeit not before thorough preparation. During the daytime they would work in their respective trades. In the evening they received training in the Brethren’s house that would become the forerunner of a mission seminary (Van der Linde, 1975:29). By the way, Comenius had been teaching in the Old Unity of the Brethren and in the Reformed church that hand work was a noble calling. Students in Theology were taught practical subjects from the start.
            Because of his support for the refugees, the Count encoun­tered problems with his authorities. Eventually Zinzendorf was banned from Saxony in 1736.

South Africa as a Beneficiary of Banishment
South Africa became the special beneficiary of banishment. Georg Schmidt, the first missionary to our country, was ‘banished’ to the Cape in 1737 as punishment for a perceived serious misdemeanour. Schmidt had been imprisoned in Moravia because of his faith. After his release he was slandered. A rumour was hereafter spread - which the Count Zinzendorf believed as the truth - that Schmidt signed a document in which he was supposed to have recanted his faith to regain his freedom. Some even asserted that Schmidt returned to Catholicism. At any rate, Schmidt was hardly back in Herrnhut when he returned to the Roman Catholic areas to encourage the Protestants there, risking a new imprisonment or even worse. Schmidt was ‘banished’ by Count Zinzendorf to work amongst the primal Cape ‘Hottentots’ to compensate for the perceived damage he had done to the cause of the Gospel.
            Without any apparent grudge, Schmidt accepted the unfair punishment to be ‘banished’ innocently to go to the distant Cape of Good Hope, to minister to the ‘Wilden’, to the resistant ‘Hottentotten’.  In the spiritual realm this could be seen as a divine response to the Islamic foundations laid by the exiled Shayk Yusuf who had likewise been banished to the Cape in 1694.  

The small Country of Holland showed the Way
The Netherlands illustrated what a blessing can ensue if refugees and foreigners are given ample opportunity to serve the Lord. The diminutive country of Holland influenced world history at various points in time, completely out of proportion to its size. The two great figures of the Unitas Fratrum, Comenius and Zinzendorf, both utilized the hospitality in that country to the full. It is significant that both these men had an eye for the Jews there in a loving way at a time when other churches looked down upon the nation of Israel. The Reformed Church in Holland had a positive view of the Hebrew Scriptures, but unfortunately only because they saw themselves as the replacement of the Jewish nation – the new Israel. This was an unbiblical premise.
            In recent decades the Netherlands were blessed by foreigners during the World War II and thereafter when secularism threatened to bring about moral decay. The Moravians in Zeist, started by the Germans, played a major role in reconciliation between Germans and Dutch citizens as evangelicals. Thus Jan Kits (sr.) rallied around Rev. P.L. Legêne, a Danish preacher.
            Twentieth century history in the small country shows how refugees and foreigners have been fruitful in the missionary movement. The persecution of the Jews and the repression by the Nazi regime brought out the best in the Dutch nation whose own history is interwoven with the refugee status of their monarchs. Evangelical Christians like the family of Corrie ten Boom were themselves persecuted because of their support to the hapless Jews. Brother Andrew, known in his home country as Anne van der Bijl, the founder of Open Doors, received much of his inspiration from Corrie ten Boom and Sidney Wilson, a British missionary working in Holland. Open Doors to-day still has as its main thrust the support of the persecuted Church. Brother Andrew was the initiator for the seven years of prayer for the Soviet Union, which more than anything else brought about the downfall of the Communist regime. The ten years of prayer for the collapse of the wall of Islam is apt to have similar results if possibly not so spectacular. Aid to the embattled Christians of Romania was divinely orchestrated from Holland in the late 1980s, for example after the German-background Erwin Klein was allowed to emigrate to the West with his family. After meeting a family that had come from Holland to the Southern German holiday facility for big families in Tieringen in 1987, many parcels were sent to Christian families in the communist country. This must have angered the dictator Nicolau Çeaucescu and his Securitate profusely, because they had tried to isolate Romanian Christians from any contact with the West. Thereafter the town of Zeist became a hub for practical support from Holland to the persecuted Church in Romania.

A scriptural Principle implemented  
The scriptural principle involved is no mere theory. This was shown in recent decades and going right into the present. Bishop Festo Kivangere, who had to flee the wrath of the dictator Idi Amin in the seventies, became a blessing to Christians around the world with his challenging message of love and forgiveness.[59] Eyob Getachew, who fled the communist regime of his home country Ethiopia in 1989, led Bible study groups with refugees in Holland. In 1995 he was preparing himself for missionary work with Interserve.[60] A year before this, an Egyptian Islamic scholar, had to flee his home country of Egypt, adopting the name of Mark Gabriel. Dr Gabriel and other Arab-background converts in the USA exposed the lie and deception of Islam like few others in recent decades.
Drug addition and prostitution were fast becoming the hall-marks of the capital Amsterdam in the second half of the 1970s. That was the time when Floyd McClung from the USA, Jeff Fountain from New Zealand and other foreigners came to Holland, among others under the auspices of Youth with a Mission. McClung started his ministry in the drug capital of Europe in 1973 with six months of prayer as he walked through the streets of Amsterdam. The moral decay was clearly slowed down as churches started to work together, when pastors from different denominations came together for prayer. Many Christians tried to talk Floyd and Sally out of their calling to the red-light district of Amsterdam, but a Dutch pastor, Rolf Boiton, thanked them for availing themselves to be the answer of his prayer for 14 years. When the McClungs came to Amsterdam there were only five evangelical churches in the Dutch metropolis. After practising biblical principles of church planting, they were amazed to discover that the number (including house churches) had increased to 400 when they left Amsterdam in the 1990s (McClung and Kreider, 2007:88). The McClungs were blessed even more to hear in 2008 that the new Jewish mayor of Amsterdam had outlawed the notorious red light district of the Dutch capital.  The Jewish mayor discerned that it did not make economic sense to propagate sexual immorality.
            It is an interesting thought that a decade before McClung came to Hol­land, Corrie ten Boom, worked in war-stricken Vietnam as an elderly Dutch evangelist, leading many American soldiers to the Lord. She dived into her work of reconciliation after she had come to terms with her bitterness towards the Germans - when she was enabled to forgive them. (She had been incarcer­ated in a concentra­tion camp in the second World War because of the part of their family in supporting the perse­cuted Jews.) The USA played yet another role in a significant effort to evangelize Holland when Jan Kits (jr.) got the vision to start Campus Crusade in his home country while he was studying there. Dutch Christians were encouraged and a major turnabout ensued when this organization challenged the nation. Many Chris­tians were engaged via a countrywide cam­paign in 1982 called ‘Er is hoop’ (There is Hope). This movement later also blessed other European coun­tries. Because of its positive image in evangelical circles, Holland was chosen to be the host to various mission enterprises. Dr Billy Graham chose the city of Amsterdam for two conferences in the mid-1980s, to which evangelists were invited from around the Globe for training. The Jaarbeurshalle of Utrecht was for many years the European venue and the equivalent of the American Urbana, the Lausanne Committee inspired annual missionary event for recruitment purposes.
            South Africans are generally less aware of the stalwart work of our late countryman, ‘Mr. Pentecost’ Du Plessis. There are few people in the world - if any - who did more to bring Pentecostals into the mainstream of evangelicalism. Much of this work was done while he was a foreigner in Europe and North America.

Late 20th Century missionary Interplay involving South Africa     
A similar interplay can be discerned with regard to South Africa. Professor Verkuyl, a Dutch academic who had become very sensitive to racism during his term as a missionary in Indonesia, influenced many South Africans in the resistance to apartheid, for example through his booklet ‘Breek de muren af’. Dr Beyers Naudé, who started the Christian Institute, was decisively influenced by Verkuyl and he became the channel, which opened the Dutch Churches for the South African church leader when Naudé was outlawed by his own church (Ryan, 1990:113). Through the favour and offices of Dr Naudé many a DRC pastor of colour could procceed to post graduate studies in Holland. His influence was nowhere more eveident than in the doctoral thesis of Dr Hannes Adonis, Die Afgebreekte Mure opgebou. In turn, this work played a significant role in the run-up to the famous Belhar confession.
            Other compatriots, with Ds. Steve Deventer among the best known, played a major role in the Dutch prayer movement, spawned by a visit of David Bryant from England in 1988. The first regional prayer group in Holland started in Zeist-Driebergen, where a South African exile spearheaded the group. On the first Thursday of October, 1989, this group devoted the whole prayer meeting to South Africa, just a week before the momentous meeting of President De Klerk with Archbishop Tutu and Dr Allan Boesak.[61] The latter meeting helped to pave the way for the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990 and the ultimate democratization of South Africa.
From 1982 a South African led a networking effort of Christians from different local churches and Bible Schools around the Dutch town of Zeist in the evangelism endeavour of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan, exposing the prejudice and lie that it was impossible for believers from doctrinally differing churches to work together in this way for any length of time. The ministry continued long after the family returned to Cape Town in January 1992.

Countries benefiting from political Exiles        
Many countries like Canada benefited from political exiles that had left South Africa during the apartheid era. The value of Muslim-born South African believers as potential missionaries to Arab-speaking countries should not be under-estimated. For one, they have a head start in their knowledge of Arabic, which they learn at the Madressa schools. Some of them had been more than only nominal Muslims before their conversion to Christ. From the ranks of the Cape Muslims some have been trained in Cairo, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. With eyes of faith, Christians should not think of the people group as a threat, but rather as an asset. They are potential missionaries to the Muslim world. We should be praying that their spiritual eyes might be opened collectively to the fact that Jesus is not only a vague al mashih, (the Messiah) of the Qur’an, but also the crucified Son of God. Since 2004 many of them have seen the film ‘The Passion of the Christ’. A significant turning to faith in Christ is no pipe-dream any more. They could easily become experts in using the teaching of the Qur’an on the life of Jesus as a bridge. We should bear in mind that quite a few Muslims came to faith in Christ after their search for truth had been stimulated by their reading of the Qur’an.[62] No wonder that the Camel Method – whereby Qur’anic common ground with Christianity is extensively used, proved to be a big hit. Jesus and Paul used the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures in their confrontation with Judaism (see Matthew 15:4; Acts 17:3).

Refugees and Exiles keeping in touch with their Roots
Another facet of the role of refugees, which has become a blessing to South Africa, is the fact that former refugees and exiles from the country have kept up the contact with their roots. Many of our present leaders - when they were in exile - utilized the educational and other opportunities, not only to keep abreast with secular training, but also on what was happening in their home country. When the opportunity arose to get involved in negotiations with the government of the day, they were not left wanting. In a similar way, we should encourage all refugees to keep in touch with their people back home, even though it might not be easy. (Also in the apartheid epoch of South Africa it was not always easy for those who opposed the regime to stay in touch with loved ones from abroad, without endangering them. Letters were opened at random.) Refugees should be assisted with educational and other opportunities to enhance their skills.
            In the post-apartheid South Africa there are refugees and exiles from countries where full-time missionaries would not enter easily. Many of these refugees have been found to be more open to the Gospel than for example South African Muslims. The mobility of refugees and former exiles is also a plus; a factor which gives them a special potential for missionary recruitment. This applies not only in terms of their return to their country of origin, but also to other countries. As was shown, the exiles and refugees from Bohemia and Moravia were in the forefront of the missionary movement from Herrnhut after 1732. People who have left the shores of their home country once, have usually lost much - if not all - of the natural fear of everything that is strange and foreign.

More two-way Moves of the Spirit   
What is also not generally known is the two-way movement of the Holy Spirit between continents after 1949. The visit of Norman Grubb, a WEC missionary leader, caused a mighty movement in Zaire,[63] which spilled over into Rwanda. Two African brothers from the Rwanda movement, who came to Britain, made a powerful impact on WEC in the UK and from there around the world. The two Rwandans shared the powerful principles of ‘Walking in the Light’, which were recorded by Roy Hession in his Calvary Road and Norman Grubb in his book Continuous Revival.
            Experience abroad played a role in yet another case where South Africa is concerned. The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer received a major part of his theological formation during his exile in New York where he worshiped with Blacks in the suburb Harlem. Here he came face to face with the problem of racism at a time when Hitler was not yet persecuting Jews. But it prepared him for the struggle against the Nazi racism. Bonhoeffer also learned to work with a variety of churches in New York and he was challenged to become involved in working for world peace.  Bonhoeffer had a powerful effect on Dr Beyers Naudé and a few others like Rev Chris Wessels, who were inspired by him in their resistance to apart­heid.  Chris Wessels[64] became an inspiration to many young people after his return from a study stint in Europe in 1962. Dr Allan Boesak, Professor Jutty Bredenkamp and Dr Franklin Sonn have been only a few of many who were influenced by him and who later became prominent in the struggle for democracy in South Africa.

South Africa to set the Pace?
In obedience to the biblical exhortation to be hospitable to strangers (Hebrews 13,2), refugees and foreigners should get special treatment. In this way South Africa could set the pace for the wealthy ‘Christian countries’ towards a return to the living God. We - as well as the Western countries with an influx of refugees - should welcome the opportunity to host refugees, even those of the economic type. If they are isolated, they could become even worse materialists than the inhabitants of their host countries. However, if these refugees are gripped by the Gospel, it is quite possible that many of them would want to return to their home countries to share the insights, which they have learned. And if they do not, they will nevertheless have enriched the individualistic Western countries if they have been given the chance to share their  non-material attributes.
            South Africa has been having its fair share of refugees, especially from Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In the first years of the new democracy the country has been quite exemplary in its care for these hapless people. Former President Mandela’s statement in the mid-1990s - not to see refugees as a threat - is completely in line with biblical guidelines. In the northern hemisphere refugees and other foreigners have so often been regarded as a threat and/or a nuisance. Germany proved the big exception in 2015, showed the way with loving welcome, perhaps naively and thus now having to cope with thousands from countries where there is no war.
Unfortunately this tendency also occurred in South Africa after the influx of thousands of foreigners from all over Africa and other countries like China. At the turn of the century the loss of jobs in the textile industry – that was most adversely affected by cheap imports from the most populous country of the world – contributed to general xenophobia, leading to serious mob violence on a national scale in May 2008.
            In terms of missionary strategy, future missionaries could nevertheless be seen in this category of people. Already significant ministry amongst Portuguese-speaking people in South Africa started over a decade ago by an ex-soldier working with refugees from Angola and Mozambique. Missionaries from Brazil proved to be a precious asset in this regard, following up the pioneering enterprise. Prayer could be directed that many of these refugees may be challenged with the Gospel and called for service in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau, where there are still many unreached people groups.
After 1996 ministry among French-speaking Africans took off at the Cape Town Baptist Church, and followed by a few other congregations of different denominations. In the new century this mushroomed, with many little fellowships and cell groups for French and Portuguese–speaking Africans all over the country in the big cities.
            In the ministry of Friends from Abroad, that was founded at the Cape in 2007, foreigners have been served initially in practical ways with English lessons and some income generating activities like beadwork for ladies. A few Muslims have not only come to faith in Jesus, but they also started sharing their faith with others. Some of them were and/or still are getting equipped to do this in other countries.
            We should keep in mind that especially those refugees became a blessing to nations who had been persecuted for the sake of the Gospel. Africa has started in recent decades with a good record after Mark Gabriel had voiced his objections to his own peril. He was ostracized and kicked out of his job as an Egyptian academic from Al Azhar University in Cairo for questioning Islam.
A Role for former Exiles
Comenius possibly had a much bigger influence in his home country after his exile than he would have had if he had never been forced to leave. The new democratic South African government of national unity since 1994 displayed an excellent blend of exiles, next to political prisoners and former apartheid rulers. This set an example for many other countries to make use of the expertise that their nationals had gained during a period of exile.
The attitude to former exiles who have returned to South Africa is just as important. Although some of them may have displayed an arrogant know-all attitude, there is often a deep spiritual need. In South Africa’s case, the decision to leave the country was more often than not preceded by disappointment and bitterness because of an unjust political set-up. These former exiles have not always been cordially welcomed and given opportunities to share the skills which they have learned abroad. Special attention should be given to the children of such returnees who may still face the after-effects of culture shock. There are cases of children who grew up in Western Europe but who eventually landed in squalid living conditions. Opportun­ities surfaced to minister to some of those who had genuinely thought that Communism was the only solution to our country’s problems. Many of them became more open to the Gospel than before they left the country. Some of them have experienced the demise of the atheist ideology. A positive attitude to former exiles could go a long way in preparing the way of the Lord in their lives and that of their families. Some of them have learned languages like Russian and Spanish, which could be utilized in the service of the Lord. New oppor­tunities for missionary work, especially in Europe, have opened up. The special relationship of the government to countries like Cuba and Libya could create openings for South Africans in these countries about which many other Western nations can only dream. Coupled with this ex-President Mandela’s criticism of American and British entry into Iraq on rather flimsy grounds ensured for the Republic a good reputation among Muslim countries. Thousands have been coming to South Africa to learn English already from 2002. The Catholic countries of Southern Europe still resemble a desert in spiritual terms. Many nationals from Greece, Italy and Portugal – and in recent years from many other countries - came to personal faith in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour in South Africa.
            South African intercessors – led by Bennie Mostert and Gerda Leithgöb and their Network of United Prayer in Southern Africa (NUPSA) and Herald Ministries respectively - became prominent internationally in the prayer movement. The Newlands Rugby Stadium event of 23 March 2001 spread to all parts of the continent and ultimately led to the Global Day of Prayer in 2005.
            A former exile, who had been impacted during his stay in Holland to return to his spiritual roots, formed a network with missionaries from different agencies who had worked in other countries. Working together as Friends from Abroad, it started formally in February 2007. The name was taken from a defunct group in Coventry in the UK, of which OM’s Theo Dennis had been a co-worker in the 1980s.

The Homeless as a Potential for missionary Recruitment
Similarly, the homeless represent a potential for missionary recruitment. Some of these hapless people have landed on the street through very unfortunate circumstances. We would possibly be quite surprised what potential could come out when some of these people are guided towards a full committment to the Lord Jesus, after the healing of their emotional and other hurts.
            Pastor Willy Martheze, a qualified welder from Mitchells Plain, was still a vagrant when he was initially ministered to by Pastor Gay, a Scottish missionary. Humorously he would recollect how he had been such a good-for-nothing alcoholic. His own mother deemed it appropriate to send the police and the gangsters after him. ‘But Jesus found me first!’ he averred. Obedient to God’s voice when he saw a vagrant, Pastor Willy Martheze followed a call to minister full-time to homeless people, with the intention of bringing Gospel healing to these people. He constantly aims to empower them to return to the homes they had left. At the District Six fellowship at the Azaad Youth Centre, the congregants can clean themselves before the late Sunday afternoon service and get a plate of food afterwards. One of Pastor Willy Martheze’s ‘clients’ gave him the special testimony: ‘you are the only church where the pastor is happy when the members leave’. His main purpose is not only to minister to them with the Gospel, but also to empower them to return to their homes.
At ‘the Ark’ in Cape Town, a place where more than a thousand homeless people have found a refuge, at least one of the former ‘bergies’ (vagrants) could already be given responsibility. In another project, Loaves and Fishes, a few churches work together to offer more than only shelter to the destitute. We would do well to consider that Jesus also did not have a place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20). At any rate, through their experience of suffering injustice and being prepared to take difficulties in their stride, the refugees and homeless have a head-start.
            However, this does not absolve our society in general, and the church in particular, from the responsibility to put much effort into reducing or even eliminating living conditions which are conducive to the production of the next generation of street children. (I believe however, that it should happen much more low-key than at present. The praise-worthy efforts of former President Mandela may turn out to become counter-productive, encouraging young children to take to the streets for the flimsiest of reasons.)
            The challenge is there however, to treat these unfortunate people not first and foremost as criminals, drug addicts, drunkards and prostitutes, but as individuals for whom our Lord bled and died. At least some of these street children and other vagrants could be rehabilitated and taught life skills, farming or other uplifting activities.
Food for Thought:
Apart from giving vagrants/street children bread or money at the door, have you, has your church attempted anything constructive about the matter?
Have you ever tried to start up a conversation with one of the vagrants? How can we serve the refugees, who still struggle to find their feet, those who returned from abroad and those who have come from other countries?
Who can match the radicality of Jesus in choosing Judas, a thief, to handle the purse of the group?

And some Ideas:
Aim to train/recruit evangelists and missionaries from refu­gees, vagrants and street children. Pray that God might lead you to those whom He has already prepared through His Spirit.
Examine what can be done straight away and what could be achieved on the longer term. Set some goals, including a time frame within which you would like to meet those goals.

[1]     From one of his sermons in Berlin, the following words of Zinzendorf have been recorded: The love of Jesus without his Blood and Wounds, by which all has been purchased, is an empty love, not productive either of life or cheerfulness (From his Discourse delivered at Berlin, 1738)
[2]     The Greek word used for transformation in Romans 12:1 is metamorpheste.
[3]     Translation: Many were sown as if they were lost. On their soil (= graves) is written: This is the seed of the moors (Blacks).
[4]     A closer look at the context however also reveals traits like pride in Cain, which of course was abomin­able and that he gave 'some of the fruits' whereas Abel gave sacrificially. He brought 'fat ortions' from the firstborn of his flock.
[5] We note in this regard that the Greek root for witness, martureo, became the word from which martyr was derived.
[6]     Kyle ??, (Ed) Urban Mission, (Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, 1988), p.120
[7]     The following narrations are all taken from A. J. Lewis, p.88f.          
[8]     This refers to the plantation -owning colonists.
[9]     Bredekamp H.C., Die Verhouding tussen Africo en George Schmidt, 1737-1743 (University of Western Cape, Bell­ville 1987), p.5
[10]    Zinzendorf, Nine Lectures, (Edited and translated by George W. Forell, University of Iowa Press, Iowa, 1973) p.28
[11]    Lady Duff Gordon, Letters from the Cape, Oxford University Press, London 1927, p.99
[12]    I am very much aware of the fact that not every Christian would agree that Bonhoeffer conspired along with others to assassinate Hitler, but this does not detract in any way in my opinion from the validity of his statement.
[13]    Patrick Johnstone, Operation World, 1993, p.88
[14] For example in Fire over Israel, Destiny Image books, Shippensburg, USA, 1993
[15]    Mustapha, Against the Tides in the Middle East, International Academic Centre for Muslim Evangel­ism, Johannesburg, 1996
[16]    An example in the 1990s - which however cannot simply be imitated at random - occurred when brother Andrew (Anne van der Bijl) offered to be the substi­tute for a hostage in the Middle East.
[17]    Christians dare not be arrogant about this. Christian heretics like Mani – the founder of Manicheism – also saw himself as the promised paraclete.
[18]    In the Qur’an itself (in Surah 37) there is no refer­ence to Ishmael, only to Isaac. No less than Haykal, a prominent Muslim historian, takes for granted that Ismael was meant. The 8th Tabari, a highly accredited compiler of Hadith, starts off with Isaac and then changed to Ishmael in his commentary of Surah 37.
[19]    Stephen Neill, A History of Christian Missions, London 1965, p.499
[20]    Musa Ndwandwe, Article Zulu traditions and Christian beliefs in the Shembe Church. Challenge 34, (February­/March 1996), p.25
[21]    The Apostolic Creed is probably a misnomer that could mislead believers in thinking that it stems directly from the apostles, from the Bible. The general formulation which is used in many churches actually only received its present form in Southern France in the sixth century.
[22]    There are also other instances in Scripture where a solemn act has been repeated, for example the anointing of David (1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Samuel 2:4; 2 Samuel 5:3), the renewal of the covenant (1 Samuel 23:16ff; 1 Samuel 18:3), the pleas of Abraham on behalf of Lot and that of Jonathan on behalf of David. Twice (1 Samuel 24:7; 1 Samuel 26:11) David refused to lay his hand on Saul, because he considered that Saul was the anointed of God.
[23]Zinzendorf, Nine Lectures, 1746
[24]    This treatise should however not be interpreted as a plea for unity at all costs. Richard Lovelace ably described the splits after spiritual renewal and the cases when a separ­ation becomes necessary in Dynamics of spiritual Life (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, 1979), (I only had access to the German translation 1984, p. 277ff).
[25]    Some commentators see Paul’s problems with his eyes as his ‘thorn in the flesh’, (2 Corinthians 12:7). 
[26]    The linguistic link to pharmacy and hence to drugs is obvious.
[27]    See Stewart and Marie Dinnen, Rescue Shop within a Yard of Hell, (Christian Focus Publications of Scot­land, 1995) for the full story of this ministry.
[28]    The word radical comes from the Latin word radix, which means root.
[29] In German: bewahre uns vor unseligem Grosswerden.
[30]    Compare this with Saul who became nervous and dis­obedient when his soldiers deserted him (1 Samuel 13:11).
[31]    We could say that the real border crossing started at His crucifixion. There one of the murderers and the Roman centurion both discovered something of His divine nature. His crucifixion was in another way a double pointer to the Church. The women who faithfully stood by Him until the very end represented the 'old' Jew and the Roman was the new Gentile believer. In this way the crucified one draws people from different backgrounds and nations.
[32] In Deuteronomy28:13 there is however a condition … If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day.
[33]His ministry among slaves had to be aborted in later years. Richter had also ministered to gypsies in the Ronneburg castle when the Moravians had been exiled from Herrnhut and He also wanted to go and assist Georg Schmidt at the Cape, but he could not get any permission in Amsterdam.
[34]    Luke 10:3, lambs among wolves
[35]    Luke 10:4, without purse, bag or sandals
[36]    The word missionary is derived from the Latin version of apostle, which comes from the Greek verb meaning to send.
[37]    In a letter to Georg Schmidt among the Khoi in Genadendal, cited in Lewis,1962:91
[38]    It is clear that there is a special blessing on the first fruits, the 'firstlings,' right from Abel's sacrifice through the Hebrew Scriptures to Malachi 3:10 where God promises a blessing on tithes and 'firstlings' of the harvest. 
[39]    Kenneth Cragg, article Mit dem Evangelium betraut, (in Jahrbuch Mission 1995, Missionshilfe Verlag, Hamburg 1995) p.104
[40]    He was only healed after surviving a plane crash in 1971 (Brother Andrew, 1998:60).
[41]    This course is also offered all over South Africa.
[42]    Don Richardson, Peace child (Regal Books, Ventura, USA), 1976
[43]    Zinzendorf, Nine Lectures, (Edited by George W. Forell, Iowa, 1973), p.26    
[44]    Very fittingly, President Nelson Mandela renamed his offi­cial residence Genadendal.
[45]    The Moravian mission posts were later handed over to the Anglican Church.
[46]    The treatise in your hand is an attempt to put his theory into practice.
[47]    The author heard him repeating this on various occasions.
[48]    It is surely not insignificant that the prophecy of Isaiah 19:23 has been fulfilled. A highway between Cairo and Baghdad through Jordan has been com­pleted in recent years.
[49]    There are however also other phrases with the same idea, especially in the letters of Paul.
[50]    From De catholicae ecclesia unitate, 4-6, Bettenson, 1967(1943):72f
[51]    P.M. Legene, Graaf van Zinzendorf, de man die maar één passie had (Voorhoeve, Den Haag, ??) p.50 Original: ‘hem met geweld in de gemeenschap van zijn lijden te willen betrekken'.
[52]    I define ‘unreached people group’ (in terms of the Gospel), as a more or less coherent group of people with a common religion/ideology, from where no church has emerged even after many evangelistic efforts. I am quite aware that reputable missiologists have differed about the definition. Patrick Johnstone (1993:654) also uses the term unreached in this way, but he then concedes: Strictly, it should be a measure of the exposure of people groups to the Gospel and not a measure of the number of converts or presence of a church(es)’ .             
[53]    Original: Met dankbaarheid neem ons tekens waar van die wil om saam te kom en saam te werk. Ook in ons eie N.G. Kerk
[54]    Original: Want nêrens is isolement en ekslusivisme so dodelik en kragrowend as in die stryd teen die magtige heidendom en nêrens samewerking en ‘n eenheidsfront so nodig en nuttig as hier nie.
[55]    The discussion of the letter in Perspektief op die Ope Brief (Human en Rousseau, 1982) indicates however that the theologians were merely speaking about unity in the Reformed church family. It was nevertheless valuable for the S.A. context that the document stressed that the unity in Christ is primary and the diversity secondary.
[56] Zinzendorf did the same thing by communicating with the likes of slaves.
[57]    This was the domain of priests. Until the Vatican Council in the early 1960s, Latin had until then been retained as the language in the Roman Catholic Church.
[58] He might have been influenced by the Waldense of France who had also called themselves a pilgrim church.
[59]    He wrote a booklet in 1977 with the title I love Idi Amin.
[60]    This was published in Uitdaging, a monthly Dutch Christian periodical in December, 1995.
[61]    The prayers for the country followed after the South African requested prayer for a letter to President De Klerk in which the writer confessed his arrogance and critical atti­tude.

[62]    See for example the testimonies of Hamran Ambrie from Indonesia (God has chosen for me everlasting life, Good Way, Rikon) and Esther Gulshan from Pakistan (The Torn Veil, Marshall Pickering, London)
[63]    The story is told in Norman Grubb's book A mighty Work of the Spirit.
[64]    He was innocently incarcerated in 1977 because of his care for the families of political prisoners on  behalf of the South African Council of Churches.


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