The Living Hope Through Christ’s Resurrection (1Pe 1:3)
By James Lee (Africa Coordinator)
On 17-20 August, we had the 2017 Southern Africa Bible conference at Stoney Ridge, Johannesburg. It felt like being on a high mountain far away from the troubles of the world, where we could spend time in Jesus' glorious presence through singing, praying, Bible study, testimony writing, listening to God's Word and having fellowship with God's people.
We thank God for blessing the conference, especially through our native leaders from South Africa who had prepared the programs, praise and worship, and transportation. I attached each chapter’s report. We were touched by the life testimony of a sister from Wits chapter, South Africa, who confessed her sins and the grace of forgiveness sincerely. She reminded us of the woman who poured her precious perfume on Jesus and washed his feet. We thank God for her true repentance.
Missionary Billy Park and two leaders from LA chapter, USA, served CBF and JBF. We thank for their care for our second generations.
Dr. Abraham Kim’s closing message (Acts 1:8) gives us direction to live for the living hope as Jesus’ witnesses. We thank Dr. Abraham and Sarah Kim who served four African regional conferences.
Live for the living hope as Jesus’ witnesses;
Reach out to Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Swaziland and 55 countries in Africa;
Mozambique: Shep. Paulo and Sarah’s family to pioneer.
South Africa: 111 (17 children) / Pretoria I: 31 (3) / Pretoria II: 27 (2) / Wits: 40 (8) / Cape Town: 10 (2) / Durban: 3 (2)
Zimbabwe: 32 (4)
Botswana: 11 (3)
International guests: 29 (USA - 10, Korea - 15, China: 3, Brazil - 1)
* Total: 198 (including 24 children)
1. SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Town (Andries Coetsee)
* 1 Peter 1:3 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
I praise and thank God for blessing our 2017 SARBC!
I received God’s word based on 1 Peter 2:5 "you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
I learned that through God's great mercy in Jesus Christ I have been made a living stone, united to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the living stone which is the cornerstone of God's spiritual house. As a living stone God is building me into his spiritual house. This means God is transforming me into the image of Jesus Christ to be like him in character, attitude, obedience and purpose. However, a living stone has no meaning in isolation. It has to be built into a building to have a greater meaning and purpose. God is building me into his spiritual house to serve a purpose--To be part of God's holy priesthood that mediates God's presence to the world, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In our group study we spoke practically what it means to offer spiritual sacrifices. It means using my life to live for God's kingdom, becoming a living sacrifice. This includes giving thanks with my mouth, praising God and witness to his name. It also means sharing with those in need. It also includes praying for those without Christ and sharing God's word
I thank God for blessing our drama serving John 19, ‘It is finished’. I think we will remember it for a long time. I also thank God for blessing brother Mondli. We had a long journey on John 19 in preparation, I believe all the struggle was not in vain. I remember that we prayed before the message: 'Lord, we lay down all our sweat, all our struggle, all our effort before you. We know it is all but dust and ashes, but if you touch it and bless it, amazing things will happen.' I believe the amazing things are not only what happened at the conference. Amazing things are continuing in our lives as we grow in our salvation.
For Cape Town ministry to pioneer university of Stellenbosch
To pray for Obakeng to get a job and to settle in Cape Town
2. SOUTH AFRICA - University of Pretoria (UP) 1 (James Lee)
We had been preparing this conference together with UP Chapter 2. We had prayer meeting on Wednesdays and Fridays for many weeks. Most of all, coworkers worldwide prayed a lot for this conference. God heard prayers from many people and blessed this conference greatly.
From UP 1, sh. Paulo prepared the opening message, “Jesus is the way” (Jn 14:6). This message touched attendants’ hearts and made ready to hear the following messages about Jesus Christ.
Frederick shared his life testimony based on his key verse, Genesis 15:2. He realized that God was his reward in the time of troubles. He could not continue to study because of financial restrains. But God intervened in the situations and helped him to graduate from university. Then he could support his family and a Bible student. In this way he learned that God is his reward.
All brothers and sisters contributed for the sessions of drama and sing along during the conference. We prepared drama to plant the living hope. They did all these by faith with good co-working spirit. At the same time, they saw how God has been working in many chapters from other countries. All in all, they learned one truth that Jesus is the living hope.
3. SOUTH AFRICA - Up 2 (Joshua Suh)
Shep. Midah and Mpho who are busy with their children served group Bible study and now they are going to challenge campus mission. Through this conference, our growing leaders, Fani, Maite, Refilwe, Rejoice have decided to be royal priesthoods and we pray them to grow as Bible teachers. Our members were deeply moved by graceful life-testimonies.
4. SOUTH AFRICA - Wits (Jacob Kim)
Before the conference, the second semester began and the first semester results came out, so it was very hard to invite students. But God sent 5 new students to this conference. In total, 25 native shepherds and students from Wits and 5 sisters from Lesotho joined the conference. Sh. Desmond delivered a main message, “Living Hope” (1Pe 1:1-25). God blessed Sis. Moloko’s life testimony to touch the hearts of many people.
We began to visit Lesotho, not knowing what to do. But God blessed our prayers and worked at National University of Lesotho. One of the 5 sisters is Sis. Itumeleng who will be married to Sh. Desmond on November 25 this year. The work of God is so amazing. May God send a permanent missionary to this beautiful land in His time! I also thank God for native shepherds who served the conference behind the scenes. They drove hundreds of kilometers to fetch the guests and took care of the environment during the conference.
1. Acts Bible study
2. Sh. Desmond & Sis. Itumeleng’s marriage on 25/11/2017
3. Lesotho pioneering
5. ZAMBIA (Cyril Boyd)
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations”(Mt 28:19-20). In September 2016, God sent Boyd family to Zambia by providing them with jobs through the US government. Upon arrival, we started worshiping with Missionary Nehemiah and his family who have been serving Zambia for over 20 years. M. Nehemiah and his family made a spiritual decision to take a year off from missionary work in Zambia. There was also one Shepherd family, Moses and his wife Mercy, and Betty from Namibia who is studying medicine. Towards the end of 2016, God blessed Zambia by opening the hearts of many students to accept our invitation to Bible studies and most of these students began attending worship service every Sunday. At the moment, Zambia UBF has over 15 new students out of which about 10 students are constant Sunday worship service attendants. Currently, my wife and I are serving the Zambia ministry with the help of Shep. Moses’ family. We can see the work of God taking root in the hearts of the students. They have a desire for Bible studies, but there is a lot to do when it comes to raising them as disciples.
20 faithful Sunday worship service attendants
Shepherd Moses coworking
UBF Zambia to be registered as a church in Zambia
For Zambia UBF to find a permanent space for worship service near the University of Zambia in Lusaka
6. BOTSWANA (Timothy Chung)
We have prayed that the six students who have joined our Bible studies and Sunday worship could attend the conference. Since we were eager to pray for the conference, God helped us overcome several challenges. Only a brother had a passport. Another brother was robbed of his wallet and ID. The brother who had passport left it at home that is 500 km away and received it in the morning when we left for the conference. Most of all, they all had financial problems to make their passport and pay their conference fees and transport. We had to keep praying till the day of departure. Then God worked for us, so that none of us failed to come to the conference. During the conference, God helped each of them receive Jesus as the living hope and the living stone through the word of God. Sister Keamogetse was supposed to share her life testimony at the conference. But her testimony was not prepared to be shared. But she hard worked on it with Msn Deborah during the conference. Then she shared a graceful testimony based on Genesis 12:2. Sister Lucia shared a Bible testimony, repented of her lustful life and accepted Jesus as the living stone. A brother told me that he wants to attend the next regional conference with other students. They could see that we are not few but numerous in Africa. They all came back full of joy and grace. They come to Bible study more eagerly and try to invite students to 1:1 Bible study and Sunday worship service. Every morning we upload the daily bread on a website for the students. One day I delayed doing so a little bit, then one brother told me that he was waiting for the daily bread. I thank God for all his good work done for us. I pray that God may bless our John's Gospel study abundantly, so that all Bible students may build up their personal relationship with Jesus and live as lights for Botswana and Africa.
7. ZIMBABWE (James Lee)
We prepared passports for our brothers and sisters 6 month before. From 13 Aug, students stayed together and practiced special songs and chorus, and prepared Bible questions in advance. Our bus team took 24 hours to arrive at the conference. We enjoyed fellowship with coworkers from other chapters. Now we pray for 6 sisters to grow as Bible teachers.
Shepherd Chikura attended the conference from Korea. He shared his life testimony as student missionary in Korea. We also sent Overson as a student missionary to Korea after the conference. He delivered the message, “Therefore go and make disciples,” and he went to Korea to make disciples. We pray that our leaders may grow spiritually and become citizens of a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Dr. Samuel H. Lee also shared his farewell address at the conference. He and his wife Anna have served Zimbabwe for 6 years as silver missionaries and they established Korea Centre at University of Zimbabwe. Through their hard working, Chikura was sent to Korea as a student missionary and many sisters are growing. We pray for establishment of Sejong Institution at UZ.