Monday, March 26, 2012


Chapter 1

It was the year 1953. Bob and Phyllis, with their one year old daughter, Kathy and her six week old sister Ruth, had arrived in New York a few days before the steamship, African Enterprise, a combination cargo and passenger ship, was scheduled to sail for Cape town, South Africa. They arrived in their Chevrolet carryall with virtually all their worldly goods packed in trunks and cases. The vehicle and most of the luggage had to be at the dock the day before sailing. Fortunately Bob had been to New York before as a summer intern with the Go Ye Chapel Mission, so finding the dock was not a problem, not to say that there were no problems. There were! This particular ship had been selected because it had a doctor and a nurse aboard. They would be needed! Baby Ruth had been ill on the trip, so while Bob took everything to the dock, Phyllis took Ruth to a doctor. He took one look at her limp feverish little body, and said. "She has pneumonia." She should have been hospitalized, but didn't the ship have a doctor, a nurse, and a sick bay? Bob had been a sailor, and even the ship he had been on had a sick bay and a doctor. Wrong!. No one said he had to be a good doctor. He took one look and promptly said, "I don't know anything about babies. Give her an aspirin." Praise to the Lord, the nurse walking right behind him, took compassion and was very helpful. We were eighteen days at sea, but eventually docked at Cape Town.

It had been Bob's first crossing of the equator, so he was initiated by "King Neptune" and ceremoniously tossed into the ship's pool on the way. Being an ex-navy man, it was assumed that he would be used to the sea, but as the ship neared Cape town, they were wakened in the night to find the baby crib sliding about. The ship was passing over the undersea mountains, that mark the junction of the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans. The strong currents caused heavy rolling and pitching of the ship. As soon as it cleared the breakwater into the bay all was calm. That was good, but the bad side is that Bob's sea sickness always lasts a good day afterwards. They were met by Bernard Barron, the minister of a Cape town church, and soon cleared the formalities of arriving, and were quickly taken to the Andrew Murray Missionary Home at the foot of Table Mountain. It was a few days before the car was cleared and a missionary arrived by train to escort them to their first destination, Kimberley several hundred miles north, all by gravel and potholed roads at that time.

It was cold and rainy in Cape town their entire stay, and the room they were given was even colder as well as dark and damp. Ruth was still very ill and the doctor in Cape town instructed that she should be taken off her formula and put on sweetened weak tea for a while. It worked wonders, and she soon began to recover. God had heard our prayers and granted them.

Chapter 2


Our “trek” to the north could easily be called a “safari” with a clear conscience. The scenery was spectacular, reminding us of that which we had seen in New Mexico. We learned later that the area was called the “Karoo,” a semi-desert to us. In America it would probably be called a desert, though there were farms, some times twenty miles apart, or even more. The roads were very poorly maintained of gravel and filled with potholes and corrugations. Everyone drove at the “Safe and reasonable” legal speed, usually something like seventy miles an hour as at that speed you only hit the tops of the corrugations. Go any slower and you were almost literally shaken apart. The dust was unbearable. As there were no fences, it was necessary to keep a close watch to see that that there were no sheep or cattle on the road. This was particularly important at night when animals often lay down on the road to sleep. Since the only fences were usually at the perimeter of the farm, all traffic had to stop there to open, and be sure to close, the gates. Clouds of dust always announced that a car was coming, so when there were African houses near the gate, there would nearly always be a group of little children who came running to open the gates and beg for pennies. It was several years before these roads were eventually asphalted and, cattle gates replaced the older farm gates. Those were just moved to one side to allow animal drawn carts and wagons to pass through. This dust was particularly bad for poor little Ruth’s well being. As this first leg of our trip was several hundred miles, we stopped at hotels for our meals and at the half way mark, for the night. We only arrived in Kimberley at the end of the second day. There we spent a few days in the home of Bill and Melba Rees. It was Bill who was showing us the way. Though there were not many places one could really go wrong, there were forks in the road and very few signs. Those signs had all been the favorite targets for the entertainment of bored drivers, and many of them were badly damaged by gunfire.

Kimberley, a small city, had two of our missionary families, the Rees family, and that of Max Ward Randall. The mission work had originated and spread through the coming and going of the African workers in the mine compounds about fifty years before and it was at Kimberley that the first school for the training of African ministers was then being established. Prior to that, these ministers were never trained at all or came from denominational backgrounds. Kimberley itself, was the result of diamond having been discovered near there years before. Off course there was great diamond rush, which drew people from all over the world to that lonely spot where they set up a tent city in the old wild west fashion of America. It was, and is still, rather a cosmopolitan city made up of English or Afrikaans speaking Europeans, and Xhosa, Tswana, and a smattering of Zulu speaking Africans. To lend variety, there were also the Griquas, the Coloureds, and the Indians, and Chinese. The Chinese were at first brought from China to work underground in the mines since the local Africans were not happy to go underground at first. The Indians had been brought from India to work in the sugar cane plantations near the Indian Ocean coast, because the Africans were terrified of the snakes and scorpions that thrived in that dense growth. That is understandable, Africa's snakes are deadly, black or green mambas, “boom-slungs“, vipers, cobras, and adders, all of them deadly, while the rock python is also common though not poisonous.

The Randalls, at that time, worked mainly with the African, Griqua, and Coloured peoples, and the Rees family with the Chinese. After a few years they, returned to China to work in Hong Kong. For Ruth's sake, we rested a few days before we continued our trip, this time westward, to the other side of the South West Africa border where the road turned north again. Our goal was Windhoek the capital of South West Africa, now called Namibia, having been named after one of the African tribes who live there.

Chapter 3



Traveling on to the west, we had passed through Griqualand, and Griquatown. This is where Livingstone had centered much of his early work. He met and married Mary Moffat the daughter of the missionary living at the nearby mission. I would later preach and teach in this same area and once camped under the trees that surround the Moffat mission. The area is filled with limestone and asbestos deposits. The result is clearly shown in the many blind Africans who are blinded by the lime dust, and others suffering from breathing problems from breathing asbestos dust. I learned there that the beautiful "Tiger's Eye" semi-precious stones, are really asbestos ore. It makes a beautiful polished gem, but working with it can cause serious lung damage when you breathe the dust from cutting and polishing it. Water being scarce, the resident Africans often neglect proper protection and sanitary practices.

Farther to the west, an entire mountain of iron ore adds its rusty dust to the air. I understand that magnetic compasses are totally unreliable when flying over that area. At this point one is traveling parallel to the great Orange River and south of the Kalahari Desert, a wasteland of sand dunes, just to the north of the river. I have bad memories of that area. The road I was traveling was filled with large sharp stones and the new extra-heavy duty tires I had fitted to the Chevrolet didn't survive even one day. We limped into Upington having no spare tire, and it was there that I unloaded our heavy trunks and shipped them to my self to be collected at Windhoek. Upington, situated on the Orange River, is a thriving town, even though the summer temperatures often reach far over 100 degrees. One of their major irrigated crops is the growing of various fruits for packing as dried fruit, especially raisins and prunes. The sheep of this area cease to be breeds farmed for wool or meat. Instead they breed Karakul sheep, which are killed when they are just born to make fur coats of their tightly curled black pelts. If they are not killed very young, they lose the tight curls and turn to a dull grey. We skipped Augrabies Falls, mainly because we had never heard of them, and not long after that crossed the border into South West Africa, (German West Africa). There was not even a border-post at this, the only road to go that direction. From there on, the roads deteriorated until they were simply trails that threaded through the scrubby thorn trees. There was no pretense of them being gravel or even having been planned. There were no signs, except perhaps at obvious forks in the road. This is where we turned north again. Gas, called "petrol," was obtained from a steel drums with a measuring pump that was stuck in an opening on the top. Those drums would be found standing in front of the occasional trading store and there might be no sign of life other than that of the manager of the store, or perhaps an isolated farm house. He would certainly not speak English, possibly Afrikaans, but more likely German. They all had in common, the fact that they hated Americans. This was 1953! and the Second World War was not that long past. Toward evening we came to a small village that had a proper gas station and a hotel. They also had a room available in the hotel, so we could all bathe, scrubbing the red dust off and get something to eat, but they had no petrol anywhere. The delivery was expected there only the next morning. Much to our surprise there was petrol after we had breakfast and we were able to continue our journey. This time we were driving between the Kalahari and the Namib deserts.

The Namib is famous in that diamonds lie scattered on it's surface in places, but do not stop and look! It is illegal to look, or to possess a rough diamond anywhere in South Africa if you happened to find one. If you do happen to find one, it belongs to DeBeers Mining Corporation, and you are required to take it to them. They will give you a price, they have set according to size. There are still licensed diggers, as the license can be passed down in the will of the original holder to his family members. Because of that, there are still private diggers working in some areas even today. We made one more interesting stop on the way. That was at Rehoboth. The residents of this Coloured community proudly refer to themselves Bastards. They are of mixed blood, probably German and Nama. We had been warned to carefully count our change and watch our belongings if we had to stop there. We needed petrol, but had no problems, even with the unfamiliar money. There was a wide dry sandy river to be crossed. No problem as long as you kept the car moving and stayed on the right path, but some time previously a heavy truck had been lost in a flash flood there. The owners filed an insurance claim for it's loss, and were refused because it that was usually a dry river. In time, they sent a crew who were instructed to dig the truck out of the sand and recover it. They had the truck nearly clear when the cry went up, "The water is coming". Everyone ran for their lives and all made it with their equipment to higher ground, but when they returned to try a second time the same thing was repeated, and the truck was buried again. This time the equipment was lost as well. And this time the insurance company paid out the claim! Late in the afternoon we rounded a curve, and there was Windhoek, with it's German Castle; one paved street, and even a stop light or two. It had two, or perhaps three hotels. This was the capitol of the country. We stopped at the very first hotel, and there was "No room at the inn." I know how Joseph and Mary must have felt, we too had a tiny baby and no clean bed, fresh water, or supper. They did, however, manage to squeeze us into a tiny room in an alley behind the hotel. I know now it must have been there for the black staff, but it was clean, we could, and did use the communal bath, and we did get food. Praise the Lord. We had arrived at the end of a very long trip. We felt like missionaries at last. This was to be “home”.

Chapter 4


Our first home in Windhoek was a few blocks away near the other end of the one paved street. It was a larger hotel. It had no check in desk but the manager, with the register, was at his usual position in the bar off to one side of the entrance. All hotels in Namibia were like this one in that they were registered as a hotel primarily because a liquor license was always given to hotels, no matter how few rooms they might have. This one was not really so bad, however. They gave us a comfortable room near the communal baths. and a door in the passage just near our room opened onto the beer garden. That was really only used in the evenings, so the paved area with trees and flowers was great for Kathy and ourselves to use when the walls seemed to be closing in on us. There was also a small zoo and park next to the post office which was only a short walk up the street. Being the city center, that street was lined by a good selection of small stores and shops. Since the streets were not all named and numbered anywhere other than right in the center of town, we needed to apply for a post office box, and start looking for a proper house as soon as possible. The post box was hopeless. There were none, but they were remodeling the box area and we applied for a box as soon as that was finished. In the meantime you simply asked at the “post restante” counter if there was mail for you. The house search became a matter for urgent prayer and searching. Fortunately, there was an English Newspaper, with mostly Upington news, but it contained smalls adverts. From those, we learned that houses were extremely scarce. Driving around to get the layout of the town in mind, we saw no empty houses anywhere. After a few weeks we were moved across the street to an overflow area of the hotel, where we had a larger room and no bar across the garden, but at the same time we were told that all their rooms were rented a year in advance for the holiday season that was coming up very shortly. We had to be out by then. We knew we would be happy to leave if we could, because we were not happy with the menu available. All the desserts were lased with wine or brandy, blood sausages featured heavily on the menu and they expected us to order from the bar with our meals. The coffee was so strong we could not drink it. In our exploring the town, we had driven across the valley to the black community so we were praying for something near there. That was exactly what the Lord provided. One day the paper listed a shop with a residence attached. It was a renovation in non-progress but suited our needs perfectly. The lease was high, well "exorbitant" might be a better word, but it was available exactly when we needed it and it was on the last street with only a dry stream bed that separated it from the black township. That short street was lined with trading stores offering very basic foods. Our house was on the corner, with a new porch that had been added to the street side, and a small shop added with that. This gave us a chapel, a porch, and a study/store room in that half of the building. A separate entrance on the side led to a tiny living room, a small kitchen, the bath with a cold water shower over the tub, and a basin. Leading off the living room were two bedrooms. All the floors were concrete, and there was no floor at all outside the entrance to this part of the building. The door had no less than four locks or bolts. A short stroll led to the toilet which contained a bucket that was collected by the municipality occasionally to be emptied into the “honey wagon“ sometime during the night. The upper yard was permanently littered with builder‘s rubble, and the lower one sloped to the dry stream bed. We would not have believed it could happen, had we not seen a car actually being swept away in that stream during a torrential rainfall one day. This was to be our home for the next two years.

Chapter 5


It took us only a few days to learn, what the multiple bolts and locks on the door should have told us immediately. There was a reason that all the windows had heavy, about three quarter inch, iron bars. They were not there to keep someone in, but rather to keep everyone out. It was rather a shock to waken in the morning before curtains could be hung, to see a black face peering at us through the glass only about three feet away. Our bed was under the window. I had a tin of kerosene for the stove, and foolishly left it outside so Kathy could not mess with it. That did not last the night until it was stolen as our canvas water bag had been stolen from the car the first night it was left outside the hotel. Strangely enough in those days, no one touched the car itself the whole time we were at Windhoek. It was parked under a tree on the corner of our upper garden, immediately by the street. The fence was even missing there as the builder had taken it down. He also left a great pile of rubble, the home of many scorpions. Not long after we moved in and started to use the shop as a chapel, there was a knock at the door and when I opened it, an African man was standing there. He let it be known that he was there to buy liquor. I am confident that he had been sent by the police to see if we were using the building as a shebeen (an illegal liquor store). It was illegal to sell liquor to the Africans at that time, but that did not stop nearly all the near by shopkeepers from selling it, usually through an open window. I remember watching in shock as a pickup truck was used in a raid on the butcher shop across the street. It was filled with bottles afterwards. To involve us, unaware at that stage as to what was going on, a police lookout had hidden behind our toilet to spy on and report that shop. That did not make for friendly relationships. The manager of the shop next door to us, made it a point to turn his back on us any time we went outdoors. Only the shopkeepers, two sisters, across from where I parked our car, and who did not live on the premises, were the only neighbors to treat us with any form of friendship. I don't think they sold liquor, but they did sell bread, milk, sugar, flour and other necessities and we often bought small items from them. It was from them, that we learned a few German greetings and expressions. We did our weekly grocery and meat shopping in town. At the butcher shop we mainly had to point at what we wanted as they had different names for many things. We wanted hamburger meat, and it took a while to discover that it is called "minced-meat". In those days most of the meat was cut from a carcass that was hanging on a hook in the open shop. A cleaver, and a knife were used to hack off the piece you wanted. Our grocers was a very small shop with counters and all the food was displayed on shelves behind them, however the Jewish grocer soon made us welcome and suggested that we come behind the counter and select what we wanted and just set it on the counter. He offered that after we wanted a can of creamed corn which he knew as a tin of "mealies", never mind what it said on the label. Fruit and vegetables came from the "green grocer's" shop or the open market. In some of the other stores we got the cold shoulder, when the attendant simply turned and walked away. Our first Sunday in Windhoek, while we were still living in the hotel, we went to the Methodist church services as they were the only English services we could find and were just around the corner. We soon learned that even if the words were similar, the tune was usually quite different, and even if the people did speak English, they ignored us completely. After that, even in the hotel, we had our own communion service and Prayer and Bible reading. I was reminded of Paul when he first came to Philippi. The Lord led him out to the river side where he found a group of women who gathered there for prayer. That was where he met Lydia and her fellow workers.

Chapter 6


The only window in our bedroom faced the stream bed and across the valley to the township beyond. Through we learned many different and interesting things. On our first night there had been a death nearby so there was a wake that lasted all night. That is a custom common to all African peoples. Of course it prevents the very common rats from getting at the body, but it is also a part of the ritual. Later in South Africa we became accustomed to African funerals and learned of the tradition that the widow must huddle in a corner of the room beneath a blanket until the funeral is conducted, that a candle must be burning by the head and foot of the body, and that the shovels that dug the grave and will be used to cover it cover it must be ritually washed afterwards before the feast that is inevitably served. It was more in curiosity rather than being disturbed that we listened to the singing that continued all night in our home. They sang these hymns softly, all night long. This was a first lesson in African culture. Another strange thing was that there seem to be a lot of activity going on in the open area under the thorn trees. Women came and went with large tins on their heads. They carried everything on their heads. I have seen a woman with spike heeled shoes, others with pails of water, and even one carrying a bedstead. These particular women seemed to be carrying something that they buried under the trees after they had dug up another tin which they carried back home with them. This seemed always to happen at the beginning of the week end. Then it dawned on us, they were bringing a sweet mixture with yeast which they buried and after digging up the tins they had placed there the week before. With the hot temperature, the sugar and the yeast, and what ever else it might contain, this was their personal "brewery" in action, African style. No one would arrest them for this. This was another lesson in African culture. Don't drink just whatever is set before you. On another day, a very strange many legged "creature" crept across the horizon of the far ridge distance. It was rather bewildering to see a house, one of the tin shacks really, that appeared to have sprouted legs and was walking away. It was a medium size structure, probably a little smaller than a single garage, but a group of people, probably men as their bare legs showed from above the knees down, had walked inside, picked it up and were carrying it to a new place. This was moving day African style.

Chapter 7


That old man over there under the thorn tree is a Bushman, that is clear for everything he is wearing is self made out of the skins of the animals he has killed, from the leather of his loin cloth, to the headdress and the carved bits and pieces. The naked and semi-naked little boys with him are probably members of his family, for the Bushmen live in small family units as nomadic people living off the land. They are usually short and scrawny with a pronounced hollow back and to clinch it, they their language seems to be mostly composed of "clicks". I remember how amazed a Xhosa man from South Africa was when he first heard them speaking with one another. His own language has two or three different types of clicks in it, but he had never heard so many variations of what sounds like just an ordinary "click" to the untrained ear. Bushmen are expert trackers as they live entirely off the land in a very dry desert part of the land. They often store water in empty ostridge egg shells. Using a small tube they draw a few drops of water from what appears to be dry land, then they release it into the shell until it is filled, stop the hole, and bury it where they can find it later. That becomes a very precious store of water for later needs. That white man on yonder, even in the dead of winter, is still wearing very briefly cut leather shorts with decorated leather straps. You know he is a German youth by what he is wearing. While the group of women across the street wearing impressive cotton "Victorian" dresses as the missionaries did many years ago are Ovambos. Their multiple layered skirts touch the ground, and the tight bodice and carefully fitted mutton sleeves identify them. Their turbans are immaculate and very high and impressively made. They will run if they see the camera, for they believe that if you take a picture of them, you are stealing their souls. The picture that looks like them is their proof. They all have hand cranked Singer sewing machines which they use to make those mutton sleeves, fitted waists, and flowing skirts. I am told that they do not use a pattern. Apparently they wear very little under those skirts because they use them as portable shelters and spread them around themselves when they stop for a toilet stop absolutely anywhere. I once found someone had used a large stone right beside my front gate. These people consider they are Christians because they wear those dresses. The early missionaries wore dresses like that. Unfortunately they remember the clothing, not the lives. That other group with the sloppy turbans and shorter dresses, not fitted so closely are Namas. Their lighter complexion, and slanted eyes make them appear like Chinese, perhaps Mongolia but so far as I know there is no connection. The ones who wear current European styles of clothing, and have a lighter complexion are probably Basters. They are called Coloureds in South Africa. They have a mixture of race and may speak one of the white languages, German, Afrikaans, or perhaps even English. Their housing also identifies them. You would find that the Bushman lives in a hut, constructed of sticks. The breeze can blow right through it for it is mostly a sun shade and place to keep their very meager belongings. Since they live in family units and move about constantly, they just build a new shelter when they decide to stay in one place for a while. The Ovambos and the Namas live in small huts appearing to be made mostly out of flattened paraffin (kerosene) tins. They nail these onto a simple frame. Most of them look brown because of the rust. There are no windows, and the door is very simple and small as the whole building is very temporary. They serve as a place to store a few belongings including their precious sewing machines. They live mostly outside under the thorn trees. The Basters emulate the Europeans not only in their dress, but also in their homes and the languages they speak. Many of them are educated and train to be teachers, nurses, or builders. It was among them that we made our first contacts, and It was among them that we found the best response to the gospel.

Chapter 8


Our furnishings while we lived in Windhoek were very few. We had no bedroom furniture at all, and we slept on a folding couch in the living room. The kitchen had a table and four chairs, and I seem to remember an old refrigerator. We bought everything we had from a second hand store. The chapel was a different matter. As soon as we had a few chairs and had accessed our trunks and supplies, we started turning the lights on in the chapel, set up a flannel-graph tripod with a basic scene on it, and at the same time each evening we opened the door wide and set a record player out on the porch. Then we turned it up loud, in fact very loud, with a speaker directed toward the nearest African houses. The record was of hymns played on the chimes. Chimes carry and they had to compete with "Mocking Bird Hill" that was blasting from the beer hall a quarter mile away. After that record was finished, we started with our own devotions and prayers. At first, no one else came, but we were being heard, and unknown to us, being watched and listened to. The music attracted them. We were beginning to be despondent about what else we could do with our language difference, and one evening decided to have our devotions in our own kitchen. When nothing happened in the chapel that night, we were startled to hear a timid knock on the door. Behold there was a small cluster of children there. They wanted to know, weren't we having Bible. The oldest girl, Fredrika Pieterson, a young coloured lady and her brothers and sisters and their friends had been listening and watching from the dark street as there were no street lights in the area. This was the start we had been praying for. A few weeks later a school teacher offered to interpret for us and to give us Afrikaans lessons. We were exuberant. From that start, the young group grew and grew so I bought wood and built simple benches for the chapel. We expanded our lessons to include a Saturday afternoon time using vacation Bible School type lessons with handwork. And were learning a little Afrikaans. We also met and made friends with one of the ministers from the area. When the group began to grow, we naturally caught the attention of others as well, and the devil got involved We were being too successful. The weakness was that there was only one school available to these children, and they all attended there. That school was a mission school operated by the Rhenish Lutheran Church. At first they merely threatened the children, but when that did not stop them, they started to beat anyone ho came to us and threatened expulsion from the school. Our interpreter turned out to be a police spy, as several politically activated missionaries were investigated and two priests were expelled from the country. About that time the shopkeeper beside us rented an outbuilding in his yard facing our home to a teacher from the school who moved in there solely to write down the names of all the children who came to our services. They were to be expelled if they did not cease. Of course, the parents stopped their children from coming to us, and I decided it was time to make a greater effort to contact English speaking adults who would not be intimidated so easily. I wrote and using a hand operated stencil machine printed copies of a basic lesson series of studies. To get them into the hands of English speakers, I placed an advertisement.

Chapter 9


Knowing that we needed to contact adults, I bought a small hand cranked Gestetner stencil printer, prepared a series of correspondence Bible lessons in English, and placed a one column 2" advertisement in "Bona" and "Drum" magazines. I chose a magazine because people don't throw magazines away the way they do a newspaper. Both Bona and Drum are black, English language magazines. Both are very popular in Africa. What I did not know is that they are published in several editions. Those two adverts were placed in all of them, and they reached out to South Africa, South West Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, both Northern and Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and the Gold Coast, and even beyond. Those are all of the British Commonwealth and have English as an official language. After a slow start, the requests rolled in. We had invitations to come to their countries. Two new mission fields were actually to open because of that decision. God had led in this! That was how Bob became a self taught "printer and publisher" Soon the Gestetner had to be replaced by an electric printer followed by larger and larger offset presses. In time we made a "roll back" to another stencil machine, but this time to a electronic, computerized Risograph. That is a whole new story to be dwelt with later. At this early stage, Bob sent for a man to come from the new Preacher Training School in Kimberley, to hold a meeting and advise us as to what should be done about Windhoek.. Nick Qwemesha came during the Christmas Summer break at the school. It had been arranged that he would stay in the home of the minister of African Methodist Episcopal church, perhaps a quarter a mile away. He and his family were to be out of town that week. That was arranged because it was illegal for Nick to stay in the home of a white family. Those were Apartheid Years and, as foreigners, we could expect to be under surveillance. The second day he was there, Nick came to the Mission, cap-in-hand and asked to be allowed to stay with us. Even the little children were drunk in the township, and I am sure that he was frightened to stay there. We took him in and made a plan for him to sleep in the chapel, though there was not even one spare bed anywhere on the property. I think he put the benches together and put a mattress pad and blanket on them. He was much happier, and we came to know a really life long friend. Many years later when he died his family phoned to ask me to come preach his funeral, and His widow traveled hundreds of miles primarily to see us when we returned to Africa to be at the wedding of one of our grand daughters. Nick was very upset that there was no telephone in our house on the very edge of the township. When even the tiny ones who came to the meetings had obviously been drinking, he made it very clear that we should leave as soon as our lease expired and come and become a teacher in the Preacher Training School in Kimberley where he would be my interpreter. Phyllis had our two older girls and by that time Donna had just been born, so she and the children flew from Windhoek to Kimberley and I followed by road retracing the route we had followed two years before. This time I knew where I was going and what to expect. A new phase, a new home, and new friends lay ahead. We were to spend a happy twelve years in Kimberley before the Lord led us to the industrial heart of Africa, Johannesburg.

Saturday, February 28, 2009



The story is told of a German philosopher who was stumbling through the famous Tiergarden of Berlin. He was deep in thought and shabbily dressed and the caretaker suspected that he must be a hobo who had wandered in. He stopped him and asked him, “Who are you> ” and “Where are you going? “ Startled from his thoughts the elderly man who had been asking himself the same questions, replied, “I don’t know. I wish someone would tell me.”

There is no reason for any Christian to be confused about these questions. The answer is in our Bible. The answers are, “I am a child of God, and I am on my way to heaven.”

Our Lord is not only the author of science and history but he came to save us and set us on the way to our Heavenly home. If you know Jesus, you know who you are and where you are going.

1 John 3: 1-9

1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us,

1 John 3:1 : John 3:16; 1 John 4:10

In all religions of man, man is reaching up to god. Here we note right from the start of our text, that in Christianity man is not reaching up to God, but God is reaching down to man. It is because of the great love of the Father he provided a way of salvation that any person can do. Even a child can understand that God loves him and has asked him to believe that Jesus is His Son and be obedient to him.

Not only does God make a way for man to be saved, but He adopts those who also do what he instructs, into his own family and will share his home with them.

that we would be called children of God; and such we are

1 John 3:1 : John 1:12, John 11:52, Romans 8:16, John 3:2, 10

For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

1 John 3:1 ,John 15:18, 21; 16:3

Don’t expect non-Christians to understand this for it is beyond their comprehension. Why? Because they do not know God. How can they? They do not know his word, and faith comes through the word, written or spoken, but,most of all,lived and observed in the lives of Christians.

The real aliens in this world are not “beings from outer space,” but are Christians. There is even a song, you may recognize it from the words, “this world is not my home, I’m just a passin through” We are on our way to our heavenly home right now. One day, soon, we will arrive yhere and move in.

John, the beloved disciple continues:

2 Beloved, now we are children of God,

1 John 3:2 : 1 John 2:7
1 John 3:2 : John 1:12; 11:52; Rom 8:16; 1 John 3:1, 10

We are not just guests. We are not visitors. That life is permanent, there is a difference. For the 47 years we lived in Africa, we were guests, labeled as “aliens” in our documents, even though we could have lived there as long as we lived, but there is a difference. There were things we could not do. We could not vote. We could, and did pay taxes. We bought a home. As far as people around us could see, there was no difference.

As Christians we were and are still different. America is my land of birth, and I can, and do, vote, but still it is not my eternal home. That is still to come.

Why? Because I have been adopted into God’s family, we are siblings, and Jesus is our brother by adoption. He paid the price that we might be grafted into the family. The Holy Spirit is at work within us to make us what we need to be. He brings life, eternal life.

We are aware that the beautiful roses in our gardens are all grafted onto roots that are vigorous,but they produce no flowers at all or very poor ones. We have three bushes by our door. The middle one died back and then grew out from below the graft. It is a vigorous rambling plant with no blossoms. I need to dig it out, but so far have just cut it off at the ground level.

The Christian is grafted into the family, his power and very life depends on the gift of the Holy Spirit he gained when he was baptized into the body. The Holy Spirit will transform us into the very image of the Lord. This is an enigma to a non-believer. But, have you ever met someone for the first time, and without being told, just know that they are a child of God? Of course you have; like recognizes like. That is one of the reasons we are told in scripture to marry within the brotherhood of the Christian family. That is the brotherhood of the church. It has not appeared as yet what we will be like. We will know that when He appears, for we will be like Him.

1 John 3:2 : Rom 8:19, 23
1 John 3:2 : Luke 17:30; Col 3:4; 1 John 2:28
1 John 3:2 : Rom 8:29; 2 Pet 1:4
1 John 3:2 : John 17:24; 2 Cor 3:18

3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

1 John 3:3 : Rom 15:12; 1 Pet 1:3
1 John 3:3 : John 17:19; 2 Cor 7:1

This is a key verse of the text. We, as Christians, want to be becoming more like our Lord every day, for we look forward to live with him in his home one day. We have to have the strength of the Spirit to prepare us for that glorious opportunity.

There as a time when we were without Christ.

Philippians 3:12 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that that for which also I an apprehended of Christ Jesus. “

4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

1 John 1:8

“Practices” in the Greek means “to make sin habitual.” There is a difference between an occasional slip, which can be forgiven, a repentant Christian and a backslider who is not regretful, and who does not repent or ask to be forgiven. Some such, even deny that there is any such thing as sin, or speak of “white sins” as though there were grades or levels of sin. The Bible makes no such difference.

1 John 1:9
1 John 2:1

Sin is lawlessness, self serving, the breaking of the law of God, but more than that, it is the opposite of love. It can even be doing nothing at all. James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him
there is no sin.

1 John 3:4 : Rom 4:15; 1 John 5:17
1 John 3:5 : 1 John 1:2; 3:8
1 John 3:5 : John 1:29; 1 Pet 1:18-20; 1 John 2:2

Christ died to make his followers holy, to sanctify them. His purposes must be our purposes. We must be working toward the same goals.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Ephesians 5:25-27 ”Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

We know that it was because God loved us that He sent Jesus,

John 3:16,17. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son , that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through him the world might be saved.”

6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.

1 John 3:5 : 2 Cor 5:21; 1 John 2:29
1 John 3:6 : 1 John 3:9

7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;

1 John 3:6 : 1 John 2:3; 3 John 11
1 John 3:7 : 1 John 2:1
1 John 3:7 : 1 John 2:26

8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8 : Matt 4:3
1 John 3:8 : 1 John 3:5
1 John 3:8 : John 12:31; 16:11
1 John 3:9 : John 1:13; 3:3; 1 John 2:29; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18; 3 John 11

9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

1 John 3:9 : 1 Pet 1:23; 1 John 3:6; 5:18

Cross references:

1 John 3:7 : 1 John 2:29
1 John 3:8 : Matt 13:38; John 8:44; 1 John 3:10

Saturday, May 3, 2008


3155 - Spanish

Hechos 16:30

Arranged in the very words of inspired men by J.D. Phillips
1. Elios contestaron: - Cree en el Señor Jesus, y obtendrás la salvación tú y tu familia. (Hechos 16:31) Pero no es posible agradar a Dios sin tener fe, porque para acercase a Dios, uno tiene que creer que existe y que recompensa a los que lo buscan. (Hebereos 11:6) pero el que no crea, será condenado. (Marcos 16:16) porque si no creen que Yo Soy, morarán en sus pecados. (Juan 8:24) Así pasa con la fe: por sí sola, es decit, si no se demuestra con hechos, es una cosa muerta. (Santiago 2:17).
2. Vuélvanse a Dios (Hecos 2:38) Les digo que no; y si ustedes mismos no se vuelven a Dios, también morirán. (Lucas 13:3,5) Dios pasó por alto en otros tiempos la ignorancia de la gente, pero ahora ordena a todos, en tdas partes, que se vuelvan a él. (Hechos 17:30) ¡De manera que también a los que no son judíos les ha dado Dios la oportunidad de volverse a él y alcanzar la vida eterna! (Hecos 11:18).
3. Y con la boca se reconoce a Jesucristo para alcanzar la salvación. (Romanos 10:10) Si con tu boca reconoces a Jesús como Señor, y con tu corazón crees que Dios lo resucitó, alcanzarás la salvación. (Romanos 10:9) Si alguien se declara a mi favor delante de los hombres, yo también me declararé a favor de él delante de mi Padre que está en el cielo. (Mateo 10:32) Tú eres el Mesías (Mateo 16:16) Y el hombre confesió - Creo que Jesucristo es el Hijo de Dios. (Hechos 8:37).
4. Y aquella agua representaba el agua del bautiusmo, por medio del cual somos ahora salvados. (1 Pedro 3:21) El que crea y sea bautizado, obtendrá la salvación: (Marcos 16:16) Te aseguro que el que no nace de agua y del Espiritu, no puede entrar en el reino de Dios. (Juan 3:5) por pura misericordia nos salvó lavándonós y regenerándonos, y dándonos nueva vida por el Espíritu Santo. (Tito 3:5) Vuélvanse a Dios y bautícese cada uno en el nombre de Jesucristo, para que Dios les perdone sus pecados, y así él les dará el Espíritu Santo. (Hechos 2:38) Levántate, baitizate y lávate de tus pecados, invocando el nombre dei Señor. (Hechos 22:16) ya que al unirse a Cristo en el bautismo, (Gálatas 3:27) ¿No saben ustedes que, al quedar ubidos a Cristo Jesús en el bautismo, quedamos unitos a su muene? (Romanos 6:3) Por lo tánto, el que está unidi a Cristo es una nueva persona. (2 Corintos 5:17).
Esa bondad de Dios nos enseña a renunciar a la maidad y a los deseos nubdanos, y a lievar en el tiempo presente una vida de buen juicio, rectitud y piedad, mientras ilega el feliz cumplimiento de nuestra esperanza: el regreso glorioso de nuestro gran Dios y Salvador Jesucristo. El se entregó a la muerte por nosotros, para rescatarnos de loda maidad y limplarnos completamente, haciendo de nostros el pueblo de su propiedad, empeñados en hacer el bien. (Tito 2:12-14).
Los felicito porque siempre se acuerdan de mi y mantienen las tradiciones que les trasmiti. (1 Corintios 11:2).
Que el Señor Jesús derrame su graca sobre todos. (Apocalipsis 22:21).
Dichosos los que lavan sus ropas para tener derecho al árbol de la vida y poder entrar por las puertas de la ciudad. (Apocalipsis 22:14).

¿Cómo lo voy a estender, si no hay quien me lo expliqe ?

3111 - Spanish

Hechos 8:30-39

30. Cuando Felipe se acercó, oyó que el etiope leía el de Isaías; entonces le preguntó: -- ¿Entiende usted lo que está lyendo?
31. El etiope le contestó: – ¿Cómo lo voy a estender, si no hay quien me lo explique? Y le pidió a Felipe que subiera y se sentara juno a él.
32. La parte de la Escritura que estaba leyendo era esta: "Fue lievado como una oveja al matadero; como un cordero que se queda caliado delante de los que lo trasqilan, asi tampoco abrió el la boca.
33. Fue humillado, y no se le hizo justicia; ¿quién podrá hablar de su descendencia? Porque su vida fue arrancada de la tierra."
34. El funcionario etiope le preguntó a Felipe: – Dime, por favor, ¿de quién dice esto el profeta: de sí mismo o de algún otro?
35. Entonces Filipe, tomando como punto de partida el lugar de la Escritura que el etiope leía, le anunció la buena noticia acerca de Jesús.
36. Más tarde, al pasar por un sitio donde había agua, el funcionario dijo: – Aquí hay agua; ¿hay algún inconveniente para que yo seo bautizado?
37. Felipe le dijo: – Si cree usted de todo corazón, puede. Y el hombre contestó: – Creo que Jesucristo es el Higo de Dios.
38. Entonces mandó parar el carro; y los dos bajaron al agua, y Felipe lo bautizó.
39. Cuando subieron del agua, el Espíritu del Señor se lievó a Felipe, y el funcionario no lo volvió a ver; pero siguió su camino lleno de alegría.


2866 - Swahili

Matendo 8:26-40

26. Malaika wa Bwana akasema na Filipo, akamwambia, Ondoka ukaende upande wa kusini hata njia ile itelemkayo kutoka Yerusalemu kwenda Gaza; nayo ni jangwa.
27. Naye akaondoka, akaenda; mara akamwona mtu wa Kushi, towashi, mwenye mamlaka chini ya Kandake malkia wa Kushi, aliyewekwa juu ya hazina yake yote;
28. Naye alikuwa amekwenda Yerusalemu kuabudu, akawa akirejea, ameketi garini mwake akisoma chuo cha nabii Isaya.
29. Roho akamwambia Filipo, Sogea karibu na gari hili, ukashikamane nalo.
30. Basi Filipo akaenda mbio, akamsikia anasoma chuo cha nabii Isaya; akanena, Je!
31. Yamekuela haya unayosoma? Akasema, Nitawezaje kuelewa, mtu asiponiongoza? Akamsihi Filipo apande na kuketi pamoja naye.
32. Na fungu la Maandiko alilokuwa akilisoma ni hili, Aliongozwa kwenda machinjoni kama kondoo, Na kama vile mwana-kondoo alivyo kimya mbele yake amkataye manyoya, Vivyo hivyo yeye naye hafunui kinywa chake.
33. Katika kujidhili kwake hukumu yake iliondolewa. Ni nani atakayeeleza kizazi chake? Kwa maana uzima wake umeondolewa katika nchi.
34. Yule tswashi akamjibu Filipo, akasema, Nakuomba, nabii huyu asema maneno haya kwa habari ya nami; ni habari zake mwenyewe au za mtu mwingine?
35. Filipo akafunua kinywa chake, naye, akianza kwa andiko lilo hilo, akamhubiri habari njema za Yesu.
36. Wakawa wakiendelea njiani, wakafika mahali penye maji; yule towashi akasema, Tazama, maji haya; Ni nini kinachonizuia nisibatizwe?
37. Filipo akasema, Ukiamini kwa moyo wako wote, inawezekana. Akajibu, akanena, Naamini ya kwamba Yesu Kristo ndiye Mwana wa Mungu.
38. Akaamuru lile gari lisimame; wakatelemka wote mawili majini, Filipo na yule towashi; naye akambatiza.
39. Kisha, walipopanda kutoka majini, Roho wa Bwana akamnyakua Filipo, yule towashiasimwone tena; basi alikwenda zake akifurahi.
40. Lakini Filipo akaonekana katika Azoto, na alipokuwa akipita akahubiri Injili katika miji hata akafika Kaisaria.


โรม 8

8:26 พระวิญญาณก็ทรงช่วยเราเมื่อเราอ่อนกำลังด้วยเช่นกัน เพราะเราไม่รู้ว่าเราควรจะอธิษฐานขอสิ่งใดอย่างไร แต่พระวิญญาณเองทรงช่วยขอเพื่อเราด้วยความคร่ำครวญซึ่งเหลือที่จะพูดได้

8:27 และพระองค์ ผู้ทรงตรวจค้นใจมนุษย์ ก็ทรงทราบความหมายของพระวิญญาณ เพราะว่าพระองค์ทรงอธิษฐานขอเพื่อวิสุทธิชนตามที่ชอบพระทัยพระเจ้า

8:28 เรารู้ว่า พระเจ้าทรงร่วมมือกับคนทั้งหลายที่รักพระองค์ให้เกิดผลอันดีในทุกสิ่ง คือคนทั้งปวงที่พระองค์ได้ทรงเรียกตามพระประสงค์ของพระองค์

8:29 เพราะว่าผู้หนึ่งผู้ใดที่พระองค์ได้ทรงทราบอยู่แล้ว ผู้นั้นพระองค์ได้ทรงตั้งไว้ให้เป็นตามลักษณะพระฉายแห่งพระบุตรของพระองค์ เพื่อพระบุตรนั้นจะได้เป็นบุตรหัวปีท่ามกลางพวกพี่น้องเป็นอันมาก

8:30 ยิ่งกว่านั้นบรรดาผู้ที่พระองค์ได้ทรงตั้งไว้นั้น พระองค์ได้ทรงเรียกมาด้วย และผู้ที่พระองค์ได้ทรงเรียกมานั้น พระองค์ได้ทรงโปรดให้เป็นผู้ชอบธรรม และผู้ที่พระองค์ทรงโปรดให้เป็นผู้ชอบธรรม พระองค์ก็ทรงโปรดให้มีสง่าราศีด้วย

8:31 ถ้าเช่นนั้นเราจะว่าอย่างไร ถ้าพระเจ้าทรงอยู่ฝ่ายเรา ใครจะขัดขวางเรา

8:32 พระองค์ผู้มิได้ทรงหวงพระบุตรของพระองค์เอง แต่ได้ทรงโปรดประทานพระบุตรนั้นเพื่อเราทั้งหลาย ถ้าเช่นนั้นพระองค์จะไม่ทรงโปรดประทานสิ่งสารพัดให้เราทั้งหลาย ด้วยกันกับพระบุตรนั้นหรือ

8:33 ใครจะฟ้องคนเหล่านั้นที่พระเจ้าได้ทรงเลือกไว้ พระเจ้าทรงเป็นผู้ที่ทำให้เราเป็นคนชอบธรรมแล้ว

8:34 ใครเล่าจะเป็นผู้ปรับโทษอีก ก็คือพระคริสต์ผู้ทรงสิ้นพระชนม์แล้ว และยิ่งกว่านั้นอีกได้ทรงคืนพระชนม์ ทรงสถิต ณ เบื้องขวาพระหัตถ์ของพระเจ้า และทรงอธิษฐานขอเพื่อเราทั้งหลายด้วย

8:35 แล้วใครจะให้เราทั้งหลายขาดจากความรักของพระคริสต์ได้เล่า จะเป็นความยากลำบาก หรือความทุกข์ หรือการข่มเหง หรือการกันดารอาหาร หรือการเปลือยกาย หรือการถูกโพยภัย หรือการถูกคมดาบหรือ

8:36 ตามที่เขียนไว้แล้วว่า `เพราะเห็นแก่พระองค์ ข้าพระองค์ทั้งหลายจึงถูกประหารวันยังค่ำ และนับว่าเป็นเหมือนแกะสำหรับจะเอาไปฆ่า'

8:37 แต่ว่าในเหตุการณ์ทั้งปวงเหล่านี้ เรามีชัยเหลือล้นโดยพระองค์ผู้ได้ทรงรักเราทั้งหลาย

8:38 เพราะข้าพเจ้าเชื่อมั่นว่า แม้ความตาย หรือชีวิต หรือทูตสวรรค์ หรือผู้มีบรรดาศักดิ์ หรือฤทธิ์เดชทั้งหลาย หรือสิ่งซึ่งมีอยู่ในปัจจุบันนี้ หรือสิ่งซึ่งจะมีในภายหน้า

8:39 หรือซึ่งสูง หรือซึ่งลึก หรือสิ่งอื่นใดๆที่ได้ทรงสร้างแล้วนั้น จะไม่สามารถกระทำให้เราทั้งหลายขาดจากความรักของพระเจ้า ซึ่งมีอยู่ในพระเยซูคริสต์องค์พระผู้เป็นเจ้าของเราได้


3156 - Tonga (Zimbabwe)

Incito 16:30

Arranged in the very words of inspired men by J.D. Phillips
1. Bakati, Syoma ku-Mwami Jesu, non futulwe yebo abeõanda yako. (Incito 16:31) Pele kuti kakwiina lusyomo, tacikonzeki kukonda Leza, nkaambo woonse muntu uuswena kulinguwe uleelede kuzumina kuti Leza mpali akuti nguupa cilumbo kulibaabo bamuyandaula. (Ba-Hebrayo 11:6) Oyo uutazumini uyoozulwa. (Marko 16:16) nkaambo mwatazumina kuti ndime yooyo, muyoofwa muzibi zyanu. (Johane 8:24) Mbubonya obo lusyomo lutajisi milimo, mbululi lulike, lulifwide buyo. (Jakobo 2:17).
2. Amusanduke, (Incito 2:38) Pe, ndamwaambila kuti mwatasanduka muyoofwidilila anywebo nyoonse. (Luka 13:3,5) Ziindi ezyo zayakutaziba Leza wakazileka buyo, kwalo sunu ulailila bantu kuti kumasena oonse boonse basanduke. (Incito 17:30) Abalo bamasi Leza wabapa kusanduka kuti bapone. (Incito 11:18).
3. Akumulomo kulazuminwa kuti kube lufutuko. (Ba-Roma 10:10) Lyakuti, Anooli wazumina kumulomo kuti Jesus ngu-Mawami, akusyoma mumoyo wako kuti Leza wakamubusya kubafu, noti kafutuke. (Ba-Roma 10:9) Nceõambila kuti umwi aumwi uundizumina kubusya bwabantu, ambebo nzoomuzumina kubusyu bwa-Taata uuli kujulu. (Matayo 10:32) wamwaambila wati Nduwe Kristo, Mwana a-Leza muumi. (Matayo 16:16) Wavuwa wati, Ndasyoma kuti Jesu Kristo Mwana a-Leza. (Incito 8:37).
4. Aya makani ncecikozyano calubapatizyo mboluvuna ndinywe sunu (1 Petro 3:21) Oyo uuti kasyome akubapatizigwa uyoofutuka, pele oyo uutazumini uyoozulwa. (Marko 16:16) Jesu wakavuwa kuti, Ncobeni ndakwaambila kasimpe, Muntu atazalwa amaanzi a-Muuya, takonzya kunjila mu-Bwami bwa-Leza. (Johane 3:3,5) pele nkaambo kalweetelelo lwakwe mwini, ncakatufutula, (Tito 3:5) Amusanduke, mubapatizigwe umwi umwi muzina lya-Jesu Kristo, mujatilwe zibi zyanu, (Incito 2:38) Nyamuka, ubapatizigwe, usanzigwe zibi zyako, (Incito 22:16) Ikuti nyoonse nimwaka bapatizigwa muli-Kristo (Ba-Galatiya 3:27) Aboobo kuti muntu waba multi-Kristo. Waba mulenge mupya. (1 Ba-Korinto 5:17).
5. Kuzootwiisya kuti tuleelede kukazya kasampusampu azisusi zibi zyaansi ano, tuleelede kukala cakulibatamika acakululama acakulemeka Leza muciindi ecino casunu, akulindila eco coolwe ncotulangila, nkokuti kupompa kwabulemu kwa-Leza wesu mupati, Mufutuli wesu Jesu Kristo, nguwenya wakalyaaba nkaambo kesu, kuti atununune kuzibi zyoonse akulisalazizya bantu kuba banakwakwe, balisanga kumana milimo mibotu. (Tito 2:12-14).
Ndamulumbaizya nkaambo kakuti lyoonse mulandiibaluka, alimwi mbuli mbundakamusiila tunsiyansiya, mulajatisya ntuto. (1 Ba-Korinto 11:2).
Luzyalo lwa-Mwami Jesu alube anywe nyoonse. (Ciyubunuzyo 22:21)
Bali acoolwe abo basanzya zikobela zyabo, kuti bazumizigwe kucisamu cabuumi akunjila mumilyango yamunzi. (Ciyubunuzyo 22:14)