I spent the past week with the team of Impact Africa – an organization focusing on bringing the Gospel to squatter camps in Johannesburg, providing foundational early education to children in squatter camps who have no options, and providing after-care and medical programs to those squatter camps.
Last Wednesday through Saturday we went to Estcourt and Loskop, villages in Kwazulu-Natal. These villages are about 5 hours from Johannesburg on the way to Durban. Impact Africa has been doing outreach in schools there for many years and this trip was to visit those schools with the message of the gospel.
In two days the team visited primary and secondary schools (five in total), a school for the disabled, and discipled members of a church who meet at the back of a liquor store. The Gospel was presented to over 2,700 students. Dozens of commitments were made for Christ. Two days of surrendering our schedule, agenda, and some comforts resulted in more relationships built, an invitation from each school to return, powerful prayer for students and teachers, and souls changed for eternity.
One of the best lessons I saw over those two days was ‘The Colors of the Flag’. The Impact interns would hold up the South African flag and ask the students what each color means.
For South Africa, the black color represents the African people. The yellow represents the gold and minerals in the land. The green is for the agriculture and land. White is for peace after apartheid. The blue symbolizes the two oceans surrounding the country. Red is for all the bloodshed during the revolution. How easily these colors transfer to the gospel! Black for sin, gold for heaven, red for Jesus shedding His blood, white for His blood making our sins clean, blue for the Holy Spirit given to us so we have a guide here on earth, and green to represent our growing relationship with God. How many students when they see their flag now see a double meaning? What a way to remember what Christ has done for them!
Being in Loskop and Estcourt reminded me of the urgency with which we must preach the Gospel. Many students have no hope for their futures. They watch their parents die young from AIDS and they see people in their village unable to get jobs. We need to remember God has a plan for each student, each person to further His Kingdom. We need to remember that eternity is on the line. We need to remember the hope of Christ CAN transform people and situations. We need to remember one person walking with Christ can bring a whole nation to their knees.This is not a message that can wait until tomorrow. It is not a message that can be put to the side when we feel like being bold. It must be given to all who will hear, to all who pass by, to all we encounter.
Are you living with urgency?
Have you seen Christ transform a person or community?
(For more pictures be sure to check out my online photo album!)