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Bibles For Africa in August 2015

Bibles for Africa in August 2015

Dear brothers and sisters,
It is with great pleasure that we share with you our experiences and knowledge from the Africa outreach 2015. Sit back and read as we reminisce on our spiritual adventure in an Africa which only few of us have ever seen.
Thank you
On behalf of the Mount Zion Ministries Africa Outreach 2015, we would like to share our appreciation to all and everyone, who had an involvement in making this cause possible. To everyone who made food donations, all the cookies, oranges, sweets, mealy meal and macaroni. To those who offered meat packages. For all the toys sponsored. For every household and camp site who opened their doors for us. Also to all the MZM members who loyally support the ministry financially every month. We thank you greatly and trust that you will reap what you have sown.
Further to Jaco and Nadia Vermaak, who despite their disappointment of not being able to join us on the outreach, still made their kitchen trailer available to us, may God bless you richly as He sees fit. It really made a world of difference for the kitchen teams as well as the packers.
And lastly thank you to the families that stayed behind, God will bless you for this time you have taken to allow us to embark on this journey and for every prayer, without your intercession this trip would not have been possible. Africa is not for the faint hearted. Eph6:13-17 “So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm. Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor. Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Let God’s saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God’s message that comes from the Spirit.” But our backs are not covered. Therefore we need our fellow brothers and sisters to shield our backs through intercession. Eph6:18 “Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people.”

MEET & GREETS
We arrived at our departing station in Okahandja on the Friday afternoon, at Gert and Eleanor du Plessis’ residence. We were greeted by our friendly Otjiwarongo farmers Frans and Martha Krone, as well as the resident biscuit baker Susan van Niekerk from Aroab and a new face to the group this year Jaquiline……..also from Aroab. We had a mother, daughter team join us again this year, Andriëtte and Elizabeth Heuer from Windhoek. And concluding this great team is SG Maritz and Rika Maritz, cattle farmers also from the south. We were scheduled to pack cars and trailers upon arrival but were delayed by a petrol leak in Frans’ trailer from the jerry can for the generator. So we had to clean it out and wait for it to dry. We gathered to discuss the trips itinerary as well as what is expected from everyone, for it is of utmost importance that we should move as one spirit all the time. Afterward we enjoyed Gert’s famous Boboti, and off to bed anxiously excited to finally start on the Africa Outreach 2015!
The long road
The first stretch is always the longest and most difficult. But we bravely set out on our 841.2 km to Divundu. We stopped for a very late brunch outside Otavi and enjoyed Martha’s padkos. It was a rather tedious road as Gerrit could not drive more than a 100km/h because of the kitchen trailer. Some concern started to arise as to whether we will reach camp before dark. To add to the concern Frans had a tyre puncture in Rundu and there were a lot of animals on the road to look out for. So by the time we got to the campsite it was dark. Jaco had joined us for a night of fellowship and with his help we all had our tents up in no time. After a quick braai we headed for our tents for a well-deserved nights rest.

WELCOME TO AFRICA!
We were welcomed into the new day with the sun beautifully rising over the Okavango River. Over breakfast we chatted about the hippopotamus which were grazing around our tents during the night following their tracks back to the river. What a superb way to start the day! Packing up always seemed like an impossible task to make everything fit again. But Frans and Gerrit knew what they were doing and every time we seemed to fit the entire luggage perfectly. At times we even were left with some extra space. We departed for Katima Mulilo, when just outside of Divundu Frans had another puncture on his 2nd wheel. But just like McGyver he had it temporary fix for the tyre ASAP and we could continue on our way. We were privileged enough to have an awesome camp site in Katima. Green grass, clean bathroom/ toilets, braai areas, power points. All majestically overlooking the Zambezi River. Everyone chose their tent spots and so we could enjoy a relaxed afternoon. Eleanor had set up a mouthwatering menu prior to the trip and therefore the team on kitchen duty could just follow instructions. Monday morning had a lot in store for all of us. It was still rather chili in the mornings so a cup of java and assorted rusks from the Aroab ladies was a great warm up. The men had to go about the official businesses, arranging all their permits, police clearance, etc. And maybe some new tyres for Frans………All the while the ladies took some time to just unwind, chat and get to know each other better. It was a great afternoon, enjoying the spoils of nature. Later on in the afternoon Gert took us to the Zion Orphanage, which MZM also has ties with, it is run by Travis and Jenny who generously have given their lives to enrich these kids not only physically, mentally but also spiritually. Unfortunately it was during the school holiday, so majority of the children had gone home to relatives. The missionaries who were on duty gave us a tour of the toddler wing, where there were twin boys and a few girls still boarding in the facility because they were not able to go home for the holidays. They shared with us some of their backgrounds, as well as the challenges they experience such as the distance from which these kids come to them. Actually only children from the Caprivi Region should be allowed to board there. Also they say the school leavers struggle to fit into society, especially the girls. Gert then took us to the areas where he had practiced warfare on the premises and explained how they ended up meeting Travis and his family. We bid our farewells strangely filled with love for people and children we haven’t met before, at the same time experiencing a need to do more, more for our communities, more for our brothers and sisters. And I am sure there were a few ladies who wanted to take all the little ones home with them. That evening we met Linda, what an extraordinary woman in Christ. She helped us by storing some of the things we had to leave behind before travelling further. We sat around the fire sharing stories and just listening to Linda as she told some of her experiences. Upon leaving, Gert said that there are some mealie meal which we brought with for her.
SIMPLICITY
On Day 4, 18 Aug Africa Outreach 2015 we headed for Zambia. At the other side of the Zambian border post, we stopped for brunch at the same spot as was done last year. We had just opened the kitchen when a car drove slowly and hooted twice. Now in Namibia we usually just wave, I guess it’s a form of road courtesy. But this car stopped, reversed and the driver approached us. He asked whether we needed help. He introduced himself as the chief’s son and that we were in the area of which his father is in charge of. We explained our mission and where we were from and he warm heartedly welcomed us on behalf of his father and offered their assistance in case we need anything during our stay. After we had spent so much time at the border post, this was a great welcome into the country. It also just confirmed that we were still on the right path. Even though we did not know what God had in store for us. It just verified our work so far. The man joined us for lunch, he expressed his gratefulness and left. We were just about finished with our meal, when another man appeared from out of the bushes, he was very skinny and ragged clearly a sign of malnutrition. We offered him some food left over from our Padkos, wondering when last this man had something to eat. Made us think of the passage in the Word which says, if we offer food and drink to people like these then we offer it to the Lord Himself. He sat down beside the bush and enjoyed the food. Although the language might have been a barrier his smile , expression and actions signified his appreciation. There is nothing better and more fulfilling than doing good for others unselfishly. We arrived at our home for the next two days. Next to the Zambezi River, what a peaceful environment. Joseph and Dukes, the pastors from the village where we will be visiting, came to greet and meet us. They joined us for dinner and a Jesus movie which Frans organized for us. Wednesday we set out to the village to join Joseph and Dukes to invite people from neighboring villages to come watch two Jesus movies with us. We split into two teams, one going north and one going south. We were able to extend invites to as far as 5 villages on. Despite the fact that most of the locals were at their gardens 45 minutes away, we were always able to find one person who could pass on the message. The other team ran into some cattle herders and Gerrit being a cattle farmer himself shared some advice with them. We were all very excited as to what we will still experience here in the heart of Africa.

Back in the starting village, we were all a bit drained from the heat, we moved toward a great shade tree in search of some coolness, when the wives of the pastors offered us some blue plastic chairs to sit on and Joseph proudly told us that those were the first eight chairs bought for the congregation.We were sitting on their best seats in the house, they had just given us their finest. What a way to be brought back down to earth. Mealie meal and macaroni was handed to them as well as a bag full of toys for the children. Again Joseph told us that they were praying for toys for their kids, and here we come with exactly everything they had been praying for. God had really answered their prayers. Not only do they depend on God for the food they eat, the chairs they sit on, but also for the toys for the little ones. We also gave them Some “LOZI” Bibles. What a surprise it was when Joseph told us that they were praying and trusting God, for some time,to give them Lozi Bibles. The thing that really touched the whole group, was the poverty and the separation from mankind which these people live under and that they have to depend on God for every single little thing they need. To see these people’s appreciation and meekness brought tears to our eyes. And to think how priviledged we are to have access to everything we need at the nearest shopping centre. These people has to depend on the Lord everyday for what they need.

We went to freshen up, and gather all the equipment for the nights viewing. By 6 o clock we were back in the village busy getting everything set up. The movie for the night was about Jesus’ life, we were able to get it in Nlozi so the people could understand better. Once again Frans and Gerrit drove to the invited villages to pick up the elders, children and mothers with babies. It took a while, but when the cars returned you could hear the children singing from the main road already. Just hearing that gave you such an excessive joy in your heart. We watched the movie with them and you could see how the people were being touched by what they were watching. After the movie Gert spoke a bit more about we just viewed, while Joseph translated, and gave people the opportunity to give their hearts to God. Many people came forward and was lead in prayer. I think everyone left there that night enriched in the Lord. Not by man made things, but by what God can do through us. We left for our campsite to get some sleep. The following morning we slept in a little. Then we went to the Ngonye falls, also known as the Sioma falls they are situated a few hundred kilometers upstream from Victoria Falls. As we arrived there one of the guides recognized Gert and it got us talking why this man remembered. As he sees so many tourists daily, what had made him special. Once again it is not really us, but what God does through us, a kind gesture, a smile. We walked through a little office to the back where we then started on a hikers path to the falls. We could hear the waters rushing as we came closer, it was a tough walk through thick river sand and rocks and pools to the water. And it is because of this inaccessibility that makes the Ngonye falls much less known than the Victorian falls.

Once we were on top you could see waterfalls and white water rapids as far as the eye could reach. It was beautiful and at the same time fearsome, you can just give thanks and praise to the Creator. Shattered by the heat we took on the road back for a quick rest and to rejuvenate ourselves before we start the movie the night. This time we were more prepared because we knew what to expect, we were screening Passion of Christ. Very intense movie, unfortunately we could only get it in Hebrew with English subtitles. This time the people were praise and worshipping while we setting up. Joseph and his wife have such incredible voices, that we could just stand in awe as you could start feeling the Spirit move around. Oom Gert, with Josephs translation explained that tonight’s movie will just be about the crucifixion of Jesus. Also describing that they would all understand it better after viewing the movie, together with what has been taught out of the Bible, that they would have more insight in it. As the movie played on you could feel how thick the atmosphere was becoming and the silence over the whole village, even the children were quiet. Everyone was just gasping at the realization of everything that really happened. The movie concluded and still no one moved, not one person even breathed I think. Joseph and Gert shared some word and again we waited for people who wanted to give their hearts and lives to God, and God really treated all off us that night. While everyone was leaving Joseph and Dukes came to sit with us and they just thanked us for showing this movie to them, because now they can just understand it so much more. They also expressed how much it touched their hearts. What an adventure……God used us to fulfill their physical needs and in turn these modest people taught us how to be submissive, to humble ourselves before God ( meek )Zeph2:3 /prov 16:19.

encouraging the holies
Friday 21 August, day 7 on the Africa Outreach 2015, we had to pack up to leave for Zimbabwe. We popped in at Gavin and Penny’s to bid our farewells, we were able to enjoy a very good cup of coffee and then it was off to our next mission. Just before the Zimbabwean border post we pulled over, and took a walk on the bridge, situated over the Zambezi river. The river acts as a border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, it is interesting that it also runs along the borders of Namibia and Botswana which are all the countries we visit on the Africa Outreach 2015.

It was mid afternoon when we arrived at the Zimbabwean border, and the officials took a bit longer with all the paperwork and formalities. As usual the kitchen trailer was the target. But we stayed calm, even though a nice clean toilet and clean cold water was much in need. Luckily when you are through the post you are in Victoria falls, in town, immediately. We drove through the tourist town to our final destination for the next two days. Fred and Alfrieda welcomed us with open arms. They offered their garden for us to put up our camp as well as two rooms inside their home. Which was a great relieve for some of us, because we didn’t have to put up our tents. We had a quiet evening, just freshening up and getting dinner ready. The ladies could sleep late that Saturday morning while the men had an early morning men’s prayer meeting with Fred and some of the other men his congregation. We joined the men for breakfast after their meeting. Later the afternoon some of the ladies decided to do some laundry and others opted for an afternoon nap under the large trees in the garden, while others read a book. We could just enjoy some leisure time. We took a quick drive to the local markets for some sightseeing. At the entrance of the market there was a crocodile cage diving, and we could see the crocs swimming around and baking in sun. None of us had the courage to do the cage diving. After which there were only tourist shops with ghastly prices and African statues and hand made dolls. Needless to say we ended up not buying any souvenirs. When returning home we were pleasantly surprised by the news that Fred would take us to see the Victoria Falls. The entrance fee was a bit high, but after we entered the gates and got the first glance of the water I am sure we all knew that it was worth it. All I could think about the whole time was, how Great our God is…look at what He makes. How artistically every rock is formed to create the perfect angle for the water to flow, at the same time the large showers of waters and the open rocks where the river runs makes you feel fearfully insignificant. How peaceful it can be, but at the same time how dangerous it can be. I could carry on and on about the marvels that is God’s creation. The falls is 1 kilometer in length and from there across the falls you can see Zambia. It was a far walk through a tropical path right to the end where we could see the Victoria Falls bridge where you can bungee jump from. On our path we met a Jewish couple who were there on holiday. We shared with them our mission and invited to visit Namibia one day. Even though the falls where empty due to a bad rainy season it was still a great experience to see it. Although everyone says it is a must see when it is full, so I guess next year we will go there again.

On Sunday we joined Fred and Alfrieda for their church service at their home. I think all we were supposed to do here was show love, just to fellowship and to encourage. After the service as we had coffee and chatted with everyone, you could see the calmness around the house. The people said their good byes and left for their homes. That afternoon Fred and Alfrieda once again spoiled us with another tour. We went on a self drive through a nature reserve. We stopped at a lodge where they do bungees and some other extreme sports. Everyone enjoyed a cappuccino while anxiously waiting to see someone jump, but alas no one was there at that moment. As we carried on we saw some antelopes and kudus along the way. To see the sunset we stopped at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge overlooking a water hole. When the sun had set we headed on to the Victoria Falls Hotel, it was both interesting and beautiful to see. A lot of history lies there and also needs a revisit as it was very dark by the time we got there and we could not really enjoy the view on the outside.

We enjoyed our last dinner in Victoria falls with Fred and Alfrieda, and had lovely nights rest. The morning of our departure Fred and Alfrieda joined us for morning communion. It was really special. It was a very emotional good bye, as we parted with new brothers and sisters in Christ. We left back to Katima Mulilo.
reboot
Back in the land of the brave, we camped at Protea Hotel again. We had invited Linda for a braai that night. Basically everyone split up trying to sort everything before we embark on the rest of our journey the next day. Frans went to pick up his trailer from the orphanage, the kitchen team was sparking to get everything done for dinner. Linda came over and we talked about our experiences in Zambia and Zimbabwe all the while the hippopotami were walking around the river bed feeding on the grass. Linda also brought us some homemade brownies, it was a great desert for the night. We said our final good byes with blessings. The next morning we were up early to start our trip to Botswana, we would then drive back through Divundu. We stopped for water and ice, the whole trip so far we have had a lack of drinking water and cold water, so we wanted to be fully prepared. We also had to make sure that all the food was packed securely so that the officials would not see any of it. Because the areas which are about to drive through are usually concerns for diseases.
New ground
We entered the Mahango Game Park. This is a small nature reserve linking Namibia to Botswana. We were hopeful to see a lot of wildlife. But there was a miscommunication and some of us drove all the way through to Botswana, because the Park is closed between sunrise and sunset. And we definitely did not want to get stuck in a camp where animal roam free and no camping is allowed. Therefore some of us missed seeing some animals, but some of us was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a few animals. At the border posts, strict measures are taken for the cleaning of tyres and shoes so as to not carry diseases over. As well as Ebola tests, etc. Vehicles were searched for anything which was not allowed to cross borders. But besides all of this we all always managed to have a great conversation which these people, smiles were always on their faces and always eager to receive a bible and a booklet. And this is how God made the all of the border posts easy to get through, without any complications. As we continued onward, we drove passed village after village no towns in sight. As with many of the other places we have also visited. We finally took a turn off and carried on, on gravel road. Until we reached a house hidden in the trees and on the bed of a river swamp, also the Zambezi. There came friendly new faces to meet us. Jerry and Magda, people who we were connected with through Frans. They opened their yard to us to set up camp. That evening we all just got unpacked and cleaned up. We had a braai and Jerry and Magda joined us. That night we had a chat around the fire about the Word of God. It was interesting as this is how we got to know our new friends better. Wednesday 26 August, day 12 on the Africa Outreach 2015 was another early morning for us. We would go with Jerry for the day visiting a village where he has started teaching the Word of God. First we had to go to the ferry to pick up two pastors who would do the translation. It was certainly something different to see how these people travel and how this ferry is all that links them to the main land. When the ferry arrived back, we took on a rather tricky road to the village. There was mostly river sand and so we had to drive very slowly so as to not get stuck. Gerrit had to let out some air from his tyres, so he can drive better over the sand. It was an hours trip in terrible heat when we finally arrived. The village was quiet, the pastors had to go in to call everyone. We sat listening as he explained Jesus’ life and the His Sacrifice. It takes so much patience to do something like this, waiting for the translation and repeating regularly so to ensure that the people remember. Regardless the people sat listening attentively, eagerly awaiting to hear of the great hope there is for all of us Listening to the Good News. Back at Jerry and Magda’s home we were all worn out from the long drive and the heat. So we all retired for an afternoon nap. That evening we enjoyed another braai with Jerry and Magda, we shared storied around the camp fire. They told us how little access to nutritional food they have, and having a braai is a total spoil for them. Jerry told us about the fire churches which a lot of people attended to receive healing and fortune. That night as it grew darker we could hear the chanting coming from the fire churches. They live in a rather secluded area in the woods far from the little civilization around them. As we enjoyed the left over brownies which Linda had made for us with a cup of coffee, you couldn’t help but admire these people who gave up all their comforts and safety to live in the middle of nowhere to teach God’s Word and spread Jesus’ Love!
27 August 2015, Thursday we packed up, packed the cars. We celebrated Holy Communion with Jerry and Magda. We left for Gansi. We still had a lot of uncertainty where we will spend the night, whether we would pass Gansi and continue to…….. Gansi looked just like any other normal town in Namibia, school children walking on the side walks on their way home. Tarred roads, houses all along the roads, a spar supermarket. We almost felt at home. The road was long and decided to check out the NG Church Jerry connected us with.

The church building was very large and because of the time of day and exhaustion we decided to stay over in the church and continue the next day. It was a pleasant stay, as no one had to pitch tents and we could make use of the kitchen inside the church. There were showers and bedrooms inside the church as well. So we were about to have a very comfortable stay. After unpacking we sat outside on the lawn under the large tree, we started sharing what each one has learned from the Africa Outreach 2015. Everyone agreed that we all were taught a thing a two about humbleness and appreciation, some also mentioned that they had learned how to serve. So many lessons and experience which we became richer with. God had really so far spoilt us with a bit of everything. We relished a wonderful quiet evening with food and laughter before we all snug off too bed. On our way out of Gansi we stopped for water and ice and as it was early we decided to sneak in a milkshake. We went to a lodge/restaurant not far from the shop. Around the table we chatted about home, as time drew near everyone was starting to get excited to get home to all their loved ones. Fun nonetheless.

We gradually continued to a small town in Botswana.. We reached there about midday. We missed the turn off, but Frans was quick to sort it out and we had arrived at our final destination. We stood closer to meet the host, who repeatedly expressed his gratitude that we came. Behind his house was a school and hostel for local children we could hear the laughs and screams . The host greeted us with an Indian saying (namaste). This struck us as very weird. He kept on by explaining what it meant. ( the god in me greets the god in you). As silence overcome the group, the host said that if we wanted to see the children, he would arrange everything and all we had to do is stand on stage and sing a song or anything else. He mentioned this numerous times. Our intention is to do the will of the Father and so we replied that we would see how the Spirit of the Lord leads us.
After all the formalities, we were given instructions as to how the lavatory facilities work. With majority of us being woman, it was rather frustrating arrangements. However it was our last night and we did not want to be unappreciative toward our host. WE set up our tents and getting all unpacked. While some of us were finishing off, the men got caught up in a conversation. Where it became evident that there seemed to be some hint of a NEW AGE BELIEVE SYSTEM. Gert then clarified to us how important it is to always know where you are going and the people you will stay with. In this case God totally protected us. The uncertainty we had the previous day whether or not to have spent the night at Gansi in the NG Church, and God lead us to stay the night. If we had driven through to Garies we would have been tired and we would have not known about the believes practiced here. But because we arrived early enough to still have a chat with the owner of the place, we could guard ourselves, and defend us from evil. We spent our last night rather uncomfortable, and when the sun rose we packed up and was ready to go in no time. We invited our host to break bread with us, it was special because it would be the last time us as a group would sit down together.

CONCLUSION
Wrapping up the Africa Outreach2015, it was just a joy treading on Namibian soil again. There is nothing like home ground, appreciating the bare desert landscape. God had such an amazing plan for us and it was our pleasure to abide by it. The need for these missionaries to be ministered to, they give out every day to people in need, people who don’t know Jesus. These brothers and sisters who have left the comfort of their homes, and the safety of their countries. Left their loved ones behind and all that they know, to do the will of God, to spread the Good News and to give love. This year God had sent us to encourage the Holies, to motivate and advise them in the Godly work they do. All the testimonies shared, all the experiences and all the joys of being a Christian, a Child of God, just made that extra difference on the path the Spiritual Leaders are walking. God supplied us with so much sponsorships and gifts, that we were able to sow the seeds further. Like Pastor Joseph in Zambia, who had said that they had prayed for food and toys etc… and weeks later here we pitch up with exactly that which they prayed for. The gratitude they had that God used us to fulfill their prayers and the obedience we had to walk the whole thing through. All the bibles and oranges handed out on the roads at the borders. The appreciation these people have for a bible. In my house we maybe have 3 to 4 bibles, they don’t even have one. We had so much meat, we thought we had counted the packets wrong. Because every time we checked the stock of meat were over with a few. We were able to give some to Fred and Alfrieda in Zimbabwe. They don’t have descend shops, and when there is food in its too expensive. They had such happiness, for such a small gift. Also we sowed to Jerry and Magda in Botswana.
Here in Windhoek, whatever meat we feel like, we can drive to Fruit&veg. But these people probably haven’t had this food. We also now know everywhere where the Ministry is involved in. It makes us proud to know in which institutions we are sowing seeds. We can only pray that God will bless our Outreach and the people we reached out to in 2015.
Greetings in God
And we certainly are looking forward to travel the road again in 2016. What a blessing it was for all of us.

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