open doors in south africa & namibia
Peace be with you, our beloved brethren. Thanks for all your prayers and support directed toward this ministry as we strive to GO, STAND, and SPEAK the Gospel of Jesus Christ before both Jew and Gentile, anywhere and everywhere around the world. Truly, I had a blessed and fruitful time of labor in Southern Africa with Brother Ricky back in March, and Ricky, in turn, enjoyed a blessed and fruitful six months of ministry in that corner of the world. His visa ran out, and he just returned to the States on May 10th, having gained some valuable experience in Jewish ministry ahead of our sending him out this Fall, Lord willing, to Kathmandu to start building a hospitality ministry focused upon sharing Christ with Israeli backpackers. Thus, we continually covet your prayers.
Back on March 6th, the President of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba, called the first National Day of Prayer for the country of Namibia, exhorting the nation to repentance and a cry for help to the God of the Bible in the face of growing violence toward women and children that has been infecting this desert land, a country that boasts one of the world's lowest population densities. Just a few days later, Ricky Springer and I drove a borrowed pickup truck into Namibia via South Africa's Vioolsdrif border crossing. We were immediately greeted by the welcome billboard photographed above. This sign had been erected by the Namibian government. Such things were cause for rejoicing as God gave FPGM opportunity to preach Christ in this uttermost corner of the globe, a place where He is obviously drawing people to Himself while other nations, Western societies that ought to know better, are putting their fingers in their ears and cursing the God who made and blessed them with foolish words, abominable works, spiritual indifference, lascivious worldliness, blasphemous pride, and compromised churches. Looking at that billboard, thinking of President Pohamba's call to prayer, and remembering the open door we had to proclaim the Gospel of Christ in Namibia . . . I cannot help but feel shame concerning my own nation and recall to mind some sobering warnings of Holy Scripture:
They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those that are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation (Deuteronomy 32:21)
I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name (Isaiah 65:1)
Shortly after returning from Africa, I went to preach at an atheist rally in Hickory's downtown square, the same place where my brother and I were arrested for handing out Gospel tracts back in 2008. These atheists were gathered to mock our own National Day of Prayer. Behind their podium which was used to promote a handful of so-called speakers who bloviated about a whole lot of foolishness, there was an "atheist banner" featuring the busts of Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. LOL. In those moments, I thought of Ben Franklin's last letter to the fiery open-air preacher, George Whitfield, a correspondence in which the statesman expressed a desire to move with the preacher to the Ohio Valley and take the Gospel to the Indians. Then, there was Franklin's bold speech to the Constitutional Convention of the United States, insisting that prayer be offered to the God of the Bible before every deliberation and every single session. Funny, in a pamphlet he wrote entitled Information to Those Who Would Remove to America, a travel brochure of sorts, Franklin stated: "Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel." James Madison, well, he wrote once of the deity of Christ as clearly evident in John 22; and it was he who so eloquently affirmed that the future of America wasn't dependent upon military might or self-governance but "upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." And, yes, he was speaking of the God of the Bible, not Allah of the Quran.
Finally, I thought of Thomas Jefferson, one of history's most enigmatic personages. Like President Pohamba of Namibia, he, as President of the United States, once offered a National Prayer of Peace. It was March 4, 1805, and he prayed to the God of the Bible: "Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way . . . In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, Amen [emphasis mine]." My, how things have changed! America, like those atheists in Hickory who obviously know nothing about history, has become a nation of fools, calling good evil and evil good. Violence, discord, confusion, pride, arrogance, and every evil way are the norm. Yet, the Lord is opening doors all over the world; and African nations like Namibia are calling out to the God of the Bible as our forefathers once did. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)." What a privilege it is to go and preach Christ where His Gospel is welcomed. God Bless Namibia! God Save the United States!
Below, are Ricky's words, a ministry report penned a couple of weeks before he returned to the States on May 10th. Herein, he describes much of what took place during our time of mutual labor in the Southern Hemisphere. I apologize for taking so long to get this thing posted. Notwithstanding, to God be the glory, great things He hath done. I have also included some video footage for your enjoyment and as cause to praise the Lord of Lords:
Greetings from South Africa, dear brethren, my brothers and sisters according to the adoption of fallen men into the fellowship of saints, to whom only is given the power to become sons of God by the grace of Jesus Christ (John 1:12). I pray this update will encourage your heart as you read of God’s work amongst the nations. And, I trust that you, too, are living a life that is pleasing and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1-2). This place from which I am writing was first discovered by Dutch seaman who were in search of better Asian trade routes. South Africa has a long and omplicated history of European settlers colliding with central African peoples in a vast, largely uninhabited prairie. As a result, the country has become quite culturally diverse. During the time of British colonialism, when the sun never set on the British Empire, there were also many Indian and Malaysian workers that came to South Africa. Thus, nowadays, one can easily share Christ here with people from very different heritages that literally filter in from all corners of the globe. And, as you might expect, with the influx of of settlers and emigrants, there also exists a goodly Jewish population.
I first arrived in South Africa last December during the funeral processions for Nelson Mandela. I met up with a dear brother from Peitermaritzberg, and we preached in the open air at Mandela’s wake in Pretoria, one of South Africa's three capital cities. I also had the privilege of delivering a large box of Bibles and gospel tracts to this brother due to the scarcity and incredibly high cost of Christian literature in this part of the world. Gary and I enjoyed a few good days of preaching together before I hopped a 20-hour bus down to Cape Town to settle in and start evangelizing the area. The Lord provided me with a little room right in the middle of the Seapoint Jewish neighborhood. This has been my base for going out and speaking to the Jewish people about their need to repent into the loving arms of their Messiah. Something as simple as strolling to the grocery store yields an opportunity to speak of repentance and salvation with the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
Also, as I became acquainted with Cape Town, an incredibly beautiful city right on the cold waters of the Eastern Atlantic, I was able to start attending a solid church that holds a high regard for the simplicity of worship and a strong desire to separate itself from the norm of apostasy that is present in our time. This local body of believers is much like other Remnant Bodies I have seen in other places: the majority of the members have come out from among dead protestant/evangelical churches. If you find yourself in a church of apostasy, seek the Lord and boldly come out from among them (II Corinthians 6:17). Then, prayerfully seek a sound group of believers to meet with for church. Forsaking true church fellowship is never led of God. For the Word is clear: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
After settling and a little research, I organized a trip up to Namibia, formerly Southwest Africa, with Jesse, my partner in ministry. I spoke to one of the members of the church here in Cape Town about ministry contacts and a suitable preaching route. Because of the abundance of dirt roads in Namibia, proper transportation at once became a matter of prayer. Later, I met with the pastor of the local church where I had been attending. As I was sharing some goals of the ministry up in Namibia, he interrupted me: "Why don’t you just take my bakkie [i.e. Afrikaans for truck]?” At once, I reiterated that we would be traveling far and driving many kilometers along rugged gravel roads in a foreign country, etc., etc. "No," he replied, "just let me know the dates you will be gone and take my truck. It's not my truck anyway; it is the Lord's. And, if you wreck it, don't worry. It's the Lord's truck." What an example of cheerful service and sacrifice for the gospel! Many a pastor in America could learn from this dear man of God's example of hospitality. Look, if a pastor, church leader, or missionary isn't "given to hospitality," then he needs to step away from the ministry and get right with the Lord (Romans 12:13; I Timothy 3:2). Anyway, God made provision with a roomy pickup truck that wore a camper shell. In terms of carrying Bibles, Gospel materials, and camping gear, it was exactly what we needed.
To make a long story short, Jesse came to Cape Town, and we were able to make the long drive up to Windhoek, the capitol city of Namibia, and then out to some fishing towns on the coast. In the end, it was a long, long, 2,000+ mile circuit. Namibia is a very barren country with vast deserts, so it's typically a long jog between each town. Notwithstanding, the Lord always appointed a group of people in each place to hear the Gospel. In fact, a week before we came into the country, the President of Namibia had publicly called for a National Day of Prayer to the God of the Bible for the first time in Namibia's history. The Lord is certainly at work there. One phenomenon commonly seen amongst Africans is a plethora of prosperity-preachers deceiving professing Christians and robbing the church of God’s money. Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, T.B. Joshua, Pastor Chris, and other fork-tongued false teachers are all over the television 24/7. Thankfully, based upon numerous personal conversations, it seems many Namibians are realizing this evil deception and learning to shun such teaching. Praise God!
Once Jesse and I came into the country, we arrived at the small town of Keetmanshoop and contacted some Christians I had been informed about. Among them was a Dutch missionary who had been in the country for several years. Jacque was very encouraged to have us come through, and he directed us to the local park in the town center to preach. The little town seemed to be curious about us, and handfuls of people would stop for a bit to listen and take Gospel tracts. There were a few people standing around after we finished preaching, who had questions, and a few others needed Bibles. It was a blessing to have a local church involved in the outreach. After we left, I received a text message from Jacque asking about the make and model of my little preaching speaker, an Aker, a street preacher's affordable and necessary tool, made in China:) Perhaps the Lord used our time in that windswept town to convict a missionary brother of the power and need of the public proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Later, on our way back to South Africa, we stopped again to preach in Keetmanshoop. Again, there was fruit. After preaching on a busy street corner and giving away our last Bible, Jesse bought a cart of groceries for a very needy family. We visited their home, prayed over them, and then put them in contact with the local church that had opened their doors to us. It was a blessed experience.
After our first stop in Keetmanshoop, we continued north toward the capital city of Windhoek. Enroute, the enjoyed a few witnessing encounters and camped along a dirt road in the African bush. As we relaxed beside a fire under a nice moon and the very different constellations of the Southern Hemisphere, a man walked by, headed home to his village. Jesse gave him a Gospel tract and briefly shared about the Lord. He then warned us about the snakes and very much encouraged us to sleep INSIDE the tent. At once, we thought of black mambas and green mambas, some of the most poisonous snakes on the planet. Needless to say, we checked the tent and our sleeping bags thoroughly and stayed INSIDE. The next morning, we preached our guts out in Rehoboth, a decent-sized town with zero churches, none, zip, nada. It was a good time, and many heard the Word. Jesse even broke out into a long concert of old hymns, one right after another. There were not a few strange looks on the African faces as the white man bellowed chorus after chorus.
Early afternoon, we arrive in Windhoek and went straight over to the University of Namibia. Under the hot African sun, we found spot in the heart of the campus where students were gathered over lunch. It did not appear that this place had ever seen a street preacher. What followed was awesome, as we had complete freedom to preach with a speaker and hand out Gospel literature. Some Christian students said that they were convicted to be more bold with the Gospel. The whole experience was in stark contrast to the reaction typically experienced in the United States! In fact, much of my time out of America brings a testimony of judgment against Churchianity in America. While we preached at the University of Namibia, many students took Gospel tracts and came up afterwards for more material about the Bible. Most Christian "religion" in Africa is a weak form of Christianity mixed with a great deal of superstition and ancestral worship. And, in an environment like that, you find waves of false teaching, tossing the Christians to and fro. In the face of this, it was an honor and a pleasure to declare the simple New Testament truth and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Interestingly, as we once transitioned to another spot on campus, a faculty member chased us down. Initially, we thought he was coming to rebuke us and ask us to leave the university. Ironically, however, he was full of gratitude for our coming, announcing that such bold preaching was exactly what the students needed. He then asked if he could pray for us. As he bowed his head and lifted his hands, what followed was a most fervent and passionate cry unto the Father of Lights on our behalf. We were moved; we were blessed. Then, I thought of America where the last university faculty member to chase us down like that opened his filthy mouth and vomited forth all kinds of blasphemies and foolishness. America is wicked!
The next day, we found ourselves down in Windhoek's city center, preaching in another park. As soon as we entered the palm tree lined greenspace, a man came up telling us that we could not preach Christ there because he was a Satanist. After a short rebuke from Jesse, we walked over to a good spot and started preaching. Once we finished, conversations broke out with a number of people who needed sound doctrine about a host of different Biblical topics. I sat and talked with a Jehovah’s Witness for about thirty minutes and did my best to expose the erroneous ways of heresy to which he had fallen prey. This man even grabbed the “Bible” that was given to him so that I could point out the damning ways that JW's have changed God’s Holy Word to fit their own false doctrines of Antichrist. As I was doing this, Jesse was discussing with a man who desperately wanted a Bible. The only one we had was back in the truck, so Jesse ran more than a mile to retrieve it. As Jesse ran, he encountered the “Satanist” again; and the man had a strangely different attitude this time. He claimed to be merely testing us to see if we really believed what we spoke. He wanted to know more, and Jesse prayed over him. The man ended up taking a Gospel tract at the close of their conversation. Praise the Lord!
From Windhoek, we made the long drive out to the Atlantic Coast to find a warm welcome from a local church in Walvis Bay. Upon arrival, we met up with two gentlemen from a local church. Both had only recently been saved, and, praise God, both had a strong desire to be more bold with the Gospel. The younger man joined us one afternoon for a couple of hours while we preached outside of the restaurant he owned. Earlier, before the doors opened, he had Jesse come in and preach to his restaurant staff. My friends, this was a true Romans 1:16 testimony--not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ! The other brother invited us come to a church fellowship one for an incredible braai (i.e. Afrikaans for bar-b-que). There had been much talk about the church’s involvement with persecuted Christians in BN (for security reasons, I will not spell out the name of the country) and that a believer from BN was in Walvis Bay that very week. BN is a very closed country where there are many Nepali-speaking peoples. Back in 2007, Jesse and his ministry colleague were beaten by police and blacklisted from re-entering BN for preaching the Gospel and distributing Gospel literature. Since, FPGM has been praying for an open door to return. Anyway, it was powerful for all of us to connect and share Bhutan stories in the Namib Desert, of all places. When Jesse walked through the door at the braai, he immediately noticed the man and his wife from BN. He approached and began speaking Nepali to them. The brother and his wife were both shocked, as were all the Namibian believers. All were encouraged to see the immediate bond that unites the family of God across cultures. Wow, we had such a great time of fellowship and ministry alongside the Christians in Walvis Bay; and we were very blessed by their hospitality. And because of an unexpected divine appointment, it seems there may be an opportunity for an FPGM team to return to BN and meet with the persecuted brethren there.
With spirits lifted and bodies rested, we started the drive back south. We opted for a long dirt road route so as to evangelize more towns. This brought us into some interesting little places. In Gochas, what seemed to be the end of the world, for example, we just parked the truck the middle of town, opened the tailgate, and started preaching to everyone that was resting in the shade during their lunch hour. There was also Mariental, Mata Mata, Solitaire, and Vioolsdrift. Along the dirt roads, we stopped to give tracts to passing bushmen and saw plenty of God's creatures: lions, oryx, giraffes, wildebeests, springboks, zebras, ostriches, hartebeests, vultures, baboons, and millipedes the length of your foot.
Upon returning to South Africa, we found ourselves in Port Nolloth, a little coastal fishing village in the Northern Cape. After camping on the beach, we spent the morning conversing with a very racist man who was quenching the Holy Spirit because of an unwillingness to forgive others. A sad and pitiful torment awaits the souls of men like him who justify themselves and refuse to repent. After leaving Brian (please pray that the Lord will free him from the bondage of bitterness), we drove over to the local township (South African word for slum) where droves of shanty domiciles were erected on dunes. We got out the speaker, filled our packs with tracts, and then walked those dusty lanes, declaring the salvation of God in Jesus Christ. Many heard; and I am sure many wondered at the coming of these strange white men. Eventually, we found ourselves in a dark little room with a group of men who were sitting around drinking and smoking marijuana. These guys demanded that we sit and preach to them. After I spoke for a few minutes, they seemed convicted and let go of their usual excuses for the life they were living. We all gathered and bowed our knees to the Lord and prayed that Jesus would deliver them from their wicked lifestyles and save their lost souls. Jesse and I were able to leave one Bible for the group of men to share. Pray to God that these would be found with their faith in Christ at the day of His appearing. I am certain this was a divine appointment.
Back in Cape Town, we geared up for a martial arts demonstration that I had organized at a local Jewish retirement home. I had spent time visiting with different residents there since I had arrived in December of last year. Anyway, the demonstration was a great tool to use as a platform for teaching the Jewish people about the risen and returning Messiah--Jesus, the Christ! The day went really well. A good group of Jewish residents showed up for the demonstration and thoroughly enjoyed it. Jesse took the opportunity to read some corresponding Scripture from the T’nakh about godly men who loved the Lord and a few Messianic passages. He even tied in some Scripture from the New Testament. After the event was over, we were able offer free Bibles, very nice hardback English/Hebrew Bibles. Some were pretty open to talk to us as we were up front and not beguiling anyone about who we are. We believe therefore we speak. One man has since allowed me to come back and discuss things with him. He said, “I am a Jew. And Jews cannot believe in this Jesus. But, I tell you, the Scripture about ‘unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.’ That’s Jesus.” He didn’t want to take a New Testament though. It’s strange to me that so many I encounter will openly talk to me about the Messiah and Jesus. Yet, they cannot bring themselves to receiving the New Testament. Pray for these people. Many of them are in the latter stages of their lives and will soon give up their soul for judgment. Below is some video footage from the martial arts demonstration:
martial arts demo at highlands house in cape town
Jesse only had about a week left in South Africa, so we found several places to preach around the city. One night, we joined the local church for ministry on the streets of a very seedy part of town. About 25 church members showed up for the outreach. That’s a pretty remarkable turnout for a church nowadays. And isn’t that a shame? We really need to pray for more laborers to go into the harvest. We also preached on a few local university campuses. Cape Town University was very liberal, and many sat laughing at the strange sight of American preachers. The University of the Western Cape was quite mellow, and many students took tracts or stood for a little to listen before carrying on with their day. We went out to Stellenbosch University with the same pastor who had given us his truck to use in Namibia. The preaching there initiated discussions about a whole host of topics. And, not a few students stopped to sit for the duration of the preaching. It’s amazing to me to see so many people here needing a Bible. On a beautiful morning at the southernmost tip of Africa, at Cape Agulhas, Jesse delivered an open-air sermon to a Bible study group. A couple of people were deeply impacted, and one young man spent a night talking to Jesse about the things of the Lord. The last day we preached together was a great outing with the local pastor. He wanted to use us to assist the work he and another brother have been involved with down in the middle of a large Somali Muslim neighborhood. A few thousand Somalis have illegally immigrated to Cape Town for work; and this makes for a unique open opportunity to preach Christ to those who would never hear the Gospel in their own tightly closed Muslim country. That day, quite a few Somalis heard the Gospel for the first time, and many were able to hear truth about Jesus in opposition to the multitude of lies they are taught about Christ by the wicked Imams.
Jesse has since gone back to the States, and I am finishing up my time here in South Africa. I leave in about a month. Utilizing the open door at the Jewish retirement home and also partnering with the local church in outreach will certainly allow for a strong finish. Before signing off, let me squeeze in a little recap about my time yesterday during the Jewish holiday of Passover. Last Passover, God let me preach outside of a large seder meal in Bariloche, Argentina. This year, I simply walked up and down the streets of a Jewish neighborhood and conversed with the frantically busy people as they prepared for the seder. As I spoke with lost sheep of the House of Israel, I found a curious confusion and war inside of them as to whether they can really finally believe that Jesus truly is the Jewish Messiah. For centuries, the Jewish people have praised different false-Messiah’s that failed to fulfill the numerous Old Testament prophecies miserably. Yet, two-thousand years after Jesus arose from the grave, many of them still cling to a raw rejection of the Cornerstone.
Please keep Full Proof Gospel Ministries in prayer as many ministry decisions are being made in a world that boasts more lost souls than ever before in the history of mankind.
fpgm in south africa
fpgm in namibia
Praise God for FPGM missionaries who are faithful in their handling and proclamation of the Gospel in some very out-of-the-way and difficult places. Again, please continue to pray for Ricky as we work together toward building a hospitality ministry for Israeli backpackers in South Asia, a place these frequent annually. As mentioned, we hope to have him back on the ground in Kathmandu sometime this Fall. In the meantime, he will be seeking the Lord's provision and sharing this vision with the Remnant Body of Christ here in America. On June 8th, FPGM will be hosting a formal commissioning service for our newest laborer, Janine Ward. As early as June 10th, she will be flying to Delhi and then transitioning into a very difficult and dark place north of there. For security reasons, I cannot go into much detail, but we praise God as it looks like He has already provided a reasonably cheap flat in which they can live. July will be a very busy month of spiritual darkness in this place; so there will be abundant opportunity to sow light, particularly amongst women and children who know not the name of Jesus Christ. Please pray that the Lord brings things together so that Janine can be on the field before July and the local festivals associated with that month.
For a couple of weeks in June, Brother Bishnu, our Nepali national partner, will be here in North Carolina, as the Lord has miraculously provided a renewed tourist visa for him and the means to travel here. Before coming to us, he will be in New York City, Nashville, and Denver, sharing with local church bodies about the fruitful and bold Gospel work in Nepal and targeting Nepali-Speaking refugee communities with the Gospel. In NC, we hope to locate some of these refugees that are supposedly living in both Charlotte and Greensboro. It will be a short but blessed time together. During those days in June, the Hickory Alive festivals will be in full swing. Bishnu was there that night in June of 2008 when my brother and I were arrested on public property during Hickory Alive for handing out Gospel tracts. Bishnu was shocked. I cannot wait to take him back six years later so we can preach our guts out.
Jamie and I are praying that the Lord opens the door for our family to return to South Asia to assist both Janine and Ricky with their work. Moreover, we also have our hearts pricked for a very dark corner, one of the most closed places on the entire planet. We have visited and sown seeds there before, but now find ourselves burdened with a vision for getting into this place for the long haul on a very unique platform, a platform that will require some credentials that I am actively pursuing even now. It will take a miracle to pull it all off, but I have seen the Lord do such miracles in the lives of faithful missionaries. There are many things for which He must provide, and it may take a couple of years to get things in order. But, we desire it; the children desire it; may the Lord provide it. I cannot go into any more detail at this time, yet as the days are short, I recall to mind the words of William Carey, "Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God." Praise for us and FPGM as we continually seek wisdom in these matters. As Ricky said above: "Please keep Full Proof Gospel Ministries in prayer as many ministry decisions are being made in a world that boasts more lost souls than ever before in the history of mankind."
Thanks again for all your love and support as we labor together--some preaching, some going, others holding the ropes . . . occupying until our Lord comes. Maranatha!
Jesse Boyd, President Full Proof Gospel Ministries