Author: Willie Crew
Region: Southern Africa
on the Southern Africa trip - August 2011
We set out from Pretoria, South Africa on
an epic trip that would end back in the city five weeks and 7,300
The purpose of the trip was to join Live
School retreats in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi and to visit church
planting projects along the way, especially in Northern and Central
Mozambique. Traveling by road in Africa is always challenging, but
the rewards when you witness first hand what the Lord is doing
through His people in Africa are enormous.
I knew from the reports sent to us at WMC
that we would be blessed by what was awaiting us along the journey,
but I must admit that I experienced more than I
Jumper and Ps. Johnnie White from South Carolina, USA, and Hennie
van Loggerenberg, director of Live School CIS
Our first ministry stop was in Zimbabwe,
where we had a retreat with over 200 people in attendance. The
group was comprised of Live School facilitators, students and their
pastors. Also joining us was a group of 26 international guests
coming from South Africa, the USA and a number of countries from
the former Soviet Union. Among them were Pastors Ken Jumper and
Johnny White from Columbia, South Carolina who spoke with great
authority and anointing at the retreat. The meeting was held in a
very rural part of Zimbabwe, which meant that our team had to camp
- a new experience for a number of our guests.
The international team experiencing the African bush; our tent
village; a prayer session
After the Zimbabwe retreat, most of the
international team members flew back from Victoria Falls to
Johannesburg, South Africa and onto their home
With a small team from World Mission
Centre, we continued north to Lusaka, Zambia where we gathered with
the facilitators of 13 schools and the oversight team of Live
School Zambia for the second retreat. What a blessing to hear the
testimonies from both Live Schools in rural Zambia and others that
run in the cities. One of the graduates of Live School has been
given the oversight of the youth groups of 21 churches in the west
of Zambia. His ministry has enormous impact in the life of the next
generation. On the other side of the country, a school being run in
a prison is promising fantastic results.
Falls - one of the 7 natural wonders of the world; the Live School
From Zambia we drove further north to
Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, where we had some repairs done to
one of the vehicles. Chip Carroll, the Live School's West Africa
director, flew into Lilongwe to join us for the rest of the trip.
The next day we drove on to Mangochi on Lake Malawi, where one of
the oldest Live Schools in Southern Africa is continuing to run.
Using the students from this school, Pastors Peter and Billiot have
started over 20 churches, mostly among the Yao people
Here again we had a retreat with Live
School facilitators, students and pastors. The greatest blessing
was to hear their testimonies of how the Lord is using
After the retreat, we spent a day on the
World Mission Centre boat, the Kairos. Our visit was to inspect the
boat and plan needed repairs so she can be ready for the 2012
season. We are currently recruiting a crew and team that will head
north next year to minister to people in the villages along the
shore. Please put us into contact with anyone that you know who may
be interested in joining this exclusive team.
Greek for "an appointed or opportune time"; Lake Malawi's scenic
shore; Ps. Billiot interpreting for Naomi Opprecht, our outreach
From Malawi we drove east to northern
Mozambique to visit some of the churches planted in the Lake to Sea
project. You may recall some of the newsletters that I wrote about
this project. In the last five (5) years, over 100 churches have
been planted through the efforts of Lake to Sea.
We met with old friends that are doing
such a good job and also made some new ones.
On the way to Lione we stopped over to
meet with one of the Live School students that were trained by the
Mangochi school. What a blessing! They prepared a delicious meal
for us and then took us to see their church building. They have
begun to make more bricks in order to build a bigger
Carroll giving his testimony to listeners in need of encouragement;
a rural African church; sun dried bricks for church
The village of Lione, our next stop, is
home to one of the first church plants of the Lake to Sea project.
We camped next to the church for the night and spent the next day
with the people. The pastor that has recently been sent to this
church is encouragingly diligent. He has dug a water well that
serves the community, teaches the people to plant vegetables and
now has gained permission from the village elders to teach the
people how to farm more efficiently. They have built the first
church (Africa style) and have started a building that will seat
in Lione is one of Lake to Sea Project's earliest
From Lione we made our way to Lichinga,
the capital of Mozambique's Niassa province. Here we visited with
the committee that ran the Lake to Sea project. During our meeting
we handed over the entire process to them. Their response was
amazing. Without exception they said that they now have the vision
and will continue to plant churches in the province.
While part of our team visited church
plants in Bandeze and Lichinga, some guys stayed behind to work on
the WMC Land Rover that had been parked at one of the committee
members' homes. Rats had eaten away much of the wiring, and some
had even found their final resting place in the engine. Once we got
the car running, we decided to sell her to one of the locals. The
following day we packed up all of our equipment only to find that
one of our vehicles' radiators had sprung a leak. It took us a
whole day to take it out and repair. Since it was being held
together with epoxy, it's needless to say that I was not entirely
sure it would last. We had lost a day due to this breakdown and had
to take a shortcut via a rough 4x4 route to our next stop - Pemba.
Pemba, the capital of the Cabo Delgado Province, is picturesquely
situated on the Indian Ocean - and we were ready for a vacation.
But sadly, after no longer than a night by the beach, we had to
make our way 600 km south to the Nampula province.
repaired, we were able to sell the Land Rover; after a morning of
packing the cars, we discovered a leak in the radiator; the drive
to Pemba was challenging but stunning
One of our
typical padkos lunches en route to Pemba; scenes our brief time at
the beach in Pemba
In Nampula we had the extraordinary
privilege to meet with the leaders of two churches that we had
started ten (10) years ago. After our initial Project Focus teams
had started the churches, they were handed over to a national
church leader who then sent two of his people there. I had not been
back for many years and was blessed to meet the leaders of another
33 churches that had branched out from the first two.
We met in a grass enclosure (African
conference center) and again our team camped just outside the
meeting place. What a blessing! Our tents were only about 4 meters
away from the grass walls. Every morning at 04:00 we
would wake up as the leaders came together to pray.
One of their most earnest prayers was that
the Lord would grant them the grace to expand the Kingdom to every
village and town. We were able to give some of them much needed
Bibles and spent 3 days ministering to them. How graciously they
province's church leaders worshiping in the African conference
After an amazing time with some of the
most amazing people of Mozambique, we once again turned south and
headed to Chimoio. This was a two-day journey. After a brief visit
with our friend Pastor Gama, we headed across the eastern border of
Zimbabwe, and, after days of tenting, spend a refreshing night at
the Inn on the Vumba.
After a stop in Tshipise, a little town in
the north of South Africa, we drove homeward to Pretoria. On the
way we stopped in Polokwane, the capital of the Limpopo Province to
visit with the pastor and facilitator of a Live School. We were
interested to introduce him to Chip to discuss how he could help
establish Live Schools in West Africa.
Weary from the long journey, we arrived home in the
afternoon. After offloading the vehicles we retired for the
An AMAZING story: the next morning I
saw that all the water had run out of the vehicle whose radiator
had been leaking in Lichinga. As someone said, the Lord must have
had an angel plugging the hole with his finger so that we could get
home safely. Is God not good?
Now, a week later, we have almost finished
cleaning up the equipment and servicing the vehicles. And at last I
am back on email! I did not have my computer with me on the trip,
but that is a story for another day.
Separate reports on each of our stops
along the trip will soon follow.
Allow me to express a word of thanks to
everyone who was on this exhilarating trip. Whether you joined us
for the whole trip, for Zimbabwe or along the way, you made a real
impact in the life of the church in Southern Africa.
And to those of you who faithfully prayed
and gave, and you who looked after all the other work in so many
countries - THANK YOU!!! I am sure we will one day hear the Lord
say - well done!