Africa is BIG. The land mass itself is phenomenal. Insert three USA’s within her borders and there is still plenty of room to spare. The continent also boasts BIG things: wide plains, long rivers, high mountains, deep gorges. Big describes anything from crocs to craters, buffalo to baobab trees; even some of Africa’s insects can leave a person, well, open-mouthed and bug-eyed!
And so can something else—something far more important: the opportunity for WELS gospel outreach on the African continent. The need is so enormous right now that it staggers the mind and stirs the soul. It’s not just that the door is big; it’s also open. Wide open!
Liberia. Uganda. Zimbabwe. Mozambique. Rwanda. The list goes on.
But amazingly, and maybe surprisingly, it’s not that One Africa Team missionaries are beating the bush in these far-flung countries looking for wandering sheep and lost lambs. Instead, they are rushing around, scratching their heads trying to do their best to answer every knock on the door and every cry from the dark: Come and help us!
The stream of requests for visits and teaching keeps flowing; the e-mails and phone calls keep landing on the desks of WELS World Missions and the One Africa Team. We are all standing wide-eyed and tippy-toed, eagerly awaiting to see what God will do with all these opportunities he’s handing to us. And yes, we are more than willing to go!
We’ve already made some inroads into Zimbabwe, and we’ve started teaching in Uganda and Liberia. We are working on a national church registration in Mozambique and made initial visits to Rwanda.
To say we are excited about these gospel outreach opportunities is an understatement. The reality that Christ can come at any time energizes us to work while it is still day. The One Africa Team has bound our core focus and passion around these monumental words: Christ for all, Great News for Africa!
But we need your help! Come and help us is not only their request to us—it’s ours to you. Can you “come and help us” in these outreach opportunities in Africa with your prayers and financial support? By God’s grace, we can take the truth that is so desperately needed and so disappointingly absent—Christ crucified and risen—into these parts of Africa.
We are so grateful to God for the generous past support of our WELS members. Thank you! For many of you, it’s the time of year to celebrate Thanksgiving. I don’t know how big your turkey or table or gathering will be, but I do know that we all have reason to give thanks to our God who has given—and continues to give—bountifully. Yes, Africa is big (you should see some of the spiders!), but God and his love are bigger still. Unfathomable. Unimaginable. In one of those “hand-over-my-mouth” moments, I can only stand in awe, pondering “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18).
Huh? I just heard something. Oh, excuse me, I’ve got to run. There’s a knock on the door. Another cry for help . . .
In his service,
Missionary John Holtz, One Africa Team
P.S. Check out the November edition of Forward in Christ to learn more about all the amazing outreach opportunities happening in Africa.