It gives us great pleasure to update you regarding where we are at in relation to God's new challenge to us, in terms of foreign missions. You are, by now, aware of God's guidance and calling to trust Him to go to the mission field. We have since committed ourselves to this task. It is very encouraging to see over these last few months how God confirmed this calling; we are humbled indeed.
In this report we cover the following important information for your perusal and prayer.
- The Missions Organisation
- The Country
- Raising Partners/Supporters
- The beginning 2010 - we hope to leave the shores of Africa
- Prayer request
The Missions Organisation
Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ [WEC] is an organisation that we have had a long standing relationship with. A number of the South African workers are friends of ours. WEC's long term goals and ministry ethos is encouraging and we can identify ourselves with it. We have submitted our application and were encouraged to attend their three months orientation course: this is compulsory for new candidates. This will mean that I will have to shorten my studies at the Bible Institute during this time. For more information on WEC and their ministry and vision, please visit their website www.wec-int.org [this link opens in a new browser window].
Since our very first visit to Europe way back in 1984, we had this desire to work on this continent on a more long term basis. Twenty plus years later, the desire to return has increased. A UK newspaper reported that "Europe is now the most secular continent on the earth". We are praying about former East Germany. Excerpts from World Prayer News, March to May 2007 revealed this staggering information on the need in this former Eastern Country: "One district of a North East City has a population of 30,000 but not one church". The need on this continent is immense. We are very much drawn to Eastern Europe. We are in prayer concerning former East Germany, we have a good sense about it and at the same time we are open to the Lord's guidance to other needy Eastern European Countries.
This will probably be the greatest challenge, to raise supporters/partners to buy into this vision. The challenge is even greater as we will do this against the backdrop of a global economic crisis. South Africa is not excluded from this crisis. A greater part of 2009 will see us visiting churches in the Western Cape trusting in God to grow a partnership base, especially on the home front. We trust and pray that the challenge to broaden our partnership base will bring us to friends and churches in Europe to share the vision and to strengthen our exisiting partnerships.
The beginning of 2010 - We hope to leave the shores of Africa
This is the initial plans by God's grace, since it should finalise important matters and tying up all the loose ends. A great part also depends on the country leaders and the team in the desired country we hope to work; how prepared they are for us in terms of ministry, necessary paper work, etc., and of course accommodation.
- For God's favour as we put plans together to visit the churches in Western Cape and other provinces. Pray for open hearts.
- Pray for a successful meeting with our Regional leaders as we meet with them to share our hearts. They are aware of our plans; meeting with them will make it official. Pray also as we meet our Director of Foreign Missions and the board. We submit to our leadership, hence why we deem it necessary to meet with them.
- Please pray for the WEC Orientation Course. Pray that the required funds for this course will be available to cover the cost for the 3-4 months we will be at the headquarters.
- Pray for us: we are saying 'Yes' to God at a time when:
- A global recession is looming; money is no longer easy accessible. Pray that our faith will be strong in God and in the promises of His word.
- The world, at least certain parts of it, are on high alert because of terrorist attacks and threats. Pray that we will not yield to a spirit of fear, but rather to be open for God's love and power and a sound mind.
- The temptation to stay in our local church is real, especially now that the work is blossoming: the fruit of our hard labour can be seen. It's on the horizon, and spiritual maturity is seen in many who were once babes in Christ. Pray that we will abide by the initial vision of our church - to train and equip men and women to do the work of the ministry. The work will therefore go forward in the strength and power of the Lord, who is the Chief Shepherd of His church. We praise God that our local church will continue to support us.
Looking back over our ministry years it has become very clear that God has not called us to stay in one place for the rest of our lives, but has always moved us on to face new challenges and to cllimb higher mountains, and His promise to us is: "My grace will sustain you and will always be sufficient for you, throughout your journey."
Stewart and Carol Sampson