Dear Family, Partners and Friends,
I hope this finds you doing well. I just returned from South Africa after three weeks of ministry and adventure! As usual, God ordered our steps and made sure that His Word did not return void. We began our tour in Johannesburg expecting God to do something wonderful in the lives of young people. With meetings being held all over the city and surrounding province, our schedule was jam packed with little room for error. Each day we had meetings and interviews with radio and television stations, not only promoting the meetings in the area, but promoting the Youthbyte discipleship tool and TV show. All of these interviews were interesting because we always had “Eve”, our giant python, with us. Needless to say, each interviewer had to think on their feet as she slithered her way through the studios. It was sight to behold!
Our meetings in the evenings were tremendous. At the conclusion of each service, teens would rush forward being arrested by the spirit of God. Tears of repentance and heartfelt cries to Jesus could be heard in each and every meeting, again confirming to me that God’s heart is to be a father to a generation. We saw thousands of young lives committed to Jesus in each and every meeting, not includng the countless others impacted via the live TV and radio broadcast of our events.
The conclusion of our Johannesburg trip was a promotional event held in conjunction with one of our distributors in South Africa. They requested that we bring the snake and much to my surprise, they asked me to do a live presentation, explaining what Youthbytes is and how we use the snake to communicate Jesus. Represented were numerous buyers and bookstore owners who were amazed at the simplicity of the message, yet relevance to young and old alike. I am believing that this event will open more doors to see Youthbytes distributed around the nation.
As we began our 12-hour trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town, our “Mystery Van” broke down. Not just once, but 5 separate times, with the last being in the Karoo, one of South Africa’s largest deserts. Battling the torrential storms, sweltering temperatures, 18-wheelers and Cape Cobras, we made the best of a crazy situation, not allowing our joy to be quenched in any way! In the van we had a pit-bull and 4 giant snakes, and no one was willing to stop and help once they saw the snake logo on the doors, much less our unusual cargo. After much prayer and assistance from friends, we made it to the Cape. It took a total of three days to get home; it was a glorious time and a great test of patience!
Arriving in the Cape, we hit the ground running with 3-4 meetings a day. Having already established our presence and ministry in the past year, our calendar was full. Schools, universities and churches clamoured to get us scheduled for an event. Working in conjunction with Tygerburg Radio, we had a promotional team at our disposal, assuring that each meeting was not only full, but broadcast live across the Cape. This media exposure opened even more doors of ministry with radio and TV station employees, seeing our van on the highway, and pulling us over to schedule interviews and programs with their network as well. God has opened so many doors and given so much favor; we are anticipating Him to do even greater things on our return trip in June.
Our meetings in the schools were also very encouraging. Speaking to some of the most at-risk teens in the world, we were able to see the grace of God impact gangsters and drug addicts in a personal way. Unlike schools in the US, we are able to openly communicate Jesus and emphasize the power of His Word. After every assembly kids would come up for prayer, some just wanting to talk and to be encouraged that in HIM, there was always second chance. In each of these schools we are establishing Youthbyte viewing centers, giving opportunity to those who want to know more about Jesus.
One of the highlights of our ministry are always the “Life Events” (anti-suicide meetings) that were held at 3 different churches, one of which was broadcast live around the globe on Spirit TV. Without fail, the message of hope in Jesus would ring out as I shared my personal experience with suicide and the death of my father. Utilizing our video entitled The Sea of Trees, the message of hope was constantly being communicated. The topic of suicide can be tough to discuss, especially in church, but as with most uncomfortable issues, it is best to meet it head-on, and that is exactly what we did. It was amazing to see the reaction and great need present in the lives of so many. The response from the participating pastors was one of disbelief and thankfulness, realizing that the enemy is specifically targeting a generation with destruction, utilizing suicide as one of his sinister weapons. I am always overjoyed when Jesus destroys the work of the devil in the lives of people! In fact, the Sea of Trees DVD has recently been released in Christian book stores across South Africa. Please pray that this anointed tool gets into the hands of those who need it most!
Thanks again for your continued support and friendship; we could not do any of this if it were not for you!