Four Months On South Africa
Paul K. Williams
Johannesburg, South Africa
Time has flown since that sunny Tuesday morning, January 30, when our family arrived at Jan Smuts Airport in Johannesburg. We have been here over four months, and much has been accomplished.
Bro. Fred Liggin and his family arrived about a month before we did. The arrival of these two families has encouraged the brethren in the whole of South Africa. The churches here are small and few. One extra worker means much.
My work is in Johannesburg. Where there was no faithful white congregation, there is now a small one meeting in the YMCA. Besides our family, there are four families plus two women with their children meeting there. Before our arrival, only one of these families was attending services of a faithful church. One has been baptized. The rest were already Christians but in need of teaching and a congregation to meet with.
I am also working with the two faithful African (native) congregations in Johannesburg. Bro. Stephen Mokoka, the faithful evangelist for one of them, and I have become close co-workers. As a result a preacher for the Apostolic Faith Mission has been baptized and another man. I am conducting a training class every other Sunday afternoon which is well attended by the African men.
Besides this, we have "revived" a small group of Coloureds. I have a Bible study with them once a week and they are worshipping together on Sundays. This effort should grow.
Bro. Liggin is working in Pretoria, about 40 miles north of Johannesburg. They have been encouraged by the baptism of a fine couple recently, and the work appears to be doing well there. The church meets in a school building in a suburb called "Valhalla." Bro. Liggin is handicapped in his work with the Africans because he has no interpreter.
He may be able to use Bro. David Mzolo, the preacher I baptized.
Small churches are meeting in Krugersdorp (Gene Tope and Basil Cass, preaching), Brakpan (Gavin du Toit) and Springs (Ray Votaw, who has just returned to America * for a year.) These cities are in the gold mining area, within 45 miles of Johannesburg. Churches are also meeting in Durban (Piet Joubert), which is the Miami of South Africa, and in Port Elizabeth (Andy de Klerk), a port city on the southeast coast. There axe several faithful families who have moved too far away to worship with established congregations. These families worship in their homes. Those who know them keep in touch with them and try to visit them periodically. We hope that congregations may be established in each of those towns where they live.
We like it in South Africa. We like the living conditions and the people. Especially we like the opportunities it affords for teaching men and women the pure gospel. As an illustration - I am teaching five home Bible studies a week. Two of these are with Africans, one is with Coloureds, and two with whites. The church is largely unknown here, and there, is a big challenge to find ways to bring the message of the gospel to large numbers. In Johannesburg alone there are over 1,000,000 people.
I would like to encourage churches to continue their interest in the preaching of the gospel in this country. And I would like to encourage faithful, mature gospel preachers with well-adjusted, helpful wives to come here. Cape Town and East London are logical places for new works to be started. Both of these port cities are pleasant places to live. They both have liberal churches, and faithful preachers have contacts, with individuals in both places which lead them to believe that there are people in the liberal churches who can be taught and rescued from their errors. South Africa also needs a man who can concentrate on preaching to the Africans in their homelands - away from the cities. I will be glad to correspond with any man who has an interest in coming here.
Continue to pray for us.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XII: 11, pp. 10-11