John Clifford - Missionary

rd - Missionary

iffo



Reformation Report from Namibia PDF Print E-mail
“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your mercy LORD, and grant us Your salvation”
Psalm 85:6


image050WEBA Need for Bible-based Churches
From the beginning of our ministry in Namibia, we heard many people complaining of the lack of Biblical, Christ-centered churches available for them to fellowship in. Apparently, many of the older churches have lost their zeal and effectiveness and many of the newer churches would struggle to be classified as a church by Biblical standards. Many are preaching as foundational truth what the Bible condemns as dangerous, sinful, or heretical. People are being promised many material items in the Name of Christ, but the Biblical warnings of obsessing over riches are not mentioned.


We Preach Christ Crucified
The focus of many churches is not Christ, at least not the Christ of the Bible. I had the opportunity one Sunday morning to preach on the attributes of Christ at a small church. After preaching at this church, I was unsure if the people in the congregation were understanding, agreeing, or even listening to what I was saying. It initially seemed as though my message was going over their heads. We heard later that many people were blessed and they were eager to listen to me the next time I preached the Word. “For as the rain and the snow come down from Heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but It shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent It.” Isaiah 55:10-11


Fellowship with the Saints
We had the wonderful privilege of meeting other believers and experiencing sweet fellowship with them. In one location, some Christians from different backgrounds organized a combined worship service. There were about 70 people from 6 different churches and home groups. I spoke to them about love from 1 Corinthians 13. The people were very kind and friendly. They were hospitable and even blessed my wife and I with baby clothes and toys.


Preaching, Teaching and Evangelizing
Namibia is a beautiful land full of contrasts. One can go from desert to fertile farm land to beautiful oceans or large rocky canyons. Similarly, our ministry in Namibia was one of contrasts. We went from ministering in home groups to assisting with rural church plants, to door-to-door Evangelism. We ran a two-day Evangelism Conference with a very new church. The first day we explained the way of salvation, the role of the Ten Commandments in Evangelism, simple Evangelism methods. Then, we lead a door-to-door Evangelism outreach. As always, people return from these outreaches full of enthusiasm and energy. Presenting the Gospel to others is certainly a necessary part of spiritual satisfaction and growth. The new evangelists said this is the kind of thing that they ought to be doing all the time!


Women’s MinistryIMG 0603WEB
Since it was mostly women at the conference, I thought it would be a good idea for the two women in our team to address those at the conference. The women really seemed to open up. One of them told us that her husband is unsaved and that he does not support her Faith. This makes life very difficult for her. While we shared some principles from the Scriptures with her, simply having the platform to share seemed to be therapeutic for her, and we prayed for her husband’s salvation.


We went out again for another Evangelism encounter. Again, we went door-to-door. One man came with us. It was his first time to use the Way of the Master and he found it to be most helpful. Almost every conversation he had with people ended with them telling him that they wanted to give their lives to the Lord.

Lessons Learned
During our ministry around Namibia, I had the blessing of meeting those pastors, leaders and believers who are faithful to God’s Word, passionate about Christ and set on making a difference in their churches and communities. God always keeps His people who have not bowed their knee to Baal. For true believers in Christ, man-made, emotionally charged, hyped-up experiences will not satisfy, but merely frustrate. If God is to move mightily by His Spirit, we should not settle for counterfeits, but rather practice discernment, pursue righteousness and spend time in prayer, the Word and honor Him in all we do.


IMG 0614WEBPray for Namibia
Namibia is a large country with few solid churches. While about 91% of the population claims to be Christian, many do not attend church and few understand salvation and/or the need for Christian holiness. Syncretism and the rapid growth of Islam are also serious threats to the Namibian Church. While these are serious issues, we do praise God for the faithful men and women who are bold enough to speak out against social evils and compromises within the churches of their country. Please pray for Biblical wisdom and daily strength for those who are faithful in service to the Lord.


“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him who seek the face of the God of Jacob.” Psalm 24:3-6

 




Rev. John Clifford


Frontline Fellowship

P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021 689 4480
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Web: www.frontline.org.za
Blog: https://acoupleofcliffords.wordpress.com


 
Reformation Report from Tanzania PDF Print E-mail
“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom,
that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”
Colossians 1:28


IMG 0480WEBSolo Ministry
During the African Reformation Overland Mission, our team had to separate in order for me to minister in Tanzania. I had to leave my wife and other team member in Zambia and head for the border by myself. Throughout the first day of travel, there was no end of harassment from the police. They were particular about checking my paperwork and I was convinced that they were looking for an excuse to fine me and try make me pay a bribe. One policeman told me that I had to pay an outrageous fine for something I am not sure is even a crime. I told him that at the most, he should just warn me and let me go. He told me that a warning would cost 50 kwachas—in other words, he wanted a bribe. I told him that I would rather pay the full amount than pay that “warning fee”. He told me that he would make me pay the full fine, to which I responded that I was very disappointed in him for making me pay for something so silly. He then let me go without paying anything.


Noise Pollution
The first night, I stayed at a lodge by myself. It was the under 20 soccer final and Zambia was playing. Many people came to the lodge to watch the game. Some stayed late into the night to celebrate Zambia’s victory. Of course, no African celebration is complete without loud music. Eventually, in order to get some sleep, I had to get the lodge staff to force the people to turn their music off or down!

 
Reformation Report from Zambia PDF Print E-mail
IMG 0134WEB“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”Acts 3:19

Reformation Celebration
How fitting for our Reformation Mission to begin in Zambia with a Reformation Conference, calling people back to proclaim the Word, confront sin, preach the Gospel, seek Holy Spirit boldness, work for doctrinal Reform and Biblical practices, encourage each other in the Word and spend extended time in prayer.

Discernment or Disorder
After each lecture at the Reformation conference there were many lively discussions especially around discernment issues. It seems that more and more pastors and teachers are interested in taking discernment seriously. They are especially passionate about people returning to the Word. Sadly, however, many do not know the Word and many do not know how to preach Biblical sermons. One conversation I had with a student and a professor of a nearby Bible college showed that they did not even know some of the basics concerning Biblical roles of gender and Church government. Many people were excited at the fact that we were willing to tackle some tough discernment issues such as that of false doctrines, dangerous practices and the Biblical doctrine of healing. It seems that there are many people who are misusing the Bible to attract people to their churches. The result is chaos, immorality and shame on the body of Christ. More people need to speak out about these issues. “For as it is written, ‘The Name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you’” Romans 2:24

Preaching in the Rain
After our Lusaka conference, I went to rural area. I had three different meetings with different groups of people. One group of people gathered together to hear me talk about leadership. We were all gathered together under a tent which we had donated to them some years back. Sadly, years of weather damage had caused the tent to be less-than waterproof. When the rain came down, the tent started to leak all over. Eventually, we were all huddled together in a small section of the tent where the water did not reach us. This turned out to be a good thing because the rain was so loud that I could not project my voice enough for all to hear. The tight huddle of people made it easier for me to speak to everyone.


The Shame of WitchcraftIMG 0357WEB
We had a seminar in a small rural village church. Leaders and church members walked from far distances, some from hours away, to attend the meeting in a small mud-brick building. We dealt with the beatitudes, discovering how Christ changes the hearts of His people to live according to His Kingdom standards. We also discussed the importance of preaching the true Gospel. Many people are in a constant state of discouragement due to the ongoing sin around them. I encouraged them that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. A conversation I had with a group of pastors shed some more light on the discouragement people are facing. I asked these pastors what the most serious sins and problems are in their areas. They told me that sins range from adultery to drunkenness. But, perhaps a more pervasively subtle sin is that of witchcraft. It is pervasive because so many practice it. It is subtle because most people do it in secret. Adultery can only be hidden for so long before suspicions are raised, especially when a woman falls pregnant in the process. Drunkards will struggle to act sober when their drinking becomes a continuous habit. The sin of witchcraft however, is far easier to hide. One can visit a witchdoctor in the late hours of the night or early hours of the morning. An amulet can be placed in one’s pocket, cupboard, or under the bed without anyone else knowing it. Herbal “medicine” can be consumed in private. You can sin without anyone finding out and so long as the community of believers does not know, especially in cultures where honor and shame are very high ethics, someone can feel as though he or she has gotten away with it. So in this particular area of Zambia, these pastors were telling me that this is a serious problem. They shared that, providentially, God revealed that some people were practicing witchcraft through one local witchdoctor. I asked the pastors whether or not they had visited this medicine-man in order to share the Gospel with him. They informed me that they had not. I told them that they should. They do not have to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes. They have Jesus Christ, the Conqueror of the devil on their side. They were encouraged by this.


It Rains upon the Just and the Unjust
We ran another conference where we dealt with salvation and the supremacy of Christ over all other created things. We also tackled some practical Christian living issues such as forgiveness and contentment. Later, in the night, we showed the Jesus film. There were over 200 people who showed up for the film. While it was playing, the rain started to pour very heavily. Often when I get up to preach after the film, people get up to leave. They come for the entertainment, but leave before the conviction. Because it was raining, the people had nowhere to go, so they had to stay for the preaching of the Word. I called them to repentance and there was a sense of sobriety and stillness among the people. I had an open time of prayer where the people could call out to the Lord right where they were. I could not understand what they were saying, but there seemed to be some emotional cries out to the Lord. Afterward the pastors in the area commented that the people were really convicted by the meeting we had. The rain made the journey back to our rural accommodation very difficult as streams became rivers and bridges were submerged under rushing water, but I could not complain as the rain was a blessing which caused the people to stay and listen to the Word just moments before.


IMG 0473WEBMasquerading Musicians
At a conference with a new church, I shared the Gospel and the need for God to transform us into new creatures. All too often people are interested in filling churches, but the people inside the church buildings are not filled with God. After the meeting two young men came up to me asking me to “boost” their music careers. I declined their request. The whole time I spoke to them, they did not want to look at me in the face. I asked my pastor-contact if there was some kind of cultural nuance that I was missing and why it was that they refused to make eye-contact with me. Another pastor told me that those two individuals had been drinking that day and they probably felt ashamed. This reminded me that the music industry within the church is such a dangerous thing. Many people make careers out of church music because they have a guaranteed audience every Sunday. They always have an opportunity to perform. If these musicians are not held accountable and kept in check, we could easily have many people who are not even saved looking to create a music career on the back of the Church and corrupting our worship.

Pray for Zambia
While we are grateful that Christianity is widely accepted and many people are open to listening to Gospel messages, people generally do not understand the way of Salvation. Many churches are caught up in the prosperity movement. Corruption runs deep in political sphere despite Zambia calling itself a Christian nation. Pray that those who are calling themselves Christians will develop a Biblical worldview, practice Biblical discernment and seek to be Biblical leaders.

“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love” Micah 7:18IMG 0551WEB

 

Rev. John Clifford
Frontline Fellowship

P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021 689 4480
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Web: www.frontline.org.za
Blog: https://acoupleofcliffords.wordpress.com


 
Pray for Christians in Egypt PDF Print E-mail

Egyptian FlagEgypt’s ChristiaJohn Mark the apostlen heritage is one of the oldest in the world. With a population of about 85 million, 11 million Egyptians would claim to be Christian, about 3.5 million are Evangelical. This is a land which Jesus Christ Himself came to when He was only a boy. It was later evangelised by the Gospel writer John Mark in the first century A.D. Since then, the Coptic Church has been a prominent religion.

Islam invaded Egypt in the 7th century. By the 10th century, Arabic was the official language. Today Islam makes up around 87 percent of the population. According to Operation World, Egypt is arguably the intellectual centre of Sunni Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood is still alive in Egypt, even though the current government opposes them.
DSCN1351
Despite the imposing force of Islam, Egypt has the largest congregation in the Middle East, with 7000 members, strong and vibrant youth, four weekly church meetings and a weekly prayer meeting, sport and children’s ministry focusing on the Gospel, education and health, and they have volunteer programmes for international people to assist in ministry. This ministry is well known by the government for their participation in relief aid and assistance of the afflicted during the so-called “Arab Spring” by setting up pop-up clinics.

Egypt is a neighbour to many other Islamic countries characterised by war and tribal conflict. Refugees from these countries flee to Egypt for asylum. They often find themselves fed up with the false promises of Islam, and observe the aggression and violence which comes as a result of this corrupt worldview. These refugees are asking many questions about life and religion which only DSCN1279Biblical Christianity can answer, offering peace between man and God and man and fellow man.

Bible distribution in Egypt is also increasing. The Bible Society is making a great impact with their Bible programmes. Other ministries are finding that the youth in Egypt are very open to receiving their own copy of God’s Word. According to one source in Egypt, many young people see the religion (Islam) of their parents and grandparents as being somewhat of a failure. They are looking for answers. Some turn toward secularism while others are turning to Jesus Christ.

Frontline Fellowship is corresponding and working with churches in Egypt to develop training programmes for their leaders. Many are hungry to apply Biblical wisdom to their lives. Frontline has the unique opportunity to equip leaders through our William Carey Bible Institute which is a Reformed, Evangelistic, Biblical, and practical leadership training programme.
Muslim Brotherhood
Please pray for Christian unity amongst churches in Egypt. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Churches need to stand together, hold each other accountable to the Word and the true Gospel, and meet challenges facing the Body of Christ with unity. While certain radical sects of Islam are not allowed to operate in Egypt, they do exist, and they are a very real threat to Biblical, Evangelistic Christians. Conversion from Islam is also illegal in Egypt. Pray that those who are converting from Islam will be kept safe and find peace in the Body of Christ. Frontline Fellowship has ongoing training opportunities in Egypt. Pray for the development and implementation of our programmes. Those who are impoverished and desperate due to the lack of jobs in Egypt are in need of assistance. Some churches are taking this opportunity to reach out to their communities with love in action. Please pray for wisdom and support for these churches that are caring for the needy.

“So shall ff lOGOMy Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

John Clifford
Frontline Fellowship

 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel 021 689 4480
Web www.frontline.org.za

 
Zimbabwe’s Cry for Justice PDF Print E-mail

“If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

Harassment
Border restrictions, corruption, and chaos, are all to be expected when crossing a border into Zimbabwe, especially the dreaded Beit-bridge border. I have painfully crossed borders into Zimbabwe for six years, and each time I am either targeted with, or witness, some kind of blatant corruption or wickedness from government officials. Just a few months ago I went through over 70 police stops traveling through the country.

Corruption
This is not surprising because it is the natural result of a government as corrupt as Zimbabwe’s. The leadership of the ruling party, ZANU-PF, is guilty of theft, murder, greed, extortion, lies, and more. So, why should the rest of the party, or any government official, be any different? This is obviously not to say that every police member or military person is crooked, but many, if not most, are.

Economic SuicideEconomic Suicide
Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF has been intentionally ruining
Zimbabwe for over 36 years. Most people know that 2005-2008 was a time of great depression for the country. There was no food on the shelves, the Zimbabwe dollar was worthless as a result of Marxist economic policies and farm invasions, people were starving, and suffering had reached unprecedented levels.

Confusion
To make matters worse, Robert Mugabe’s strongest opposition, Morgan Tsvangerai, has not addressed many real issues that underlie Zimbabwe’s problems. In the 2013 elections, Tsvangerai praised Mugabe for “liberating the country”, but criticized him for not sustaining the country, providing jobs, creating a sustainable economy etc. While the MDC certainly opposes the corruption and oppression of ZANU-PF, its leaders do not seem to tackle issues such as Marxism or the violent terrorism by Mugabe and his officials.

Making Excuses for TyrannyMaking Excuses for Tyranny
Sadly, many in Zimbabwe have also fallen into the trap of lies which their communist dictatorship has led them to believe. Time and time again, I have spoken about the evils committed by ZANU-PF, and multiple Zimbabweans have defended their president: “At least he does not allow abortions”, “He has banned same-sex marriage”, or more recently I heard, “He is a very peaceful man”! I am often berated for simply pointing out facts such as the massacre of the Matabele, or the greedy, violent land seizures. Why do so many rise to the defence of Bob Mugabe?

Defending Their Abusers
Typical of a Marxist government, ZAUN-PF keeps people oppressed, abused, and confused. Then they do something that seems to give them just a little bit of hope. It creates a kind of dependence or allegiance to the same government which is strangling its people. Suffering men and women latch onto the little bit of good they see, and end up identifying with the very people who are enslaving them.

OppressionOppression
However, this system will eventually wear off as people begin to realise that they are not free, they are being stolen from, and their lives and families are in danger. The reality of the situation will dawn on them, especially as the government becomes more and more lazy in its attempts to brainwash its citizens. What we have now in Zimbabwe is a situation of people who are sick and tired of tyranny, poverty, and lifeless existence. Many are finding their voice, and crying out for justice. But, the main focus of their negative attention is on a dying dictator-Robert Mugabe, and not the secular humanism and Marxist ZANU-PF he represents.

Violent Reactions
In recent newspaper reports, one reads of Mugabe restricting the importation of just about anything useful, from baskets to food. Venders angrily protesting, burning down busses, shutting down Beit Bridge. Protestors beaten and abused, 71 thrown in prison. Angry residents joining in with protestors, burning tires, wood, and blocking traffic because promises from 2013 elections were not upheld. Taxi operators clash against police in Harare over roadblocks. Thankfully, many have realised that a violent revolution is not the way to restore peace and productivity.

Peaceful Protests Met with Violence
More newspapers reports show that the destructive protests are being replaced with peaceful demonstration, although they are not always met with peaceful response from local authorities.
Pastor Mawarire who started the #Thisflag movement called people to resist the government through peaceful protest. The government threatens to arrest anyone who opposes them. Zimbabweans protest against government by refusing to go to work or trade, causing a national shutdown. Police respond to the national shutdown, arresting about 100 citizens and brutally beating many. ZANU-PF blames Western embassies for civil unrest. Pastor Mawarire arrested for Peaceful Protestscausing civil unrest, but later released causing Zimbabweans to celebrate victory for the #thisflag movement. Zimbabweans call for a People’s Revolution to rid themselves of Mugabe and his party. People gather together in Harare to pray and celebrate the release of pastor Mawarire.

So Where is This Heading?
There are many possible outcomes, but I think three should be highlighted. First, many seem quite eager to throw Mugabe under the bus as being responsible for the current situation in Zimbabwe. While he is certainly responsible for great evil and deserves to be tried as a war criminal, the question of succession still remains. If he is simply replaced by another ZANU-PF member, the situation certainly will not become better. Issues of war crimes, tyranny, and government corruption will not be dealt with. In fact, things may worsen depending on which ZANU marxist replaces Mugabe.

Socialists Attempt to Hijack the Opposition
Second, the entire movement could be hijacked by another socialist group, causing a similar situation to the Arab Spring. Socialist Attempts to HijackFor example, ex-ZANU member Acie Lumumba recently launched his own political party, Viva Zimbabwe. His party is riding on the back of the anti-Mugabe movement. He kicked his campaign off with a bang by flipping off the president and threatening the president’s children should anything happen to him as a result of opposing Mugabe. People like this may seem like heroes for standing against oppression now, but they will make destructive leaders tomorrow. Anybody treacherous enough to side with ZANU-PF to begin with should not be given another chance to run and ruin the country again. Rumours of ex-ZANU –PF members joining the MDC are also concerning. If opposition parties are wise and serious about social reform, they should require ex-ZANU-PF members to renounce all dealings with their former party as siding with corruption, intentional social destruction, greed, violence, and evil.

Justice Must be Done
Third, whoever takes over must implement social reforms and lead the people of Zimbabwe in serious Repentance and reconciliation. Starting from the top, corruption needs to be decisively dealt with. The actions of Military and law-enforcement leaders need to be scrutinized, and individuals charged
with any and all crimes they have committed. Those involved with ZANU-PF and their crimes against the country need to be indicted. “War veterans” who murdered farmers, stole thousands of hectares of land, massacred the Matabele, and harassed the public also need to feel the full weight of the law. Unlawful taxations, land seizures, and business theft needs to be reversed, free enterprise promoted, and border control policies radically redefined.

Hope for Zimbabwe
This is the only hope for Zimbabwe. Should all of these positive changes take place, we are still looking at decades of work to be done to restore the
Hope for Zimbabwe country. Thankfully, the forerunner of the resistance to Mugabe and ZANU-PF is a pastor who is calling for peaceful protests. Therefore, people are not burning down what little resources they have, and they are minimizing the violent reaction from the current ruling party, although violence is still there. Pastor Mararire is gaining popularity, and seems to be uniting the people of Zimbabwe in peaceful resistance against the ruling government.

Zimbabwe for Christ
It is my hope and prayer for my friends in Zimbabwe that more people will find their voice and react to their situation with Biblical wisdom and prayerful action. Their desire should be Reformation and not revolution. Godly, discerning leaders are needed. Those who fear God and keep His commandments should be those who have the loudest voices and be the anchor of morality and reason in this time of confusion.

"Rescue those being led away to death. Hold back those staggering towards slaughter… Will He not repay each one according to what he has done?" Proverbs 24:11-12

John Clifford
Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: www.frontline.org.za
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 4
Copyright © 2018. Frontline Fellowship. Powered by joomla
S5 Logo