SOUTH AFRICA


Winter 2015
Written by David and Helen McKillen - SOUTH AFRICA
mdmckillen@gmail.com

It is a real joy to be able to report positively of the blessings of the Lord as we come to the close of 2015, in His will. For both Helen and myself 2014 had been a year of real challenge and greatly altered personal circumstances; although we were humbly grateful to have seen the Lord's hand in answered prayer, preservation, recovery for Helen and some guidance in our immediate circumstances as how to best move forward as the Lord intended. As most know, Helen's illness and recovery period determined a relocation back to our home town of Ballymena, and into fellowship with our commending assembly in Kells, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The prayers of many of the Lord's people and the interest and support of many have helped to sustain the family and us in past days.

Helen is well, and able to be involved in the care of the family, and looking after Ruby, our first grandchild, who is now over one-year-old. The joys and responsibility of "grandparenthood," has been an attendant blessing as well for both of us.


Gospel Calendars loaded for Namibia

Although the Lord is opening doors within the UK for activity in His service, we both felt that the time was right to make a return trip to southern Africa in early 2015. There were many invitations and prior plans which stood unfulfilled, but the Lord indicated where and for what purpose I should be absent from Helen. Most of January through towards the end of March was spent travelling in the Cape, Botswana and into Namibia as well. It was a joy to visit over 20 assemblies in that period and in many to find growth and progress since I had been with the saints last, in 2013. Many of the Cape Town assemblies within each district combined so that more than one assembly could benefit from teaching and ministry.

In many cases, small assemblies of 25-30 were thus able to have a packed hall and an attendant boost in both their unity and local testimony. This is of real importance where assemblies are reducing in number, and the local environment is increasingly hostile. It is humbling to see the joy on the face of older responsible brothers who have not seen a "full hall" for quite some time.


Prophecy Meetings in Francistown, Botswana.

The "Overberg" region (about 100 miles east of Cape Town City centre) has been the focus of much labour in recent years. It was my pattern, at the request of the small group of assemblies, to travel out and stay for 4 or 5 weeks at a time, returning perhaps every 2 or 3 months for a short visit and a 4 to 5 week sojourn among them at least once every 12 months. Such a pattern, over a period of years, has been greatly blessed of the Spirit of God, who has worked in a wonderful manner in the district.

Hermanus - the most central assembly - has more than doubled in size in the past 5 to 6 years, and much of the growth has been in the restoration of backslidden believers, some who have been for many years away from the Lord.

I travelled northwards to Francistown, Botswana, carrying large quantities of outreach literature and visiting other assemblies on the way. The assembly in Francistown had gone through a time of difficulty and had requested teaching meetings specifically on the Lord's return and End Times subjects in general. The prophecy chart - which was entirely new to them - along with study literature was well received. Numbers were greatly increased from normal weekly attendances, many from denominational backgrounds heard the truth of our great hope, "our gathering together unto Him" for the first time. (We often forget the truth of the Rapture of the Church is hidden from many who are in Christ). The Lord subsequently blessed in salvation and restoration, which was further encouragement to the assembly.

After a short time with the small assembly in Maun (N. W. Botswana) I spent the last few days in March in outreach work in the north of Namibia with brother Dan Nguluka, a full-time Zambian brother who I have labored alongside often in the past. Dan has been heavily involved in outreach and open-air work in Namibia for the past five years or so. We have assisted him with visits and literature since 2012. On the 2015 trip we visited new towns, recently established in the very north of the country close to the Angolan border, and found a ready ear and appetite for the gospel including many requests for return visits and the offer of homes and garages to preach in. Prayer would be valued for all the recent and planned outreach into Namibia. The ear of the people is open for the gospel though missionaries may not be formally approved by the government access on a visiting basis is unrestricted. This could - as in other places - change suddenly. 'The night cometh when no man can work..'

Since my return to Northern Ireland, I have been kept busy in ministry and outreach with smaller assemblies, some in the south of Ireland, some in Wales, and (at the time of writing) in the far north of Scotland and the Orkney and Shetland islands. There are about 12 small assemblies from the top of Scotland stretching in a chain of island communities almost to Norway. It has been a joy, over the months of October and November, to visit them and find adherence to scripture and zeal for the lost, even when they are isolated geographically from other companies of believers. Please pray for the assembly testimonies in these remote and often isolated areas of the UK.

Helen and I appreciate continued prayer for ourselves, our family, and for continual reassurance (also in medical review) that "all is well". May the Lord grant both wisdom and boldness of utterance to His saints in these increasingly difficult days in which we live, that our lives might be to the praise of His glory.

Winter 2015
Written by David and Helen McKillen - SOUTH AFRICA
mdmckillen@gmail.com