From: Mike Gray, Pastor of Newington Baptist Church (Gloucester, VA) It was a privilege to be part of 2010 Ignite the Flame. I saw God at work in the energetic enthusiasm of team members. Whether Americans or South Africans there was a love and commitment to minister to children. It was exhibited in leading worship, telling Bible stories, puppets, drama, music, dancing and even in washing dishes together. Team cooperation and unity was as good as I have seen. That is a testimony to God, with three teams becoming one, plus the local church volunteers.
God was truly at work in the Mt. Carmel youth; they have some great leaders in their group.The people who cooked all the meals for leadership and breakfast and lunch for the children were true blessings.It was a joy to see God at work in the children. They responded to the gospel presentations with the evangecube and J316 ball. It was a great week all around!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Lonnie Warren's Tidewater team returned to the United States. Lonnie's team of 25 volunteers were divided into small teams to help local churches with sports evangelism and children's ministry. This was the third VA Baptist team to participate in Ignite the Flame, a South African outreach project during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
From: Simon VanDyk at Soshenguve Praise! Approximately 20 young adults made a commitment to change their lives around Jesus Christ. Had a great day handing over half of the responsibility to the local church and the volunteers met with us to plan tomorrow, which will be largely led by them. Pray for Simon as he is sick and pray for the follow-up for the commitments, for the team's hearts and attitudes – they're working really, really hard; and please pray for Ofentse who is taking a lot of the responsibility. Pray for the renewal of spirit.
From: Member of Valerie Carter’s team groups Judy just sent a message from the team at El Shaddai/Marapyane: They were very busy yesterday. They were able to do a big screen event properly for the first time for the US/Algeria game which was very popular. Their numbers dropped a little today, but otherwise going well considering the church is brand new and their team is tiny. They have to improvise every day.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Lonnie Warren and 25 volunteers from Coastal Community Church and other churches in Virginia leave for South Africa with plans to return on July 7, 2010.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
From: Craig Waddell, Missions Partnership Coordinator Hello! I just talked with Annie Maines from Coastal Community Church in Virginia Beach. Together VA Baptists are helping Annie stay in South Africa several months to coordinate World Cup outreach volunteers.
Annie said the team with Nathan Elmore is at the Johannesburg Airport right now, preparing to fly back to Virginia. I’ll pick them up at Dulles Airport tomorrow – pray for their safe journey. They’ve had a great two weeks of working together with local believers. I’m sure they’ll have lots of stories and new friends to tell us about.
Valerie Carter’s team from Bon Air Baptist Church has settled in well and already been in South Africa almost a week. They’re divided into two groups – one is working in Soshenguve with Kingdom Dominion Church, and the other is in Marapyane with the El Shaddai Worship Center. They are also conducting Holiday Bible Club in the morning, followed by soccer clinics and pick-up games in the afternoon. There has been a good turn-out for those events. In the evening they provide a big-screen viewing of the soccer matches. Pray for a better attendance of those evening events.
Praise: Thank God for the way the in-country arrangements have worked out. We can also be thankful for the way local churches have gotten excited about serving God in this way. Relationships among several of the churches have really deepened.
Annie mentioned one church in particular – Baracah Christian Fellowship – that had done little preparation for this opportunity. However by the end of last week they were totally engaged and running the events on their own.
Continue to pray for harmony among the supporting churches and host churches because there is so much to do, and plenty of stress to go around. Pray for all the teams – yesterday another five trailer teams went to their respective ministry sites.
And, pray for Virginia Baptist volunteers during their travels.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Valerie Carter and 12 volunteers from Bon Air Baptist Church left Richmond for South Africa with plans to retun on July 23, 2010.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
From: Craig Waddell, Missions Partnership Coordinator
I just spoke with Nathan Elmore, campus minister at VCU and church planter with Imago Dei. Right now Nathan is in South Africa with a team of 16 Virginia Baptists. Divided into small groups, they are helping local churches hold soccer-themed Holiday Clubs in Mabopane, Britz and Timba.
Nathan is grateful for the hard work their hosts have put into this outreach project, and especially impressed with the attitude of empowerment displayed by the leaders. They truly have encouraged the young people of the local churches to run with this opportunity. This is not only addressing the current needs but also growing leaders for the future.
Continue to pray for the team – for the relationships they are building and for their safety. Tomorrow is a special day because it is National Youth Day in South Africa. There will be more young people on the streets and hopefully they will have more newcomers at the Holiday Club.
Tomorrow night South Africa plays in Pretoria, so the areas where our volunteers are staying will be abuzz with activity. Nathan’s small group is serving in Mabopane, ca. 30 kilometers north of Pretoria. They will show the game on a big screen open to the public, with a Gospel testimony during halftime.
Testimonials from Our World Cup Teams
Below is a selection of testimonials from those serving on mission trips during the World Cup:
Megan Hall, Week 1, Trailer 8, Brits This week I learned what true hospitality means. I also learned what God can do through a small group of people with big hearts for God. The volunteers went above and beyond what I expected of them. I have learned how to better serve God through them. These people have touched my heart and changed my life for the better. The community seemed to enjoy us and we have planted many seeds in people’s lives this week. Our job was to raise up the church members so they can teach the community about God. We have accomplished our goal. God has used our team and the church to ignite flame in Brits. We have ignited the flame and through the church it will grow to be a fire that spreads throughout the community. The community accepted us and were very nice. The children loved the puppets and the songs. When we left to come back to Eastside they were signing the songs we taught them. Some of the kids asked for Bibles. They went home at night and were telling their parents about the program. I believe we have empowered the church and God will use them to teach the community.
Evan, Week 1, Trailer 8, Brits The way God worked in my life throughout this week was absolutely amazing. This trip and the people I have worked with will never be forgotten. The experience of being here and working alongside this community to teach these kids more about Christ has made such a positive impact on my life. I came here expecting to teach but instead was taught more than I could have imagined. They taught me what true hospitality is. The showed me what true community should look like. The love they showed towards me was mind-blowing. The way they cared for complete strangers was something that I haven’t experienced before. These people and their kids will always have a place in my heart. I will never forget the moments I shared among these people and I thank God for allowing me to be here.
Vas Gnanadoss, Week 1, Trailer 8, Brits
This week went well. The volunteers were all on fire for God and loved helping and leading. The whole community welcomed us and was extremely hospitable. By the end of the week they were the ones leading and we became the helpers, which is exactly what our goal was. It was obvious that God was present throughout our trip. All the roles that we did not have a person to fill were filled by volunteers that fit perfectly. It was amazing to see how passionate the volunteers were. The children loved all of the games and songs; the only problem was the language. The holiday club is in English and all the jokes only make sense in English. Once translated, the dramas lose a lot of comedy. Our volunteers were very good and translated all of the dramas, adding jokes as they went. The kids loved the evangecube, but the best was the Good News paper. The kids loved reading about and this lead many kids to God. It was amazing to see God’s presence in a remote village. Seeing how God worked in this village was amazing and I know he has a lot more in store for Okasi.
Jay Gnanadoss, Week 1 Trailer 8, Brits
The week behind us was a blessing in many ways. God was good and did a tremendous work in brining our group together to have one purpose – to serve and minister to the people of Okasi. The church at Okasi was overwhelmingly warm, hospitable and overly generous in welcoming us and embracing us as a family. We were very sorry to have to say our good-byes to them. The kids who came to the soccer ministry and the big screen were all eager to hear and learn about God. When we witnessed to them and gave them the “altar call”, all of them raised their hands and came forward. It was hard to know who understood. We know the seed has been planted and that God will take care of the rest. The sideline ministry was a bit of a challenge due to the language barrier. We tried our best. Some did listen and some just walked away. The big screen ministry was more challenging as the people were keen to follow what was going on in the screen. When it was over, they just drifted away. We had worship at the church every morning and evening. The group took turns to give the sermon. We were able to minister to the folks who attended the two services each day. The Okasi community is a needy one. I would like to see Eastside have a long-term ministry at Okasi to support the church and minister to the people there. The children need blankets, clothes, shoes, etc. I have learned much and have been blessed by the work of the week. God has shown me that when we trust Him, he is faithful and will take care of us. The way He brought the team together, each with our own talents and gifts and knitted us together is a miracle. I learned much from the people I ministered to – learned more about Jesus from each of them. I know they do not have much, but they gave out of the goodness of their hearts – they showed me a slice of heaven – it was a glorious light and I can’t wait to see all of it!
Chris Morgan, Week 1, Trailer 8, Brits As I sit down and reflect back on the week, it reminds me how our God is a wonderful and amazing God. During this past week he has taken our team into a small village where the hearts of the people are big. Even though the folks in the village did not have a lot, they were very happy and proud of their belongings and what they had. Everyone on the team was there for a purpose and the roles we thought we were going to be in were not in God’s plan. I say this because all the roles were switched around as we started the week with the full team, but it all worked out for God’s glory. I realized on this trip that I need to stop running from God’s call to children’s ministry. I have had a bad experience in the past, and I said I never wanted to do it again. However, that is not what God had planned. This week I was the up-front person for the entire week and the kids loved it. I realize that it was where I need to be.
Ministry Servant As I depart from South Africa to return to the USA to reunite with my family, I realize I have left a part of myself – a part of my heart here with the people in Oukasie (Brits). I am forever changed and people there said the same when our team departed. The bishop, the pastor, the church members and children of Miracle Center Ministries were so warm, welcoming and hospitable. Our host families shared openly whatever they had with us. Many children received Jesus as their Savior and forever friend this week. Many of the black community were honest at the end of the week and confessed that they were scared when they heard that the bishop had invited white people for the USA to come to their church. As we left, they were thankful that we had come and shown the love of Jesus and they realized we were all united as one body of believers – the church – no matter the color of our skin. We truly were united in love this week working together as one team – trailer ministry volunteers and local church volunteers. Racial issues were broken by the love of Jesus. Gifts, talents and abilities were realized by the local church and encouraged by our volunteers. We were called and send to ignite the flame at Miracle Center and I believe our mission was accomplished by the midweek, the young adults and teens were performing and teaching through puppet shows, dramas and songs and memory verses. The local church had leadership in place when we let to run a Holiday Club again. This week. I pray that plan is followed through with. I feel the children were provided a safe place to be ministered to all day every day all week long. We took every opportunity to scatter seed for Jesus while with them. I think the children were fed, loved and shown love at Holiday Club and on the field. They were with us from 9am till late at night. Track and newspapers provided were distributed at games and on the street while walking to the fields. Locals were hearing what was happening and coming by to ask questions. During sideline ministry, lives were saved. Evangecube was used at least two times daily – once in small groups with children and daily on the soccer field. One day I was overwhelmed at the response and took a moment to gain my composure. Some Bibles were handed out – one girl was very interested in my daughter’s Bible during service and so we gave her one of her own. She was so happy and ran with it back home. Several women asked for blankets. Some folks sleep in the cold outside. If God provided an opportunity, I would love to come back to South Africa with my family to continue in children’s ministry here. Part of my heart has stayed with the people in Oukasie – especially my host mama, Doriah. It was hard to say farewell.
Please take a moment to view the video below for an idea of the event's volunteer opportunties!
Ignite the Flame Missions
Volunteers were used to assist with these mission efforts:
Soccer enthusiasts (players, coaches, fans) for clinics, pick-up games, informed conversations about soccer
Creative arts (music, drama, etc.) volunteers for outreach events, performance, and interaction with people at the event
Children’s ministry volunteers for Holiday Clubs (a.k.a. Backyard Bible Clubs) with a soccer theme
Helpful hearts and hands for practical assistance
and hands-on interaction
Ignite ministries during the World Cup included:
Children’s ministry is an avenue to impact to impact children and families. Each trailer will be equipped with the “Super League Holiday Club”. Developed for use in South Africa, this resource includes original music, songs, drama, puppet show, workbooks, games, activities and much more. The vision is for 1000 churches to impact 500 000 people through children’s ministry. 100 000 of those will be children. These Holiday Clubs will also go a long way in keeping children off the streets, safe from child traffickers.
Street Soccer & Soccer Clinics
Street Soccer is a popular 5-a-side form of the beautiful game that can be played on any surface with minimal equipment. Included in the trailer are Goals, made from PVC piping and connections which pack down into a manageable size and Futsal balls (these are specially designed for street soccer) Running street soccer games and tournaments is a wonderful way to draw a crowd and gain a captive audience to whom the gospel can be presented in an exciting and relevant way The trailer will also be equipped with a ministry focused soccer clinic.
While those who love playing soccer will be on the field, many more will be standing on the sidelines, watching. What a wonderful opportunity to connect with these individuals. Each trailer will be equipped with a sideline ministry kit. This kit will include crafts and other activities. A sideline ministry team will be able to present the gospel through the relationships that are built while these activities are on the go.
Big Screen Events
Big Screen Events are also a huge draw card for fans of soccer. Screening the games live provides a wonderful ministry opportunity before games, after games and at half time. The arts can flourish as drama teams and musicians both entertain crowds and present the gospel in an exciting and relevant way. Evangelism teams will support the ministry of those on stage through personal contact with members of the public. The Jesus Film and player testimonies can also be screened The goals in the trailer convert into a big screen and each trailers equipped with a sound system and data projector.
Ignite the Flame was endorsed by The Ultimate Goal, a network of outreach initiatives throughout South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Trailer Ministry for World Cup Missions
Many of our volunteers were utilized in the “Ignite the Flame 2010” trailer ministry. The central idea behind this ministry model was for resource churches to form partnerships with under-resourced churches with the primary aim of reaching many people for Christ in 2010 and beyond.
Each trailer was a self contained ministry module, jam-packed with resources, tools, and equipment. Such trailers enabled teams to enter an area, care for themselves and minister to the local community without being a burden to the local church.
As teams partnered with under-resourced churches, the goal was that churches would be inspired and encouraged to take hold of the ministry opportunities which present themselves and continue to impact their communities for Christ.