We take men along in prisons and disciple and teach them along with inmates and officers that Christ must be formed in us to follow Jesus in successful ministry under Him:
- We all are sinners just like prisoners, and we all need Father God’s forgiveness, mercy and grace.
- There is no forgiveness of sins, salvation, before God without a desire for sanctification, the cleaning and healing of our hearts: "God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth." (2Thessalonians 2:13)
- Material things are not of great importance in God’s Kingdom; relationships are. Jesus even grew up in the extreme poverty of the Galileans so that the Judean people despised them. But so our Lord was better able to minister to the poor as He was poor, just like most Africans today living in clay or wood-stick huts. The Spanish Nobleman Ignatius de Loyola understood and practiced this extremely well.
- Deny our own desires for life, replacing them with God's desires.
- Remain connected to the Vine to bear much fruit: You cannot bear fruit, "unless you abide in me." (John 15)
- If the Vine suffers, so must the branch.
- Seek our Father’s Glory and His Kingdom, not our own.
- Be like little children, totally dependent on God, as even "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do." (John 5:18)
Today’s technological world may have science, an amazing level of knowledge and riches, but African people in their simple lifestyles still can experience God, trust God and thus have His wisdom, and it frees God up to do the miraculous among them.
Westerners can bring soap, toothbrushes and cheep candy into the prisons of Africa, and do some preaching, but they cannot teach Africa what they don’t live anymore; transformed ex-prisoners however will change the world for Christ.
Can we still become like Jesus? Not on our own, but we can ask God to do it in and for us; He loves to honor such a prayer.
Because so many African prisons are rarely visited, and because most men in African prisons cannot read well enough to understand the Bible, God showed that audio bibles can alleviate that problem greatly. Kees began writing lessons for an audio bible, and an initial test program in Swaziland in 2012 was so successful that our ministry's focus is now no longer only to bring teachings to prisoners, but also leave them with Audio Bible Teachers in their own languages. For so many inmates this has now become the first exposure to the Word of God: "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing (with the heart) by the Word of God." Besides in Swaziland the work has already begun in Zambia, Malawi and South Africa with about 2000 units placed.
In Swaziland we have a team of four people, all committed to lay down their lives for their Lord. In three years time they have become the favourites in prison ministry because of impact, and they are now preparing to form an NPO Fatherhood Prison Ministries Swaziland.
In Zambia our ministry has been adopted by the well accepted and respected Christian Missions in Many Lands church, CMML for short, Christian Brethren; they are active in many prisons. Our dedicated Mark Chibesa is part of this church fellowship since childhood. Kees has also been accepted as a brother in the Katondo branch of the fellowship in district Kabwe. This branch also took the initiative to register a tax-exempt society under Zambia law, Fatherhood Prison Ministries Zambia.
Mark travels the country preaching and overseeing the use of Audio Bible Teachers in small study groups of inmates; he also has been instrumental in interpreting English lessons into iciBemba and creating audio of the most important studies. Like so many active prison workers, he is an ex-inmate who now for nine years has been serving the Lord with zeal in prison ministry. Elsewhere on this website you can find his testimony of the amazing manner in which the Lord brought him and Kees together.
Please pray with us to the Lord of the harvest to send more leadership and field workers to come alongside in this abundant harvest field. (Matthew 9:38)
|Our Swaziland Team (Mandlenkhosi missing)||Leading inmates in worship||Mark and Kees in Zambia|