Editor’s note: As we reflect on how far God has
brought us over the past century, we are compelled to look at how far we still
have to go. The True Jesus Church is firmly established in many countries
across the world, but we must continue to push forward to preach to the ends of
the earth. Just as in the early days of the church, the ministers and
volunteers undertaking this pioneering work are blessed with God’s abiding
grace and power in their ministry. Through prayer, the workers are able to
preach boldly, labor tirelessly, and rely wholeheartedly on God in all things.
And those who hear accept the truth with joy and simplicity of heart. Here,
three Africa ministry volunteers share their experiences.
Charmian Chong—London, UK
Date of trip: December 2016
Countries visited: Ghana and Togo
I truly thank God
for the opportunity to visit the churches in Ghana and Togo. Our time in Ghana
was primarily spent helping with the student spiritual convocation and other
pastoral work. In Togo, we also evangelized and participated in visitations.
From these experiences, I could truly appreciate the truth that God has given
to His church.
I travelled with
a sister from my local church and a UK preacher. Most of the time, we were
accompanied by two local brothers (one of whom has now been ordained as a
full-time minister) and another preacher.
Impossible without Prayer
we would not have been able to carry out any holy work. One of our tasks was to
help with the National Student Spiritual Convocation (NSSC). A few weeks before
the trip, I was assigned two topics to teach the
thirteen-to-seventeen-year-olds across twelve lessons. It usually takes me one
to two weeks to prepare just one religious education (RE) lesson, so this
assignment was daunting. Thank God, through my prayers, He guided me in my
typically teach sixteen-to-seventeen-year-olds in my local church, I tailored
my NSSC lessons towards this age group. On the first day, I realized that
nearly eighty percent of the students were in their early teens.
Understandably, they became extremely restless in that first lesson; my lesson
plans were designed for the wrong age group! In the short ten-minute break
between lessons, I had to rethink my whole approach. I remember feeling useless
and out of my depth—I did not know how to teach my students. How would I get
through to them? I had no choice but to pray and completely rely on God.
I truly thank
God. He not only helped the students to miraculously settle down, but He also
put His words into my heart to share with them. Teachings I had learned long
ago, from personal experiences, Bible studies, fellowships and sermons came to
mind, as though planted by God. I could no longer fully follow my lesson plans,
but I could fully rely on God. It was as though God had been preparing me all
along so that I could teach His children. All glory to God, this truly was His
When we carry
out holy work, it is important to prepare. However, there is more to it than
just practical preparation. God wants us to lead a life where we are always
ready to do the work. God prepares us through our daily communication with Him
as we pray, read the Bible, attend worship services and fellowships, and sing
hymns, reflecting upon the teachings within them. Jesus promises us:
Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach
you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
We only need to
rely on the Holy Spirit, and He will guide us in our service. God will work in
and through us in His own way.
The Spirit of Evangelism in the
members’ hearts were very simple when it came to preaching the gospel. During
one of our long drives, we needed to buy some charcoal on the roadside. One of
the brothers took out an evangelistic leaflet and started preaching to the
charcoal seller with enthusiasm and conviction. It was evident he truly
believed in the doctrines given to the church by God. Because these members
really had the heart to preach about Jesus, they took every opportunity to
share the gospel of Christ with others.
Many of the
people we met were eager to hear what was being shared. We had many in-depth
conversations about the biblical doctrines of the church. On hearing such
things, members in more developed countries may perceive it to be more
difficult to preach at home. Nevertheless, we should have the same enthusiastic
heart towards preaching Christ to others. The power and goodness of the truth
remain the same no matter where we are.
Complete Heart of Devotion
Thank God, I was
able to hear many testimonies of how different brothers and sisters came to the
church. Some members had been faithful believers in other denominations. Some
had even previously founded their own churches. One brother, who was the
founder of a Sabbath-keeping church, shared how he came to know the true
gospel. Having heard that there were missionaries from the True Jesus Church,
he was eager to meet them, knowing that we also keep the Sabbath.
Unfortunately, he was unable to that time. Later, he had another opportunity to
meet some True Jesus Church brethren, who then preached the truth to him. He
realized that the doctrines he had been following were incomplete. He knew that
the truth was found in the True Jesus Church. Because of this, he left his
previous church and was baptized into the true church of God.
There are many
other testimonies of how brethren forsook their former beliefs and came to
accept the truth entrusted to the True Jesus Church. Making such a decision is
not easy. It means acknowledging that the teachings they once found security in
were incorrect. It means believing that the gospel preached by the True Jesus
Church is true, and that the truth has been given to this church alone.
called the disciples, He told them: “Do not be afraid” and, “Follow Me” (Lk
5:10, 27). When the disciples heard this, they forsook all and followed Jesus.
This was the heart of some of the members we met. They completely submitted
their hearts to God. By humbly removing their pride, they let go of their prior
beliefs, and opened their hearts to allow the truth of God to enter their
lives. Whether we have believed in Jesus for many years or have only just
started our journey of faith, God wants us to humbly yield our hearts to Him,
to allow the truth of God to guide us.
Personal Faith Lessons
One of the most
important teachings reinforced by my Africa ministry experience is that the
True Jesus Church is the true church of God. Witnessing the gospel being
preached to both individuals and groups every day, I came to appreciate how
simple and pure the gospel is. For longtime believers, it can be easy to take
the truth for granted. On this trip, I saw the word of God in action, being used
as a sword to bring others to Christ. The preachers and workers fought against
the incorrect teachings of other denominations, rightly dividing the word of
truth. Africa is not the only place where we can experience this. We can also
experience the power of the word in our daily lives. All we need is faith and
the power of the Holy Spirit to boldly use the word of truth!
One brother told
me: “The True Jesus Church does not give me anything, except the truth. And
that is why I’m still here.” This brother is not very well-off financially.
What he sought after was not material gain, but the truth of God. Praise God,
after being baptized for only about eight years, this brother has dedicated
himself as a full-time minister for the church in Ghana. He has truly
experienced the goodness of the truth in the church of God. This brother is one
of many who shared their testimonies of how they simply believed in the truth.
The apostle Paul
writes: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of
God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16a). My time in Africa
allowed me to witness members living out this verse in their lives—forsaking
their old ways and coming to the truth, and using the truth as a sword to cast
down incorrect beliefs.
Barry Chiang—Vancouver, Canada
Date of trip: June 15 to July 16, 2017
Countries visited: Malawi and Zambia
In the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ, I testify of the grace I received during the Africa missionary
trip I joined last year. From June to July 2017, I accompanied Preacher FF
Chong and Preacher Tony Kuo to Malawi and Zambia. God taught and inspired me in
many ways on this trip, particularly with regards to prayer.
Rivers of Living Water
Every day during
the trip, we prayed an hour each morning and evening. In Zambia, two local
brothers joined us to assist with the holy work. One of them later testified
that, through these twice-daily prayers, he finally learned what it means to
pray in tongues. During one prayer, fully submitting to God, he told Him,
“Lord, I cannot do this on my own. Please take full control.” Then the Holy
Spirit filled him and he felt much power and joy, as if there were sweetness in
his mouth! Previously, he would only pray for the sake of praying, but now, he
finally understood the importance of praying in the Spirit. Even after an hour
of prayer, he did not want to stop.
Often, we take
praying in tongues for granted. We may not always feel peace and joy in our
prayers. It would be unfortunate to receive the Holy Spirit, but fail to
experience the promise of “rivers of living water” flowing from our hearts (Jn
7:38–39). We definitely can experience this joy today. We just need to remember
the joy of first receiving the Holy Spirit, and yield entirely to God, allowing
Him to do His wonders.
Fervent Prayers of the Brethren
One thing that I
witnessed was our African brethren’s fervent spirit of prayer. We visited a
certain church to assist with the holy work, and the brothers and sisters there
were devoted to prayer. There is a very distinct difference in the spiritual
strength of this church.
We were staying
in a brother’s house. On the first morning, he arose at 4 a.m. to pray.
Initially, I did not think much of it, as many African brethren wake up in the
early hours of the day. But he prayed continuously, and only stopped after an
hour. Most of us would not wake up that early to pray, much less pray for that
He was not the
only member with this zeal, as the whole church was fervent in prayer. During
our hour-long morning prayers, some members, including youths, would come into
the house to pray with us voluntarily. During our last evening prayer of the
trip, many members prayed with us. Even young children joined! I was so
touched, as even though they could not stay awake for the entire prayer they
were willing to join us to pray. Adults, youths and children alike, all had the
heart to pray.
Transforming Power of Prayer
This spirit and
fervency in prayer transformed the church there. We could see the members’ zeal
and thirst for the word of God. During lessons, even sisters, who usually had
chores to do, would sit and listen. We were astonished by the local workers’
in-depth understanding of the Bible.
underestimate the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. We pray, but we may
not fully believe or allow the Holy Spirit to transform us. We can learn an
important lesson from this church. Frequent and sincere prayers are
Thank God for
this missionary trip and the bountiful teachings I received. Taking inspiration
from the spirit of our African brothers and sisters, let us strive to be
diligent in our prayers. If we do, we will experience God’s transforming power
as well. For our God who works in Africa will surely work in our hearts and in
each local church.
Aimee Lin—London, UK
Date of trip: September 15 to October 1,
Country visited: Kenya
The Holy Spirit Transforms a
We often feel
that certain people are so stuck in their ways that it would be difficult for
them to change. In these situations, we can only rely on the power of the Holy
Spirit to move hearts, so that they can return to the Lord.
missionary trip to Kenya in 2016, we visited many churches. One day, we visited
a sister in the Siaya area who had not come to church for about six months.
When we first prayed—standing up because of limited space—the sister was
praying so quietly that we could not hear her voice. After the prayer, the
preacher asked her if she had received the Holy Spirit. She answered yes, but
the local worker said otherwise. From the moment we had arrived, this sister
was cold and unresponsive. We could see her pride and unwillingness to receive
encouragement. However, by the power of the Holy Spirit, her attitude gradually
softened as she became more willing to listen.
concluding prayer, the sister cried. She confessed that she was not walking
according to the will of God, and had repented in prayer. She had asked God to
help her and remove the burden in her heart. She then requested we pray again,
this time kneeling down. Struggling to find space to kneel, we squeezed close
together and prayed again. Thank God that this sister received the Holy Spirit
and started to speak in tongues during this prayer.
I was really
touched by this miracle. If not by the power of the Holy Spirit, it is nearly
impossible for a person to change. In the short space of one hour, this sister
transformed from a proud person, far from God, to a humble, repentant soul
yearning to draw near to Him.
Date of trip: November 11, 2017 to
January 1, 2018
Country visited: Zambia
I Can Do All Things through Christ
One of the most
important things I learned in Africa is that I am only able to serve God by His
On December 10,
2017, we left Kaoma (western province of Zambia) and travelled to Chamboli,
Kitwe for the National Student Spiritual Convocation (NSSC). There was no
direct coach, so we had to travel for seven hours to Lusaka before catching
another coach to Chamboli. The final eight-hour leg of our journey was
interrupted at 9 p.m. We were only forty-five minutes from Chamboli, but it was
illegal for the coach to operate after this hour. For the entire day, the five
of us had only one packet of biscuits to share between us. There were no toilet
facilities on the coach, so we tried not to drink too much water. The coach was
packed, but we could not open the window as it was raining outside. Tired,
hungry, thirsty, hot, and bothered by mosquitoes, we waited another eight hours
before the coach was allowed to move again, at around 5 a.m.
We had travelled
for nearly twenty-four hours without much food, water or sleep. Yet, as soon as
we arrived, we had to conduct morning prayers and commence our NSSC lessons. I
was assigned to teach the under-eighteen class for the entire day. I felt so
tired that morning. I wished I could somehow get out of teaching the class.
Knowing it was my duty, I struggled internally until the morning prayer
session, when I shared Psalm 121 with the students: “I will lift up my eyes to
the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made
heaven and earth” (Ps 121:1–2). I was encouraged by this passage. Yes, I was
tired, but God is my Helper. Yes, I was weak, but God’s strength is made
perfect in my weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
sharing, we knelt down to pray. The students were so zealous in their prayers
and the sound was so powerful. I asked God for help and strength, saying, “Lord,
I can’t do this by myself, as I’m so tired. But I know You are almighty; only
through Your help will I be able to do this.” Then I felt the Holy Spirit
Thank God, I was
able to deliver three lessons before lunch without feeling tired that day. This
experience reminded me that when we serve God, we rely not on our own power or
strength, but on that of God. We may face various difficulties and suffering in
our service, but we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]”
(Phil 4:13). Amen.