Dear CCW Family,
Years ago in what was then called a “Colored Township” in Capetown, South Africa, I wondered at the hatred that caused that circular black burn mark on the street close to the front door of the gentle believers who had opened their hearts and home to me. What causes a person to “necklace” another with a flaming tire?
In those days of Apartheid, nerves were strained. Many mornings in that enchanting country we awoke to read of more murders in the very areas we were attempting to preach the gospel of peace. As we drank rooibos tea with sugar and milk, plots were being devised, opinionated discussions were mounting in fury, eyes were flashing, and angry words were spilling out in one city after another. The fear and vitriol were masked by the genteel manner of the believers we met along the way, but it was there all around them. I had made several trips to this fascinating part of the world, and would make several more, but at that moment above all others, I felt the tensions of unresolved perturbation.
On another trip there at another time, our ancient driver and evangelist yelled out his Christian greetings to the people along the dusty road. We took the car and our bodies for a long trek through the bush to speak to people about the One who brings peace. When I talked with one of the native schoolteachers in the Christian-based schools this evangelist had started, she was dismayed but not defeated. Angry men had come through and raped some of the teachers and had damaged the schools, threatening, belligerent. The children were fewer that day after the ravaging had taken place. It was barbaric, but it was the unraveling world they had become increasingly accustomed to.
Did I have a message that could save them? Oh yes, I did. I still believe that. It is a message of true peace. Do you believe that it is such a message?
It seemed to me that what escaped the notice of many in this religious country of South Africa was an understanding about who the real enemy was. It was not some other tribe or racial group or policeman or company boss, or even that unreasonable neighbor. It was God. They needed to be reconciled to God, and that reconciliation was reached by the saving work of Christ alone, and the resultant turning of their hearts away from ego to Him.
This is what we are about in our ministry. “Be reconciled to God” is our message.
Soon Selamab Assefa and Steve Burchett from CCW will fly to Ethiopia with that message. While they are there, the rest of the team is here in the US. But the enmity is the same; the message the same.
Thank you for caring about the success of this ministry to evangelize and to train leaders. We “feel” the concern many times. This last week we knew again that you cared for us by the mention of your prayers on our behalf and, from some, the kind gifts that were sent. We were surprised by some tokens of care. We do this work together with you. We are sure of that. Those supporting gestures cause us to thank God for His love.
DIVORCE and REMARRIAGE
We’re happy to share that what we believe is a very important book, Divorce and Remarriage: A Permanence View, is now available on Kindle. Please spread the news and help us get it to the people who need it, both leaders who will deal with this problem, and others who are going through it. You may not agree with our premise, but you will have a much better understanding of divorce and remarriage if you read it carefully. We try to be magnanimous in our approach. A few paperback copies are still available on Amazon, but soon there will be available all the hard copies that are needed. We’ll let you know about that when it happens.
Also, Wasted Faith will hopefully be available again soon. Granted Ministries, who prints our books and distributes them now, is working on a newly formatted version. We’ve distributed about a quarter of a million of these over the years. Please pray for its good effects.
Above all, read the Bible. I feel compelled to mention this often because God impresses me continually how important it is to do so. While you are reading it, please pray for our Bible Intensive Retreats in this country and overseas. God is using them in a significant way and we are very confident God is in our work leading them.
CCW HISPANIC LABORS
Bryan and Joey Elliff, CCW workers, have returned from Israel after finishing his Masters work in Hebrew and Cognate Languages. They wish to bury themselves in one of our KC Hispanic neighborhoods in hopes of building loving relationships around Christ that will result in a church and many good benefits for those who will believe. Please pray for them. They are looking for a home now that will be situated well for their work. Joey is a proficient Spanish speaker and teacher and Bryan is getting up to speed on Spanish very quickly. They need your prayers.
We love you.
Jim Elliff and the CCW team