By visiting Cambodia I reached my 100th nation! Although I did not preach there, I prayed there and put my foot on the ground! It took 6 visits before Harvester was registered in Uganda and after 14 missions to Nigeria we only have one church relating to Harvester! It takes time to establish something in a foreign field.
When I landed in Phnom Penh (it means hill of Penh, Penh was a good lady who did a lot for the nation) it was a rough landing, but safe.
I felt like a batsman reaching his century in a cricket match with a shot that came off the edge of the bat, rather than middling it! But however the runs come, the batsman will take it!
There were no crowds to applaud my ‘century’ or any reception committee, but I know it is recognized in the spiritual realm! I never scored a century as an opening batsman in cricket (my highest score ever was 74!) because I was mainly an off-spin bowler, but by the grace of God I reached my 100th nation as a missionary.
I probably would have been to more nations if my only goal was to go to all the nations of the world once, but I normally return to a nation several times in order to build some kind of a relationship with some people. Once I find someone who has it in their heart to co-operate with us I can go back and establish a work. But this does not happen automatically and I do not proselyte anyone. It must be the work of the Lord in the heart of someone who sees something in our reformation teachings that they desire to know, before a church can be planted. It takes time and I have no ambition regarding it.
A generation later
It has been 40 years since I left Miracle Valley in Arizona where Dr. Roy M. Gray and Dr. Ernest Oldfield trained me in the Gospel of the Kingdom of God rather than a denominational gospel. It is a whole generation later that I reached my 100th nation.
On this trip I met Reynaldo Halili in the Philippines again. He attended the very first time I ministered to a few pastors that Pastor Jovie organized. They gave me 20 minutes to speak but after my time was up they asked so many questions and asked me to continue. The meeting lasted 2 hours in the end. I gave them my book and some DVD’s and CD’s and since then I have gone back to minister in the Philippines on many occasions. Rey suggested we hold either worship or a vision conference that he will help to organize. He is a wise old man and gave me many practical tips on how to go about things in the Philippines. Whenever you venture out into unknown territory you require the aid of a guide. A guide knows the paths and the dangers better than you.
Teaching on breathing
I ministered in a Mission Alliance Church in Pasay City. There are more than 2000 Mission Alliance Churches in the Philippines. A complete stranger donated a large amount of money into the Main Church bank accounted that helped them to build a large church! They still do not know who it is even today! Bless God for such wonderful strangers!
The Lord impressed upon me to speak about how the body of Christ breathes. The song leader’s first words were: ‘breathing is such a simple thing and yet it is so important!’ Then he led the congregation to sing: ‘this is the air I breathe!’ This was a sign to me confirming the word I had in my heart for the people.
‘We breathe in the presence of God and breathe out our imperfections through confessing our sins and our weaknesses before God. Like oxygen is breathed in and cleanses every organ of our body through the blood system, and like our body rids itself of carbon dioxide through the blood stream and then breathing it out, so the body of Christ has been designed to operate. Trees give off oxygen that is vital to humans and humans breathe out carbon dioxide that supplies the substance trees need with water and sunlight to produce chlorophyll for the green leaves. How wonderful the expert design of the creation! What a marvelous creation the body of Christ is!
‘As we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and with one another, His blood continually cleanses us from sin.’ (I John 1:7)
‘That is why we do not neglect assembling ourselves together, because of all the benefits involved for believers!’ (Hebrews 13:17)
Some words in Tagalog (Philippine language) are easy to understand if you realize that 50% nouns are based on Spanish equivalents, such as ‘ambahador’ (ambassador) and abril (April). The ‘f’ and ‘v’ in English becomes a ‘p’ or ‘b’ bilabial fricative, for instance: artificial becomes ‘artipisyal’ and supervisor, ‘superbisor’. The ‘j’ sound becomes an ‘h’ in words like ‘bagahe’ for baggage. Most other words in Tagalog are not related to Spanish at all and just have to be learned off by heart.
‘Mabuhay’ is welcome and when someone thanks you all you say is ‘walang anumani’ that means, ‘you are welcome’ or ‘don’t mention it!’
The four corners of the earth
At present Hilton is in Venezuela visiting Raquel and her Lombana family, Nola is in Dyersburg, Tennessee visiting Don & Yve Brandt, Aje & Chantal and their family is in Cape Town and I am in Bangkok: we are literally touching the four ends of the earth as it were as a family! In MVBC I received the prophetic word that I will go to the ends of the earth and now after 40 years my family is doing it with me! Amazing.
We soon hope to be united at Don & Yve’s wedding ceremony. They got married in August ’12 but we are holding the ceremony in July ’13. Getting everyone there needed some major logistics as you can imagine!
In Bangkok I missed Herman Grundlingh who decided to go to South Africa at this time and he will see Apostle Aje, Apostle Leigh and Pastor Billy to discuss future matters concerning the Church in Thailand. Apostle Jan will also spend some time with him.
But at least I saw Catherine Labuschagne. She works in a luxurious (5*) Four Seasons Hotel as Program Manager and will probably be there until the end of the year. But as she says about her opportunity, it is not for the fainthearted! It is not easy to adapt to such a completely foreign environment. It was good to see her again and to convey everyone’s regards to her. We are happy that she has achieved such success in her career. She often ‘attends’ our Cape Town Harvester church meetings like Lenard and Yvette in Holland, on the Internet. People often greet her them in church on the screen! Amazing what technology enables us to do. I often visit Harvester members in other countries when I am in a country nearby. It is a pastoral visit on an international scale! The world has become our parish!
The Thai language adopted ancient Sanskrit and Pali as model languages much like English has done with Latin. But it is really very foreign to the ear at first.
‘Sah-wat-dee’ is hello and if a woman is addressed you add, ‘ka’ or a man, ‘kap’. Please is ‘korp’ and thank you, ‘korp kun kap’. You are welcome (after someone says, ‘thank you’) is ‘yin dee.’ The vowel sounds in Thai have upward or downward inflections or forward or backward leaning emphases that affect the actual sound of the vowel and also changes the meaning slightly. That is why it sounds strange to our ears when they speak English because they give words more emphasis and use inflections more than we do.
Learning a bit of a country’s language makes travelling so much more fun and the people are very helpful when you try to speak their language.
In the East there are still many nations to go to. Papua New Guinea has given me an invitation to minister a year ago and Laos I have not been to yet.
Slowly but surely we are ticking off the nations one by one as the Lord allows to reach the whole world for Christ.
Apostle Andre Pelser