Stories from the Mission Field

October 2021

South Africa – miracles in people’s lives

“For me, the works of God that take place in people’s lives are some of the greatest miracles. In meeting and exchanging ideas with the students, I learn about these miracles that they have experienced with God.” Our missionary in South Africa, Johann Vollbracht, tells of his experiences over the last few months and an impressive encounter with a woman.

“We have been working together in the new semester. The beginning overlapped with the peak of the third Corona wave in South Africa and in July no face-to-face events were allowed. The introductory events had to take place via Zoom. This is a real challenge because data is very expensive and the network connection is often weak and unstable. That is why I am very happy that since the end of July, events for up to 50 people have been allowed again and we can meet in person.

One of the courses I teach is about the students’ personal beliefs: a written paper should reflect on one’s own spiritual development and important stages or events in their life. At every meeting, I am touched by their life and faith, by their commitment and willingness to make sacrifices. They are parents or grandparents who have to support their children and grandchildren. They work during the week for their financial needs, then in the evenings and on weekends they fully contribute to the church. Some even plant new churches. In addition, they are determined to add theological knowledge to their faith. They sacrifice time and money to get equipped for their ministry. This sacrifice and devotion deeply touch me.”

A woman who has worked as a co-pastor in a church has experienced the following:

While I was studying to become a teacher, a pastor came to the college and encouraged us to accept Jesus as our Saviour. At that time, I chose Jesus and as a result everything changed. I started praying, reading the Bible and going to church. After graduation, I struggled to find a job. My family was very poor. I lived in a tin hut with my children. My husband lived and worked a long way from us in the city and often had no income. This situation lasted more than ten years. We lived in stress, despair and worry. I spent a lot of time in prayer. In this situation I never gave up loving God and hoping in Him. His hand finally saved our family. I look back and see that God has shaped and changed me spiritually in these difficult times.

“It is a privilege to teach people like this woman at the Baptist seminary in South Africa – to see how they get involved in the congregation with their firm faith and deep wealth of experience.”

Johann Vollbracht