Is God Absent?

April saw the birth of a new outreach in South Africa. Leon gathered the three new staff out of the comforts of their home, Western Cape Province, and journeyed to the unfamiliar Eastern Cape Province for a ministry road trip. This endeavor brought our young ministry team to different universities with the purpose of training in movement building by spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe Leon has finally recovered from his weeklong excursion.

Leon along with the young staff team of Dominic, Bianca and Renier drove over 12 hours to the Eastern Cape to visit movements he distance coaches. They saw three campus movements in three cities in five days. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) located in the city of Port Elizabeth was their initial destination. The staff team was able to model evangelism to the students and encouraged them to continue to make disciples. It was great for Leon to meet these students for the first time face to face. He talks with these students weekly on the phone, and his first scheduled visit uplifted the students to move forward to reach their campus for Christ. The next campus had a surprise for him and his team.

Protests welcomed them at the next campus they visited. In Grahamstown, Rhodes University students were inflamed by the administration’s inaction towards accused rapists. Our Campus Crusade for Christ students shared their faith on campus during these demonstrations. They were confronted with emotionally charged questions of “Where was God during these sexual abuses?”

This rape culture sentiment was also being addressed at their final campus in the town of Butterworth. Walter Sisulu University (WSU) campus movement was birthed last year because of Catalytic Week outreach in 2015. Leon met with the student leader Onga. The young man desired for him and his team to teach about the Spirit-filled life. Leon’s young team taught on the Holy Spirit to Onga and other men present at the meeting during their time at WSU. The problem is not God’s absence, but the presence of evil. The power of the Gospel of Christ is the only way to break the chains of those bound by sin. Leon expressed individuals who are slaves to sin need to hear and receive the Gospel. Also, worldly Christians should no longer be driven by their selfish sexual desires, but be filled with the Spirit. Only when they are directed and empowered by the Spirit, will they see lasting change in their lives and their campus community. Sharing this message to the Campus Crusade men at WSU was challenging. However, to realize that if they see “one “of their associates set free from this bondage would mean one less incident of rape at their university.

Our young team had an eye opening experience of the urgency of the Gospel. They are new staff who are equipped to reach these South African universities. Travelling to another province helped them to grow closer to one another as well. This ministry adventure encouraged Leon to further recruit and train SA staff to do full-time missions. Continue to pray for these CCC staff and students as they boldly take Jesus to the campus.
Praising God for your partnership,
Melanie Best

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