Gather the Masses and Go North!

By Teodor van der Spuy

Teodor is the leader of the Tuks Mission Committee at the University of Pretoria, South Africa and a lead facilitator for the South African Student Mission Movement.

Never in the history of mankind has there been a bigger, more ready army to infiltrate the 10/40 window than now.

Southern Africa is at this moment more equipped than any other geographical group of people in the world to achieve this task. With a church planted in nearly every people group in Southern Africa we can be considered as “evangelized”.

What do we do now? Where to from here? I believe the call is clear, the call is North! Who will go? A mighty army covered by the blood of Jesus, positioning themselves at God’s disposal and heading North as bearers of His glorious message.

My convictions on this matter have been growing for a while now. Obviously, I did not keep this to myself. Many have contributed to this vision.

Listening to the different voices one thing is very clear, there is a specific call on our generation and on the purposeful involvement of the southern African church in reaching North Africa. The vision of going North is nothing new.

Over the years much has been prophesied on the specific calling on South Africa in the evangelization of Africa. Could it be that the vast amount of diamonds and gold discovered in southern Africa historically were supposed to finance the sending of message bearers to the North?

Could it be that South Africa and its people have a very specific task in Gods plan for reaching the world? As I discuss with you the story of the recent months I pray that the Lord will excite you, and get you ready for what we believe is about to come.

On February 12 of this year, Valentines Day in our culture, I heard the voice of the Father loud and clear. I am part of a mission organization affiliated with the University of Pretoria in South Africa. We host an annual mission week where we mobilize students to the mission field.

It is important to have a theme every year, especially regarding marketing for mission week. We as a committee got together every morning at 6 am for a week to seek God’s face on this matter.

I was reading in 1 Peter 1 about the prophets who spoke of things then not visible to them but were later visible through the manifestation of Jesus Christ.

At that moment it was as if the Lord said to me that the prophets spoke about things that will only come true in these days. But that the same Spirit that was with them is still with us today. It was at that moment when the Lord said: “Its time to gather the masses and go North.”

I then realized the need for me to go and study the prophets since I believed that the Lord had an even more specific message. I then stumbled across Haggai 2:4-5 “But now take courage, Zeruabbel, says the Lord.

Take courage Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Take courage all the people still left in the land, says the Lord. Take courage and work, for I am with you says the Lord Almighty.

“My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.”

At that moment it occurred to me that the Israelites were also moving in a northern direction out of Egypt, from Mount Sinai. Is it possible that we are yet again, as the Israelites on our way somewhere? Maybe back to the new Jerusalem?

Is Jerusalem the promised land for us as Canaan was the promised land to the Israelites back then? These were the questions in my mind. We know that the same Spirit that led the Israelites out of Egypt is still among us.

That means that we can expect miracles, guidance and care from our Leader. That means that we can expect to see oceans part, we can know that God will protect us as His holy people united through the blood of Jesus Christ.

This means that we can expect supernatural provision; we can expect victory on this gravel road leading us to the North. Gravel road? We believe that there is a definite road to the North prepared for us by Jesus. And this is why we believe so.

As we got together that morning to share what we had experienced in our quiet time, one of the members said to me that he felt the Lord was giving us Isaiah 43:18-19. It says the following. “But forget all that -it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.

For I am about to do a brand new thing. See I have already begun! Do you not see? I will make a pathway through the wilderness to come home. I will create rivers for them in the desert.” Isn’t it significant that North Africa is mostly covered in desert?

Wasn’t it Jesus who said that He is the living water, that those who drink of His water will never be thirsty again? Isn’t the 10/40 window in need of Jesus’ water? Isn’t it time for this generation to take this water to the North since the Lord is preparing a way for us going there?

All this speaks a clear message to this generation out of a South African context. That morning when the team shared all their stories it was just so evident that the Lord was sharing a common vision with us. One of the girls that morning wrote a scripture in our prayer book which I did not notice then.

As I was trying to compile a message out of everything that was said that morning, I saw Isaiah 43:6 scribbled on one of the pages. As I read it my whole body was covered in goose bumps.

I believe the whole message mentioned above can be wrapped up in this verse: “I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, do not withhold, bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.’

And at that moment I realized that this message is bigger than a theme, this is bigger then any one organization. This is a calling for a generation! And this message needs to be communicated to the important role players.

Who are these role players? All over South Africa, God is connecting strategic people together. When we try to trace it you come to dead ends, but the bigger picture shows that God is the great author of this story. We just need to share this vision and together believe.

Unfortunately these things don’t happen by themselves. As much as our generation dislikes structures I have realized afresh that to accomplish a vision God has given, some form of framework is needed. In these days the Holy Spirit is highlighting His purpose of unity in His body.

The times we are living in call for a common mission mobilization emphasis that spans across ministries, organizations, denominations and training schools all under the flagship of a man called Jesus Christ. In South Africa there many organizations doing an awesome job, yet to gather the masses will require us to sing the same song.

And therefore the South African Student Missions Movement has been developed. It is the South African national expression of the Student Volunteer Movement (SVM2) international association.

The goal is to connect the different role players with a common vision. We know that currently there are approximately 7,500 cross-cultural workers from South Africa serving outside of the country. Could we believe God to raise up five fold of this number in the coming decade?

This would mean South Africa was sending out 37,500 message bearers to go North with the love of Jesus. Some will reject participation, some will accept, but we will stay obedient to what we believe God is calling us to.

We also have the dream of holding a widespread student mission conference next year in April to connect a wider grouping of students passionate to pursue this vision for South Africa; seeing South Africa raise its vision to believe that we can evangelize the world in our generation.

At the Tuks Missions Week (held from July 20-24th) at the University of Pretoria, 77 students signed the SVM2 Go Declaration stating, “It is my purpose, God permitting, to bear the message of Jesus Christ among the least reached for at least two years.”

A week ago I met up with some of them. I asked them how many of them have a passion to serve their two years in Africa. I was dumbstruck when 99% of them told me that Africa will be their place.

I believe Africans are ready to take their responsibility North, serving among unreached people groups and cities all over Africa! What are you taking responsibility for?

I think this is God’s heart: to gather His children from every corner of the world. I believe He wants to use us for this task. By saying this, I am not implying that all should go to Somalia or Libya. I understand that not all are called to go.

But we need to be busy looking, thinking and praying prayers with this calling in mind. So then, let’s support those who are called, whom I believe are not a few, but a large group of people passionately in love with Jesus, people who are prepared to take their stand.

“Lord Jesus, Let it come for Your Glory’s sake in the earth today…”

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