As a young man I used to be afraid that if I gave my life to the Lord He would send me to Africa. I made the commitment, and sure enough, 41 years later, the Lord called me to Africa. In May, Kristina and I flew nonstop for 15 hours from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa. Like most of the Lord’s assignments, it was a blessing.

We spent a week in Pretoria with Chevian and Anny Breedt. They are leaders in Doxa Deo, a great church in Pretoria with 15,000 people in ten related congregations. Johannesburg and neighboring Pretoria are modern cities with millions of people. Many white people live in homes as nice as any in America. Many black people live in townships filled with plywood shacks built like primitive tool sheds.

We also spent a week in Cape Town with Floyd and Sally McClung. Cape Town has tropical beauty and majestic mountains on the seacoast. Their ministry, All Nations, trains leaders to plant house churches in the townships and cities throughout southern Africa.

One night after an All Nations leadership meeting, we drove through a township called Masiphumelele to drop off some young black leaders. The winding narrow streets between the shacks were teeming with people walking, drinking, and cooking over outdoor fires. It looked like an impoverished Harlem, built out of scrap lumber. Later that night, a fire broke out and over 1500 of these shacks burned down. The All Nations community mobilized quickly to rebuild homes for their members, and for children without parents.

We drove through the South African countryside to the city of George where Kristina and I were speaking to the All Nations leaders retreat. We passed along the coastline where large waves roll in from the Indian Ocean. As we drove through rolling hills, past farms, vineyards and mountains with wild game, I began to feel the pull of the adventure which still lures explorers to travel this great continent.

The leaders we spoke to came from Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. They looked like people in a typical retreat setting, but their hearts were unique. Some were whites who had left lives of comfort in South Africa and America. Others were blacks who had been raised in African poverty. They were all putting their lives on the line to extend the Kingdom of God. They were joyfully obeying the Lord’s call to go to all nations with the good news that Jesus is alive.

We had an opportunity to see a new continent, pet lion cubs, and make new friends. Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. When He opens doors for you, go for it. It can stretch you to obey the Lord, but the promise of scripture is, Those who trust in Him will never be put to shame. Romans 10:11