With fresh momentum—opportunities abound!
Lives impacted and changed, and several thousand reached through the Bates tour of South Africa
Published: 10 April 2013 (GMT+10)
(To read this article in Afrikaans click here).
Outstanding! This is our (CMI-SA) response to the Gary Bates’ (February 2013) South African speaking tour! The whirlwind tour of the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal proved to be a great opportunity to help folks grasp that Genesis is foundational to the Gospel. That in itself is very exciting, for ultimately this is about people—Christians who were equipped to give answers and a reason for the hope which we have (1 Peter 3:15), and the lost reached with the gospel.
Travelling from church to church, the CMI team was heartily welcomed by all. Young and old, from various people groups and backgrounds, packed out many of the meetings. Even midweek events were well attended, often with a number of visitors from the local community.
Strong interest in the resources and passionate discussions around book tables were evident throughout the tour. A great hunger for the message was unmistakeable. CMI supporters who turned up were effusive about the ministry’s influence on their own lives. Some shared how evolution had once caused doubt and confusion—but that CMI’s creation resources have had a positive impact in their lives, strengthening their family’s faith in God’s Word.
It is about people!
Gary had numerous opportunities to minister one-on-one with folks. One gentleman who had recently lost his wife to cancer wondered why a good God who is all powerful would allow a Christian to suffer an excruciating painful death. Having experienced the death of loved ones, and having written and spoken extensively on the topic, Gary counselled and prayed with the gentleman, trusting that the Holy Spirit would bring comfort to a bereaving widower.
Compromiser in the camp
At another meeting, a teen girl approached Gary with some perceived objections including natural selection and mutations. She was quite agitated while Gary explained to her that scientifically these two so called ‘engines’ of evolution (while functioning in nature to bring about variation only within created kinds) are simply not up to the task to transform molecules into man even over the alleged many millions of years. Eventually the ‘penny dropped’ for her, but to Gary’s surprise, she then revealed that it was her biology teacher at a Christian school who taught these unscientific evolutionary arguments as fact. Additionally, the teacher had given her a copy of Dawkins’ The God Delusion with the instruction to write a review on it. Although a jaw-dropping moment for our concerned speaker, the young lady eventually left with a big smile and a gift copy of The Creation Answers Book in hand!
The Bates tour highlighted again that as the ‘light switches on’ for folks about origins and the Bible, the demand for ministry also increases. It is always heartening to see Christians comprehend that this important issue is not ‘rocket science’! Young and old alike can indeed understand the basics, share their faith with confidence, and give meaningful answers. As one enthused young mother once said, “I can’t believe that I used to believe in evolution—it seems so senseless to me now.”
An increased demand brings increased opportunities. During the Bates’ visit, training was conducted for additional speakers and another ministry co-ordinator in the local office. So in the future, more events booked for more speakers will help spread this marvellous message faster and further afield in our troubled land.
It is clear that the tour yielded much fruit, many testimonies and fresh momentum. With several ministry tours still ahead of us this year, we plan to forge ahead in the Lord’s strength and with renewed energy! This is a crucial time for the ministry in South Africa and we need you ‘on the team’ with us—more than ever before!
All can step up to the plate!
What was achieved in churches for South Africa has global application—even in your own country where CMI has offices. You might say, ‘I’m too young or too old, so what can I do?’ Pray earnestly for the ministry—this is ultimately a spiritual battle.
Enquire about hosting a speaker in your own church or group; our ministry department will take care of the details. Contact local churches and media outlets, and use our website to spread the news about CMI events in your particular area. Help fund new initiatives; more speakers, tours and weekend ministry are bound to reach more folks in South Africa and across the world.
Once again, to all our supporters and friends of the ministry, thank you so much for standing with us in this battle for the hearts and minds of people. Remember, creation ministry is a passion, but a caring passion. We appreciate your prayer and practical support which enable us to continue hosting outreaches with local and international CMI speakers across South Africa and also around the world.
Very uplifting so hear of so many people attending. I suspect that the teacher mentioned in the article teaching evolution in the Christian school AND giving the girl The God Delusion to read and write a report on, is probably an atheisic mole on a mission to deceive the children and not just a Christian deceived by theistic evolution. I think these schools should be mentioned by name wherever possible as the Bible teaches Rom 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
I thank God for your ministry. Truth has to be preached. I am happy for CMI for their zeal for serving God even against all odds.
I would wish that CMI would someday conduct such speaking tours in India. I know it is a huge ask, but the churches in India needs to be equipped. Many of our pastors and preachers are not so equipped. I would be pleased if such events would happen in India.
Thank you Gary for visiting our church in Cape Town.
I have been sharing the creation message with many of my peers, but have never been able to make such a broad impact as an "educated speaker". Suddenly everyone has questions about Genesis, science and the geological past of the planet that is being taught by evolutionists in our schools and in the media. Creation.com is a powerful tool to answer the difficult questions, and those that are being pointed here read more that what they came for :) Christians in South Africa are no longer satisfied with religious teachings, we are passionately seeking the Heart of the Father!
Well done guys! I come across fewer people who believe in evolution. More and more people are hearing the truth! God bless your ministry!