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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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God Changes Lives: Gospel Chariot Missions  
George Funk

I didn’t grow up in a Christian family. I left school in South Africa having no direction in life – and struggled with many addictions and issues that came with that. By the grace of God, at the age of 30, Reg Carr shared the Gospel with me and I was baptised into Christ. I still struggled for some years until I sold my business and went to a Bible School for three years. 

After studying, I didn’t want to be a preacher. But I could see amazing opportunities among the African people in the townships in South Africa. In 1993 I travelled to USA and raised funds to work among the African people in the big cities where we planted churches downtown, calling them all the Downtown Churches of Christ.

God generates a vision

Working in the townships and villages using World Bible School literature, I soon realised that the harvest was plentiful and workers very few – especially in South Africa because of apartheid. It was difficult at times, but God helped us see tremendous opportunities. 

In 2000, we decided to expand our WBS follow-up work and church planting efforts by building our first Gospel chariot. This would not only focus on South Africa, but would also travel into Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, and Swaziland. Many thought we were crazy, but I knew the Lord’s church needed excitement about evangelism.

A Gospel chariot is simply a Church of Christ on wheels without ‘Church of Christ’ written all over it. It shares the Gospel of Jesus and only works with Churches of Christ. Yet many surrounding pastors and ministers do attend, listen to the preaching, and many doors open. 

Before a chariot arrives in an area, our team has communicated with key leaders in the area. They plan the Gospel meetings, medical missions, benevolence, church planning, leadership training, etc. long before the chariot team arrives.

Imagine a chariot driving into a village, with multitudes on the streets doing their usual activities and business. Here comes this big red Gospel chariot and leaders from the local Churches of Christ are awaiting it. It stops and pops out the middle section that has a stage, baptistry, and PA system. It has sleeping quarters for evangelists, a storeroom with a 300-seater tent, and thousands of printed Bibles and correspondence courses. 

The Gospel chariot has become an amazing tool for reaching lost souls and getting churches excited about reaching the lost. We now have 15 Gospel chariots traveling into 25 African countries. We are currently building a new Gospel chariot in the United States that will travel into Mexico and other Latin American countries. Please pray for this effort.

Winning the lost and training the saved

We then began to realise that we were baptising about 3,000 souls a year and planting about 30 churches a year – but the church leaders left were not coping. This bothered me personally for years. I prayed, seeking God’s wisdom on how we can equip leaders who could train and equip those coming to Jesus.  I believe God motivated me to look at some discipleship multiplication techniques that we could all be trained in while helping others share the Gospel also. Our goal is to win the lost and train the saved.

 

In 2013 I started searching the Scriptures and reading many books on discipleship and outreach. As we searched and prayed and studied movements around the world, I soon understood that God was up to something very big. 

The time was right to write a discipleship training manual for our mission efforts. We designed a website, wrote a training manual, and even designed an app for our Gospel Chariot and Gospel Share Missions. This would be the flagship outreach model which takes these evangelistic tools worldwide.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things for God

God has continued to bless Gospel Chariot Missions (www.gospelchariot.org), and now Gospel Share Missions
(www.gospelsharemissions.com). We’re now going into 50 countries. It all happened by God taking an ordinary loser to do kingdom work. God changes lives and God gives vision for things to happen. So much has happened in the last 28 years. 

One of the most important things is that we believe in other people: we see them the way God sees them. We see their potential and we encourage them. We invite them to our 4-Fields multiplication training. The amazing thing is that pew-warmers are now becoming disciple-makers, who make other disciples.

To my Australian and Pacific brethren, I pray for you regularly and invite you to join by Zoom our American and Asian 4-Fields discipleship multiplication training every Wednesday 10am Perth time and USA Tuesday 8pm Texas time. It’s a great opportunity for learning the tools, equipping those you’re leading, and helping those you support in the mission field. 

Also, feel free to invite me to your region to do an in-person weekend of 4-Fields training. Brothers and sisters, I am convinced God is doing something very big through all this. 

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George and his wife, Ria, are members of the Kirkney Campus Church of Christ, Pretoria, South Africa and also the Western Australia House Church, Madeley, Perth, WA.      george.gcm@gmail.com

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