It was a delight this past weekend to host the Rev. Dr. Mandla Khumalo and his dear wife Lindiwe from St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Church in Middleburg, South Africa. Mandla shared his fascinating life story of how God brought him from a troubled childhood under an oppressive government to become a bold proclaimer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, now to a gathering of believers numbering more than 21,000. His message in our time of worship was truly inspiring as he reminded us of our important task to tell the story of Jesus and His love.
What struck me most about my time with the Khumalos was that the love of Jesus bound us together as instant friends…or, even better, family. Regardless of skin color or nationality, we are truly one in Christ Jesus. I felt like I had known Mandla for years. I’m sure that when I see him again, our relationship will be warm and close.
As I shared the “Thumbs Up” illustration of relationship priorities with Mandla, he immediately agreed with its truthfulness and value as a simple way to remember what God teaches. He also greatly appreciated the “marriage triangle” illustration that features sacrificial, unconditional and incarnational love as learned from Jesus. In fact, Mandla was so inspired by these tools that he immediately asked for Heather and me to bring the message to South Africa. As we parted, he declared that he would be working with his leadership team to make our visit a reality as soon as possible. “We need this in our country! Families are hurting. This will also be eagerly received by people in the community who don’t even come to our church at this time.”
I’m excited that the Truth of God’s Word will have this opportunity to cross another boundary and bless more people. Please join me in praying for this opportunity to come to fruition and that all of the finances, logistics and relational details will work out smoothly. May more people know the joy of Jesus in all of their relationships…all to the glory of God!