In 2017, Evangelist Andries Pelser and his wife Debbie took a flight from Lanseria to Cape Town. In the airplane across the aisle in which Andries and Debbie were seated, sat a lady with Muslim attire. The Holy Spirit directed Andries towards the lady and asked what he saw, he thought, “A Muslim lady”. The Holy Spirit then directed Andries to look ahead of him, asking the same question, and Andries thought, “Only people”. By the time Andries left the plane in Cape Town, he knew that God was speaking to him about witnessing.
Innovative ways to share the Gospel
God also gave Andries an idea to assist people who find it difficult to bear testimony; either because they are too shy or they don’t know how to start the conversation. The idea is that during the week of Pentecost (as it’s the feast of the harvest); Christians wear a token with a Cross and the wording, “I believe, ask me why?” Should anyone then ask, it gives the person the opportunity to tell their story as to why they believe and this could have various results, of which salvation is the ultimate goal.
Witnessing is not optional
Acts 1:8 reads “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Witnessing is not an option but an instruction from God. It’s part of the great commission. Part of the mission of every child of God.
Witnessing to the nations
Andries and Debbie have been conducting open-air crusades and Pastors’ leadership conferences in various countries each year, for more than a decade. From this background they were able to share the vision with pastors of those countries. During 2017, 11 countries participated in Witnessing Week, with great results and testimonies. In 2018, the number grew to 22 countries, which included USA, Nepal, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, India, Pakistan, and Rwanda to mention a few. This year 2019, Andries is aiming at 50 countries and in 2020, 100 countries, and then worldwide.
Providing effective tools
Countries who participated were provided with tokens and witnessing guides, often translated into their language to use and wear during Witnessing Week. The witnessing guides and tokens have already been translated into French, Portuguese, Pemba, Shona, Swahili, Urdu, Hindi, and Tamil and are also available in English and Afrikaans. Other languages will follow during the course of 2019 and 2020. The witnessing guide is a powerful tool in the hand of believers as it gives them a guideline as to how to witness and lead people to Christ.
Getting the global Church involved
To further extend the vision and to empower pastors from countries participating in Witnessing Week, Andries and Debbie arranged for pastors from participating countries to visit South Africa from 4-6 April 2019 to attend a Witnessing Week Conference. The conference was a huge success. Pastors of countries such as South Korea, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Benin, and Zimbabwe attended the conference and everyone left empowered by the Holy Spirit to go back to their respective countries with the purpose of getting all churches actively involved in Witnessing Week.
Testimonies and support
Pastors of countries such as Myanmar, Congo, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, USA, Canada, Bangladesh, Nepal, and India sent messages of encouragement for the conference. During the conference, pastors who participated in previous years shared testimonies of people getting saved and Christians growing in numbers and revival amongst church members. Andries and Debbie believe that the conference will be bigger and better next year.
We are all witnesses
Andries added that the idea behind Witnessing Week is not to only witness for Jesus during one week of the year, but that through scheduling Witnessing Week on the church calendar, the Church will be reminded of the fact that we are to witness for Jesus and help them to plan to empower and to release the Church to do what is an instruction from God. Witnessing is not something we do, but something we become once we are saved.
This year, Witnessing Week is scheduled for 2-9 June. Pastors are invited to preach about witnessing beforehand and on the morning of 2 June, hand out the witnessing guides and tokens to their members to actively wear during that week. Should any churches and pastors want to participate, Andries and Debbie invite them to contact them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or via their website at witnessingweek.com.
ANDRIES PELSER is the founder of Newborn Ministry. He is also an author of 5 publications. Visit witnessingweek.com for more information.
Date published: 20/05/2019
Article source: JOY! Magazine