In 1991 John was sentenced to two 15 year sentences which ran concurrently in Pollsmoor. In this time, his wife was pregnant and John felt he wanted to be a father to his child but couldn’t due to his time in prison.
After some time in prsion, John accepted the Lord. Later, he was released and became an evangelist who went back into prison (Pollsmoor) to share the gospel to those behind bars.
John worked for a charity organization called “Help A Rural Child” and about two years ago, John felt he wanted to have a permanent program to run in Pollsmoor due to his experience. It’s now been 18 years since his release and John has become a mentor to many men in prison, allowing him to minister and share about God’s goodness.
On the 1st of September 2018, John joined our MEP team (Message Enterprise Program) which works in and out of prison with young men who want to make a change in their lives and society.
This is what he had to say about recently joining the Message Team
As our team grows, we are thankful to God for bringing people together with the same heart for young people, and our prayer as The Message is that many may come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
It is amazing to witness the transformational power of God work in people, changing them into a person who passionately and purposefully using their story to impact others positively.
Today we want to share about our new Refocus facilitator Clinton:
Clint recently joined our Creative mission team as one of our Refocus facilitators and has brought a significant addition to our ministry.
Growing up Clint joined the gang because he was bullied in school and felt like he needed to join one of the gangs in the school he attended, and as time went by Clint wanted to be the most feared gangster in Cape Town.
This attitude led him deeper into the dark life of gangsterism until he felt trapped within himself.
Today we see the change in Clint’s life has he is passionate about working with young people as an example of the freedom he has received in Christ.
Joining our Creative missions team Clint has brought so much value as he finds it easy to identify with the young people who face similar challenges as he did when he was growing up, using his testimony to witness about the power of change.
We are excited to see how God continues to work within Clint’s life and as he grows in our ministry.
On the 26th July, The Message Trust hosted their Annual General Meeting where our stakeholders and members of the public gathered to hear the organisation’s highlights and accomplishments from 2017.
At the AGM the 2017 tax year financial report was officially adopted and is available here.
At the AGM, our CEO Dr. Tim Tucker addressed the public and shared about how God has shaped the direction and goals of The Message South Africa in 2017. The following are some excerpts from his speech:
On Sunday, 24th of July, The Message Trust’s Creative Mission Team travelled to Citrusdal to run a holiday club for a week with Hebron Community Projects and a team from the United States that supports the work of Hebron. Here is some feedback from the team about the experience:
The Message Trust is blessed to have young people driven by passion and who love the Lord in our creative mission team spreading the gospel to the least, the last, and the lost. If you want to hear more about what they are up to or schedule them at your next school or youth event, check them out on the Message In Schools page.
As the times change and generations grow up with new ways of doing things, have you ever wondered what true Christ-centered servant leadership should look like now in the present generation in which we live? There are many views on what this should look like and in this book, Message Trust SA CEO, Tim Tucker, addresses this and shows how Christ-centered leadership has helped The Message Trust become one of the fastest growing mission movements of the twenty-first century.
After what seemed like a long, anticipated wait, Grab A Towel officially released on Tuesday the 8th of May. That evening, we celebrated Tim and this book at his book launch event, where several people attended in excitement to find out more and purchase their copy.
Dr. Siegfried Ngubane, an endorser of Grab A Towel, was the guest speaker for the night and a total of 47 books were sold, not including those that were pre-ordered ahead of time. Kim Slabber, who won an autographed book on the CCFM Radio competition, was also there to collect her book on the night.
Tim will be speaking at the following locations on his book and how to be a servant leader in the 21st century. Be sure you catch him at one of these events if you want to find out more, or feel free to send an email to [email protected].
Upcoming Speaking Engagements: 17th May @ Message Business Breakfast, 7am at The Mess Cafe in Mowbray 20th May @ New Destiny Church, Athlone – Morning Service 3rd June @ St Martin’s Anglican Church, Bergvliet – Morning Service 10th June @ Cape Gateway International, Pelican Park – Morning Service
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
Over the past couple of weeks, we have had the opportunity to host The Message Academy from the UK – a group of young people on mission for Christ Jesus!
It’s pleasing to see young people passionate about serving and worshipping Christ in the way we have witnessed through the Message Academy team. Led by their passion for evangelism, the Academy has visited several informal settlements, churches, schools and communities where they have interacted with people from all walks of life by sharing the wonderful news of Christ Jesus in word and action.
What is The Message Academy?
The Message Academy is part of The Message UK and it is a training program for young people between the ages 18-25; equipping and helping them grow in evangelistic ministry and gifting development.
South Africa was their first stop over the next 6 weeks of their mission and for many on the team, they did not know what to expect being in a foreign country. The team spent time in Nyanga, Salt River, and Lotus River (to mention a few) ministering and sharing the gospel with people they met.
The Message Academy team is an inspiring group of individuals who are passionate about sharing the gospel in a relevant and interactive way, showing young people that serving God is not as “boring” as some may think. Over the two weeks of going into schools and ministering to young people across Cape Town, the team saw many young people commit their lives to Christ.
In their time here, the Message Academy has seen over 70 people respond to the gospel. As the team travels back to the UK, we are happy to have spent time with them and trust that God will do much greater things in and through them as they continue in their journey.
On the 24th of March 2018, the “It’s Time” event was hosted in Mitchell’s Plain where over a hundred thousand people from across Cape Town came together to pray for revival, unity and transformation of communities in the Western Cape. It was a significant time as churches and residents of Cape Town united in prayer over the drought, poverty, gangsterism and other issues.
During the event, keynote speaker and evangelist Angus Buchan, invited gang leaders to come forward and receive prayer, and ten men and two women made their way through the crowd to come forward. The Message Trust’s missional band, KineticIV (KIV), had the honour of performing at the event, sharing the Gospel through their songs and stories. Praise and worship during the event was lead by Neville D, Joe Niemand, Robbie Wessels and a number of other well-known artists.
This was a historic event that we believe, along with the It’s Time 2017 event in Bloemfontein which saw over 1 million believers in attendance, will be remembered by South Africans for many years to come! We are grateful to have been a part of the event and we can’t wait to see the ripple effect of our city’s prayers as they continue to echo across the country and into the nations.
We all dream of a place to call a home; a place where we can flourish in peace without worries or fear, a place where the community stands as one in pursuit of righteousness. I sometimes wonder if such a place exists.
All throughout the book of Genesis, we see that God created the Garden of Eden and entrusted man to care for it so that he himself can grow and flourish in the presence of God. Today, this is hard to imagine, considering all we see and experience daily in our communities.
In all of the turmoil and heartache within our communities, there is a movement out there which is dedicated to bring the kingdom of God in the toughest and drug infested neighbourhoods. It is a movement where individuals move into these neighborhoods with the intention to connect with the churches and community in order to demonstrate the Gospel in a more intimate and practical way.
To me, this sounds like a much needed movement in all communities across Cape Town. A movement dedicated to not only to see the change but also to experience it first hand. This we our feature is about the Eden Network, before we delve in you must be asking yourself:
What is Eden?
Grant Porthen, who himself has a past in the murky streets of Athlone, is a man who is passionate about young people and wants to effectively share the gospel to young people in a way they will understand and relate to. His responsibility within Eden is to plant Eden teams in drug and gang infested neighborhoods and recruits people to work within these communities.
Currently, there are Eden teams operating in Nyanga East, Pelican Park and Salt River, which are all connected to a local church of their respective area. Additionally, each team has community development projects running in order to bring positive impact and change.
One project that is paramount in Salt River is the Mustard Seed House, a project developed by the Salt River Eden team who saw the need to provide a safe haven for ladies living under the bridge. This house will accommodate homeless women where they will be given a platform to develop themselves and pursue their dreams in a safe environment.
Grant is a vision and purpose driven man and one day he dreams of finding Eden teams in every neighborhood in Cape Town where people from all walks of life can come and find a place to flourish and grow. This year, they will be launching a fourth Eden team in Parow, in partnership with Lighthouse Church.
It’s been a little over two years since the inception of the first Eden team and we are excited to hear about more of the ripple effects coming through the Eden Network teams.
In the Bible, we see many instances where God instructs us to go out and share the Good News of Christ Jesus; it is obvious that He never intended His Word to be kept a secret! Instead, God intended it to be shared so that ALL may have the opportunity to choose life over death.
As apostle Paul puts it in Romans 1: 16-17;
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel; because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous shall live by faith.”
The above-mentioned verse clearly emphasizes that the Holy scriptures are meant for everyone; therefore, it is our duty not to keep quiet about the Gospel, lest we deprive men of their salvation!
Today, I don’t write with the intention to preach; the purpose of this article is to praise God for His faithfulness in blessing our ministry, and also thank Struik Christian Media together with LifeWay International for their generous donation of 100 copies of the newly revised CSB (Christian Standard Bible) to give to young men we work with and disciple in our various programs, both in and out of prison.
What is CSB?
The Christian Standard Bible aims to draw readers into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. By translating Scripture into the clearest possible modern English, the CSB allows readers to experience God’s Word at its fullest.
To read more about the CSB Bible, click here, or watch the video below!
As the donated Bibles were delivered, Zelda Rowan, the General Manager of Struik Christian Media, shared that Struik’s mandate & duty as a company is to share the Word of God and other Christian literature that contribute to people’s spiritual development for the greater good of God’s purpose.
We are very humbled by this donation, since Bibles are a big need not only in our prison programs, but also various other outreach teams. With these Bibles, we will be able to further communicate the Word of God and disciple the young men and youth we work with in a more open and efficient manner.
The Message Trust’s new Reintegration Programme held a ‘Speak Out’ event on the 8th of December, where several of the young men in the programme presented eye-opening and challenging speeches.
When these guys first entered the programme in September, a majority of them were unable to write a speech. They struggled to express themselves, write grammatically, and find the confidence to speak in front of even a handful of people. With the help from some of our team members, they learned the ins-and-outs of public speaking. Afterwards, they were given the opportunity to write their own speeches to be presented to the community.
The speeches delivered at Speak Out were a testament to how the Reintegration Programme has quickly grown these men and given them the confidence to speak out. Their stories were challenging as we heard about the struggles of violence, gangsterism, crime, and the impact of having such a fatherless nation.
These young men (and so many others) have powerful stories to share and it’s time that we, as a nation, start listening. We are excited for more Speak Out events to happen in the future. Don’t miss out on the next one – the impact of their words is something no person should go without experiencing!