09/13/2014: Building a School for the Lord

Building a School for the Lord South Africa   We have yet another reason to praise the Lord! As you may know, we have been praying for a property upon which we can establish a blueprint school. In our last story (First Quarter, 2014), we mentioned that many young men have come have come to us with the desire for training to become pastors. We have developed curricula for the theology and pastoral evangelism courses and we already have people who want to attend our school as soon as it is established. God had mercy on us and blessed us with a property! We are excited to tell you all about it and to solicit your prayers and any other help you can offer. We are inspired by the following statement: “The plan of the schools we shall establish in these closing years of the message is to be of an entirely different order from those we have instituted. For this reason, God bids us establish schools away from the cities, where, without let or hindrance, we can carry on the education of students upon plans that are in harmony with the solemn message committed to us for the world. Such an education as this can best be worked out where there is land to cultivate and where the physical exercise taken by the students can be of such a nature as to act a valuable part in their character building and fit them for usefulness in the fields to which they shall go.”  Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 532. We plan to run a missionary training school for Southern Africa and we searched and prayed for the Lord to help us find a property for this purpose. After reading the following statement we saw that the only way to finish the work of preaching the gospel in Africa is by establishing missionary training schools. “The usefulness learned on the school farm is the very education that is most essential for those who go out as missionaries to many foreign fields. If this training is given with the glory of God in view, great results will be seen. No work will be more effectual than that done by those who, having obtained an education in practical life, go forth to mission fields with the message of truth, prepared to instruct as they have been instructed. The knowledge they have obtained in the tilling of the soil and other lines of manual work, and which they carry with them to their fields of labor, will make them a blessing even in heathen lands.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 534.

The property has plenty of land suitable for many purposes.

From the beginning of this year, we dedicated our time to searching for a property, and in answer to prayer, the Lord showed us a property well below market value. Thank you for your prayers because without them we don’t think it would have happened. The property is situated one-and-a-half hours drive from Nelspruit, the capital city of the province of Mpumalanga, South Africa. The land is divided into two, with 30 hectacres (about 74 acres) on one side of the gravel road and 17 hectacres (about 42 acres) on the other. The larger piece is entirely filled with maize, and because it is zoned for agriculture, we can use it to grow anything we want. The smaller piece will be good for infrastructure and institutional buildings. The neighboring properties belong to institutions that have built similar campuses. There is the Christian Youth Training Center, less than a kilometer away. They have turned their farm into a training school and have a lot of buildings on their property. The other neighbor started a workshop institution to help train people in different trades. We fit perfectly into the region. There is an orchard of apples and pears just a few farms away. It’s a goodly land, flowing with milk and honey…but it isn’t Canaan! The farm is near the mountains and receives significant amount of rain. During the rainy season a lot of water drains into the property, so as a result, there is a dam. It needs to be fixed so that water can freely flow through it. The property also has a river of crystal clear water which flows throughout the year. There is electricity on the farm, and the houses are wired, but since the property was left unattended for two years the house was vandalized and some of the electrical cables need to be fixed. There are already a few fruit trees, and they are healthy. The oak trees on the property date back to the Boer war. The height and health of the grass, the trees, and the maize on the farm all speak volumes about the fertility of the land. The main building is a three-bedroom farmhouse. Due to the vandalism, the windows are broken and the doors and also some parts of the ceiling are missing. There is also another smaller storage house, which still needs a roof. The property has a few outbuildings and the driveway is made of stone. A sliding gate encloses the main entrance. We need funds to help renovate the current buildings and build additional structures to be used for classrooms, workshops, a chapel, and a lifestyle center. This property was going for 750,000 R (South African rand; about $68,000 US), and since it was way below the market value and many people wanted to buy it, we were given an offer to buy it because we showed an interest before anyone else. We were able to offer a large down payment but needed help with the balance. One of our friends, Portia, loaned us the remainder so that we can secure the property. Through Portia’s loan we have been able to pay everything so far, and we are now at a stage where our names are being transferred to the title deed. We are very thankful for your prayers and the help you have been to us in this journey. Please continue to pray with us and help us financially as you are able. Perhaps you can offer more than just funds: you may have skills to volunteer or assets you can donate. Anything that you think might be useful in this kind of missionary training program will be highly appreciated. The Lord wants us to press together in this work. He is doing something great for Africa and the world. He is calling us all to cooperate with Him. Will you heed the call? “There should be today in the field one hundred well qualified laborers where now there is but one.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 248. Thank you in advance for your partnership. May God bless you abundantly!   By Loago Setswalo. Email: loagos@gmail.com.

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