News from the Southern Africa Island of Mauritius

Church service in Mauritius

What can a disciple accomplish in a short time, far away from the comfort of their well-organised church? Well, you’d be surprised. This was the experience of Themba and Zama Xulu, leaders in the Tshwane region of the Johannesburg Church of Christ, South Africa. They spent three weeks with the disciples in the tiny church in Mauritius (an island country in the Indian Ocean, located east from Africa), with faith-building results that ended in the baptism of the first man in a very, very long time.

Here’s what they had to say about their trip:

When the opportunity to spend our Christmas holidays with the church in Mauritius came our way, we were super excited and encouraged. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be sent on a mission to a beautiful, sunny tropical island? Of course, we said yes!

Then as we thought about what lay ahead, we felt the need to pray for God to perform a miracle in our short time there. We knew anything that was to happen would have to be so God-orchestrated that we would stand in awe of his glorious name.

At most, we thought, we would just get to share some encouraging messages with the five disciples there, spend time with them, meet a few people and study the Bible with them...

We really could not imagine anything more than that. We prayed beforehand for God to work in amazing ways, beyond our own comprehension.

Being with that small group of disciples was so inspiring. It made us so grateful for the simple things that we take for granted in big churches. From the order of service, the worship, the sermons we hear and forget ever so often. We take for granted the group of song leaders and people who prepare our services.

I thought about how easily people will miss a service as I watched one of the grannies take three different buses to get to where the church was meeting, just to be part of the fellowship.  I saw her arrive early at times to set up for communion and even came prepared with food for us. It was such a humbling experience. I looked in awe at their incredible generosity and hospitality towards us.  Simple things that, sometimes, get lost in our big churches.

Our first Sunday saw an attendance of 15 people; there was such a buzz! I can’t remember feeling so excited about 15 people being in a church service. Back home, that’s the size of our bible talk, yet here we were thrilled at the visitors who came and excited to start sharing God’s word with them. Among those on that first Sunday, was Kevin Law, a young IT specialist seeking and desiring to know about God. 

One of the sisters went ahead and bought him a bible, as he had never owned one.  What transpired after that was the ‘God orchestrated’ miracle we had prayed for. Kevin loved learning about God and made himself available even on days when he was on standby with his job. He would have his laptop, phone and bible opened all at the same time. Whenever asked when he would be free again, he would say the next day. When offered a couple of days to reflect, he took one day and wanted to continue.

His hunger for God’s word was a reminder of how we too must desire to feed on God.  His eagerness to know and hear more about Jesus was incredible. We continued studying with him almost every day. On the last Sunday of our three-week stay, Kevin asked to get baptised and made Jesus Lord of his life. It has been a faith-building time for us as a family and certainly for the church in Mauritius. Kevin with Themba

Kevin’s mission has been to be an encouragement to the church. He’s already downloading ICOC Hot News videos and sharing them with the disciples. It’s exciting to watch God grow his faith.

We are so inspired by how God can use and transform people beyond our imagination.

We are encouraging our families in Pretoria, and anyone who can afford it, to go on vacation in Mauritius. While there, meet with the disciples and invite some people. You never know what God will do with that little time at your disposal!

And so we say:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV