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Following Jesus – a cause worth living for

Dedicated to this year - 2024

During our time with Campus Crusade for Christ South Africa (CCCSA), an unexpected calling led us to Mozambique. Our journey took a turn from bustling Pretoria to the tranquil town of Matola near Maputo. It was an unanticipated calling to serve at the Living Congregation Maputo, a shift that led me to become ordained as the pastor of a small expatriate congregation nestled within the embrace of the Igreja Reformada em Moçambique (IRM).

Long before this, when I initially sensed the Lord’s call to full-time ministry, the essence of evangelism and discipleship resonated deeply with me. While the words of Matthew 28:18-20 might seem commonplace, my theological studies, delving into the original Greek, revealed a revelation within verse 19. Instead of four distinct verbs, it presented itself as one verb and three adverbs: “make disciples by going and baptizing and teaching.” This became the heartbeat of my calling—facilitating a profound relationship with Jesus Christ and nurturing true followership in every sense.

Our seven years in Matola became an enchanting chapter in our ministry, marked by unique and transformative experiences. One, in particular, forever etched its significance into my understanding of spreading the Gospel and fostering discipleship.

Amidst a drought, our journey led us to a small town near Massinger, just over 200 kilometres north of Maputo. This humble community thrived along the banks of the Limpopo River, their lives intricately woven around sustenance through small-scale farming, mutual aid, and resilience amidst adversity. Our purpose was to meet Amoni, the local evangelist within the IRM, residing and ministering in this town.

Upon our arrival, most of the townsfolk, Amoni included, were still toiling on their plots near the river, tending to their farms under the sun’s watchful gaze. The town appeared serene, nearly deserted until the evening brought forth a remarkable transformation.

As twilight descended, a symphony of voices gradually permeated the air. The townsfolk, returning from their day’s labour, animated the once-quiet town. Amidst this stirring ambience, fires began to flicker to life in scattered corners. The town slowly awoke.

While we sat outside Amoni’s home, basking in the tranquil evening, the murmurs of conversations intermingled with the crackling fires. Then, an unexpected sight unfolded before us—a procession of glowing embers carried from one house to another. The radiant coals were shared, igniting new fires that illuminated more homes. As the fires blazed, laughter and conversation crescendoed, families gathered to prepare and share meals and stories, and the town truly came alive.

At that moment, it felt like the Lord intended to impart a profound truth. I realized, in that simple act of sharing coals, the essence of discipleship unfolded. We, as children of God, are akin to the bearers of those glowing embers, spreading the warmth of spiritual nourishment from heart to heart. Matthew 28:19 took on a new resonance—it urged us to impart truths that guide others in following Jesus, reaching out to share practical love, and teaching the path ahead. And in the beauty of grace and love, those gathered around the fires would, in turn, become bearers of light, sharing their warmth with others in need.

It was a touching lesson—revealing that our role in discipleship echoes the act of spreading the warmth and deep care of the Good News, fostering a sense of familial togetherness within the embrace of Jesus’s unconditional love.

Picture of Gerrie Holtzhausen

Gerrie Holtzhausen


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