While ministering in Zimbabwe, I put my amateur videography skills to good use.
Cozmore explains how our milling machine functions…
While ministering in Zimbabwe, I put my amateur videography skills to good use.
Cozmore explains how our milling machine functions…
Below is an excerpt from one of my chapters of my ‘soon to be’ published, new book, ‘Reloaded – Shooting Back Again’.
Farm murders are a tragic crime in South Africa, as are all other murders. The main challenge with farm murders is the severity of the torture that accompanies many of the attacks.
Attackers have been known to burn their victims with blow torches and clothing irons, pour boiling water onto their bodies, slit their throats, drill a hole through their skulls and rape men’s wives while husbands are forced to watch.
Many books have been written on this terrible scourge on our society, but there are also “good guys with a gun”, and, in this case, a “good gal with a gun” who are making a difference.
Silke Kaiser, in her book GOTCHA: A polygraphist lifts the lid on crime in South Africa tells an interesting story.
She was called out to a farm where an attack had failed in the most spectacular fashion. The farm was located close to the Lesotho border.
When Kaiser arrived, she was greeted by the farmer, Jan, who picked up her laptop bag and showed her into the farmhouse kitchen, where they were joined by Jan’s wife, Elize.
Sitting at a large wooden kitchen table, Kaiser learnt of the events that led to a botched attack at this homestead, just three days prior to her arrival. She listened intently, as husband and wife took turns to recount their story.
Every morning, Jan would rise at 3am to tend to the chickens, along with two of his staff members. He never took his gun with him, because he believed if someone wanted to steal the chickens, they were most welcome.
On this morning, Jan and his accompanying employees were accosted by four gunmen. The attackers addressed their three victims in English and ordered them to lie down. Of course, they complied.
The two farm workers were then tied up. Kaiser was surprised to hear this; her professional experience showed that most often, staff members were not targeted in the attacks on farmers. She continued to listen quietly, surmising that the syndicate would probably have been informed that the farmer did not carry a gun at that time of the morning.
Two of the attackers remained with the restrained victims in the chicken enclosure, while the other two escorted Jan to the farmhouse. They stopped in the kitchen, where they instructed Jan to call his wife.
Jan and Elize are Afrikaans speaking, but he called out to her in English, using a term of endearment; “lovie”. She was still asleep at the time.
The two thugs stepped into the passage, forcing Jan to go with them. They waited for Elize to appear behind the locked security gate that led to the bedrooms — many in South Africa, for safety sake, split their homes internally by closing off their bedrooms from the rest of the home, by installing what we call a “rape gate”.
The attackers had no way of knowing that “lovie” was a pre agreed-upon password, which would immediately alert the spouse that a farm attack was underway.
The bad guys also did not know that Elize was an expert shot. She had grown up with guns and had been trained to shoot by her father. If they had cared to do some reconnaissance, they might have learnt that Elize had worked for a shooting range for 15 years, and that many had learnt how to shoot under her instruction. They were also not aware that Elize would emerge from her bedroom carrying a loaded gun.
If they had had any idea of the above, the two perpetrators might not have stood so confidently on either side of Jan. They appeared to be convinced that once Elize saw that her husband was “under arrest”, she would immediately open the gate. Their guns were not being aimed at anything, as they assumed that a woman, at the mere sight of a gun, would lose all semblance of control and would immediately become intimidated and passive.
Maybe their prior history taught them that all victims act this way. If they had an inkling as to the caliber of woman they were about to meet, they might not have exposed their chests so carelessly.
When Elize emerged from her bedroom, she shot the first perpetrator twice in the chest, both bullets narrowly missed his heart. She then moved the gun slightly to the right, and shot the second thug in the head, killing him instantly.
The man who had been shot in the chest ran through the puddle of blood left by his accomplice, and out the door. He was gasping from the damage the two bullets caused to his lungs. Into the fields he went and hid under a thorn bush, where his corpse was later found.
It was further established that this man had committed two other farm attacks. He had not yet murdered anyone; but torture was his specialty.
The other two accomplices, in cowardly fashion, fled the scene.
To cut a long story short, as is the case in most home attacks in South Africa, one of the employees had been the informer to the attackers.
Kaiser asked Elize how she felt when she shot the intruders. She said that her brain had gone into “automatic mode”, from years of training. She had fired her first shot at the tender age of five, and handling guns was second nature to her.
When she saw the guns in the hands of the criminals, she knew she would shoot them well before they realized what was happening and could aim their guns back at her. All three around the table agreed it was because of the sheer surprise factor of her actions, that she had been so successful in neutralizing the threat.
“… and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”
I’m very excited and honored to be part of this very important event:
Please join us for the most unique security event of the year – the only one of its kind. First because we bring the most applicable faith-based security subjects with presenters skilled in that particular subject. Second because all event attendees are vetted. All attendees will be in the company of other faith-based and law-enforcement professionals.
That is the reason for the detailed registration format. We know it’s a process, but that is what it takes for us to assure you that you will be seated as part of a vetted audience.
There are no recordings. To record such an event would negate the process and value of a vetted audience.
Early discounts end 6/3/19
Registration ends 7/24/19
Looking back for perspective; moving forward with solutions.
Charl van Wyk: Charl was in a church service in Africa when terrorists stormed in with AK-47’s and grenades. 11 died, but Charl returned fire with a .38 revolver putting the terrorist fleeing. Charl champions the right and duty of responsibly armed defenders, while modeling our primary mandate of being true ambassadors for Christ.
Laura Carno: Laura takes on the impossible – and wins. While many talk about the laws of guns in schools, Laura really knows those laws. Many school districts in Colorado (capitalizing on momentum from Ohio) now have responsibly armed staff and defenders in the schools protecting their kids. Hear how Laura has led this movement and consider the applicability to faith-based operations.
Greg Stevens: The full 1-hour presentation on overcoming terrorists armed with AK-47’s with his Glock on May 3rd, 2015. Greg was the first officer to engage ISIS-inspired terrorists in America. It did not end well for them. Greg speaks publicly despite being on terrorist hit lists. Hear this man of faith tell how his story, and his dedication to training, is applicable to armed defenders of the faithful.
Mike Diggs: Mike is the Director of Security at the 18,000 member San Diego Rock Church. Hear how he built their well-ran program to where it is today. Much of that plan is centered around their K-12 Academy. Mike will present to the full audience as well as participating in a break-out with others seasoned in faith-based education security.
Tim Rupp: Tim is the pastor of a church in Idaho, who understands first-hand the spiritual ramifications of being in a gun battle. Before he was a pastor, he was a police officer. Tim is the author of many books, including “Pistols in the Pulpit.” He is president of The Strong Blue Line.
Vaughn Baker: As President of Strategos, Vaughn has perfected training designed specifically for faith-based operators and pioneered taking such training mobile. That success is due to a credentialed past and the humble acceptance of the civilian defender’s ability to protect.
Jamie Richards: Jamie is from the government, and here to help. No really, she is. Jamie is a Protective Security Advisor with the Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Much of her work focuses on faith-based properties.
Bob Klamser: Bob is the president of Crisis Consulting International (CCI). There is no other entity more trusted by more over-seas ministries than CCI. Bob is the authority on training missionaries for overseas work including those in closed and hostile countries.
Returning speakers from last year will include Brian McPike, James Friedman, Brian Gallagher, Donald Hawkins and Carl Chinn.
In an unparalleled move, the SOS event will have a surprise speaker known beforehand only to the Board. You don’t want to miss that.
Break-out sessions will include government resources, church SOP’s, Faith-Based Education security practices, Training / Certifications / Standards, Coalition Development and other works of the FBSN SIGs (Special Interest Groups).
Below is an abridged version of one of my chapters of my ‘soon to be’ completed, new book, ‘Shooting Back Again’. I hope it intrigues you.
How important is it to teach our children to understand how righteous force combats evil? Aren’t toy guns an important part of this process?
Every year around Christmas time, when Christians are celebrating the birth of Christ and His gift of true freedom, an old tradition resurfaces. This one is celebrated in the media by self-righteous crusaders calling for the banning of toy guns.
South African politician Dan Plato visited an informal settlement in South Africa, to hand out toys to the children who live in the camp, after a roaring fire had swept through the area. Plato received severe criticism from members of the public when toy guns were included in the gifts.
Some of my best memories of childhood involve ‘playing guns’ with other children, imitating SWAT teams and cowboys like Shane, John Wayne, and the men of Little House on the Prairie.
For us, those toy guns were a symbol of brave men fighting against incredible odds, resisting tyranny, preserving freedom and protecting the weak and innocent, especially their families.
Today, thankfully, many brave men employ real guns for these very reasons.
Unfortunately, however, owning guns, whether real or toy, is now considered politically incorrect, their virtuous use inverted into vice. In this twisted universe, firearms are branded bad, despite their profound potential to achieve good. These are the only tools that level the playing field and ensure true equality when an innocent citizen meets a member of the lawless and violent-minded.
Somewhere along the way we adopted the pagan fallacy of animism – the concept that evil lurks in things, rather than in people. Therefore, demonizing guns, even toy ones, gives liberal crusaders a feeling of power. Ban guns, real and toy, and hey presto, you banish evil (if you dare even call it such).
I understand people today fear firearms because they fear the consequences of living in a godless society. At the same time, many people reject God and His Law, but are then horrified when their children grow up to believe what has been hammered into them in their formative years by the State propaganda mills. They have been taught that there is no truth, no objective standard of justice, that they are just an evolved animal, that guns are evil, and that there are no absolutes.
Already, toy gun manufacturers are obliged by law to outfit red covers on the muzzles of the toys. Ironically, this plays nicely into the hands of the bad guys. An attacker can wrap a piece of red tape around the muzzle of his gun, masking the ‘realness’ thereof and his violent intent. This could cause an armed citizen, or even a law-enforcement officer, to hesitate – a potentially fatal mistake when engaged in a life-or-death encounter with the bad guy.
How we delude ourselves into thinking that demonizing and banning toy guns – as well as real guns – results in increased public safety. More importantly, how much does this inane debate lull us into the false sense of security that we’re doing something about gun violence? In truth, we’re hesitating – surely a spiritually fatal mistake – when confronted with the chance to teach our children the truth about evil.
Are modern citizens equipped to even have such a conversation, especially when today’s children have been raised by the nanny state? They have become steeped in state indoctrination, which affirms them as evolved animals, subject to no objective standard of truth, save their own self-actualization. Little surprise when some children ‘rise’ to these woeful expectations and act them out in rebellion, sexual anarchy or wanton violence.
My children were brought up to deal with guns from a very early age. When they were young, I sometimes took a firearm or revolver and removed all the rounds, leaving the firearm with the empty chambers on the lounge coffee table. The older children knew exactly what to do when the younger came into the room. They immediately took them away and called an adult.
I often took them to a farm with friends, where each child was given the opportunity to shoot guns. They got used to the sound, the noise and the feel of firearms. There was nothing secretive about them and they didn’t think I was hiding anything from them. The whole idea was to take away their fear of guns and to prevent them from taking an unnecessary and unhealthy interest in them. For my children, it was no longer a scary thing to handle a firearm.
I highly recommend parents work at taking away the secrecy shrouding firearms. Once they are out in the open where everyone can see and touch them, much like a toy, guns lose their allure to children as a ‘forbidden fruit’. They don’t need to sneak it out of the safe. They know that Dad doesn’t mind them handling it on the shooting range, where he is present.
We go through the drills carefully. We teach them never to point a gun at anyone or have their finger on the trigger. We ensure they are familiar with all the safety rules. Under those controlled environments, guns are not a big deal for them at all.
Parents delegate the rearing of their children to the nanny state, the schools, the TV and video games – and then wonder why some of them turn out to be killers. But no, it cannot possibly be our lack of faith, our lack of personal morality, our lack of objective truth, our materialistic mentality, or our adoption of ancient pagan heresies that are causing the problems. It must be the toy guns!
We must teach God’s Truth to our children. After all, the state-run education system – in harmony with the state-run media – is giving our children a message. And it is not The Message. Their impressionable minds are being carpet-bombed with Weapons of Mass Distortion. They learn that offending someone’s sensitivities is a greater crime than defending your loved ones.
The importance of teaching one’s children about self-defense cannot be over-emphasized. The public education systems and the media bombard young minds with commands not to offend anyone, but instead to endure evil and be a doormat for the wicked.
Rather than succumbing to the manufactured outrage of the threats posed by these near timeless toys, let’s teach our children to be aggressive against injustice and remain adventurous in their lives, instilling in them a hatred for evil and a deep desire to stand for righteousness.
Subsequent to my great childhood battles, I have used my firearm on two occasions to protect the lives of innocent victims when attacked by armed thugs. The gun haters call this ‘using violence to fight violence’. Violence is defined as the ‘immoral use of force’. Defending the innocent is the ‘righteous use of force’.
Let’s buy plenty toy guns and raise responsible children who will become responsible adults, willing to protect their families and freedoms.
Children are not the only ones at risk. Life is dangerous on the street.
“For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:12
Purchasing a vehicle for our Zimbabwe ministry has been quite an experience in how Africa works. (Spoiler alert: It works about as well as a vehicle broken down on the roadside!)
This project—and it is difficult to call it a transaction—included theft, lies, deception and corruption; and yet, by God’s grace, our vehicle is ready for ministry action.
John traveled from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Cape Town, South Africa to visit his spiritual children at our Stone Hill ministry and collect funds for the vehicle purchase.
Zimbabweans can purchase used Japanese vehicles in Durban, South Africa at a very reasonable price. Strangely enough, South Africans may not purchase the same!
These are not allowed to drive on South African roads. Instead, they’re transported on trucks into Zimbabwe, where the purchaser collects the vehicle at a government installation.
John had almost given up on getting the most useful Toyota model we agreed would best serve our needs. Then someone pointed him to the last of this model hidden away between busses in the sale lot. It was exactly what we wanted; a Toyota Harrier!
Payment had to be made in U.S. cash. Another challenge: South Africans, by law, cannot purchase U.S. cash unless they are leaving the country and only within 60 days of leaving. A bit of intrigue managed to get this sorted out.
When the 30 vehicles, purchased by various Zimbabweans, were to leave Durban for Zimbabwe there were riots in two South African cities—making for a precarious passage for our citizen convoy.
Eighty U.S. dollars from each buyer secured a private security company to escort and help deliver the vehicles across the border.
When John collected our vehicle in Zimbabwe he was charged more than 100 percent import taxes—on the 20-year-old car. Plus, all the petrol had been drained from the tank. Oh yes. And the battery was stolen.
After buying a battery and petrol on the black market, John could finally head home where he had to register the car at his local state office. Here the helpful government officials wanted more taxes because the body, interior and engine were in spotless condition.
And, just when we thought the project was done, the police arrived at John’s home, sniffing around to find out how a missionary could afford a car in such dire economic circumstances?
I thought this very short summary of how Africa (ahem) works, might make you feel much better when you purchase your next vehicle.
A very BIG thank you to ITMI, every church and friend who played a part in making this purchase a reality. We honestly can’t thank you enough!
Whatever the obstacles we face, by God’s grace we are going to be much more effective in furthering the Gospel of the Kingdom, in Zimbabwe, with this useful tool!
Note: The missionary’s name was changed to protect his identity.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
In a joint ministry effort between In Touch Mission International, partnering churches and friends, we can purchase a vehicle, provide a maize mill in Gwayi River, distribute feminine hygiene products and deliver Bibles, in Zimbabwe. Praise the Lord! And Thank you!
In this podcast you will meet Cozmore, whom the Lord uses to help make these outreaches and projects happen!
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” Hebrews 13:3
Our friend, Pastor Sylas, of the Come and See Church in Johannesburg was incarcerated on Tuesday 22 January 2019, in Zimbabwe, for a minor immigration infringement.
Whilst crossing the South African/Zimbabwean border, his ETD (emergency travel document) wasn’t stamped by the immigration officer and so he was deemed to be illegally in Zimbabwe.
The conditions in Zimbabwean prisons are terrible. Pastor Sylas had a stomach ulcer and the prison food and unhealthy conditions were not helping. After over 2 weeks of endless waiting for a letter from Immigration in Harare and rain falls making prison cells uninhabitable, the prisoners were moved from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo.
From Bulawayo, the ‘prisoners’ were taken to Harare and were involved in an accident on the way!
Before Sylas was moved, his family was in contact with the local authorities in Victoria Falls, where a very helpful bureaucrat, a sergeant, kindly offered to help appoint a lawyer and organize transport for Sylas to leave Zimbabwe. The $400.00 the family gave the sergeant was never used for a lawyer or transport!
Our ministry colleague, Oscar, who had also previously been incarcerated under similar circumstances in South Africa, encouraged Sylas to not worry, but instead to preach the Gospel.
Five weeks had passed and more endless bureaucratic shenanigans at Immigration in Harare were endured. A flight home was booked for Sylas, for the date given by immigration officials. Due to what can only be described as ‘deliberate bungling’, on the morning of the flight instructions were given by the same to postpone. No future dates were given. So, Pastor Sylas’s family watched another $600.00 go down the proverbial drain.
After asking for your help with prayer and pressure, a new flight was booked for Sylas on an agreed date with Immigration. Furthermore, the airline through which his missed flight had been booked said they’d reimburse the funds, which they did. The sergeant who took the funds from Sylas’s family repaid $300.00. These were certainly amazing answers to the prayers of the Lord’s people!
Newspapers had also contacted me for updates on Sylas. One executive editor responded: “…we were awaiting [a] response from the Minister of Justice on this matter as he promised to look into the case…”
The immigration officer complained to me that he had had so many “communications” regarding Pastor Sylas that he didn’t know who to communicate with anymore! I suggested that the officer answer everyone who had asked after the pastor as he was a very important person with many friends.
We couldn’t believe it when Sylas phoned our ministry colleagues. They had fought daily in prayer, helped with food, medicines and visits.
Ron Kronz, of Bishop of Souls (BOS), played a pivotal role in arranging prayer support from the United States. BOS also gave generous financial support to arrange help for Sylas with the necessary food and medicines for his health. After all, he had a stomach ulcer!
“This also shows us that we have more power than we think,” Rev Ron said. “Too often in the US and in Africa we say, ‘That’s just how it is’ or ‘There’s nothing we can do.’ When we say that, we are really saying ‘There’s nothing we are willing to do.’ We must chip against the corruption one victory at a time. The Apostle James said: ‘You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.’”
Because of Sylas’s pastoral heart and ministry among them, the other inmates hadn’t wanted him to be released!
Don’t miss the miracle: What was a gross injustice, united believers across oceans in different continents in prayer and petition, brought glory to the Father, and no doubt encouragement and joy to the hurting.
Through our missionary colleague Cozmore helping Sylas with food and medication during his incarceration, new doors for ministry have opened. Prison chaplains have sought his counsel, even inviting him to freely minister to them and prisoners.
Pastor Sylas’ experience reminds me of when the Apostle Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in prison for preaching the Gospel. As they prayed and sang hymns an earthquake shook the foundations of the prison, loosening the prisoners’ chains and opening the cell doors. The jailer, expected them all to flee, prepared to take his own life until Paul told him they were still there.
“The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved—you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.” Acts 16: 29-33.
In a note of thanks to those who prayed for, and worked towards his freedom, Pastor Sylas said: “From the bottom of my heart I am honestly saying, ‘I’m so thankful to God for your lives!’ Words won’t be enough to express my gratitude toward all of you for your prayers, efforts, time and financial support during my time in prison. Understanding that I was in prison to preach the Gospel brought peace to me.”
I love working with men of God (as we Africans call them), who are uncompromising in their commitment to see Africa filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord!
Praise the Lord!