Missions Team Impacts People Group in South Africa
Pastor Pete Hypes, of Bermuda Baptist Church, and a team trekked off to South Africa in mid-May to bring the Gospel to the Viphagne people. Viphagne Baptist Church acted as home base while the team was on location.
When the team departed on the Vision Trip, they had a goal in mind.
“The goal we had when left were to help strengthen the churches. We taught a leadership seminar on the Saturday that we were there,” Hypes said. “We also visited the clinics for the first time. The clinic visits were an awesome opportunity to get into a part of Africa that was private. They allowed us to pray over folks that were waiting to see doctors.”
Strengthening churches was only part of the team’s objective, though. The “big thing was to try to establish or build upon the partnership of other churches,” Hypes said.
Developing working relationships with the Viphagne people was not difficult, as most “are very receptive to he Gospel,” Hypes said.
“They are also receptive to many different things – ancestral worship,” he said. “When you talk with them, you really have to be able to understand where they’re coming from —a very familial or family-oriented society.”
The team worked to bring the Gospel to every place they visited and had positive results, Hypes said.
“They had open assemblies for the students,” he said. “Each place had 600-700 students.”
The most remarkable aspect of the trip, though, was the team’s ability to communicate with the native people despite the language barrier.
“I watched pastors, I watched them preach with passion,” Hypes said. “I watched pat share with a group of children – none of them could speak English (other than to say yes). He told them the story of David and Goliath. He figured out he needed to do the motions. He had all of them demonstrating that. It just shows that you can share the gospel in many ways. “
During their time in South Africa, the team set up a medical clinic for the local residents.
“One day when we went to the clinic, I had a young lady come up to me and share me her struggle and her story,” Hypes said. “South Africa is very private about HIV/AIDs — for them to open up shows a level of trust.”
“The clinics, to me, were a huge success. I pray that the church there continues in our absence,” he said. “Anytime you can further the relationship that you have built with people, I believe that is a huge success. And we were able to do that.”449