Blog: Max Dawson
March 23, 2016
Late last Thursday night our traveling party returned from Africa. That ended a 24-day working trip that began on March 1. Terry Matthews, Ulysses Buckley and I completed our threefold mission for which the Dowlen Road Church sent us. The overall assessment of the trip is that it was profitable in every respect.

Here is a summary of our three missions:

1. To train preachers in Zimbabwe. We had 31 preachers who are native to that country in our training classes. We began our sessions on Monday (March 7), and continued through Friday of that week. In the course of that week we taught 38 lessons, including the entire book of Hebrews in one day. We believe all the men who were present were greatly benefited by the teaching and training.

2. To preach in the village churches and schools. Prior to going into Zimbabwe, we preached a three-day gospel meeting at the Mabalabala church in South Africa. After finishing the preacher training in Zimbabwe, we worked with eleven villages and two schools in that country. Terry, Ulysses and I took turns speaking at each. The lessons were well received by the brethren in every place. We also had the opportunity to preach Christ in the public schools. I had more than 300 kids of middle school age in the group to which I spoke. Ulysses had more than 600 at another school. On the last part of our work we went into Botswana and preached in three villages there. We preached in those three on Saturday and then preached again in the Sunday worship services. We had baptisms in both countries. Twelve in each for a total of 24.

3. To provide drought relief for needy saints. The food shortage created by the drought is the worst I have seen in my eight trips to those countries. There were massive crop failures in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. The spring rains that should have come in October and November simply did not come. (Those countries are in the Southern Hemisphere, thus the seasons are opposite ours.) The brethren there did receive considerable rain while we were there. While it came too late for the growing season, it did green up the grass which will feed the farm animals. Thus, we would expect the animals to be strong for next season’s planting. While we were in Africa, we distributed 360 ten kg (22 lbs) bags of corn meal. In addition, we were able to leave funds that will provide that much and more for the next month and a half to assist our brothers and sisters who are in such dire need.


Where do we go from here with respect to the needs in Africa? In addition to food needs, there are hard-working preachers who find themselves in need of support.

Preacher support has to be handled on a case-by-case basis. But the food shortages are widespread and affect hundreds of brethren with whom we are acquainted. The needs are real and legitimate. We don’t let our brethren starve.

We were able to meet a lot of food needs while we were in Africa. Individual Christians from Dowlen Road church (and from a few other places) put money in our hands to help brethren in Africa. As a result, we were able to take care of a lot of needs on the spot. May God bless those brethren who provided that assistance.

As to the ongoing need for drought relief, in just a few weeks the Dowlen Road church will take up a special Sunday contribution for that purpose. I know of a church in Alabama that is doing something similar. We will announce this week when our contribution will be taken up.

The need is great, and it may be difficult to cover, but we serve a God of unlimited resources who is able to meet all our needs. We trust that He will provide and use us as His tools in this work.

Blessings to all,