Shalom, shalom, to all the saints – our beloved family in Yahoshua haMashiach,
Four years ago we invested 90 days of our lives into the lives of the saints of Zambia. The favour of Heaven poured down on us and we experienced a restoration revival. Many local pastors embraced the restoration movement of the Spirit by the preaching of the Word and we were also able to preach the restoration message on the local / national Christian television twice a week (we recorded 13 half-hour broadcasts) and conducted a three-day public meeting in the local market place – with the theme of “Prove Your Faith” in the spirit of 1Kings 18.
The second time we came, we shared our lives with the Zambian people for three weeks. During that visit we had one of the most memorable Passover Seders ever – against all odds! We crowded at least three hundred people under the tent and I shared the Good News of the Passover – Yahoshua – over five hours – with no electricity! I.e. No sound system and resorting to candlelight only. Ambassadors from a local / national radio station were in attendance and invited us to record hours and hours of broadcasting material – all free of charge – simply because they were so blessed to receive our message and to celebrate the feast of Yahweh!
Our visit to Zambia is no different this time – only better! Our first month here, we have already recorded 13 half-hour broadcasts, held three different conferences, celebrated the first Passover with more than two hundred jubilant saints, distributed many cases of my first published book “Crossing Over” and conducted several local media broadcast interviews. Praise Yahweh for supernatural favour!
The Torah school we established here in 2012 in cooperation with HRTI South Africa is still going strong and has expanded to four different campuses – with many more coming in the near future! When we recently visited the Zambian State House (equivalent to the American White House) many of the delegates greeted our hosts by name. They spoke to us privately and publicly with words of great praise and admiration for the two co-leaders who have been leading the school for the last four years. Needless to say, we are super proud of these men and to affectionately call them our sons in the faith – as they affectionately call us “Papa and mama.”
It is abundantly clear to us that Yahweh delights to exalt the humble and humble the exalted. These two humble men of Yahweh were both undistinguished and unrecognized servants, when we first met them in the Jack Compound of Lusaka, Zambia. However, due to their diligence and faithfulness – they are now being called to service to the four corners of Zambia. The requests are coming in almost daily from the North, South, East and West as the fire is spreading rapidly and Zambian’s are hungry for the truth. Hallelu-Yah!
All of this has happened – not without opposition! Shortly after we left in 2012, the Spirit spoke to our hearts and the heart of our pastor – not to financially support the original director – whom we had appointed and anointed before we departed. Soon afterward, his many hidden sins were publicly exposed by the Set-apart Spirit of Yahweh and he was arrested by the local police for his crimes and found guilty by the Zambian courts.
Shortly before his arrest, he did everything in his power to destroy the work that Yahweh had begun. However, Yahweh would not allow it! Students from the school contacted us and informed us of his shenanigans and we were able to verify it – as his best friend (and co-pastor at that time) also contacted us independently at the exact same time and voiced his genuine concerns.
Before we had left, the Spirit had spoken to all our hearts that there would be two major tests for all the students of the yeshiva to pass. As we remembered that specific warning, Jenn and I could not help but be grateful for the warning we too had received by the Spirit – not to give any financial support to this particular man at that particular time. As a rule, Jenn and I only give if we have both heard from the Spirit that we are supposed to give and the exact amount we are supposed to give.
It is much harder for us not to give – out of obedience to the Spirit – than to give because our hearts love to give generously – as the Spirit leads us! When we told the first director of our desire to give and our pastor’s desire to give – but the Spirit was withholding us from giving – he agreed to pray and fast along with his wife. Afterward, when he contacted us again, the Spirit still would not release any of us to give. This man insisted he was without sin and he could not think of one reason why Yahweh would withhold us from blessing him with our offering(s).
However, Yahweh knew – and it was soon revealed to everyone in the assembly. Amazingly, we had received yet another warning at the time we first arrived in Lusaka from Isaiah 1:19-20, which reads,
“If you submit and obey, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword,” for the mouth of יהוה has spoken.”
Before this word was given, I had no idea what this Scripture even said. I was very familiar with verse 18, but did not have a clue concerning verses 19-20. It was while I was in bed with fever – shortly after our arrival in 2012 – that the Spirit began to repeatedly speak these two verses to my spirit. When I awoke, I asked Jenn to read these verses to me and it was only then I realized this word was a rhema word in season for our time of ministry in Zambia.
Sadly, the very pastor who proclaimed this word repeatedly and forcefully – as a sure word from Yahweh – and whom Yahweh used – as the instrument in His hand – to bring us and the message we preach to Zambia – was the very one who was completely devoured by the sword. Surely, our sin(s) will find us out no matter what!
“Behold, you have sinned against Yahweh, and be sure your sin will find you out! – Bemidbar (Numbers) 32:23
“Do not be deceived: Yahweh is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” – Galatians 6:7
“The sins of some men are obvious, leading on to judgment, but those of some men follow later.” – 1Timothy 5:24
Since Yahweh had removed the first director and the remaining students were more determined than ever to continue on – by the leading of the Spirit – we appointed brother Phillip Banda as the director of the Jack Compound Yeshiva. The students had successfully passed the first test! Upon our return in 2013 – we awarded the students with a certificate of first year completion – in recognition of all their hard work and dedication. It was such a joyous celebration!
Upon our return from our second mission trip to Zambia – we celebrated with the students of the HRTI yeshiva in Meyerton along with the founder of HRTI South Africa – “Wimpie” Liebenberg and his wife Cheran. After seeing and hearing of our success and the favour we’d been given, “Wimpie” proclaimed that the next year we would not be going by ourselves to Zambia – as HRTI South Africa would be sending a full delegation with us – along with donated resources.
Less than 90 days after this proclamation – I had become “Wimpie’s” number one enemy because I told the truth in love and called him to correction – according to the Scriptures – as well as his wife Cheran and his associate George Jonker. Due to the offense of their hearts they collaborated together to discredit me, destroy me and to drive me out of the land. One of the students came to us in mid-2013 and testified to us – in front of witnesses – that George Jonker had stated to her that he has made it his personal mission to destroy me.
In late 2013 some of the other students began to receive slanderous reports about us from a certain man who was in contact with HRTI South Africa.…
They began taking those reports to Phillip who immediately contacted HRTI South Africa. Phillip testifies that he was told by HRTI South Africa that the school would not be effected by our departure as the Yeshiva did not belong to us but to HRTI South Africa. However, this is a false testimony as HRTI South Africa makes it clear that each Yeshiva is “strictly allocated to individuals and not to any Institution.”
In the fall season of 2015, Phillip contacted HRTI / HTG as he had multiple administration issues arising. He had a difficult time getting any response from any of the multiple contacts of the newly formed HTG. After many various attempts, he finally received communication via email informing him that the Yeshiva that was originally established “had to be registered on the HRTI Online System that was only implemented at the beginning of 2015” and that HTG had to ensure that he was “fully informed of the new format for Informal Studies as well as the fees applicable for the new Yeshivas.”
It is made abundantly clear through the application process via the online system that fees are mandatory and must be paid before a Yeshiva will even be considered registered and that no certificates would be issued if fees were not paid in full. This is completely contrary to what we were originally told by “Wimpie” Liebenberg and what is currently stated on HTG’s website: “To open a Yeshiva is totally free for the Unfortunate Areas which qualify on merit and includes the items listed below are free.”
They were also instructed that students of the Yeshiva could not “graduate” as that was the term used by Phillip in his communication but they never offered or inquired of the need for the issuing of certificates on behalf of those students who qualified based on the requirement under their website. It further states on the website the importance of these certificates as they are “necessary for students to receive proper credit and evidence of prior learning should that student wish to enrol in formal studies in the future.”
Through it all, the students of HRTI Zambia knew us first-hand and had tasted the good fruit of our lives and doctrines and like Joshua and Caleb – refused to be seduced by the evil reports against us. They had seen how we joyfully ministered to the least of these and gave sacrificially of our time, talents and finances to bless them all – according to the leading of the Spirit – while are accusers have given them nothing, nada, zip – zero – from the time they started falsely accusing us to the saints of Zambia – till the present! Although HRTI South Africa had essentially abandoned them, for all intents and purposes, they continued to grow in both knowledge and favour in the eyes of Yahweh and men. They passed the second test with flying colours!
Even when we were living in the U.S.A., we maintained contact with director Banda and continued to support him and the work of the Good News – as the Spirit led us. We would always marvel and rejoice for each and every testimony he shared and the continued faithfulness of Abba to the saints of Zambia and the favour He gave to His servants. Just last year, both director Rabbi Banda and co-director Rabbi Chiluba were asked to help lead the nation of Zambia in a national day of prayer and repentance – called for by their newly elected President.
It is truly amazing to see the favour of Yahweh resting on these two humble servants as they joyfully continue to build on the foundation laid in 2012. It is not easy to minister in this country. The overwhelming majority of the country lives in abject poverty and experience hardship at a level that most who are reading this will never know. Clean, potable water is a luxury to many – as is electricity.
Even those who can afford running water and sewage and / or electricity experience load-shedding almost every day (where the water and / or electricity is cut off for six to eight hours at a time) as there is a national shortage of supply. Even though very few can afford a motor vehicle – there is an ongoing shortage of fuel to fill the tank with and the roads are mostly in disrepair or over congested due to a lack of planning and resources. Due to the abundance of rain – for at least half the year – the mosquito population is always swarming and malaria and yellow fever are a constant threat.
Most of the people in Lusaka live in the compounds (slums) which are overrun with trash everywhere and good sanitation and hygiene are considered a luxury. These are the harsh conditions in which most live out their short lives – from day to day. These are the conditions which our brethren labour in the word day and night – even though they are learned men with multiple university degrees – between them.
They endure these hardships with great joy and enthusiasm from day to day – as they love Yahweh and His Word and their hearts are for the saints of Zambia and for the lost alike! It is truly convicting to both Jenn and myself. Most Americans would never think of coming here to serve because of the many hardships (inconveniences really) they would have to endure. However, these brothers joyfully endure from day to day – as this is their “normal” and they are passionately in love with Yahweh and zealous for His Torah and Kingdom.
While on this particular mission we have also travelled to the “Copper Belt” region to several of the small villages. The only way for us to all get there presently is by way of bus and local taxi rank. It is always a “crap shoot” as to what condition the bus or taxi will be in. Believe me when I say, many times I have started to pray in the Spirit the moment I have boarded the bus or local taxi rank – believing only the mercy and favour of Yahweh will cause us to arrive safely to our destination.
Sometimes there are seemingly no shocks, sometimes they have to hold the door shut as we are moving and sometimes we are deeply concerned if the driver is completely sober and alert. Whenever things appear to be less than “safe” – we usually just look at each other and our hosts and smile – as we continue to pray in the spirit for a safe journey! No matter the case, traveling from point A to point B is always the great faith adventure in Zambia!
Neither of these dear brothers own a vehicle and both have to work tirelessly to faithfully provide for their families and yet somehow they are able to make the time to faithfully serve the kingdom of Yahweh. They are both “tent-makers” and each run their own small business. In addition, Rabbi Banda has a small farm. Since we have arrived, we have discovered that if each was to receive a small capital investment of approximately $1,000.00 they would be able to greatly expand their business interests and be able to have more free time for ministry.
In addition, there is an opportunity for yet another dedicated student of the Lusaka school to open up yet another school in the “Copper Belt” region – as a building and land have been designated for this purpose. This student could open a small self-sustaining business with approximately $1,000.00 seed capital. Of course he would need a computer, a projector and a small speaker system to be able to teach the most effectively – which would cost approximately $1,500.00.
On the one hand it seems like a good deal of money is needed to bless these dear servants of Yahweh – while on the other hand – these men are teaching pastors and leaders all over Zambia! They are building the kingdom of Yahweh here in the heart of Zambia! Please pray and ask Yahweh if He would have you give to assist these men in the great work they are doing here. I do not ask anything for my sake. I only ask for the sake of the great work of the kingdom these men are doing and that you may be a partaker of the good fruit that will abound here in this fruitful soil of Africa – in the spirit of 2Corinthians chapters 8-9.
Sincerely and In Love, His Servant and Yours,
Robert & Jenn McDuffie – Gal. 6:14