Hello and greetings in the Name of the Son of the LORD our Champion, Jesus Christ!

“But the LORD is with me like a dread champion; Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed, With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten.” –Jeremiah 20:11

This week I read about how the ark of the LORD was captured by the Philistines, and boy were they sorry for doing so! For our Lord is a champion, and He inflicted heavy casualties upon His enemies without the aid of an Israelite army. Ashdod was up first. They put the ark of God next to the image of their false-god, Dagon, and the latter was found lying on his face in front of the ark. The next day, he was again found lying in front of the ark except this time his hands were cut off and he was decapitated.

When the people of Ashdod caught on (they themselves having been inflicted with tumors) they sent the Ark of the Covenant to Gath. (There would later come another champion from Gath, but he would prove to be no match for the LORD either (1 Samuel 17.)) “After they had brought it around, the hand of the LORD was against the city with very great confusion; and He smote the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them.” –1 Samuel 5:9. Ekron didn’t do too well before the ark of the God of Israel either, and there was deadly confusion (5:11), tumors and a plague of mice. The hand of the LORD was heavy upon them, and they sent it away with an offering of five golden tumors and five golden mice.

Why is this chapter significant? It shows that God can—with all due respect—take care of Himself. There is no God besides Him. Oh, and has the LORD ever fought in a battle and lost? Israel lost battles, but that was when they were outside of His will. And what about you? Is there any enemy too powerful for God?

“In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.” –Psalm 19:4b-5. Why does a champion rejoice to run his course? I would think it comes from the fact that he is confident that he can win the race because it is his established area of expertise. Is any race too difficult for the Lord? Then He should have no lack of confidence in His ability to triumph—and we shouldn’t doubt Him either!

Please remember in your prayers the persecuted family. We can pray for their health and provision. Those ‘whose minds are still blinded to the light of the Gospel by the god of this world’ (see 2 Corinthians 4:4) are Mr. Kussman, Mr. Van Niekerk and my grandmother, Bets du Preez. Here’s some good news: “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” –1 Timothy 1:15 .

The other news is that the Council decided that Daniël and I will—Lord-willing—be working together again next year and in the same areas where we evangelized this year (while Elmar wants to go study at a seminary.) Praise the Lord! Daniël and I hoped that we’d be able to work together again and in the same area. It’s nice to get to see most of our workers all in one place; please pray that we have a blessed convention here at Mispa, and for the couple kids in the children’s services and for the youth program which seems very promising—praise the Lord!

–Louis Gervais

“It will become a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion*, and He will deliver them.” –Isaiah 19:20

*literally, Mighty One