Hierdie Nuusbrief in Afrikaans



February 2001

Neels du Plooy

Neels du Plooy

Our beloved manager and secretary Neels du Plooy passed away after an agonising six-month fight with cancer. 

When Neels joined the Mission in January last year, he came with the words:

“For the rest of my life I want to serve God in the ministry.”

He did not know then how prophetic those words would be.

Neels was so weak on the Wednesday that he was unable to rise from his bed.  On the Thursday he struggled to work.  In the afternoon he departed to his son’s house to be with his grandchildren. On Monday he was admitted to hospital.  In absolute peace on the Wednesday afternoon the 7th February he went to be with the Lord.

Neels left a heritage.  When he started something he went right through to the end with it - literally unto death.  He never started something without completing it properly and he never left anyone in the lurch.  He was a man who looked for solutions to problems rather than dwelling on their causes.  He never complained about setbacks in life.  He never spoke ill of anyone – even those who had betrayed him.  He was a fine example of what it means to be a child of God to all those left behind.    His presence will be sorely missed.   With his departure he left the mission with a system of administration so excellent that the mission could continue its work almost without interruption! 

Here indeed was a man of God and a man, verily, with the mind of Christ.   What can we say to the memory of a man like this?


“Thank you, Neels.  We know that you are with Jesus and His Saints right now.  Hallelujah!”

Please pray with us for the family left behind, his wife Isabel, his son Neelsie with wife Juanita and the children.

Ewald Joubert


Last year we received the vision to implement discipleship training in Ossetia as a means to evangelism.  Primarily due to our country’s worsening economic situation, this project hung frequently in the balance.  But we continued earnestly in prayer, trusting God to put a team together and to raise the means to realise this calling.  Training started as soon as a specialist team was formed - even though the means were still not yet available.  We stepped out in faith.  All four of those invited saw the vision and, willing to be part of it, supported from their own personal resources!  It would be truer to say that they each made a huge sacrifice to serve.  The ensuing success would not have been possible without their kindness.  Thank you to Stefan, Hensie, Elizabeth and Pieter.

During November we asked for prayer support due to the enormity of the volatile situation we were moving into.  Our target was to hold a high intensity training programme in Vladikavkaz for pastors and church leaders who weredrawn from inaccessible hostile neighbouring states.  Vladikavkaz (capital of Ossetia which nests at the Northern foothills of the Caucasus mountains) is situated approximately halfway between the Caspian and the Black Seas in Southern Russia and finds itself in a predominantly Muslim environment.  Eastwards is the well-known trouble spot Chechnya, the nearest neighbour, from which a refugee conglomerate of mixed cultures (the good and the bad) have settled just outside Vladikavkaz in refugee camps.   Further east there is Dagestan, on the Caspian Sea, who do not allow any foreigner into their country - in essence any Westerner.  To the South lie Georgia (the birthplace of Stalin), Armenia and yet further South, another restricted country, Azerbaijan. 

The church in Ossetia has been severely intimidated by the rise of Islam, which now poses a terrible new threat after the years of Communism.  Yet, because of the faithful, the church survived and has nevertheless shown considerable growth.  Being so remote, few missionaries (the ever present threat of bellicose Chechnya deters many) have ventured there.  To this area that we were called and once again we saw that the Lord still remains faithful to our prayer and calling of so many years ago:

“To go where the greatest need was, to go where others did not.”

Well all is history now. This was the first outreach of its nature ever to take place in Vladikavkaz.  The Lord supplied all the needs timeously through your generosity and God responded to your consistent prayer in a most dramatic way during the outreach, which opened the way for others.  We had a most successful ministry there with 60 delegates from restricted and impoverished countries attending.  More than 14 churches and 40 groups (in Southern Russia and many other states – some as far away as Azerbaijan in the South), now have a particular and very successful discipleship programme in which they have been trained to multiply themselves in their own communities.  In short the entire seminar focussed on the application of the Quiet Time, Prayer and Bible Study in the believer’s life. 

The blessings did not stop there.  The Door of Hope radio programme is being broadcast from Radio NOMCC in Vladikavkaz as from the beginning of January this year! 

Stefan and wife Hensie were invaluable being already previously salted in the Russian mission field.  Stefan displayed real leadership gifts working easily with groups and congregations.  Hensie, not only helped with the difficult work of material implementation in small groups, but also developed a strong ministry amongst the younger generation.  Pastor Piotr said that he’d never seen anything quite like it, because many of the younger folk are lured with excitement offered by the world. Within a fortnight Hensie had them all on track – even the young men! They were primarily taught how to impart the Gospel through the medium of the arts.  You can be sure they  had a great time! We regret that space limits pictures. >

Elizabeth dealt with the prayer life, targeting sensitive areas in the Christian walk, following up with good practical sessions which delivered good responses and good fruits.  Thank you Elizabeth.  Rev Pieter Kriel gave a series of riveting motivational sermons, which in essence were teachings for evangelism and slotted into our agenda perfectly.

After the seminar Pieter and Elizabeth returned home.  Stefan and Hensie accompanied me for the rest of my trip through Ukraine, which finally ended in Moscow. 

Please pray with us for the delegates that they will remain firm in the Word, that they will experience lasting fruits in their individual ministries. Pray also for our partners Pieter, Elizabeth, Stefan and Hensie who are all in full-time service of The King!


The Prayer Group

Elizabeth also helped establishing a prayer group in the church.  Once the purpose and the vision for the prayer group had been structured, there was great enthusiasm, with the most dedicated believers seeking God’s Face in prayer. 

Please pray with us for this fledgling prayer group. Their first prayer request is for help with the church praise and worship team – a desperate need. 

Lena, who has a real heart for prayer, starts a prayer group

Azerbaijan and Dagestan

We have urgent work to do, following-up in the restricted Muslim countries of Azerbaijan and Dagestan (where the delegates Rovshan and Kamahl come from).  We have a strong possibility to get into Dagestan - a totally closed country.  Azerbaijan has easier access opportunities, but to minister there is also difficult.  It is reported by Patrick Johnston that there are hardly more than 50 indigenous Christians in Azerbaijan. 

Please pray with us that we will be able to assist in helping all these unreached peoples.


Rovshan ex Azerbaijan and Kamahl ex Dagestan

Deaf... in Vladikavkaz

Another interesting door open-ed to us in Vladikavkaz – the ministry to the deaf.  With the help of Pastor Ashod we were also able to train a large group of deaf Christians.  Stefan and Elizabeth lent a willing hand in teaching the concepts of the Bible Study and the Quiet Time.  There was a good response – so much so that we are planning to record the entire audio discipleship programme on videocassette. 

The deaf in Russia are a real people-group.  There are 8,6 million deaf people in the New Soviet Union - most of them as a result of poor living conditions, the lack of proper medical facilities and the need for parents to work in order to survive, which in turn results in neglect of children.  The deaf are largely ignored, being considered a liability to the state.  There are no real institutions of any consequence in place that support their needs. The church, incapacitated as it is by the rigors of Russian life, does the real work amongst them by means of evangelism.  They then follow up by helping them to find employment.

Pastor Ashod

Pastor Ashod - Music Conservatorium graduate with a vision for the deaf, preaching in sign language at an evangelism outreach

The Lord has laid it upon our hearts to help with the difficult task of evangelism to the deaf in Russia by means of recording the discipleship programme on videocassette.  Pastor Ashod has agreed to help and we also have two young (hearing) sisters of deaf parents who will assist.  We have the venue and the people to do the job – all we need now are the means – photographic lamps, a broadcast quality digital video camera and also the resources to return to Vladikavkaz to implement the project. 

Please pray with us for the needs of the deaf in Russia, which primarily is the acquisition of equipment.

The Jesus film for the deaf people of Russia

Pieter (Rev Kriel) played photographer too and did a mammoth work by filming the entire Jesus film in the deaf people’s sign language.  With special insight he advised that this could serve as a starter entry project for the deaf people in Russia – initially more economical than the complete discipleship programme.   The concept is to include a box for deaf people on the bottom right hand corner of the film.  We thank the Lord and you, Pieter! 

Please pray with us that the Jesus film management team in the USA will accept the concept and the project.

Russian-Ukraine Outreach 2001

As previously mentioned more than 14 churches and 40 groups (in Southern Russia and many other states – some as far away as Azerbaijan in the South), now have a particular and very successful discipleship programme in which they have been trained to multiply themselves in their own communities.  In short the entire seminar focussed on the application of the Quiet Time, Prayer and Bible Study in the believer’s life.  We have also been blessed with the first radio broadcast of the radio programme in Vladikavkaz!

During the last outreach we were able to establish our discipleship material not only in Russia, but also in Ukraine with a further 28 churches which brings the total, all in all, to 34 churches with more than 120 groups now operating on the programme.  We pray that it will be possible for us to return for another two visits this year.  By returning this year it will be possible to raise these figures to more than 100 churches with over 1000 operating discipleship groups. 

Next year we will be occupied with consolidation work, which will equip those whom we have currently trained to extend the work themselves.  In essence our desire is to implement a church planting movement. We are most grateful that you have always faithfully remembered your calling with us, not only having remained fast in prayer on our behalf, but also sustaining us materially with your own personal resources – and in everything seeking God's perfect will together with us for the urgent spread of the Gospel amongst the perishing.  We remain indebted to you and return that love which you have so freely given us in the cause of the Great Commission by means of our own personal prayers for you.  Thank you and may God bless you.  

With small resources and only a few faithful helpers we are doing a good job for the Lord.  We see God's blessing in the abundant fruit coming from our labours, often in seemingly impossible circumstances.  Without His blessed intervention none of this ministry would have been possible.  We give the Lord all the praise for everything that has been accomplished.

Please pray with us for the Lord God's continued providence in executing the DOTA 1 discipleship programme in the USSR.

Lutsk - Western Ukraine

Economically, Western Ukraine is one of the worst hit areas in Eastern Europe.  In the town of Lutsk it is no different.

Pastor Anton Naseravitch started getting acquainted with the Door of Hope Discipleship programme and even organised a seminar there in the New Year.   However, due to ill health he unfortunately had to cancel all his arrangements for us in Ukraine.  We did go to see him however, and he was really at death’s door.  Even in his terrible sickly state he hobbled around Lutsk attending to all our needs. 

Pastor Anton Nazeravitch

Pastor Anton Nazeravitch

Before we left he arranged for the translation of the discipleship programme into the Ukranian language.  All Ukranians resist Russian, although they can speak it.  In order to make the Gospel more readily acceptable to them we were advised to do the translation.  We do not have a budget for this project but because of their enthusiasm we are most anxious to help them get it completed.

This translation is being done at a fraction of the cost of the Russian one.  Mira undertook to do the work and is progressing well.  She is a University graduate, majoring in languages.  Consequently we are most grateful for her effort.  We thank them both for their sacrificial dedication.

Mira Kargitch

Mira Kargitch

Please pray with us not only for pastor Anton’s health but also for God’s provision - his family has been through a most difficult economical period.    Although he is still shaky, he is now on the road to recovery. 

Pray also for Mira that the Lord will uphold her, protect her and give her courage.  It is a known fact that those involved in Christian translation work are targeted by the evil one.  Pray that the Lord will also supply all needs timeously so as to obviate delays.

Sasha Zavadski

We also met with Pastor Sasha Zavadski in Odintsovka.  We had an enjoyable time with them, sharing and preaching too!  Stefan once again covered the Quiet Time and Bible Study methods with them. His ministry there is now quite stable.

We were also able to supply their church with urgently needed Bibles (including children’s Bibles). 

Please pray with us for their ministry in Odintsovka.

Prison Ministry

The outreach ended on a high note.  Just before we left Russia the Lord opened another great and effective door through sister Nadeshda Zaichirova  (a nuclear physicist turned missionary!).  She is, amongst other things, heavily involved in a ministry to prisoners.  First we need to give all those who work with the prisoners, a teaching seminar on the Door of Hope Discipleship programme, before implementation into the prisons themselves.  We expect over 100 delegates at this seminar.  There will also be the difficult follow up in the prisons themselves afterwards. 

Please pray with us for this dire need - that the Lord will supply the needs and the team for the teachings. 

A Macedonian Call from the Philippines

While we were in Russia correspondence was received from Pastor Lito Agyam from Kapalong Pob in the Philippines.  He ministers to the remote Manobo Tribal Mountain People and has already established 9 isolated groups, but his need now is for discipleship as a means to evangelism, operating from these groups – which is the work we are doing with our programme.  Of the 18 different tribes only two have been reached with the Gospel.  Having heard of the successes with our programme, he has called us to help with it in their ministry. 

There is also a great need amongst the Waray-Waray in the Samar and Leyte regions (also islands), which are still overrun by Communist guerrillas. Poverty is desperate there and the harsh conditions complicate Christian witness.

Please pray with us for wisdom and resources concerning these pressing needs.


The Prayer Box 

A little prayer box was presented to us by pastor Piotr Lunitchkin in Vladikavkaz.  It was made a Chechnyan refugee and we were enjoined:

“Please pray for us.  When it is full, tell us and we will give another bigger one.”

We are to solicit prayer requests and place them in the Prayer Box.  This is good for any prayer request you may have - so that we can pray for them in our mission.

Please pray with us for the church in Vladikavkaz as we, in turn, pray for you!

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Direct all enquiries to Door of Hope Ministries at dohsa@mweb.co.za
Tel: +27(12)347 1165  or  Fax: +27(12)347 1279