Main speaker was one of founding fathers of BTN
Tobie de Wet, the main speaker at the Bless the Nations Worlds Missions Conference (BTN) that opens in Port Elizabeth on Friday (June 27, 2014), was one of the founding fathers of the annual conference now in its 27th year.
He committed his life to Christ and sensed God’s calling to full time ministry while still at school. His vision for world missions initially started while reading a book by Dr Oswald J Smit, “Passion for Souls” and in 1974 he and Annalie, from PE, got married and became the first official missionaries sent by the Dutch Reformed Church to Japan where they served for eight years. They had to return to SA in 1982 due to political unrest at that time. But after 14 years with the RCA church in Malabar they returned to Japan in 2000 for another 12 years of service.
With the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Tobie and Annalie were asked to help specifically in the disaster area.In 2014, they relocated permanently to Swellendam, Tobie’s hometown where they are actively involved in their congregation and local community. Tobie’s heart’s desire is to start something similar to BTN in the Swellendam area.
This year’s BTN which is taking place at the Hoogland Dutch Reformed Church in Charlo, Port Elizabeth, includes a Youth Fest on Saturday night. There will be a special focus on introducing young people to mission throughout the event that runs until Sunday. Young people are urged to participate in an outreach to Walmer Township on Saturday afternoon.
The conference programme includes a variety of workshops, panel discussions and services and delegates can view and interact with a range of missionary exhibitions at the venue. There is no official registration and attendance of the conference is free. Costs are covered through love offerings during the weekend.
More information is available from Niekie Deasy at 072 2121 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other key speakers at BTN are:
- Keith Lategan (Youth Fest Speaker) — He is the youth pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in PE Central and has served there since January 2013. He studied at the Cape Town Baptist Seminary and has been involved with youth ministry for approximately six years. Keith is a team leader for the International World Changers, which is a USA-based youth missions organization responsible for sending groups of students around the world on short mission trips. He has been mobilizing and training South African students for missions for the past four years. He is married to his beautiful wife, Coreen and they have a one year old son, Kian.
- Alec Zacaroli (USA) — He is a writer, attorney, and co-founder of 25:40, a ministry dedicated to serving poor, vulnerable children in rural southern Africa. He was born in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, but spent most of his childhood in Johannesburg, South Africa. Alec returned to the United States in 1980, where he earned a degree in journalism and worked as a reporter for more than 10 years. He received his law degree in 1998, and has been practicing in Washington, DC since. Alec and his wife, Amy, founded 25:40 in 2003, when the Lord drew together his connection to South Africa with her experience of having been adopted. The ministry is founded on Jesus’ command in Matthew 25:40 to love Him through serving and loving others. Alec and Amy have four children Nick, Sophie, Hannah and Rebecca, and currently live in Northern Virginia (USA).
- Errol Mulder: (Main speaker Sunday morning) — He lives in Port Elizabeth and is married to Melanie. They have three married children and six grandsons. Erroll trained and worked as a chemical engineer, then attended seminary (for 4 years) to prepare for the ‘pastorate.’ He ‘pastored’ five denominational churches over 38 years, including a ‘cell church.’ About eight years ago the Lord sovereignly engineered their exit from the institutional church and they started to facilitate ‘organic house churches’ in their area – this has been the most satisfying, joyful time of his life. To help clarify his understanding of the Church in the Bible and in the 21st century, Erroll completed a Master’s in Ecclesiology (by dissertation) about five years ago. From his youth God gave Erroll a missional heart, so today they facilitate ‘organic house churches’ within their culture and cross-culturally. In ministry they reach out, in small ways, to the poor and young (80% of the world’s population). They network with a few other organic groups in the metro.