The Arrival of the Gospel In South Africa

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A ship carried a 28 year old George Schmidt the long journey from Netherlands to Cape Town during the early months of 1737. The ship belonged to the Dutch East Indian Company and was heavy with employees and cargo belonging to the Dutch empire of the day. Schmidt spent his days on the rocky boat, praying and preparing for what lay ahead. Being a missionary however, his heart for the gospel was known by everyone around him. The ship was a hotbed of foul speech, drunkenness, vanity and all kinds of godless behaviour. One day, as the cool sea breeze blew on the deck, Schmidt sat down with a few men. “Friends, I have been with you quite a while now. I know that you all say you are Christians, and that you love the Lord; but I must ask you, don’t you think it is a contradiction to live such godless lives and still call yourself Christians?” There was an awkward pause... he continued with a humble tone, “I mean I noticed that some of you are often drunk, and very often you speak in such perverse and filthy ways - ought not our speech to be always in heaven? Giving grace to those who hears us? Surely you men know that it is not enough to know the truths of Scripture and to call oneself a Christian, one must have the testimony of that truth in your life.” The conversation died away, and he didn’t have much response from the men that day.
He had one fruitful conversation with a Swiss soldier appeared to be truly converted and started hungering after the Lord. On another occasion he spoke to the Dominie (Minister) on the ship, and asked him if his conscience didn’t prick him when he gambled with the other officers. During his evangelistic efforts on the ship, he managed to begin a weekly Bible Study group where four of the ships employees ...

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...reed and Schmidt being very disappointed decided to go back to the Netherlands to pursue wider powers to continue his work in the Cape. He was however never able to return. The work among the Khoi Khoi people was set back by nearly 50 years.

Works Cited

http://www.gfamissions.org/missionary-biographies/schmidt-george-1709-1785.html. Accessed 2013-12-19 ibid ibid
6Hofmeyr, J.W., Millard, J.A. & Froneman, C.J.J. History of the Church in
South Africa: a Document and Source Book (Pretoria, UNISA, 1991), pg. 29-34 ibid http://www.gfamissions.org/missionary-biographies/schmidt-george-1709-1785.html. Accessed 2013-12-19

Additional Sources:
Roy, Kevin . Zion City RSA. The Story of the Church in South Africa. (Cape Town, South African Baptist Historical Society 2000) pg14-34.

http://www.capetown.at/heritage/history/voc_1700s.htm. Accessed 2013-12-19

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