“Let’s go fishing,” Lucky Shabangu said to a friend one evening.
But instead of heading for South Africa’s 1,800 miles of coastline, they went to a nearby bar.
“We saw a group of young men, about five in number,” says Lucky. “We approached them and greeted them, and we said, ‘We want you to know that Jesus loves you, and He wants to save your lives.’”
No one spoke. Finally, one of the group said, “No one has ever told me that Jesus loves me since I was born.”
Lucky and his friend spent the remainder of the evening explaining the love of Jesus to them, and by the end of their time together, all the young men decided to give their lives to Jesus.
A pastor and native South African, Lucky has long been sharing the love of God with others. At age five, he read Scripture to his family, and at age 10, when his Sunday school teacher was late to class, he took over the class and started teaching. By 13, Lucky was preaching in local hospitals and prisons.
He says, “I stood on the street corners, and as long as I saw a small group of people standing, I went and preached to them. Cars would stop at the crossroads and listen to my sermons, and many people responded to the call of salvation. Whenever I was in a bus, I would not get off without preaching, and in every instance, many people gave their lives to Jesus.”
A few years later, Lucky had achieved one of his main life goals: to become an official pastor of a church. But the new role required great amounts of time, energy, and attention. And over the years, his efforts to present the Gospel relaxed.
It was his time at the Haggai Leader Experience in July 2018 that revolutionized his life.
He says, “My gift was stirred, and the passion was rekindled. I had no doubt of what God expects me to do for the Gospel, and I am glad I am doing it and am ready to do more.”
He also made an important decision.
“I will sacrifice everything I have to make sure that I preach the Gospel to the poor.”
Since August, I have taken over 34 percent of my monthly salary and committed it to Gospel outreach. This obviously changed a lot in my lifestyle and my family, but we made a conscious decision that this is for Jesus our Master. Our hearts are truly full of joy when we see people smile as they receive Jesus and as they receive gifts from Jesus.”
Back in South Africa, Lucky organized Gospel training with local pastors and leaders and also chose two target areas: schools and marketplaces. In schools, the church would provide students with free school uniforms, which would help open the door for Gospel conversations with students, parents, and teachers.
In marketplaces, Lucky’s plan included one-on-one outreach and open air preaching, which gives street vendors and shop owners who sell goods for a living an opportunity to attend church and experience community.
In addition, he organized a group to host outreach weekends that include communication training in the presentation of the Gospel.
Says Lucky, “I have committed a lot of time to prayer for salvation of souls in our city and our nation. I cry to God daily, pleading for His Son’s blood to manifest again and save many souls. I believe that His power to save souls can still be effectively manifested in our difficult generations. We have a group of intercessors that spend eight hours daily praying and crying for the salvation of souls and the revival of the Church.”
He adds, “My heart will forever be grateful to my Haggai sponsor. The experience brought a complete change in my life. It ignited a flame in my heart, and I will not let it die.”