Braai worship, sermon led entirely in Afrikaans at Drover Cowboy Church

Cobie Roux, Zach Chester and Andries Pretorius and Chance Watson stand in front following the braai sermon on Sunday, Oct. 29, at Drover Cowboy Church.

HARRISBURG, Ark. – Drover Cowboy Church’s final South African braai of the year on Sunday, Oct. 29, was a little different than usual as the worship and sermon portion of the event was led entirely in Afrikaans – a language of southern Africa. 

The Harrisburg church began its South African braai ministry in the spring of 2022, reaching South Africans working on farms in the area through the H-2A program. According to U.S. Department of Labor, H-2A permits “nonimmigrant workers to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.” 

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Andries Pretorius delivers a sermon Sunday during a South African braai at Drover Cowboy Church in Harrisburg.

After enjoying a meal and fellowship, folks in attendance on Sunday made their way to the sanctuary, where worship was led in Afrikaans, Cobie Roux shared the three circles, which represents God’s design, brokenness and the Gospel, in Afrikaans and Andries Pretorius shared the Lord’s word in the language.  

Pretorius’ braai sermon centered on Luke 17:1-10. His message was about forgiveness, faith and trust. One part of the passage he focused on was the parable of the mustard seed. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus talks about what mustard-seed-sized faith makes possible: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” (Luke 17:6) 

“If you have faith like a tiny mustard seed you can move mountains by ‘watering’ your mustard seed and growing your relationship with God … talking to God through prayer and listening to God through reading our Bible,” Pretorius said.  

When talking about trust, he mentioned the trust between the farmers and South Africans. 

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Drover Cowboy Church Pastor Chance Watson, left, leads prayer Sunday while standing beside Cobie Roux.

“The farmers we work for trust us so much with the equipment we run. Our trust in Jesus must be like that for He said in Matt 4:19, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men,’” Pretorius said.  

“Fishers of men” is exactly what Drover Cowboy Church Pastor Chance Watson hopes these men will be when they return home to South Africa.  

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Zach Chester and Chance Watson laugh as they hold up the shorts gifted to them by the South Africans following the braai sermon on Sunday.

“It is important that we’re able to do this stuff in your home language, so you can go share it with your kids and your families,” Watson said after Roux shared the three circles.  

“I want you all to know something. God has sent you all here for a reason. He has allowed you all to see this and hear it translated in Afrikaans for a reason. I don’t doubt that with one ounce of my whole heart. I believe you all are supposed to be here at Drover Cowboy Church. Take it and cause a revival in your country and your families.”  

Aside from a practice run on a Wednesday evening, Sunday was Pretorius’ first time to give a sermon and Roux’s first time to share three circles with a large group in his home language.  

As the braai came to an end, Erik Kwagga Knoetze and Corne Valentine joined Pretorius and Roux as they presented Watson and others in leadership at the church each a gift and thanked the church for “creating a home away from home” for them.  

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Drover Cowboy Church Pastor Chance Watson speaks with South African Lionel Smidt before baptizing him.

“We just want to say thank you to all the Americans. Thank you for creating a home for us away from home. It’s nice to see when we come to this side of the sea that God is bigger than the USA … bigger than just South Africa,” Knoetze said. “Thank you for always being a welcoming face.”  

Earlier in October, Drover Cowboy Church celebrated its first South African – Lionel Smidt – to be baptized at the church.  

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