Dear Sola 5 Family,
Greetings to you in Jesus’ name.
We at Antioch are so grateful for our friendships with many of you and your churches, and for your ongoing prayer and partnership with us. Luke’s opening lines in Acts 1:1 come to mind when we think of 2013 at Antioch—that what Christ “began to do and teach” then he is still doing today by his Spirit in his church through the gospel! So here are a few highlights for which you can praise God with us.
A baptism in January of a brother who gave his life to Christ, after we’ve walked a road with him for many years (see photo)! We’re grateful for a regular flow of folk enquiring about baptism. We’ve also continued to see the Lord adding new folk received into membership at every quarterly members’ meeting, as we see a growing commitment to love, accountability and purity in the church and to guarding the gospel and the Lord’s Table through a membership process.
Through our people the Lord has provided for us to purchase a 1.1 hectare piece of land (from some of our own church members) in the Honeydew area near the Coca-Cola Dome and Northgate Mall, just off of Northumberland / Witkoppen Rd, which is much more central for our people. After almost four years of searching for the best and most affordable option, the Lord has answered! (See pic of signing offer to purchase.)
Our small groups are going well, as we discuss application of the Sunday sermon each week, as we care for one another and pray together, and as we look to starting new groups soon (see pic of sample small group). Our men’s and women’s Bible studies also are going well and are times of vital growth and encouragement.
God has been so gracious to us in giving a faithful, united and gifted team of elders, plus deacons and other small group leaders as well. Our regular elders’ meetings, plus our monthly small group leader meetings are precious times of prayer and fellowship and equipping together.
Our interns from Christ Seminary for this semester, Ramano (from Pretoria), Matthews (Zambia) and Ando (Madagascar), are eager to be trained as faithful pastors and preachers (see also pic of last semester’s interns at graduation). We’ve also had some fiancées, engaged to Christ Seminary students, staying in our home and being trained by my dear wife, Michelle, and helping out in our home—a great blessing for us and them.
The Lord has sent us some wonderful “mercy missionaries” called the Kirby family from the States. Our whole church has rallied together with them in the cause of reaching Johannesburg’s orphans for Christ. (Three orphans are abandoned every day in Johannesburg alone!) Two of these abandoned babies were recently taken home by the Kirbys, and without being asked, our people have leaped into action with many donated goods (see pics).
Here’s a recent video introducing people to our church:
- For our church camp this weekend and Virl Tait as he ministers the Word to us.
- For the saving of lost souls and discipling of each believer and family under our care.
- For the preaching of God’s Word—presently in 1 Corinthians on Sunday morning and Ecclesiastes on Sunday evening.
- For our upcoming REZ Conferences (15-20 April): that the lost be reached, leaders equipped, young adults resolved for Christ, and churches strengthened. Please help spread the word!
- For our building campaign: that the Lord would provide the remaining funds to build, so that we put down roots in the community and be a real pillar of truth holding the Word high and keeping it safe (1 Timothy 3:15).
Yours gratefully in the gospel,
Tim on behalf of the elders and flock at Antioch Bible Church