Ministry Update: Hope Bible Church, Bloemfontein (February/March 2018)

Please find below a ministry update from Hope Bible Church in Bloemfontein, South Africa, for February/March 2018.

Church Life

Richard is about to complete the exposition of Isaiah. Once done, he will start a series on Philippians. Tsholo is busy with the book of Hebrews. We also have a series on “Why We Believe What We Believe,” and our Bible study is on the Gospel of John. We have two prayer meetings on Sundays—one in the morning at 07h45, which goes together with devotionals on spiritual gifts, and then the main prayer meeting on Sunday evenings.

Our membership currently sits at thirty. Church attendance has picked up since the start of school/varsity term. We have been having an average of fifty adults during the morning service, and thirty during the evening service. The children average 16–20 in attendance. We are currently going through “The Westminister’s Catechism for Children” with them, and it has been a tremendous blessing, even for the adults.

We continue to do street evangelism every Saturday outside the church. We also have a discipleship course that takes place every Sunday morning after the service.

We are growing more and more in being a multicultural church, which presents us with blessed challenges. We need a lot of grace in this area—that the Lord would preserve our unity in the faith and that we would continue to reach people from all walks of life in our city.

We reported some time back that there are plans to renovate/upgrade the mall that is next to the church, and because of the road construction we learned that we might have to move soon. It looks like the project is delayed a bit and, so that means we are going to enjoy meeting here for at least this year. We have also renewed our rental contract for 2018.

Township Ministry

We hope to make good progress developing and rolling out the township vision this year. Tsholo continues with weekly visits to the townships in order to gather data and survey the areas. In the month of May, we are planning to take the church on a visual tour to the townships to show the church first-hand the lie of the land and to build be the vision of the church for planting churches in the townships. On this outreach, we are going to see what it will take to plant the church in the townships—what resources are needed, and the time-frame we need to work on. We are going to start with the Mangaung area. Do pray with us.

The Bloemfontein metropolitan area consists of three centres: the city of Bloemfontein and the towns of Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu, collectively known as Mangaung. Mangaung has a population of 747,431, of which 83% are black African. The church plant vision focus is on the townships within the Mangaung area.

Cities/Towns: Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Mangaung, Thaba Nchu.

Main Economic Sectors: Government services, finance.

Young Men

From left to right: Ernest, Vernon, Siviwe. These are the three men who are currently on the preaching roster when Richard and Tsholo are not preaching, and they are being used in some of the other teaching ministries of the church. We praise the Lord that he is currently equipping these men for excellence.

Young Adults

The Young Adults is still a challenging ministry. Every year when we come back from the December (Festive Season) break, we lose a number of students. But these below are the core of those we have. This has prompted us to be more deliberate about reaching out to the students. Lord willing, we are going to start campus outreach soonest.

Family Life

The Kukunis: We continue to be amazed by the Lord’s goodness towards us. Our two little children are growing very well. We all enjoy good health except for Tsholo’s inexplicable headaches and Keitu’s fatigue. Warona (our three-year-old girl) has started with homeschooling and mathematics at a local school. She is a very bright little girl. She enjoys church songs a lot. Please pray that the Lord would enable us to continue to shepherd their hearts.

The Ravens: Elizabeth started high school this year and is in Grade 8, Joshua is in Grade 5 and Alan in Grade 2. The Ravens are considering homeschooling their children. Please pray for the Lord’s leading in the process of making a decision. Richard continues with his part-time work and Liza spends a lot of her time helping the children get through their schoolwork and extramural activities.