Below is a ministry update from Louis Trichardt Baptist Church.
Over a score of times, the most prominent writers in Scripture designate death as sleep. Jesus said that Lazarus was sleeping. Stephen fell asleep with broken bones and mangled body. And as many of you have heard through social media, a dear church member and her daughter are now asleep ready to awake at the last day. Barbra and her nine-year-old daughter Sasha left behind a husband, Duncan, and a sixteen-year-old son, Seth, on the morning of May 7 when their vehicle collided with another. For the next five weeks, Duncan will be recovering in the hospital about an hour away, and we are trying to get Seth into a school here in South Africa after he had been in Zimbabwe since 2015.
Last week this time I was returning from Zimbabwe after we had delivered condolences, personal love, and caskets to the small town in eastern Zimbabwe where they were buried. Several church members here in town went and offered personal testimonies at the memorial service. I preached from Luke 13:24 on “strive to enter at the narrow gate.” In Shona, it says “Fight to enter,” and I am glad to report that Barbra demonstrated real zeal in her Christian life. After having grown up in church in Zimbabwe, she made a fresh profession and was baptized last year in September at our church. Since then, she asked for sermon notes, came consistently to the prayer meetings, and invited numerous other people to church. Pray for the family left behind to be established in love and holiness.
Six days before the accident, Stanley told me that he needed no more time to consider the options: He was ready to follow Jesus Christ. This 25-year-old Shona began attending our church back in February when Barbra invited him. Pray that his faith would not fail.
During the time that Stanley has been coming to the church, several other men have joined us as well.
Emmanuel is a young man who comes from Musina near the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Since meeting him in February, he has been active in evangelism at his school just a few streets from our home. By God’s grace, he loves the teaching at the church even though he has a background in charismaticism. Pray that he would be like Apollos whose name is a near synonym for teachability.
Pete comes from an hour-and-a-half south of our town, but he moved here for work. Admittedly, he is not a Christian, but he comes to nearly all the services, and I think I see baptism in his near future.
Eric, whom I mentioned in the last letter, has also been trying on the shoes of a disciple and finding though the path is difficult, it is the only way to life. His wife and children have been with him, and we are eager to see them all profess faith in Christ.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, I have been meeting with two pastors from this area. Each of them has a charismatic background, but they have devoured the teaching on evangelism and hermeneutics. Thomani Ntsieni and Isaac Newten are asking questions about verses the way a scientist might inspect a fish. Pray that the word of the Lord would spread rapidly and be glorified in their lives and preaching. I have hope that sometimes a church may be revitalized more easily than planted.
A group of 4–6 young men ranging from ages 13 to 18 have shown interest in Valdezia. Services there have been discouraging each Sunday since we baptized Tinyiko last month. When will the Lord send us a strong wind from His Spirit?
If you worked with us, this list may produce a hollow feeling because the picture is incomplete. We range sometimes in a single day between great discouragement and fervent hope. The number of disinterested contacts grows while the potential contacts shrinks. Who is sufficient for these things? To turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God? We feel the pressing need for revival and the power of the Holy Spirit. And then our Lord’s words sound in my ears, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” We take strength in your prayers as we are …
Seeing that without divine grace we can do nothing,
Seth and Amy
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