God has been gracious to give us many encouragements over the past year. Looking back we see His goodness in enabling us to persevere during several years when we remained very small but were able to take on responsibility for a variety of ministries.

On the first Sunday of March we welcomed into membership 8 new members, with the membership doubling over the last year to just under 50. To me as Pastor the most encouraging thing is to see the spiritual hunger in so many and that very high proportion of the membership who are very committed workers.

There are several ministries for which we are responsible, including:

1. Outreach to Tembisa. There are three full-time workers with the leader of the work being a man of great vision and Thembisa Outreachenergy who has harnessed many other young men and women to be involved in the various Bible studies, feeding scheme, assemblies and bible clubs in around 25 schools, both high and primary, street evangelism and preaching. We have established Welamlambo Baptist Mission which we pray soon will become Welamlambo Baptist Church. There are two services on Sunday and a separate Sunday School at 7.30am for the local children. (we also bus in many children to the Birchleigh Sunday School at 8.30am). KGM, which Jenni Meyer started 6 years ago for schools work in Tembisa and which was always under Birchleigh Baptist Church has been drawn in under the wider work.

2. African Pastors Conferences. There are 40 conferences this year in different parts of Southern Africa, some attracting Pastors Training2small numbers (20 or so) of Pastors and some attracting over 200 Pastors. The logistic of acquiring, managing and distributing around 25000 books in the bookstore requires many people in the church to be involved, with two almost full time volunteers – as does the sometime long distance conference runs. Please pray that our new conference manager will get his visa soon and be able to arrive by the end of March.

 3. Township Reformation is a work of the young men in the church organising conferences, speaking at camps, publishing bogs and hopefully soon a journal and creating a network of reformed young men in South Africa. The long term aim is literally reformation of the townships in our country. The work has been encouragingly fruitful in this its first year.

4. The School of Preaching – God has blessed us with 10 or more young men who are able to preach and are voracious in reading and learning doctrine. They are supported by some biblically mature young women. We give thanks for our vibrant young adults meeting on Friday evenings. Several young men are seriously considering a possible call to pastoral ministry.

There are many activities going on each day of the week. We would value the prayers of our brethren that our high proportion of committed working members would not weary in well-doing. Sunday in particular is very busy with 0730 Sunday School at WBM, 0830 Service at WBM, 1000-1200 Service at BBC, 1200 -1400 Lunch for about 100 at BBC, 1400 -1530 Service at BBC and 1700 -1800 Service at WBM.

We must work while it is yet day, because night will come when no man can work. We covet the prayers of all our brethren in Sola 5 churches. We were much encouraged last year with a party of 20 driving up for the Lusaka Family Conference and then about half going on to the Sola 5 Conference in Namibia. The members are just beginning to realise the value of Sola 5!

Irving Steggles