Dear Sola 5 community,

Thank you for your ongoing prayer support and faithfulness in remembering us in Namibia. 2020 has deeply challenged our communications and interactions with one another and therefore we are all the more thankful for your regular prayer letters and reports.

Despite the many challenges presented by an invisible virus, we at Eastside Baptist Church (EBC) rejoice in God’s good hand upon us. For most of the year we have been able to meet for worship, morning and evening, albeit in different formats. Due to restrictions in the amount of people gathering at one time we have instituted a second morning service. This has generally worked well as people have had “to book their seats” in advance. Our services have always been “full.” We thank God that we did not lose any of our members to COVID-19 in 2020, although there were some that were sick.

2021 began with our customary Prayer Week in January, in which we committed our year to the Lord. Once again, we were delighted how many of our people presented themselves for prayer. Our weekly prayer meetings have also seen a greater level of participation.

We have also seen a steady inflow of visitors and our regular membership classes, led by our elder Pieter Slabber, are always in demand. Along with steady growth at EBC goes the inevitable saying of goodbyes of those of our members who leave to take up employment elsewhere in the world. We always send them with our blessing, trusting that we send them in a better condition than we have found them, and praying that God would make them fruitful somewhere else.

In 2021, we will be sending two of our couples to do church planting. Norman and Stephanie van Zyl will be sent to plant a church among Afrikaans speaking people in Windhoek in February 2021, and Uaundja and Christabel Karamata will be sent in July 2021, Lord willing, to plant a multi-cultural church in Otjiwarongo, 250 kilometres north of Windhoek. Please pray with us that these plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3).

The pastor-elder team consists of Joachim Rieck, Frans Brits (both vocational pastors), and Pieter Slabber. We covet your prayer for more elders. Our elder mentoring class for prospective elders meets on Friday mornings for breakfast and eldership studies.

Josh Hooker (supported by Crosslinks in the UK) is our theological trainer, responsible for our Preaching Academy and for the School of the Bible. It has been a challenging time for this aspect of our ministry, as Josh has had to resort to online teaching.

EBC continues to encourage our sister churches in Namibia in meeting, engaging and exchanging of pulpits. Pray for our unity across this vast and sparsely populated land. We had a good ministers’ fraternal recently and aim to have another one in March 2021.

Thank you so much in helping us by your prayer,

Joachim Rieck
2 Corinthians 1:10–11