Ministry News: Eastside Baptist Church (Windhoek, Namibia) (April 2014)

This report covers events of the last twelve months.

Eldership

TrippOur three current elders are Joachim Rieck (vocational), Pieter Slabber and Norman van Zyl. Frans Brits (elder in training—pictured) has now completed two years of eldership apprenticeship. We are pleased with his progress, particularly in the field of preaching. The elders are recommending him to the church for ordination as an elder, as soon as possible.

Our elders continue to meet on most Mondays during the year for prayer, reflection on our ministry, counselling and visitation as demanded. We have approached three promising young men, inviting them to enter into an eldership apprenticeship this coming year.

Diaconate

Douglas ResissnerOur first deacon, Douglas Reissner (pictured with his wife, Brigitte) was inducted into this renewed ministry of our church on 16 June 2013. We have transformed our diaconal ministry into one that focusses on mercy and benevolence matters. The diaconal ministry of our church exists to make the gospel look good. Unfortunately, Doug has had severe health challenges in 2013, and he is currently undergoing radiation treatment in Cape Town. Many members of our church are involved in the diaconal ministry, and the activities range from collecting clothes and food for the poor to involvement with orphans and vulnerable children to visitation of senior citizens. We hope to report in greater detail on our revamped diaconal ministry at a later date.

Staff

Liz Walters joined our church administrative staff at the beginning of 2013. Her portfolio includes all matters pertaining to membership administration and events planning . She did a great job in co-ordinating the Sola 5event at the beginning of September 2013, as well as functions.

Cheryl Corringhamcontinues to bear responsibility for the processing of financial data under the leadership of our Fincom, now in the hands of Etienne Fourie, Le’ahm Lucas and Danie van den Berg.

Anita Manthe recently returned from the United States of America with a Masters degree in Biblical Counselling from the Master’s College. She now heads up our counselling office and administers our Biblical Counselling Training programme. Dr Wayne Mack (Strengthening Ministries International) and an elder at Lynnwood Baptist Church in Pretoria has just been with us, and with the help of his teaching DVDs we hope to equip some of our people in this field. We see this as an evangelistic tool for non-Christians who seek help, and also as a strengthening tool for believers in our city.

Preaching Ministry

Morning Services. From February until April 2013 Pastor Rieck preached a series of eight sermons on the Life of Elijah. This was followed by our usual Easter services. Frans Brits, Peter Slabber, Norman van Zyl and Pastors Tjijenda and Mwashekele preached during Pastor Rieck’s annual leave in April/May. Upon returning, he preached three sermons on the subject of “Personal Evangelism,” leading up to Pentecost Sunday on which he preached on the subject, “The Holy Spirit has come to empower us for effective witness.”

Pastor Brian Stone from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Johannesburg came in June 2013 to relieve Pastor Rieck for a month to enable him to take the remainder of his 2010 sabbatical leave. At the end of July 2013, Pastor Rieck began a new series of expositions in the book of Revelation, which continues currently. Frans Brits preaches once a month from the book of Jeremiah in our morning service.

Evening services. We completed our series of expositions in Paul’s letter to the Romans in July. Following the book of Romans we did a six-week series on Habakkuk, entitled “From Frustration to Faith” in August and September 2013. In October, we began a new series of expositions in Mark’s Gospel, which is shared at times with our elders. One sermon per month is entitled “Perspective from the Psalms” whereby we preach our way through the Psalms.

A pulpit exchange took place between Swakopmund Baptist Church and Eastside Baptist Church in December 2013 when Pastors Francois Koch and Joachim Rieck swapped places for two weeks.

Membership, Visitation, and Counselling Ministry

The following have been received into membership: Daniel and Renee van den Berg; Licius Mbaindjikua; Anita Manthe; Justin Samalesu. Five people are currently in membership classes: Jessie Himunyanga; Ola and Jessey Jolaiya; Gys Burger; Magderie Slabbert. We are thankful that we always have people interested in church membership. Two members have sadly resigned in this period under review.

Pastoral visitation happens mainly upon request. The pastor’s doors are open most afternoons and some evenings for personal visitation or counselling, and preferably by appointment. Our elders are available for visitation by appointment. Much of our pastoral care takes place through the small groups which are led by our elders.

Other Activities of the Church

  1. School of the Bible. At the beginning of 2014 we restarted this teaching arm of the church and are currently doing the Doctrine of Worship (nine weeks). We look forward to get our biblical counselling training going in the next trimester. The School of Preaching, which usually meets on Saturdays between 09h00 and 10h30, has not met during this period under review.
  2. Evangelism. Corlia Laue and Kyron Raad and a few others are involved in street evangelism in Cimbebasia, a new suburb in Windhoek. Joachim Rieck has continued with school devotions at Academia High School, All Nations Christian School, and Welwitschia School. We are envisaging that our counselling ministry will lead to many evangelistic opportunities.
  3. Radio Ministry. Pastor Rieck continues to do devotional talks on Channel 7. In the period under review, he has twice led devotions for the staff at Channel 7, which has led to further requests for radio work.
  4. Book Ministry. Our Barnabas Book ministry is going from strength to strength. Our book table is rapidly developing into a bookshop.
  5. Sola 5. Norman van Zyl is our current representative on the steering committee of Sola 5. We were privileged to host the ninth Sola 5 conference in 2013. This was the second time that Eastside has done this.
  6. Fraternals. Pastor Rieck is a founding member of the Spurgeon Fraternal, which began in 1997. This fraternal exists to encourage pastors in their work and to provide a network for likeminded pastors. This network meets twice a year in South Africa. A Namibian Pastors fraternal was organised in Swakopmund on 9–10 July with Brian Stone. Pastors breakfasts for our Windhoek-based pastors are frequently held on Monday mornings at our manse. Joachim & Marcelle Rieck visited Tony and Kauna Mbundu of the Benguella Baptist Church (Luderitz) on 22–23 April 2013 with the view of encouraging them in their work in this remote part of our country. Pastor Rieck is involved in a quarterly theological discussion group with ministers of local Reformed denominations.
  7. Conferences. Pastor Rieck led a conference at Monte Christo Baptist Church from 11–13 March 2013 entitled “Life in the Spirit in Marriage and in the Home.” Pastor Rieck spoke at a day conference of the local Student Christian Movement on the subject of temptation on 17 August. A conference for our northern churches and pastors was organised and sponsored in Oshakati, Ovamboland by Monte Cristo, Grace Reformed and Eastside Baptist Churches from 11–15 November 2013. Pastors Spencer Tjijenda, J. T. Beukes and J. Rieck were the speakers.
  8. Publications. Apart from publishing our weekly morning sermons, we have a number of ongoing writing projects, such as the Church Membership Manual; A Guidebook on Worship; A Handbook for Elders; A Handbook for Deaconal Ministry; Sermons on the Lord’s Prayer and a number of other publications/ Bible study helps for use of our church and perhaps the wider church in Namibia.

Church Visibility

Pastor’s blog. The blog “A Reformed Baptist in Namibia” continues to report on church activities as well as current trends and issues in Namibia and in the world. The most popular entries remain the Namibian missionary biographies.

Sermon Blog. The blog “Reformed Baptist Sermons from Namibia” continues to publish our Sunday morning sermons.

Facebook & Website. Our church is represented on this popular information medium. Our church still needs to develop a proper website.

Public Prayer Meetings of the Church

Our public prayer meetings continue to be held on Saturday mornings (07h00–08h00) and on Sunday mornings (08h30–09h15 term time; 09h00–09h20 during school holidays).

Prayer Week. Attendance at the beginning of January 2014 has been consistent and encouraging throughout the week. Prayer days focusing on missions and revival are once again planned for the time before Pentecost (8 June 2014).

On Sunday evenings we continue pray for the world and for the persecuted church. Douglas Reissner, Matthew Walters, Pieter Slabber, and Justin Samalesu lead us in this prayer ministry.

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