Since we last communicated with the Sola 5 Association of Churches, via the Chronicles, we have continued to experience God’s wonderful goodness to us as a local church, and are overwhelmed by his faithfulness.
It was just over a year ago that we celebrated our 50th Anniversary, which was a time of great thanksgiving to God, as we looked back and were able to see how that, in spite of the frailty of men and women, the Lord has built his church. In his kindness to us he has preserved one of the foundation members in whose home the church started, who is now in her late nineties, and although not able to come out, is fully aware of what is going on in the life and ministry of the church as she prays regularly for every member on the membership list.
While the church has not grown significantly in terms of numbers, and we have had members move away for various reasons, we have nevertheless been conscious of the church growing and maturing in his grace and Christlikeness. We continue to long for and pray that we might soon enjoy a time of harvesting, where, as it was in the book of Acts, we will see the Lord adding to the church daily such as being saved.
We are enjoying a wonderful sense of unity within the church and in the course of the year we changed our Constitution, increasing the quorum required for church meetings and moving away from deciding on important issues by means of a secret ballot to functioning more in terms of a consensus. This has led to a greater sense of openness and transparency among the members.
All the various departments of the church’s life and ministry are being well maintained with a number of areas of outreach are being undertaken by different folk within the church. The prayer life of the church is encouraging and, generally speaking, the prayer meetings are well attended, and we are also encouraged by the interest the church is taking in reading good Christian literature.
We are also grateful to God for the leadership that God has raised up within the church and we presently have the name of another elder before the congregation, who will be brought before the church in November. At present one of our elders, Bernard Kuyper, is overseas for two months, and will be retuning, the Lord willing at the end of October.
One of the evidences of God’s goodness to us has been the appointment of an associate pastor in the person of Gus Pritchard, who was ordained on Sunday, 29 August and commenced his ministry among us on 1 September. Gus is married to Kate and they have a daughter, Penelope, who is 18 months. We are grateful to God for bringing Gus to us and look forward to him complementing the ministry as we long to see the Lord extend his kingdom through the life and ministry of the church.
One is constantly amazed when you look at the frailty of those who God, in his grace and mercy, calls to himself, and then brings them into the local church, and then chooses to work through them for his glory—and we at Emmanuel, are no exception.
ITEMS FOR PRAYER
- The election of a new elder to the present eldership in November.
- Bernard Kuyper, who is overseas at present and has not been at all well, suffering from a bad dose of shingles and Bell’s Palsy, who together with his wife, Althea, will be returning at the end of October.
- For Gus and Kate Pritchard as they settle in to their new situation at Emmanuel, and as Gus exercises the ministry that God has given him.
- The growth and vision of the church, particularly in the areas of outreach, evangelism, missions and church growth.
- The various outreaches of the church, a preaching point every Sunday in an informal settlement, hospital visitation in a TB hospital and a general hospital, prison ministry, youth outreach in an orphanage, and one of our ladies running a crèche in downtown Hillbrow.