Nothing worthwhile can ever be accomplished without God’s word preached and applied. We praise the Lord for the seed sown and every evidence of it bearing fruit—in individual lives, through our corporate gathering on Sundays and the small groups regularly meeting in the life of the church. One heartening aspect of ministry is that along with our six Home Fellowship Groups and Christianity Explored, we have at least another four groups stimulating fellowship around God’s word. This includes Moms and Tots, Instructing a Child’s Heart, Teen Bible Study and the Prayer Partners group that has recommenced. Please pray for the possibility of another HFG commencing in Pinelands as we now have at least five people associated with Goodwood Baptist Church (GBC) from the area keen for a group to commence.
THE HANDS OF GBC—OUR MINISTRIES!
For the past two years at least we have had an “eldership orientation” programme in place to train and guide younger men showing potential for eldership. Although busy with doctoral studies the elders are delighted that Chris Dumas is continuing to be exposed to the eldership and his gifting in explaining doctrine to young minds through the Tot’s Theology is plain for all to see! Winton Gibbs has been elected onto the eldership and we look forward to his broader ministry among us. We do not forget Di Cuthbert and her wonderful support to Curly over the years before her home call.
Sunday Morning Worship and Family Bible School
Changes! Change is always good and the morning worship format has been changed with the reintroduction of Pastor’s Pals and the addition of a Tot’s Theology slot and use of Powerpoint. Our Sunday school remains at 09:00 and before the main service at 10:00 we have introduced a Family Bible Study which also commences at 09:00, with two adult Bible classes and the initial electives being “The Christian and Managing your Finances” and “Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask,” led by Winton Gibbs and Reynold Swart respectively.
Shepherding a Child’s Heart
We are experiencing somewhat of a baby boom and are grateful that the initial group led by Chris and Colleen McMinn has moved onto Instructing a Child’s Heart. The elders are glad that Paul and Ronel Grobler are keen to spearhead another group commencing in April. We hear many encouraging testimonies from parents and our prayer is that the Lord will continue to use this to stimulate godly parenting in the challenging task of raising children.
Missions in Cape Town and the Nations
We thank the Lord for the privilege of continuing to share in the outreach ministry of at least seven missionaries (or missionary couples). GBC is sharing in God’s kingdom in at least three countries apart from SA (Bolivia, Germany and Mozambique). This does not include yet another country (Zimbabwe) through our involvement with Sola 5. Last year, God enabled our church family to give generously outside of our ministries.
With Thanks We Praise and Glorify His Name
We are so grateful to have at GBC a dedicated group of ministry leaders who work so tirelessly for the furtherance of his word.
Our youth pastor, Carel Pienaar, gives so selflessly of himself and time to teach the younger members of our church, the junior and senior youth. There has been a steady growth in both groups in attendance for Bible teaching and participation in activities.
Francois and Eileen van der Westhuizen lead the Christianity Explored course and during 2010 there were eleven attendees who completed the course and the Just for Starters course, which finished in October 2010.
The women’s ministry is led by Robyn Wilson and they meet on a regular basis for various activities, which include Bible studies and prayer, breakfast meetings with visiting speakers and support of outside organisations such as Options and Elim Night Shelter through monetary, baby items, food and clothing. We thank them also for their support in running the GBC grocery cupboard which provides for those in need.
Hugo Coetzee has a ministry to the older folk in our community: The Golden Oldies. They meet on a Wednesday each week for a time of praise and worship and alternate between GBC and Protea Home for Bible study meetings. To quote Hugo, “The Golden Oldies are thankful for God’s goodness and we bless his holy name. Also, we long for that day when all things will be restored and be made new and when all evil will finally be gone. Come, Lord Jesus.” May Hugo long continue to serve in this vital ministry as there are many unsaved souls to be reached even at this late stage of their lives.
Jean Ward is a very able leader of the Moms and Tots Group and provides support for young moms and first-time moms with small children. At the moment they are studying The Gospel Centred Family by Ed Moll and Tim Chester. Although challenging, they give thanks to the Lord for this opportunity to serve.
GBC has an outreach ministry to the Goodwood Mall which is led by Keith and Laetitia Williams. It takes the form of a book table, which they have set up in the hope that God in his common grace will minister to the spiritual needs of the passers-by who stop and enquire of the books that are on offer.
At the main church we also have a book table set up on the first Sunday of the month which is run by Winton and Barbara Gibbs, with many Christian books to choose from. Winton and Barbara also head up the Hiking Group who meet up on the third Saturday of the month. The group is open to non-Christians and Christians alike and is a wonderful opportunity to expose minds and bodies to the wonders and beauty of his creation. The group has experienced many of the hiking trails that can be found on and around the Table Mountain area as well as further afield and even overnight stays.
OUR YOUTH PASTOR
A reluctant parting is happening at the end of the year as Carel and Mariska Pienaar seek to further their studies. Through much prayer, counsel and deep thinking, God has been instilling or cultivating in their hearts a passion for theological education. Their heartbeat, if the Lord permits and provision is given, is to return to the Bible Institute and to serve God’s kingdom in the sphere of theological education to join many others who desire to see evangelical scholarship grow significantly in Southern Africa and to equip tomorrow’s ministers and foreign missionaries with sound theology. That is their vision and mission. Carel and Mariska have applied to pursue a MA in Theology at George Whitefield College in Muizenberg and intend to do this study full time.
Tony Baragona is the chairman of the missionary committee at GBC and leads a team of five members: Barbara Gibbs, Bonnie Hollesen, Mariska Pienaar, and John and Barbara Lewis. The committee is responsible for keeping GBC informed of our missionary’s experiences in the field and for any support that may be needed by them. The highlight of the year is the Missions Weekend, which is used to bring more into focus the work of missionaries outside of GBC and of outreach organizations who work in the greater community of Cape Town as well as overseas.
The Ritter Family
Hans, Sabine and family visited us during the course of the year. Hans still does a lot of travelling back and forth to Asia and now because of recent disasters that have taken place there, it makes his task even more difficult, not only his but other OMF workers and those involved in the Lord’s work.
Colin and Barbara are working in Fort White in the Eastern Cape amongst Xhosa youth. Colin teaches English at two senior schools and uses the opportunity to teach them Christian values as well. Barbara is involved in Bible programs with the juniors at Alice Baptist Church. Colin and Barbara will be visiting Cape Town in July and we all look forward to this as it gives the church time to interact with them on a spiritual level as well as a personal level. We were also fortunate that Bonnie Hollesen was able to spend time at Fort White to teach accountancy to the learners.
Hylton is our evergreen, and is steadfast in his work for the Lord. Despite his age he just carries on. It is such a joy to see that the Lord has blessed him with an amazing gift of compassion for others less fortunate. Hylton is involved in Hanover Park and works alongside the Hanover Park Baptist Church in bringing relief to the very poor. It is always very encouraging to the missions committee at the warm and positive response there is, whenever appeals are made for items that may be needed—and there is always a need! The little children suffer so; it is heartbreaking.
After being back at home for a while, Diane returned to the work in Bolivia and has reported that a permanent Youth Leader has been appointed. While here in Cape Town she obtained much needed funds and financial support to help with the ongoing work of building a Youth Centre there, there is a long way to go with this project and funds are still needed. There is much prayer needed and requested for this.
Otto has established the Reforming Baptist Church in Khayelitsha and the church continues to grow in the grace of our Lord. Otto has also found himself in a privileged position to act as an adjunct lecturer with the Bible Institute and continues with his involvement for the All of Grace Mission. The Xhosa Radio Ministry has proved to be very popular and he has received many invitations to speak at various churches here in the Western Cape, and the radio programme is confirmed to be listened to by many around South Africa. All praise and glory unto our Lord for this opportunity for the spreading of his word.
Anselmo continues in his work at MOST (Mobile School of Theology) and the Easter schedule began with lectures in Welkom earlier this month, leading to the conclusion of a course on evangelism over the weekend of 18-20 March. As MOST had been in the area in February, they did not have to physically be there this March.
The Mozambique leg of the program scheduled for 25 April to 1 May got going via Vilanculos, Beira the eventual venue of the teaching schedule. Here, they introduced the art of sermon building, following on an introduction of ecclesiology, taught last summer (December and February). Beira is an exciting place to teach. The folks maintain unbelievable optimism, hunger for the truth and always await their next training cycle with amazing eagerness. The local organizing committee has now come of age and MOST can be confident to arrive and concentrate on the business of teaching, without the bother of the administrative tasks of the event itself. We praise our Great God for this. Please pray with us for the finalization of course material and readiness of heart, both for Anselmo as presenter and our course participants. Please join us as we congratulate Anselmo and Charlene, Brothers, Gabriel (12) and José (10), at the birth of the latest addition to their family of a beautiful bouncing baby boy, Antonio.
Please join us as we pray for our Sunday school, its teachers and the little ones, as they continue to learn and grow in the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; for the change that we have undertaken in the morning church service, the introduction of Pastors Pals and Tots Theology during the service; for the Family Bible School members to grow and be more fruitful in their walk with him; and for the ongoing commitment and dedication of all the ministry leaders as they lead and encourage all the folk who have come under their wings.
Please pray that doors will be opened for Carel and Mariska as they continue on their journey in service to him by furthering their studies at George Whitefield College and their intended goal of teaching at a theological institution.
Pray for the various committees—and we bring to mind here the missions committee—that they be enabled to serve to the greater community as they take the word to the mission fields.
We also request prayer for the deacons of GBC, for their support in the running of day to day affairs and maintenance of the church; those who serve in the background; and for our pastor as he administers to our spiritual needs.
In all of this we give thanks to you for your partnership in prayer, and for the administrative team of Sola 5 without whom these newsletters would not be distributed.