HopeBC6We have seen a lot of change since our previous newsletter the end of last year. Sadly we had to say farewell to one family that relocated New Zeeland andClement (1) a young man that took up a teaching post in Thailand. These were great losses to us as they were active church members. We have also seen quite a turnover of people attending our Sunday services. We are thankful for and encouraged by a number of new folk that have joined the fellowship over the last few months.

We have also had some challenging counselling cases where we have and are still trying to help our people deal with life issues in a Biblical way. Sadly, some choose to discontinue this process when they realise that it will require from them to take up their crosses and follow Jesus. But we take encouragement as we look to our Saviour who loves His own who are in the world, and He loves them to the very end (Jn 13:1). We know, that those of His children who stray, He will bring back in His own time.

Another change for us as a church is that we have finally found a bigger meeting place. We are very thankful to the Lord for this as it took a good 15 months to come right. As from the beginning of2 May we have been renting a hall that used to be part of an old bowling club, but is now on lease to a hair dresser and a fashion design college during week days. The hall comes with a kitchen and ablutions. It could probably seat up to 120 people, there is ample parking and the location is first class, being located very centrally in the city.

1We are currently busy with a preaching series in the book of Acts. The recurring themes of being witnesses for Christ, the spreading of the Word and church growth, persecution and marks of the true church has been very challenging. In our Sunday school we continue to use the children’s series entitled “Lessons for Life”. With people moving away, our Sunday school has shrunk and so we pray that the Lord will add more families with school going children to the church. In the children’s talks on Sunday’s during the worship service we are currently busy with a series which we entitled, “People of faith of the Old Testament”. We have found our Wednesday Bible study series in Romans very profitable. We have committed ourselves to learn Romans chapter 8 off by heart. What a wonderful chapter in God’s Word! Our prayer meetings continue to be a blessing. They are often fervent andVOORBEELD OP PALE a number of people continue to be committed to come to the prayer meetings.

We continue with street evangelism on Saturdays. I have the opportunity to minister to a Jehovah’s Witness named Clement. We have been meeting for about 10 months on and off. Please pray for his conversion. Occasionally we get to speak to people who clearly seem to be converted and have a good HopeBC3grasp of the Gospel. The other day we had the privilege to speak to a young father who testified of how God has turned his life around and that he and his family has been serving the

Lord ever since. It was as if this man’s face was just radiating the joy of the Lord.

Last time we reported that I scaled down on my secular work commitments with the view of serving full-time in ministry. Unfortunately due so some of the changes we have experienced I had to revert back to a one day per week secular work commitment for the time being.

HopeBC2We thank the Lord for your support, prayers and partnership in the Gospel.

In Christ

Richard & Liza Raven