Since our previous newsletter the Lord has continued to sustain the work. For the most part church folk have been faithful in making use of the means of grace. We have also seen a consistent flow of visitors to the church so much so that the numbers at our Sunday worship services have increased.

As far as the Sunday preaching ministry is concerned we completed a series in the Beatitudes last December. We all found it very searching and pray that the Christian character traits will be evident amongst us. We are still busy with a Sunday School series entitled, “On the way” and we continue to study the Pilgrims Progress on Wednesdays. We hope to start membership classes the first week of February and then Lord willing see some of our adherents come into membership. We are seeing indications of our home becoming too small for Sunday morning worship services, which means that we may need to look for bigger premises in the short to medium term. Please pray that the Lord will be pleased to build His church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

We had the privilege as a church of hosting an African Pastors Conference here in Bloemfontein on 29 October 2013. The conference went well, we had a reasonably Compogood attendance of about 25 delegates (from a wide range of church backgrounds), lots of books were sold, and the preaching came with conviction. The theme of the conference was “Preaching Christ Crucified”. We are grateful to our people for putting in a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make the conference happen.

Outreach1The church, once again, put up a book table at the local Christmas market on 29 November 2013 with the intention to have a Gospel witness. Unlike the previous year we had lovely weather and people came to the market in great numbers. We had lots of discussions, sold and gave away many books. One couple came to church as a result of the book table.

We continue with street evangelism in town on Saturday mornings. The Lord has given us countless opportunities to share the Gospel and hand out evangelistic literature. “Cultural Christianity” and a lack of understanding of the way of salvation are very common. The words of the apostle Paul in Eph 2:8 comes to mind “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” We are constantly aware of the fact that we cannot save souls, that is the Lord work (Jn 6:63). Some encouraging news is that in December for the first time a family started coming to church as a result of the street evangelism work. Please pray for this family, for ourOutreach2 church to not to be ashamed of the Gospel and for further Gospel fruit.

Outreach3As a church we recently decided that I need to transition from tentmaking to full-time ministry. The plan is for this to happen over a period of time commencing in March 2014. We thank the Lord for this development and we will covet your prayers for the implementation thereof. We as a family are well by the Lord’s grace. The children have all started their new school year; Elizabeth (grade 4), Joshua (grade 1) and Alan (playgroup) and seem to have settled in well.

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

In Christ

Richard & Liza Raven