Greetings in Jesus’ name,

God’s faithfulness in the past offers great encouragement as we navigate our lives through a wicked, ever-changing world. A world where morals have been tainted, tarnished with the pit, and righteousness has become the enemy, where good is now bad and bad is heralded as good.

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.”
(Joshua 24:14)

Joshua knew the nation’s weaknesses. Before dying, he called the people together and gave some final instructions that would help them where they were most likely to slip. He told them to follow all that is written in the Scriptures without turning aside. He told them not to associate with the pagan nations or worship their gods. He told them not to intermarry with the pagan nations. These temptations were right in their backyard!

Our associations and relationships can be temptations to us as well. It’s wise to identify our own weaknesses before we too break down. We may then develop strategies to overcome these temptations instead of being overcome or overwhelmed by them.

Joshua knew that his life was ending, so he called all the leaders of the nation together to give them his final words of encouragement and instruction. His whole message can be summarised in 23:8: “But you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day.” Be faithful to the Lord your God! Joshua had been a living example of those words, and he wanted that to be his legacy.

For what do you want to be remembered? What do you want to pass on to your children and the people you associate with? You can leave them nothing better than the example of holding on to and being faithful to God.

Our Church

Michelle and I are on sabbatical, so the following is feedback from our brothers, Marlin and Matthew.

The Sunday morning services have been going well, though there’s been some absentees from regular attendees. I, Marlin Erasmus, have been preaching through 1 Corinthians 11–12. It was very encouraging to preach about the church to the church. Andrew Gersbach from Goodwood Baptist came to preach as a visitor at the end of the month. We’re continuing with the 1 Corinthians series for the foreseeable future. We also have had more people involved in the service. We had brothers Matthew Fortune and Joseph Abiodun help with the leading of the service while I preached.

The Bible study meetings have been making some progress. We only meet on Wednesday evenings and have a generally good attendance. We’re almost done with our BBC series, which will be on 17 May. Matthew and I have been teaching. The kiddies’ Bible study has also grown exponentially. We have about 7–10 kids on a Wednesday for an hour going through the Bible with the kids from the community. Yasmine and Steffi have been teaching the kids, and the kids love the lessons.

We’re having our second outreach/evangelism on 7 May. The one from last month was good. We have a good turnout and are hopeful that we’ll have more of the congregation helping this time. Our hope is not in our ability to lure people into our church but in God to save people as he pleases through meagre efforts. We trust that the Lord will produce fruit in due season.

We’ve started our Youth Ministry, and there is great enthusiasm among the teens that are attending. They’re all hungry and are eagerly growing in their faith. Some of them have been bringing their friends, which has been great.

Yasmine and I are doing the teaching. We’re going through a book called Brave Faith by Alistair Begg.

The kids’ Bible study is growing every week. We have kids from different faiths joining. Yasmine and Steffi are doing great work with the kids.

Erasmus Family

Marlin writes,
We are still grateful for the Lord in how his ways have turned out for us. We are grateful to be in Muizenberg, being able to be involved in the life of the church and for Yasmine to be close to work. We have been well. We do have our conflict now and then but working to avoid it much as we can. We are learning a lot after being married for almost five months. We are thankful for the Lord’s providence for us, in that I can study while working as an intern at the church.

Maschona-Fortune Family

Matthew writes,

We have been doing well over the last few weeks. This time of taking up more responsibility in church is quite challenging but welcomed. I’m still facing some issue after surgery, my vision seems to be acting up quite often.

Jasper recently turned four and we are making arrangement for him to visit his grandparents in Indonesia this year. He is quite excited. He still keeps learning at an alarming rate. We pray God will help us to home school him successfully.

The kids’ Bible study held at our house is growing nicely, with roughly ten kids. They meet up twice a week now after they asked to meet up more. Steffi seems more in her element having this opportunity to engage the kids more often. God is working both in the kids and us. We are thankful.

The Cramer Family

As a family there is great jubilation and celebration to God’s goodness with the arrival of our grandson, Bjorn. Both he and Shelby are healthy, although initially, what started as a routine check-up, ended in Shelby being rushed from her town by ambulance to a hospital in another town for an emergency Caesar because of high blood pressure with the risk of pre-eclampsia. We are grateful to the Lord.

Michelle and I are grateful to the church for granting us a sabbatical, which has been a time of much-needed rest, reflection, a time of strengthening, a time that this worn-out soul could wallow in the Lord without agenda. Great are his mercies.

Prayer Requests

Please pray with us for the following.
  • Pray that our activities in the community will continue to grow folk toward Christ.
  • Pray that a gospel peace will saturate our community.
  • Pray for our community, where gang violence is a reality/norm in specific areas of our community.
  • Pray for our dear sister Elize who is in much pain and is now in hospice. We pray for her family.
  • Pray for a brother whose marriage is going through much tribulation. Despite this, he attends regularly.
  • Pray for the church as a whole: that the Lord will continue to work in our hearts as we grow as a church, not just individually. Pray that we would grow in love and service to one another.
  • Pray for Marlin as he preaches though difficult passage in the following weeks.
  • Pray that those who serve would walk in wisdom, love, grace and humility as they serve the Lord in the life of the church.
  • Pray that a central building be found for gathering.

Thank you for taking time to read our report and for praying for us.

Yours in Christ,
Des Cramer (pastor)
Coastal Bible Church
Muizenberg, South Africa