Ministry News: Grace Baptist Church (Daveyton, South Africa) (March 2019)

Dear brethren,

Please find below the latest ministry update from Grace Baptist Church Daveyton.

Personal Life

The third month of the year began with a very busy schedule for me. I was trying to get my spiritual life going and also the Bible study at home. Church planting can be so draining, and leave you without much energy for personal study and to lead Bible studies at home. This month, I’ve tried in my busy schedule to prioritise the family devotion and personal Bible intake.

It has been refreshing and helping us to connect better as a family. We’ve been studying Psalms together. The first Psalm has really revived our desire for the word. I’ve also made time to read through a book on church planting this month. I’ve been reading through Church Planting is for Wimps by Mike McKinley. I was rebuked by two chapters—one on how can a church plant can challenge your family, and a second on how to train leaders who will assist you in the work.  He also encouraged me to guard the study time for preparation for Sunday sermons.

Family Life

My wife has resumed her ministry of teaching the Sunday school class for kids. For the first time, we’ve also worked together in planning and running a holiday Bible club for kids and a youth outreach during the school holidays. We are grateful for the strength the Lord has been granting her lately.

Evangelism

Our evangelism has been encouraging this month. We had explored different ways and methods of reaching our community. We’ve not been seeing any fruit in our recent efforts. I was going to a local clinic every morning to preach. I was feeling like the prophet Isaiah who says I have labored in vain. This month was different. We have enjoyed seeing some of the men whom I’ve been training preaching. We have enjoyed preaching to our community three times every week. This work is tiring. But each and every meeting has displayed the grace of God. This month was different in many ways. Part of the difference is that some of our church members have joined us in our open air outreach. The difference is that they were inviting their neighbours who are not believers. We have seen those neighbours visiting us at church.

We also did a holiday Bible club and combined it with a talk show for the youth. We decided to address some problems that young people face. This has brought a few young people to church. Some of these young people were surprised that the Bible speaks about their problems. Their questions were also encouraging to us. In this talk show, we had our church people sharing their testimonies of how they have struggled with different issues on the subjects at hand without Christ. This has also strengthened fellowship between members because people have had to be honest and vulnerable in sharing with the youth about how the Lord saved them. This has worked in two ways. It has provided us an opportunity to share the gospel and also with an opportunity to know each other better as a church.

The Church

In spite of all the challenges of church planting, the Lord has opened the door for us to offer assistance to three more churches. Two churches are close to us; the third one is three hours away from us. One pastor of these churches is a classic Pentecostal brother. He has surprised me by inviting me often to preach in his congregation. He told me that his desire is to teach the Bible to his church. The other church is the church where I got saved. It is also classically Pentecostal. The pastor of the church was a man with whom I was in leadership. After I had left the church, I thought they were not interested in teaching that is based on the Bible. But a few years after I had left, the church called this brother. He told them that he can come back on one condition: that they will allow him to go and study at Christ Seminary. He is now doing his third year. He is working on reforming the church and revitalising the church. He has asked us to help him. I’ve been preaching for them once in a month. The response has been good.

I also had an opportunity to preach in a new church plant that is three hours away from our place. The brother who is starting the church was discipled by one of the Christ Seminary students. He sees us as people he can discuss the church plant work with. We started well with 35 or so people who visited for the first time in this new work.  He told us that since then they had around 15 people who’ve been visiting them. We are hoping and praying that a Reformed work will be established in that town.

Training man to preach at church has been a blessing and help in this work. Three of the men who attend our preaching class have been preaching to our church. Our members they were happy and told me that these brothers have done a good job. Now I am no longer the only preacher who preaches in the church. They also keep me faithful to the text. We meet every Sunday after church to evaluate the sermon.

New Property

On our new property, we have started making consultation with the planner. By God’s grace, we are hoping to be helped by Gill. Gill is the wife of Pastor Michael Marsland. Pastor Michael has worked for African Pastors’ Conference. It was good to catch up with him on the African Conference trip that I did. This was helpful in discussing what we can afford and what we cannot afford as a church. At the moment we have no idea how much the whole building project will cost us. But Gill has promised us that if we may find a structural engineer, SG Diagram and a site developer, we will be able to know how much the building project will cost us.

Prayer Requests

  1. Pray for the home devotions that we have started—that they will continue and it refresh us as a family.
  2. Pray for the people who have visited our church through the open air and holiday Bible club—that many will be saved and continue in the Lord.
  3. Pray for the men I’ve been training to continue in being faithful and preaching the gospel.
  4. Pray for the churches that am assisting—that the Lord will grow them and provide faithful leaders.
  5. Pray for our building plan—that we will find a reasonable engineer, and that the Lord will provide for the total costs.

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