Ministry News: Hope Bible Church (Bloemfontein, South Africa) (January/February 2020)

Greetings, sisters and brothers,

At the start of this year, I did a lot of reflection on the year that 2019 was. This reflection reminded me of a book I read many years ago. The book is by Dr Gary E. Gilley, and the title is This Little Church Stayed Home.In it he explores the temptations of many churches to give in to modern trends and give up fidelity to the Scriptures. He calls us to remain faithful to sound doctrine and make the word of God paramount in our lives and in the life of the church.

Church Life

This became my prayer for Hope Bible Church for the year 2020 and beyond: that this little church will not go to market but would stay home. Staying home is tough. It means doing the same things over and over, until Jesus calls us home. I am thankful for a little church that wants to stay home, a church that gathers corporately every Sunday to hear the same gospel message that saves the lost and edifies the saints. The gospel remains of first importance to us.

This time of reflection resulted in the Lord impressing on my heart for us, as a church, to focus on gospel-life in the church and gospel-life in the world. For living out the gospel in the church, we are embarking on a study through 1 Corinthians together; and for gospel living in the world we are embarking on a study through Ecclesiastes. These two are the main preaching series in the church. I will be preaching through the former and the men will be preaching through the latter.

Pictured here is Clive. We saw Clive read the Scriptures for the first time this year. He has been an adherent for a while now. It was good to see the Lord use him to do Scripture reading for the first time, adding to the number of the men who read. This means eight men in a small church of 21 members.

In the evening of every Sunday, for our prayer meeting, we have begun a series looking at the “whoever” proverbs in Proverbs. They are clearly seen from the ESV translation. They are for practical living, because part of the Great Commission is “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Our evening service is a prayer meeting, where we pray for the needs of the church and missionaries every Sunday. We have a special “mission focus” each week.

Praise News

On 12 February, the church voted to adopt its own constitution. This means Hope Bible Church is now a fully constituted church. We praise the Lord for his goodness. The process of constituting began while Richard, the pioneer, was here, so he is the one who was mostly used by the Lord to guide us and laboured very hard for us to be constituted, so we thank the Lord for him. What we are now praying for is to appoint elders from within HBC—and deacons.

The Kukunis

I have been encouraged by reading the book of Acts. The life of the apostles and other believers in this book is a challenge for all of us in the church today. They lived sacrificial lives and they prized the purity of the church highly.

Our family is busy. We praise the Lord that home-schooling our children is starting to take shape. Besides the books, we have started doing extra mural activities with other home-schooling families in this small city of Bloemfontein. It is not easy to home school in this city, but we are managing by God’s grace.

Prayer Requests

  1. Pray for conversions and for people to stay on at Hope. Seeing that it is the beginning of the year, we have many visitors who come every Sunday, but unfortunately many of them do not stay.
  2. Pray for the young adults to commit themselves to the church.
  3. Pray for elders and deacons.
  4. Pray for the women’s ministry to thrive.
  5. Pray for this little church to stay home.

Grace and peace to you,

Tsholo

Comments

  1. I really thank the Lord for using Hope Bible Church to shine the light who is Christ, revealed in the gospel. It is my prayer that the hearts of men and women in Bloemfontein will hear the effectual call of God in their as the gospel is proclaimed by Hope Bible Church.
    We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.
    1 Thessalonians 1:2‭-‬8 NASB
    https://bible.com/bible/100/1th.1.2-8.NASB

    1. Good comment! May the gospel and the grace of our Lord Jesus go forward!

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