Greetings in Christ’s name. September and October were not the busiest months for us at Hope Bible Church. While they were not busy, we were mindful of the fact that the Lord is busy at Hope. We may, at the moment, not be seeing the fruit we have come to associate with the Lord’s work, but we know that the Lord is at work indeed.
Our family is doing well in the Lord. We enjoy good health for which we are grateful. We have just finished writing exams, which kept us very busy the past two months (even though studying law is a spare time thing for me, so I can’t say examinations kept me busy). We have started preparing for next year so that we can take an early break at the start of next year. We do not like going away during the December holidays because during this time many people are away.
As I said above, it may feel like the Lord is not doing any work among us, because we long for extraordinary works, but his ordinary means of grace keep us going and that is extraordinary spiritually.
I have just preached through the book of Hebrews, beginning December 2017, and on 17 November, on my birthday, I preached on 13:7–9, 17–19. Verse 8 is important, in that it is the unchangeableness of Christ that keeps us going because our ministry and the gospel we preach never changes, like Christ never changes. That is important. It is the same things that we do every Sunday and when we gather corporately that are the means of grace by which God is holding us fast.
Next year, Lord willing, when everyone is back, we are going to embark on the expository study of the book of 1 Corinthians. Please pray that I will preach faithful expository, Christ-exalting, edifying, building up, and convicting sermons.
As a church, we continue to pray without ceasing. We have prayer meetings on Sunday morning before the main service and on Sunday evening after the teaching of the word of God.
On the horizon, we have three prospective members who are applying for membership, and at this stage, it looks like all three of them will be taken in as members at the Annual General Meeting next year.
I have started on focussing on getting more people involved in counselling at church. Frank & Ruleen, Mbongeni & Tshiamelo (husbands and wives) had the privilege of attending a biblical counselling workshop with Dr. Joel James at Benoni Bible Church in Johannesburg. The intention was for them to be exposed to what biblical counselling entails, with the hopes of sensing if counselling is an area the Lord could use them in at Hope Bible Church. They all came back feeling positive and desiring to take it further by being further equipped so that we can have many biblical counsellors in the church.
We received a visit from our sending church, Emmanuel Baptist Church. Usually when churches visit us, we do activities with them, centring on evangelising. This time it was a joy just to have EBC visit us to encourage us. There is something encouraging about the presence of believers in our lives. Theirs was indeed a welcomed visit. We spent time around the braai, and we got to know one another better, and we talked a lot about what and how both churches are doing ministry, so that we may glean from each other.
That Sunday, we fellowshipped together before they drove back to Johannesburg to be at their evening service at EBC. That Sunday evening at our prayer meeting we had a good number of prayer points taken from our conversation, about EBC, to take to the Lord.
- Because of the holiday season, many people go away. Do pray that those who are staying behind would not be discouraged by the low turnout and that we would remain steadfast, and faithful.
- Please pray for safe travels for our people and safe returns next year.
- Please pray for the students who are waiting for their exam results that they will accept them in a God glorifying way. Pray that the Lord will keep them during the festive break, and that those who are coming back will come back rejuvenated. Pray that the Lord will continue to grant them the funds as they continue studying.
- Thank God for our prayer partners and financial supporters.
Grace and peace to you,