Dear friends,

Please find herewith the latest ministry news from Richard and Telda Peskett at Nelspruit Bible Church (NBC) in Nelspruit, South Africa.

Family News

Richard remains happily busy, often tired in the Lord’s work but never tired of it. His DMin studies have had him reading thousands of helpful and wonderful pages and the assignments have been invaluable. He has more and more opportunities to speak of his first love, Jesus. He now speaks at two retirement homes and the local school. The NBC elders are godly men who support him and love him and try to make sure he doesn’t overdo it! He often feels the weight of shepherding the sheep, especially those who are straying. (We have had our first Matthew 18 case. We were so grateful that it did not cause any division in the church and many wept as sin was exposed.) After eight years in South Africa, Richard finally gave up on getting his UK driver’s license converted to an SA license. Instead, he joined the 18-year-olds and studied for his learner’s license. He passed his driver’s test on his second attempt after coming face-to-face with South African injustice and corruption. At least it is done—another bit of endless paperwork conquered, made necessary by moving continents.

Telda continues to keep joyfully busy loving her husband, home schooling the boys, and leading a ladies’ Bible study. She is being challenged through a one-year biblical counselling course which requires 120 Bible verses memorised and many excellent books to be read. It has been a big, worthwhile commitment.

Andrew (age 16) has left our family home and is making his own way in the big wide world. We are grateful to still be in touch with him almost daily, although his choices are heart-breaking, and we can see them leading to destruction. We continue to pray for his salvation. Charlie P misses his big brother.

Charlie P (age 10) is a bundle of chattering energy and sunshine. He still loves animals and the piano and running around barefoot. He recently taught himself Amazing Grace and blessed us leading our family worship on piano. He is reading through the Bible in a year and is fascinated by Revelation. He is eager to please Christ and has a tender conscience.

Lethu (age 16) has been part of our church and our family for about six years. He is finally living with us permanently. His Gogo is thrilled that he has an opportunity to be educated one-to-one rather than drowning in a rural classroom of 53 pupils and one teacher. We are thrilled that we can invest in him spiritually. He is grateful and teachable and loves his Bible.

We continue to have Mazwi living with us, our intern from Zimbabwe. He preached his first sermon last week for NBC. (Go to our website to hear him.)

Dawn (age 82!), Telda’s wonderful mother, is also still with us. We are blessed by these residents who care for us and help tirelessly around the house.

Nelspruit Bible Church

Constant encouragements keep coming. Christ continues to be faithful to his bride, the church. Recently a few mature couples have joined us. It is wonderful to see weary saints gain a new lease of life as they discover Christ and a reason to start really living. One couple tearfully informed us that, after 28 years of marriage, they have never been so in love! They have simply started hearing and living as the Bible instructs. After attending church their whole lives, they still remain mystified how truth has been hidden for so long. We praise God that he has opened their eyes to the beauty of Christ, and they are being doers of the word, thereby reaping the rewards of joy, peace and hope.

Students. The Lord has blessed young Thando with the gift of evangelism. After he saved her some months back, she can’t stop talking about Jesus because she loves him. Through her we have had an influx of students who have brought a new dynamic to the church. Sunday lunches usually have us hosting between 20 and 30 people. One chicken pie is no longer enough! We continue to be thankful that we live in a warm country so that folk can spill outdoors. Often our most meaningful conversations happen over Sunday lunch as people discuss the sermon and we follow up on spiritual issues. We are grateful that conversations are seldom trivial. NBC remains a mixed bunch of saved sinners with a huge variety of ages, languages and ethnicities. We thoroughly enjoy each other’s company and Sundays remain the highlight of our week.

Passing on the baton. Richard Senna was saved about six years ago through a Christianity Explained course run by Richard at the local government buildings. He graduated from pupil to teacher and has just completed teaching his first Christianity Explained course at NBC. He is a gentle and clear teacher who can now point others to life’s answers in the Scriptures. We praise God that he is passing on what he received.

First NBC Ladies’ Retreat. While the men needed to “man up” on their annual weekend away by making fires if they wanted the luxury of hot water, the ladies were spoilt rotten! A generous saint booked out her luxury lodge for us, fed us like queens, and pampered us in every conceivable way. On top of this we were well fed by the word as Danielle exhorted us to not be anxious, but rather to cast our anxieties upon the Lord. Everyone left the weekend feeling as though they had been on a tropical island for at least a week. What a kind gift from the Lord.

Other news. We have just finished going through Romans in our Bible studies. It was a great study of the gospel, and for many the first time they had come across the doctrine of justification. Richard continues to meet regularly with a few local rural pastors to train them. This is a vital work, encouraging these men to be faithful as they preach and teach God’s word—a very great rarity in these parts. Several families have had babies and have their hands full—the dynamics of NBC is changing, praise God, but we remain committed to exalting Christ, edifying the saints, and evangelising the lost.

Thank you for your prayerful support, which we covet. We hope that our next newsletter is not so overdue.

South Africa

You have seen the news. The country continues to fall apart. People in the church, even the wealthy, are often without electricity and water, sewage running down our streets is a common occurrence, and inflation is rampant as institutionalised corruption goes unchecked. And yet, there is nowhere we would rather be! South Africa is beautiful. The sun shines constantly. The people are open and friendly. And most importantly, we can still speak openly about Christ, our living hope and coming King.

For Christ,

Richard Peskett