Greetings brothers and sisters,
Please find herewith the latest ministry news from Richard and Telda Peskett at Nelspruit Bible Church in South Africa.
“I don’t want to go to church!”
Richard loves the local church, and he delights in meeting on the Lord’s Day. It was shocking in January when he said he didn’t want to go to church! Was it spiritual apathy? No! In the space of a couple of weeks he had an accident resulting in too many stiches, he contracted COVID-19, and he got an infection from a mango worm. We are grateful that, after several weeks, he recovered and regained his strength, joy, and desire to go to church! These incidents are good reminders of the frailty of life and how each day may be our last. We make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps. Telda continues to home-school the boys and is kept busy with many visitors gracing us with their company. We are still praying for the salvation of our boys. Andrew (15) is loving gymnastics and anything physically challenging. Charles (9) is a cheerful boy who delights to play the piano, sometimes for hours a day.
After three years living with our family, Knowledge has returned to Zimbabwe. It is great to be a sending church. He came, he learnt, he went out to serve our Lord better equipped. But sending is a bittersweet business. Knowledge was the most wonderful blessing to our home and to our church. His quiet trust in the Lord’s greatness and goodness was a constant witness to us. One day we were studying the seriousness of grumbling in our family Bible time. We could recall only one time that Knowledge had grumbled, and that “complaint” was desiring a bigger watering can so that he could water the plants better! How lovely to be known as a man who is content and godly, always serving others. Whether he cooked a family meal or spent hours chatting to Andrew after the family went to bed, he always looked for ways to serve. He has left a huge hole. We were privileged to have him with us for three years. We are now awaiting our next intern … or maybe two?
New Boy on the Block
Our closest Bible teaching church, in Melelane, has just appointed a fantastic pastor who is also a friend. This church, one hour drive away, has been precious to us for many years, especially as five of our members have moved there. Richard and Nel meet monthly, and pulpit swap every few months to keep close ties between the two churches. Being far away from the centre of South Africa makes these relationships sweeter. Now our desire is to fill the gaps between us with other Christ-exalting churches.
A double baptism is imminent. One baptism is Katlego, a young, black student who is eager and earnest. The second baptism is Maud, an Afrikaans grandmother who was drawn to the Lord after seeing the change in her 36-year-old son. We continue to rejoice in the spectrum of folk that the Lord is bringing into his family. For a country so broken by apartheid and hatred, these people love each other regardless of colour or age or background. It is a true testimony to the saving work of Christ before whom all are equal. A young lady visiting recently commented that she had never seen anything as unusual as the NBC family. Praise God! He alone can do such extraordinary things!
More! More! More! Local and Rural
Richard continues to keep training men a priority. The official process of appointing two elders has finally begun, with the help of Antioch Bible Church. A couple of other men have so enjoyed biblical training that they are considering changing careers to become full-time pastors. Praise the Lord for men at NBC who love Christ and want to serve him more. We are also grateful for more opportunities to train rural pastors, especially through an accredited theology course. Many such men have been to Bible colleges where they have been trained in methods and management, but barely know the Bible, and certainly don’t know how to preach faithfully. They are eager to learn.
NBC is changing! Besides the baby boom, those who used to be dedicated to NBC alone now have wives and children to serve. Men are stretched at work as they have a Christ-serving work ethic and therefore are given more and more responsibility. Visitors to NBC are staying and needing discipling. We are thankful for a faithful, united core group of believers. In our seventh year we are feeling a little more like an established church and less like a church plant. These two sisters in Christ have been serving NBC tirelessly from the early days.
Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” Katlego is the fourth person who has had strong opposition from his family when wanting to join NBC. Traditional values and loyalties die hard in the African culture. It is easy to please everyone if we are not too eager about following Christ. It is easy to not rock the boat when we are not too bothered about God’s truth. As soon as we take a stand for the King, we become a target for the enemy’s archers. Please pray for these brave believers who are nailing their colours to the mast, that they would be gentle and gracious as they follow their Master, no matter where he leads.
Thank God with us for:
- continued provision from God for all our needs;
- joyful unity;
- members bringing colleagues and friends to church; and
- hearers taking God’s word seriously.
Pray with us for:
- God to bring revival to Nelspruit;
- wise appointment of elders;
- the salvation of Andrew and Charles; and
- Richard possibly training further.
Thank you for taking the time to read about the ministry in Nelspruit.
For Nelspruit Bible Church
Richard and Telda Peskett