Growing Deeper in the Knowledge of Christ

Greetings praying brothers and sisters,

This update of what the Lord is doing in Bloemfontein comes during times of trials in our country. When life is hard in the world, it is somewhat inevitable that it will also affect the believers in the church. But despite all of this “we must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” This truth is what has kept us trusting in the Lord, finding joy in him, and giving him the glory wherever we may be and despite what is happening in our country.

Family Update: Kukunis

We firstly want to thank the Lord for his grace that, as a family, we are growing in the knowledge of Christ. For our children, Warona (8) and Tikvah (5), who are going through the reading of the Gospel of John for their devotions every morning. For our ten-year wedding anniversary, they received Kids Bible (Christian Standard Bible) because in the ten years that we have been married they have brought so much joy to us which can only be attributed to the Lord. Therefore, since they can both read fluently, we got them what they asked for.

They started surprising us about three months ago by asking to read the Bible with us during the worship service so that they can follow the sermon. Their home-school curriculum has also been emphasising God’s work in science and history, so they wanted to know more about God. A few weeks ago, they picked up the theme of love in John’s Gospel and asked me to tell them more about the love of God. We spent time looking at gospel love from John that evening. A day later, they both asked me what they should do to become Christians because they love God the Father, and Jesus who died for them, and they want to live lives that are pleasing to God so that they may experience the love of God and not be judged by him as John 3 says. They prayed, repenting of their sins and asked God to make them Christians. Only time and the bearing of fruit will tell if the gospel seed fell on good soil.

As they are becoming more aware of careers different people follow, they are starting to express what they would like to pursue when they grow older. Tikvah wants to be something different every time he talks about what he’s going to be. What we know is that he loves his maths. Last year he entered a maths competition, won a trophy for it, and was crowned the champion of champions. This year he entered the Regional Championship, competed with eight-year-olds, and he won a gold medal for it. Warona wants to be a baker and a biblical scholar, she says. We glory in our Redeemer for our children.

I reported a while ago that Keitu started studying the Gospel of Mark for her personal devotion and to be able to entrust its gospel truths to the younger women and other faithful women in the church. With the aid of Michael Kruger’s women’s Bible study on Mark, she has started meeting with the women to study Mark together. The first meeting went well, and she was overjoyed by the response of the women. Some of them are members in the church, but some are not. However, those who are not have expressed the desire to become members in the church.

I, on the other hand, have been doing well in the Lord. I continually thank him for enabling me to have time to spend studying his word and shepherding his people. It is a privilege that comes with a serious charge from the one who is to judge the living and the dead. He watches me when I preach the word and when I live out the word. He has been good to me, enabling me to handle the pressures that come with ministry. As part of him causing me to grow in sanctification and the knowledge of Christ, he has enabled me to fulfil some academic requirements for the studies I have embarked on.

Many of you prayed for me and reached out to me when I struggled with my health. Your love and care carried Keitu and I through those difficult times and we can only thank the Lord that it has been a while since I became seriously ill. My doctor is happy with my health, and I can see and feel the improvement as well. Even though my health is good, I got very ill around 27 April. I ended up not being able to walk. I had an awful amount of acid in my stomach, became nauseas, and I lost my voice due to a throat/oesophagus infection. Our deacon, Frank, assisted me greatly by taking me to the doctor and preached on my behalf that Sunday. You can find the sermon below.

Church Life Update

As I began this update by stating that we live in difficult times, that has been used by the Lord to prepare us to live the Christian life in season and out of season. Part of the preparation has been Pastor Tebogo’s study in the book of James. He began with the exposition of James last year, before we started to really experience the challenges of living in our beautiful country. Now that we are bordering on being a failed state we have been prepared to “count it all joy when we encounter various trials.” Additionally, we studied 1 Timothy 6, which prepared us for godliness with contentment. The Lord has taught us not to complain about these things that he is in control of, but to do our Christian duties in all situations. It has been a joy seeing our church respond by putting to practice these teachings we have had.

As a church, we are also busy with the inductive Bible studying through 1 Corinthians and James. It is encouraging to see the church grow in observation, interpretation, and application of biblical texts. During the Easter recess, we had the opportunity to look at the topic of Bible translations, manuscripts, and textual/biblical criticism. These are subjects that are dear to me, so I was happy when the members asked me to teach on these. These led to a deeper and greater appreciation of our Bibles, and some people responded by changing the translations they used to more reliable ones. This was complemented by the Systematic Theology class by Wayne Grudem that we currently have once a month which is currently on the doctrine of bibliology. Our street evangelism has been revived after some time of not doing it. Pastor Tebogo is leading it, joined mostly by the men in the church and occasionally by his entire family. It was good seeing his little ones handing out gospel tracts to strangers.

New Members and Adherents

At the coming QGM on 14 June, Lord willing, we will take in new members to become part of the FSBC body. We thank the Lord for saving these young adults and for bringing them to us to embark on the Great Commission together. In addition, we have a few adherents who are going through the membership course with the desire to become members when they are eligible. These are some of the good and encouraging works of God that make us rejoice in him as a transient little church.

Visitation by Criminals

About two weeks ago, we were visited by criminals who damaged the steel fence to gain entry onto the property, broke the kitchen window to get into the church, and stole some items. It was between Friday night and Saturday morning. They stole the speaker and mixer, which we desperately need. Without them, we can’t amplify our voices and relay sound to the mother’s room. They also stole the blankets we use for the winter season when our hall gets very cold. They also stole clothes we keep at church for the needy when they need clothing. Lastly, they also stole the garden trimmer (weed eater) that we recently purchased. The grass and weeds at church grow very tall, causing us to not have enough parking space, so this trimmer was very useful.

Thankfully, when the men who noticed that there was a break-in arrived at the police station to file a criminal complaint, they found some of our stolen items there. The police told us that they found one man with them in the night and apprehended him as he looked suspicious. The docket is opened, and we have a case number, but we found out that it will not be easy to get the items back because we must prove that they are ours. The suspect can also claim that they are his, so unless we produce proof that they are ours and that he stole them from us it will be a challenge to get them back. It appears he was not alone because the other items are still missing.

Two days later we fitted a new window, but the thieves returned again at night and took down the window. Thinking they were done, last week Wednesday during Bible study they came in again and stole wheel covers of one of the elderly members of the church. She was troubled and rattled by this, which made it difficult for her to consider attending evening services. But she turned to the Lord and said that she will trust him and will continue coming to church. We were once reminded that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” Considering this, we ought to not be weary of serving the Lord faithfully and praying for the thieves to come to salvation and join us in growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ so that we may contribute positively to our beloved country until the Lord returns.

Prayer Requests and Thanksgiving

  1. Pray for seed planted in my children, that their hearts were truly fertile the time they asked the Lord to convert them. Thank the Lord for them.
  2. Pray for the women as they study Mark that they will grow in the knowledge of Christ and spread the gospel as a result.
  3. Thank the Lord for adding new members to our church. Pray for the ongoing discipleship for those who desire to take membership, and for those who need to be baptised.
  4. Thank God for a church that loves his word and responds by applying it. Some do not fully apply what they hear, but pray for them, including those who are not yet saved but continue to sit under the preaching of the gospel.
  5. Pray for the salvation of the thieves who committed burglary at church, and for success in recovering our stolen items.

Grace and peace to you,