Ministry Update: Grace Baptist Church (Daveyton) (November 2018)

Dear brethren,

Below is the latest ministry update from Grace Baptist Church in Daveyton.

Thanksgiving

Time is flying so quickly. I can’t believe that we are approaching the end of the year. As a family, we thank God for raising people who are selfless and who desire to see the gospel spreading in the continent of Africa. We want you to know that we appreciate your generous giving to our ministry.

Family

As a family we had some ups and downs this month. One of the highlights of this month was the marriage conference we attended with my wife. The speaker was Dr. Tedd Tripp and his wife. This was one of the conferences this year that has strengthened our marriage and helped us to have lot of communication on several issues. We are so glad the Lord made it possible for us to attend it through the support of Lynwood Baptist Church in Pretoria.

My wife’s health has not been so good. We had to go and see a doctor. The doctor suspected that she may be suffering from a dysfunctional thyroid gland. He ran a few tests and we praise God that that was not the problem. However, we still have not put our finger on the problem. The doctor suggested that some of her sickness may be caused by the fact that she just had a baby. We are hoping the Lord will help us to find the problem.

Personal Life

I had mentioned last time that I was feeling tired more often. I have started exercising daily. The exercise has helped me a lot. I am feeling more rejuvenated now.

I also had an opportunity to attend the Spurgeon’s Fraternal. This is not a conference, but is a time where pastors gather on an island for three days for the purpose of discussing some issues that concern the church and spending more time in prayer. The primary topic discussed was racism in Reformed circles. It was the first time that I have sat with black and white pastors around a table to discuss the issue. It was clear that the issue is more on understanding and applying the gospel in our preaching, and in our daily life. The meeting was really intense, but we spent much time in prayer, which has revived my prayer life.

Church

I would like to share a testimony of Brother Johannes, who has been coming to our church for the past three months.

Brother Johannes came to know the Lord through a friend at work. He went to a Pentecostal Church for some time. He realised that he was not growing spiritually and was recommended to our church by a friend. He contacted me and came to church. After his first Sunday, he was so happy that he finally found a church that teaches the Bible.

He told me that his problem now is that his girlfriend is not a Christian. She goes to one of the traditional churches (ZCC). He was praying and sharing the gospel with her. The girlfriend came to visit our church. She was also amazed. According to her, it was her first time visiting a church that preaches the gospel and through the Bible. She went back home and we recommended her to go to Christ Baptist Church, where I studied. She’s been in touch with my wife and she spoke about how wonderful the church is and that the Bible has become new to her. She told brother Johannes that she has confessed her sin to God in her room for the first time and asked Jesus to saved her.

As a church, we are rejoicing with Brother Johannes. Please pray for them, that they may grow in the Lord. Brother Johannes is considering paying lobola (dowry) next year.

The issue of the land is been becoming harder than we expected. We were invited finally to the community meeting on 11 November. The chairperson for the meeting made it clear that, as a community, they have discussed that they won’t allow businesses inside that complex—including the church. All this was new to us, since we were excused from the meeting when this was discussed.

We requested to meet with the leaders and discuss this, because the land legally belongs to us and we don’t understand how they have made a decision as a community regarding land they don’t own. They have agreed. We are still waiting for them to call us. The municipality told us that the community does not have a right to stop us. In the meantime, we are looking for legal advice. Our fear is that we may have to take the issue to court if they insist. But we are praying that the community will be reasonable. We were told by some people in the community that they are not against the church and would love to see a church there. But these people are afraid to speak up in the meetings. Please pray with us that the Lord may soften the hearts of the leaders and may help those who want the church there to be bold.

Intern

This is the last term for our intern Zakhe Mkwanazi. We have discussed his future in our church. His desire is to continue with us at the church. He says he will be looking for a job and will work on his honours in theology.

We are so thankful to those who have partnered with us in supporting brother Zakhele. He has been a great help to me and to our church. Although he was an intern, he brought a lot of assistance and encouragement to me.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray that the Lord may give me strength to finish strong this year.
  • Pray that I will find a sponsor to do my honours in theology next year.
  • Pray that we will find out the problem with my wife’s health.
  • Praise the Lord with us: My wife passed her driver’s licence test.
  • Pray for the Lord to bless our evangelistic efforts in schools, clinics, and door to door.
  • Pray for the community where we bought the land to be reasonable in their demands and to reach consensus as we discuss the issue of the land.
  • Pray for the people who have started visiting our church—that the Lord would open the eyes of those who are not saved, and that those who are saved to find a home in our church.
  • Please continue to pray for brother Sipho. He is the brother whose sister committed suicide. He was also mugged this month and was very discouraged. But he still attends our Bible study. Pray that the Lord will save him.
  • Pray for brother Johannes and his girlfriend to grow in the Lord as we disciple them.
  • This year we are hosting African pastor Conference in Daveyton. The aim of this conference is to reach the pastors who don’t have opportunity to go to Bible school. It also provides good material at a reduced cost. Pray that the Lord will bring people who are teachable and willing to learn. This year topic is on the Marks of the Healthy Church and the pastors will receive Mark Dever’s book on the marks of a healthy church as a gift.