Ministry Update: Grace Baptist Church (Daveyton, South Africa) (April/May 2020)

Greetings, brothers and sisters, by the grace of God.

It is a great honour and privilege to be part of God’s work in calling sinners to him and in preparing his flock for his coming. As a family, we are grateful for your prayers and your sacrifice to take part through your love gifts that you send to us and your prayers. May the Lord remember your love and your care for those who are upfront in going to hard places to search and seek God’s elect. We believe that, one day, the Lord will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” To some, he will say well done for faithful giving. To some, he will say well done for faithful preaching. We are all in the vineyard of the master, playing different roles.

The Unexpected Visitor in 2020

As you know, the whole world have received an unexpected visitor this year: COVID-19. I will share how this visitor challenged us in townships, how it has drawn families together, and how it has opened new doors for the gospel.

The Pastor’s Home

COVID-19 has given my family plenty of time to be locked down together for fifty days plus. It has given us time to reflect on our marriage, on our parenting, and on our involvement in ministry as a family. We have listened to 33 series of Authentic Manhood. We listened to the one on marriage, which helped me a great deal on areas I was starting to slack on in my marriage. I was challenged on being a better servant leader, to serve my wife more around the house, which I had neglected with the busyness of ministry.

We have also been blessed by the unrushed time in our family devotions, allowing us to dig deeper in the treasures of Scripture together. This has been refreshing to both of us and to our kids. We have started teaching them memory verses. On the issue of parenting, we were challenged to take leadership. We’ve been reading a book The Disciplines of a Godly Family. It was such a relief after working tirelessly waking up and submitting to the sinfulness of our kids. Now we refuse to be controlled by them, especially when they manipulate us through tears. We thank God for the time that COVID-19 provided for us. Indeed, God’s word is true that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).

God’s Family

When we heard that we will go into lockdown for 21 days, we gathered with a few saints together to record three services. We thought that, after 21 days, we would meet, not knowing that James’s writings would be practically applied in our lives, especially when he says we must say, “If the Lord wills, we will do this and that.” After three weeks, we had to learn to preach on camera. We had to learn to upload our sermons to Facebook. We had to learn to use Zoom to have evening service and interact with each other there. We had to learn to use WhatsApp to share audio sermons for those that can’t afford data for Facebook or Zoom. We phoned our people more during this time than in our entire years of our church plant. We have prayed for them more. I can truly say all things work together for good. All these things we had to learn in a very short time. I was encouraged by one church member who wrote me a message for the first time. She was reading a Twitter story of a pastor who opened a website and said members must pay R80 monthly subscription fee for his sermons. And she said she was grateful to be not paying for the word of God. She said, “We thank you for your hard work.”

God’s Lost Sheep

Our evangelistic efforts have moved from school ministry and clinic ministry to Facebook and WhatsApp platforms and to distributing food.

We populate our Facebook page with the expository sermons. Our people share our Bible studies with their families and friends. I was also asked to send audio sermons to a different province—Mpumalanga (300 km away from us)—to be played in a local radio station. For the first time, these new doors were open. Our sermons are being played on different WhatsApp groups.

We are thankful that the Lord provided for us to also meet some physical needs in our community. We received some money to buy food for those who are less privileged in our church from Harvest missions. We also received a second round of money to buy food from brother Donavan, an elder at Living Hope Church. We were also asked by someone in the community to use our church building to distribute food. We have done all this and we hope that the people who have visited our church to come and collect food will, at the right time, come and visit our church.

Prayer Requests

Please do pray for us.

  1. Pray that our church members will grow more and more in the knowledge of Jesus during this time.
  2. Pray that the Lord will bless our efforts of using social media to preach the gospel and that these open doors will continue even after COVID-19.
  3. Pray for many people to give and donate money so that we can help those in our churches who are struggling during this time and be able to extend a hand to those that we reach with the gospel.
  4. Thank God with us for our health. We are doing well. We have not heard anyone in our midst who suffered from COVID-19 or whose family members are infected.

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