Please find herewith the latest ministry update (for June/July 2019) from Grace Baptist Church in Daveyton, South Africa.
A Pastor’s Home
It is such a great honour to partner with you in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are so humbled by your consistent prayer and giving to the work of building healthy churches in the townships. One of the key things in building healthy churches is having healthy families that resemble the character of Christ. This has been our pursuit as a family.
We’ve been reading through Dr Paul Tripp’s book on marriage titled What Did You Expect?We believe that our marriage matters in church planting. We desire to always set a Christlike example. This book has reminded us that we are sinners living in a broken world. It has reminded us to pray more for each other and to commit to forgive each other’s sins.
As a family we’ve been working tirelessly. We feel a bit of exhaustion. We are considering taking a sabbatical break. We don’t know how it will look, but we feel like we need it. Our plan is to do a meaningful sabbatical. We are thinking of doing an internship in a church for four months or so. We will be seeking more advice on this.
My wife has started her teaching practicals in one of the local high schools. We are hoping that she will use the two months there to reach out to the fellow colleagues and learners. Our two children, Zanecebo and Emihle, are doing well.
Every Friday we meet with young people in our home to watch Christian movies with them and answer their questions about life and Christianity. This past week we had a visitor who is originally from Germany, who is currently staying in Daveyton for three months to train the youth on hand ball sport.
Febri, the young man who was living with us, has found a job in Sandton and has since left us. This move was good for him but was a blow for the church since he was leading our music. But we are thankful for the time that we spent with him.
A New Reformed Church
I have been reading the Old Testament stories to learn more about the attributes of God. This reading has fueled a need to enquire of the Lord in all that I do. This has revived my prayer life and urged me to pray for church members by names. The Lord continues to open preaching opportunities for me in different township churches.
I’ve recently met with young man by the name of Zakhele Zungu. He has broken away from a Charismatic church with a few believers. They have been meeting in his house for a year and five months. He told me that he thought he is the only one who has come to a Reformed faith in his township. This has been an ongoing story in the townships. We keep meeting people who have come to the Reformed faith, with the Lord using different ways. The problem that these brothers face is that they don’t come from Reformed churches. So it is still hard to find likeminded churches for fellowship and to get support or assistance.
The Hardship of Ministry
Our church seems to be passing through difficult times right now. According to our plans, we were hoping to have already moved to our new place and reach the new area. But we are still working on getting a building plan and take it to the municipality for approval. This seems to be a lot of work. We have also experienced some fallout of reliable members. Some have left because of getting Jobs elsewhere. Others, I believe, are trying to run away from church discipline. But we are taking things very slow in dealing with them. This has been really discouraging to us as a family and some church members. Some of these people were so encouraging to us.
However, this has also worked together for good. Some people who were passive in serving at church have started availing themselves. I’ve also been encouraged by what I learned at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. I have used this situation to train our leaders to be involved in the lives of church members, and to learn to respond in a godly way in such situations.
School holidays provided us with huge opportunities to reach out to kids and youth while they were at home. We had a holiday Bible club and soccer tournament for older boys for one week.
Our goal for this outreach was twofold. First it was to train our young people on how to reach kids with the gospel. And secondly it was to reach out to children in our community. We had a very good turn up of kids. We started with 95 kids and we ended with 200 kids.
We are thankful for two churches partnered with us in providing meals for these kids. The first Church is Heritage Baptist Church. One of their members mobilised some people to give sandwiches and oranges. One couple from this church also came to assist us for two days and contributed by buying snacks for kids. The second church is Florida Baptist Church, which sent us freewill offering on their Easter Sunday, which also contributed to this outreach.
- Pray for my wife to be able to balance her life as a wife, mother, and student, and to have boldness to share the gospel in the school.
- Pray for the leaders of our church to be faithful as we have decided to go through the 9Marks material and to implement what I have learned during the intensive training.
- Pray for God’s wisdom in seeking to take a sabbatical break and, if the Lord allows us to have it, to find someone who may take care of our church work while we are on break.
- Pray that the Lord will use the current challenges to grow his church more in relying on him, not on our knowledge.
- Pray for the new property—that we will be able to get the building plan and begin to build something to be able to meet there.