Ministry Update: Makhaza Reformed Baptist Church (Khayelitsha, South Africa) (September 2019)

Dear brethren,

It is such a joy to know that we have a family of believers that supports us with their prayers, and we also thank you for taking your time to read our report. Please do continue to pray with us.

Family

We as the family are doing well and are in good health—the children included. We hope that the Lord will continue to give us wisdom in raising our children. My wife, Sethu, has just began reading Knowing God by J. I. Packer and has been encouraged by it. She has applied for fulltime studies next year in several universities. Some have rejected her applications. We are waiting to hear from others. Keep us in prayer.

Ministry

The Lord has been good to us, helping us to be there for one another and care for one another in Christ. The Lord has been helping us to have good relationships among each other as the church. We still struggle with issues of commitment from some members and others have been going through personal challenges. We would appreciate your prayers.

It is a blessing to be surrounded by a good and wise eldership team that always willing to assist. They lead our Sunday services and often help in preaching. Bulelani, my colleague, has been going through The Deliberate Church with all the men, although at times it is difficult to meet because of availability to some. Bulelani’s wife has been struggling this year with an illness called fibromyalgia. It is described as permanent and incurable and makes her to struggle with her work. This has caused difficulties for them and they have to make crucial decisions with regards her employment. He is now forced to look for a job. Do keep them in your prayers in these trying times; he has been a blessing for us in the church being full-time in ministry.

I have noted previously that we have been negotiating for a church building for the past years; it has been a frustrating period for us.

We are raising an amount of R300,000 for the building, but R100,000 is needed urgently in order for us to occupy the building. We have applied for a loan for the money from our Baptist Association but after waiting for a long time for an answer, they came back saying they do not have the funds and they will write to the Baptist Union. Being a Reformed work, we are not sure if we will get the assistance. The challenge currently is that the church building has been unoccupied since the beginning of the year and now it has been vandalised.

The community has been concerned and asking questions about it. They fear that it will be used for violence and drugs by criminals, especially now that we are approaching December. There has been talks among the community members to take it unceremoniously and use it for their activities if there is no movement. There have also been other Charismatic churches who have been trying to buy it, and they have the money, but we have been given a first preference since the building was previously occupied by a Baptist church for years. We covet need your prayers and support in raising this amount.

Here are the banking details where you can contribute.

Bank: First National Bank
Account Name: Makhaza Reformed Baptist Church
Account Number: 7477 0085 171
Branch Code: 250 655
Reference: Building Fund

This month, I visited the Baptist Church in Stellenbosch for preaching, since they parted ways with their pastor. I now and then assist them in preaching. The church has been hurt by all its previous pastors so they are afraid of calling a pastor or to have someone helping them in the process. They do need your prayers. The church is Pentecostal, but I am grateful to have the opportunity to preach the gospel there and to expose them to expository preaching.

The radio program that I have been doing some teachings on various topics have been really going well. The program host has been receiving a good feedback from the listeners. People have been asking for recordings and notes for all the talks that I have done for the whole year and those of last year. And they have been asking the host to bring me in every week.

Usually the program host contacts the guest and ask him to deal with a certain topic, but now the host has asked me to draft a list of topics and a schedule for next coming months and next year. The listenership of this station is over ninety-percent Charismatic, so I am grateful for such opportunities to have this platform for teaching. I was also called to another program that deals only with preaching; it was the first time doing the preaching. The feedback was good as well. I hope this door will open as well, so that the listeners would be exposed to this model of preaching and faithfulness to the text.

I was also called to another radio station, but since this was going to be too much work to handle, I was able to recommend my colleague, Bulelani, for two consecutive weeks to do the talk, and he did a good job. We are grateful to the Lord for these opportunities and we hope that there will be more of such, because the people need to hear the gospel.

Since I have been on the radio, one of the independent Charismatic church pastors in Gugulethu heard me mention in passing about the gospel in Africa in the early centuries. He contacted me to ask me to deal with that topic in his church. I was able to expose them to Augustine and his theology. I have given the pastor some books to read and I hope the Lord will use these readings to shape his theological understanding.

We are still continuing with the Bible study on the book of Romans with the CPUT SCO’s preachers’ forum. In the last couple of weeks we have been battling with chapters 8 and 9. The Lord has been good and the change has been visible. One of the things we do before we begin with the Bible study is to review sermons. Every Friday night, the SCO has services whereby they invite preachers. Sometimes those who belong to the preachers’ forum will do the preaching. So, when we meet Saturdays we review those sermons, and they have been really improving. They are able to differentiate sermons. My colleague, Bulelani, also preached in one of their events, and they were so encouraged. This exposed them on handling the text well. Recently, there have been some new faces coming to these Bible studies, and we hope that they will stay so that we can study the Bible together.

Prayer Items

  • Pray for my wife’s application for studies to be accepted.
  • Pray for the spiritual growth of our church, and to help us in our finances since we have been struggling with them.
  • Pray for commitment on the members.
  • Pray for Bulelani’s family with the difficulty they are going through, and that the Lord will have provision for them.
  • Pray that the Lord will work in the hearts of the listeners through these opportunities, and that they will be exposed to sound biblical doctrine.
  • Pray for safety as I travel in the early hours of the morning for the radio program. The program is on Saturday at 5:00 AM. I have to be in the studio at 4:30 AM. It is usually quiet on the road and dark, so it can be unsafe to travel at such a time. Please do pray about that.
  • Pray that there Lord will open more opportunities in other churches and to interact with some of these pastors.
  • Pray that the Lord will help the church in Stellenbosch to overcome her fears, and that the Lord will raise the right person to lead that church.

Thank you for your prayers,

Sizwe Maseti

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