Ministry Update: Nelspruit Bible Church (December 2018)

Dear brethren,

Please find below the latest update from Nelspruit Bible Church in Nelspruit, South Africa.

Family

We thank the Lord for his kindness in gifting us with the most wonderful boys. By his grace, he has knit our hearts together and it is as though they have always been a part of our family.

We continue to pursue adoption, but it is a slow and sanctifying process. We wait upon the Lord and his perfect timing. Please continue to pray that Andrew and Tyler will soon be Pesketts and that we will train them with patience and godliness to become men of God.

Provincial Government Buildings

We continue to pray for our government. Transformed hearts is the only path to combatting the rampant corruption, racism, and entitlement attitudes that prevail. We are grateful that Richard continues to have an open door to proclaim Christ weekly to government employees. A small group of people have been attending Christianity Explained. After Richard had spoken at length about the authority of Jesus on display in Mark’s Gospel (calming the storm, raising the dead, forgiving sin, etc.) a man in the group exclaimed, “But don’t we have the same authority?” He was saying, in effect, that Jesus is not so special compared to us, since we have been given that same authority—and this man pastors a local church. Such is the man-centred, unbiblical thinking that abounds and needs to be corrected.

Rural Opportunity

Richard invited a local rural pastor, Sthembiso, to a Sola 5 conference. He is a humble, teachable man. They meet monthly and have a warm relationship. Sthembiso was impacted by the biblical teaching at the conference. Richard (with Matt Viljoen) will be running a weekend conference at our home in January for ten young pastors that Sthembiso would like to see trained in sound doctrine. Please pray that this will be fruitful and will lead to the true gospel spreading into surrounding rural areas.

Across the Border

We are hopeful that a young Zimbabwean man, Knowledge, will be staying with us from January. He desires to complete a four-year theological degree at Christ Baptist Seminary. He will be staying with us for two weeks then on campus for two weeks. We are excited about our first Nelspruit Bible Church intern!

Please pray for Knowledge—that all the necessary paperwork will be completed so that he can get his visa to study in South Africa. Pray too that Richard and Knowledge will be like iron sharping iron so that Knowledge can return to Zimbabwe after four years, equipped to pastor and be a light in that needy country.

We are also grateful that NBC is mission-minded. Although we are not financially self-supporting, still members are eager to give generously and look outwards rather than inwards. We thank those who support the work here. Please be encouraged that your support is stretching further afield than Nelspruit, and even South Africa.

In-House

There have been a few wonderful events at church in the past six months. Most encouraging is that they don’t feel like “events,” but rather like family gatherings.

We had our first church weekend away. Again, we thank our Father for the joy and unity of those whom he has graciously brought to NBC.

Using Shepherding a Child’s Heart material, we hosted our first parenting weekend. Parents were teachable and eager to raise their children God’s way. We are grateful for the families who attend NBC.

Wendell and Jan Cantrell spoke at our first marriage enrichment weekend. Their gentle, winsome manner (as well as over fifty years of marriage under their belt) won the hearts of those attending. One of our highlights was a comment weeks later by a young wife: “We are so happy that the Lord has brought us to NBC. My husband has grown so much in the last year. Here he has godly men to be an example to him. He wants to be like them and he asked me this week how he can best encourage me to grow in Christ. I never thought he would do that.”

Praise

  • Unity and joyful members at NBC.
  • More families joining us on Sundays.
  • Continued financial support enabling us to reach out beyond the borders of Nelspruit and South Africa.
  • The identification of a potential future elder. Training will begin in January.
  • Members of the church growing in maturity in Christ, delight in God’s word and zeal for evangelism.

Petition

  • Knowledge’s visa to study in SA in January.
  • Adoption of Andrew and Tyler.
  • Mature believers to join NBC to help with counselling and leading.
  • Hearts and lives would continue to be changed through the word of God.
  • That a growing number of newcomers will commit to church membership.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1).