Ministry Update: Nelspruit Bible Church (South Africa) (June 2019)

Dear brethren,

Please find below the latest ministry update from Richard Peskett and Nelspruit Bible Church in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Christ WILL Build His Church

We have recently moved to a bigger venue for our Sunday meetings. The church we are renting from continue to be kind and supportive, giving us flexibility to grow. In the last year seven members (out of 21) have relocated. We miss them, but currently we have nine applications for membership (including some baptisms) in the pipeline. The Lord continues to build his church, in his good time. We are not discouraged.

We are thankful for the many testimonies of those leaving NBC being eager to serve in their new churches, better equipped to reach and teach others. The make-up of our Sunday meetings appears to be getting younger while we get older! We have three pregnant ladies expecting their first babies. All these ladies have decided to leave their paid employment to raise their children at home. This is such a joy to us as we see families laying aside double-salary comfort to take the nurture of their children seriously, even when it goes against the approval of the world.

As Telda is spending more time focusing on the family, the women’s meetings had to fall by the wayside. How wonderful it was when one of the younger ladies took up the baton. Jemma is doing an excellent job humbly facilitating a bi-monthly “Women of the Word” meeting. We read excellent books to encourage us in our growth and maturity. Iron Men also meet bi-monthly and friendships are being formed as we hear of people discipling each other, praying together, memorising Scripture together and reading books together. How wonderful to see the church building each other up without the Pesketts being directly involved. The Lord is gracious.

Eldership Training

Richard has started eldership training with six young men (and Knowledge). We are hopeful that some might stay the course proving to be godly NBC elders in a couple of years. They work hard reading a couple of books every month, listening to chosen sermons and writing reports. There is a lovely sense of unity between the men as they see the privilege and high calling of being a shepherd of the Lord’s flock.

Richard still longs for a fellow elder or mature believer to work alongside him in teaching, discipling, counselling, and decision making. We know the Lord will provide when he deems fit. Richard is also still looking-out for local black-African pastors he can come alongside and encourage. It seems a slow work, but please pray for Sthembiso and Raymond in this regard. Richard has travelled away several times this year to conferences and met many godly pastors, but none from within 100km of Nelspruit.

Nelspruit Bible Church Intern

Knowledge, our first NBC intern is a part of our family and is a quiet encouragement to us all. He was hoping to go home at least once this year but because of instability in Zimbabwe, he has decided to stay in South Africa for fear of not being able to enter again if he goes home. Sadly, this has happened to one of his fellow students who has had to leave his studies in South Africa when he was inexplicably denied access to South Africa at the border. Knowledge is a great “big brother” to Andrew. They go on early morning bike rides and walks together. What a blessed addition he has been to us. He is eager to learn and devours any reading material Richard assigns to him.

Family

The past six months have brought a rollercoaster of joys and challenges as one of our boys has experienced nightmares, which have led to extreme fear and anger and even hatred. It has brought new opportunities for us to appreciate the remarkable love of Christ as we see his relentless love undeterred by our response to him. We started reading Age of Opportunity by Tripp to see how we could best help the boys, only to have our own idols exposed and clear evidences that we needed to do some self-examination and changes in our parenting approach. How we praise our God who always and only brings us good. It has been a steep learning curve and a time of growth for us all. We are grateful for a God who changes hearts and minds, so we have much hope.

The adoption process is moving forward at what feels like snail’s pace, but it is going forward! Richard finally receiving an official South African identity number may be another help in speeding up the process.

Praise

  1. There is much evidence of God’s grace in the lives of our members.
  2. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. The Lord continues to provide for our needs: The church contributes about 60% to our needs.
  3. Knowledge’s visa and arrival at NBC. And for his encouragement in the Lord.
  4. There are more committing to membership.

Petition

  1. For us to count every trial as joy knowing it comes from our perfect heavenly father for our good.
  2. For the finalising of Andrew and Tyler’s adoption.
  3. For “fringe” visitors to see the importance of the local church.
  4. For Richard to meet local pastors, and wisdom as to whether or not he should learn Siswati (at age 55).
  5. For souls to be saved.

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