Ministry Update: Reformed Faith Mission (August 2018)

Dear brethren,

Grace and peace be multiplied to you. I rejoice in my prayers for you and celebrate the grace of God whenever I think of your love towards me and my family and the ministry to which the Lord has called us. I praise God that I am accepted in the Beloved.

I am deeply challenged by the words of the Lord to the church in Sardis, “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1). May we never be a church with a reputation of being alive, but in reality are dead! May I never have a reputation of being alive, but found dead in the sight of my Saviour. May I continue to pursue him in the beauty of his holiness.

I have been very busy with assignments for the “Church in Hard Places Apprenticeship Program” conducted by Mezz McConnell from 20 Schemes. Church in Hard Places is a resource sharing collaborative that trains and supports indigenous church leaders in poor communities. It has been a tremendous joy to be part of this program and to meet with church planters all over the world for prayer and encouragement every month now for a year.

I have the privilege to teach the Christian Leadership Program (CLP) again this year, which affords me the opportunity to influence pastors from different religious persuasions, most of which are Pentecostals and some Zionists. The CLP is a three-year programme of the Bible Institute of SA (BISA), offering Bible-based leadership studies, aimed at pastors, church leaders and lay workers who desire further training in the field of Christ-centred preaching and church leadership. I am also currently still busy with my theological studies through BISA via their Distance Learning Program.

Family

I am currently reading through Revelation with the boys and am finding it very exciting as I see the strange look upon their faces when they read about “four living creatures full of eyes” and dragons, etc. It is a joy to relate all these images to Christ and his Bride.

My wife is doing well, except for the frequent migraines. She is enjoying ministry and time with the family. She is still working fulltime as a nurse at a public clinic and has had many opportunities to share the gospel with her clients. She is very bold and vocal about her stance against abortion and was able to persuade some girls not to kill their babies. I am surprised that her manager has not yet reported her bold convictions to the authorities. Please keep her in prayer.

We have taken in an 18-year-old boy, Devin (who is more like a 14-year-old), who has been physically abused all his life. Two weeks before we took him in he was beaten unconscious by his dad with a pickaxe, who vowed to kill him. We have taken him in permanently and are just amazed at how the Lord has brought healing in his life. He shows a keen interest in the Scriptures and the things of God and is doing very well in school. Please pray for his salvation.

We are also in the process of adopting a baby and are excited to see who the Lord will place in our family. The kids are all waiting in anticipation and are constantly asking when their new brother or sister will arrive. We are so privileged to share with someone the joy of being adopted into a godly family just as God has adopted us through Christ into his family.

Ministry

I am currently preaching through the Gospel of John and have already seen how the Lord’s Word is transforming lives. There has been a man (Ricky) visiting our church regularly on a Sunday for the past year, but he showed no interest to become part of a local body. He comes from a very violent gang background and used to be feared in the community. Three weeks back I preached on “A Man Sent from God” (John 1:6). The question of the sermon was: “Are you a man or a woman who lives as someone who has been sent from God?”

After the service he came to me and said that the sermon really touched him deeply. That evening I saw him at the Bible study where we’ve just begun to work through Mark Dever’s book, What is a Healthy Church?

The following week he joined us again for Bible study. During this Bible study, the man just broke down and wept, confessing his sins and asking the church to pray for him and to “walk a road” with him. He has seen how this church loves the Lord and each other and wants to be part of it so he can serve the Lord wholeheartedly. This was a joyful moment for the church.

He has since come to every prayer meeting, Bible study and Sunday service and is being discipled by one of our deacons. This man used to be a violent gangster, in and out of prison. He has a new zeal for the Lord and a joy that nobody can ignore.

We are also introducing three people for membership to the church. These brothers and sister have been faithfully serving amongst us for more than a year now and have gone through our discipleship training. As a church we are ready to confirm that they are representatives of Christ in the world and one of us.

We had the privilege to bury another drug addict. Throughout his time of sickness, several of our church members visited him to share the gospel with him and to pray with him and the family. This has caused the family to ask us to do the funeral and preceding wake services, because none of their “church” leaders or members showed any interest in their family. We were able to once again challenge those at the funeral services with the gospel. Please pray for this family. The mom and dad are addicted to substances and all their kids are on drugs, except for their youngest daughter. Their granddaughter is one of the kids in our youth outreach program.

We thank God for the gift from HeartCry for our street preaching. They have blessed us with two portable amplification devices that are perfect for street preaching. Quinton and Theo have gone out into the streets and have had a very successful outreach. Wherever they preached, the shebeen owners would put their loud music off so people could listen to the gospel. One guy told Quinton that he should rather not go into a certain street, because the gangster there are known to rob believers; this was exactly where they went to challenge those gangs with the gospel.

We have been praying as a church that the Lord would provide a job for our sister Candice, and the Lord answered our prayer. She starts beginning of next month as a permanent employee of The City of Cape Town. Hallelujah!

We continue to trust God for a church building. There is an empty church building that we used for kids programmes about twenty years ago. We taught Bible lessons to about two hundred kids on a weekly basis for about five years in this building and got put out, because the church that owns the building wanted to use it to make some sort of income. The building has not been used since. We are trusting the Lord for this building, which is right in the middle of our community with shebeens and drug dealers right around it. Please pray that the Lord will provide us with the funds to buy this building.

Pastor’s Seminar

Last month we had another successful Pastors’ Seminar with the theme: “The Atonement: Gospel Clarity.” We were privileged to have Sean Reece, HeartCry Mission Director over Africa and the Middle East, conduct the seminar. He did three session: (1) The Atonement Accomplished; (2) The Atonement Proclaimed; (3) The Atonement Applied. He challenged the life and doctrine of the Pentecostal pastors in attendance and had some Q&A time to deal with issues that might concern them. Please pray for the pastors who faithfully attend these seminars that the Lord will transform their lives and through them the lives of their congregations.

A Last Note

By God’s providence, I have been asked to be a speaker at the Sola 5 Conference in September 2018. Sola 5 is an Association of God-centred Evangelicals in Southern Africa of which we form part. I am aware of the enormous responsibility of speaking to churches across Southern Africa and have laboured before the Lord for a Word from him. Please pray that the Lord would protect me from the fear of men and that he would help me to faithfully expound his Word. Pray that those who would hearers, would hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that our church and her leaders will continue to pursue a lifestyle of holiness.
  • Pray that the Lord will help me to have a good balance between ministry and family.
  • Pray for my wife as she juggles between family, ministry and work.
  • Pray for Devin’s salvation and that the Lord would use us as a family to point him to Christ.
  • Pray for Ricky that he will grow in Christ and that he will bear fruit fitting of repentance.
  • Pray that our ministry amongst our community will bring many to Christ.
  • Pray for the pastors that faithfully attend our seminars that the Lord will transform their lives and through them the lives of their congregations.
  • Pray that the Lord will make provision for us to buy the building that we’ve been trusting him for.

Yours in the service of our Sovereign Lord and King,

Mario Maneville