Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I am grateful that you are taking time to read my report on how God is working in our ministry his wonders to perform.
Finding my rhythm
The Lord has found it fit to bless our local church with another fulltime elder. My ministry focus will be to drive the evangelism in our church and to use the gift that the Lord has given me to train our members how to be effective witnesses and to reach the lost for the glory of Christ. At this stage I am at a place where I feel like a college student that needs to decide in which subject he will major, overwhelmed by the fear of not using my time effectively. The fear has driven me to my knees in seeking the Lord’s guidance. I have also asked for counsel from various men who have been in ministry for a while. In all my seeking and asking I have found that submission to and guidance of our church eldership, while praying and searching the Scripture, should be the foundation of all I intend to do for the Lord. Praise God for the government of his local church.
Just as I am settling in and trying to find my rhythm, my wife Jenna must also get use to the idea of having a husband that is a fulltime pastor. She, however, has been doing very well in the Lord and is very supportive. I thank God for the work he has done and will continue to do in her heart. Jenna has suffered with scoliosis since youth and this causes her to lose lots of sleep so that she is tired most of the time. Please keep her in your prayers.
Jenna and I are currently going through a difficult time of grief as Jenna had a miscarriage earlier this month (1 February). Please keep us in your prayers—especially Jenna—that the Lord will bring us closer to him.
Zoe started Grade 1 this year and is very excited now that she can also wear the school uniform. Last year, I purchased a piano and she will start piano classes soon. I thank God for the impact of the gospel on our marriage and family life. Please continue to pray for us.
We just had a two-day outreach with a missionary team from the Great Commission Camp, an organisation that trains missionaries (17–18 January 2019). This outreach entails door-to-door and open air preaching. This team assists us on a yearly basis and has been a tremendous blessing to our church and our community for the past three years.
I am mostly devoting my time to prayer and the study of God’s word and daily devotions with my family. To give you an idea of my week, I have the opportunity to preach at the homeless shelter and clinic every week; breakfast & Bible class twice a week; street preaching; outreach to street gamblers; park outreach to kids.
I have also started to meet with three men in our community twice a week for breakfast. After breakfast, we go through the Scriptures and I make sure to share the gospel at each occasion. We are currently working through the Gospel of John, and it is amazing. I have also invited two other men to join us, but they have not yet showed up.
Here is some background on the men I am meeting with.
Randy is a 35-year-old prison gangster, who was a member of the gang where I was a member. What makes it a significant opportunity for me to minister to him and to influence him with the gospel is the fact that I was the one who influenced him to become a gangster and introduced him to drugs. This is obviously not something I am proud of, but I see it as God’s grace to me that he would use me to lead this man to him. I am trusting God to use these means to bring them to salvation.
A few years ago, while I was trying to share the gospel with him, he told me that the Bible is a white man’s book. I continued to call him over and challenged him with the gospel. It has been a few years now and I have seen how God has restored the trust between us. It is just so amazing for me to now be able to share God’s word with him.
James, twenty-years-old, was left for death after his friends brutally assaulted him. They drove him to an abandoned place and chucked him out thinking he was dead. After I learned of this, I immediately contacted him and invited him to have lunch with me. We spoke about life and I shared the gospel with him. He told me that he felt many times to change his life through repentance but never understood the gospel. Both he and Randy come from an Old Apostolic background. Old Apostles basically don’t believe in a literal hell, but conveniently in a literal heaven as their priests have the keys to it. They believe that Jesus has already died for their sin so they can live how they want to live.
What makes our connection so significant is that James’s father use to be my right hand man and best friend when I was in the gangs. He is also the son of one of my close relatives. James does not know his father and has been estranged from him since birth. They recently made contact telephonically and are planning to get together to reconcile.
However, the challenge that I am facing with James is that his family from his mother’s side are not too happy with him visiting with me. He actually did not attend our last few gatherings.
George, 24 years old, is a young man who lives with his girlfriend (with three children and one on the way). I have been involved in George’s life since he was sixteen years old and at the time playing in our band and being involved in all our music productions. I have seen him going back and forth in life, but somehow we have manage to maintain a steady and trusted relationship.
- Pray that the Lord will help me to manage my time in a God-glorifying way.
- Pray for me and Jenna—that the Lord will give us grace to raise Zoe in the fear of the Lord.
- Pray for Randy, James and George and the men who will join us in future—that the Lord will save them.
- Pray for my weekly outreach to the homeless shelter, clinic, street preaching, etc.
- Pray for our ministry, that we will live lives worthy of the gospel.
- Pray for our work here—that the Lord will give us fruit that will last.
- Pray for our month of evangelism and outreach—February—with door to door and open airs.
Thank you for taking time to read this brief report.
“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16)
Yours in his service,
Reformed Faith Mission Community Church