We have come to the end of 2019. For some, I suppose this year was smooth sailing and for others it was a year of rough seas. Regardless of whether you sailed smoothly or encountered rough waters, the Lord has been gracious and we are still in the land of the living.
I want to encourage you, as you look back and reach forward, with a text that has been a tremendous encouragement to me: “Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds” (Isaiah 3:10). This promise from the Lord comes amid God pronouncing judgement on Judah and Israel.
This year has been a year of great trial for us and an outpouring of God’s judgement on the wicked in our communities as gang violence claimed the lives of many in our community and close family members of those in our church. Through all this, God has been graciously caring for his church in Bellville South as you will read in this report.
Our family is doing well and I continue to trust God for the salvation of our kids. We are amazed at how God has brought us together and how our family is able to function well. This is really a work of God. Let me just explain for a moment. We have two biological kids: Chané and Tyran. Nathan we took from his mom who was 13 at the time of his birth. We have looked after him since he was three months old. He is twelve now. Devin we took in after we learned that his dad wanted to kill him. He was beaten unconscious and came with all sorts of bruises on his body to us. He’s been living with us for more than a year now and has just finished matric (praise the Lord!). We adopted Noah last year September. He was four months old when we got him. He is such a joy and the life in our home.
I am just amazed how the Lord has brought us together and how he is touching the lives of these kids and how he has changed us, challenged us, exposed our sins, and drawn us closer to him through these children. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous!
My wife officially finished work this month. This allows her to be more involved in women’s ministry and to better support the family as homemaker. Praise God that I got my wife back! However, this also means the loss of income for our family, which means I will have to raise the shortfall personally as our church does not have the means to cover the shortfall. You are welcome to pray about how you can support us financially on a monthly basis. Your support towards us should not impact on your giving to your local church, as this will not honour the Lord!
As crazy as this may sound, we are actually looking forward to see how the Lord will provide and for the opportunity to suffer well.
Other sheep added to the fold
What a privilege to introduce new members to our local church family. Jesus said, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also” (John 10:16). The Lord has been bringing them in.
It was sometime during the month of May. We had just finished praying before the service start when we saw a young man coming through the gates of the school where we have our church services. He was serious-looking and introduced himself and immediately, in the same breath, said that he was looking for a Reformed church. As you would know, we were delighted to welcome him. After the service we learned that this was the first time he had visited a Reformed church. This young man was overjoyed and wanted to find out how he can become a member. The next week he came with three other people and we discovered that several of them had left a Charismatic church in search of a church that preached the Bible. They have found none and almost came to the conclusion that a healthy Christ-centred church does not exist in Cape Town. These are all students from the University of Technology close to where we have church. Since then, we have had an influx of students visiting us regularly, of which three became members, one is in our new member’s class, and two others will join the class next year when they return from holiday.
We have been praying that the Lord will lead his sheep out of churches that preach a false gospel and for a door to open on the university. These are the fruit of such prayers.
I need to be baptised again!
During our new member’s class, the importance of baptism was highlighted. This young man who, several months ago, came looking for a Reformed church said that he was baptised before, but the pastor who baptised him was not a believer and he needs to be baptised again. It is unfortunate, but the reality is that many of these Charismatic and Pentecostal pastors show no evidence of conversion.
What a privilege and joy it was to baptise this young man. He loves the Lord and the saints and has a passion for evangelism. He joins Quinton every Friday reaching out to people whom he never thought he’d be able to share the gospel to.
HeartCry website attracting visitors from all over the world to our church
Twice this year we have had visitors from America, Canada, and Germany, who came to Cape Town on vacation and wanted to visit a sound biblical church. They searched the HeartCry website and found our details and pitched up at our church service. One couple, who was in Cape Town on their honeymoon, said that visiting our church and spending some time with our members afterwards was the highlight of their time in South Africa.
I want to encourage anyone who finds themselves on our side of the world to come visit us. We would love to spend time with you.
Loud and clear!
As mentioned in my previous newsletter, we had a very successful Mission’s High Tea. We were able to raise more than R12,000! With this money we were able to bless a new church plant with brand new sound equipment that can be used during their church services and for their open-air services. This church is dedicated to evangelism and have been renting sound amplification equipment to do open air services. They are in Khayelitsha, one of the poor townships in Cape Town. This area is rife with some of the most bizarre word of faith type churches you can imagine and entrenched in traditional African religions. I had the privilege of preaching at the church on the topic “testing the spirits.” I praise God for what he is busy doing in this area through this local church.
As is our tradition, we had our third and last pastors’ seminar for 2019 in Afrikaans with our “celebrity” speaker, Japie van Kampen, pastor of Newcastle Baptist Church. Japie has become a sort of brand name for our last pastors’ seminar. We love him and appreciate his commitment to come out year after year to do this seminar. He has been a huge influence and help to us as elders and has become part of the family. The kids look forward to him and his son Stephan’s visit every year.
The theme for this seminar was “The Identity of a Biblical Church” with three session topics: (1) The Leaders; (2) The Members; and (3) The Message.
“The church of which Jesus Christ is the Head, consists of called leaders, born-again members and is recognised by one message preached; without it, it is not the church.” (Japie van Kampen)
We had another successful women’s seminar with the theme biblical Womanhood. This seminar was conducted by guest speaker Michelle Cramer, wife of Des Cramer who pastor’s one of our Sola 5 churches, Coastal Bible Church.
The seminar was well attended and well received by women in our community of which many were wives of the Pentecostal pastors who attend our pastors’ seminars. This is a much-needed ministry to Christian women who have no other opportunity to be trained and equip in their role as believing women.
Young adults ministry
We saw the need for a ministry to young adults, since we have many students from the university visiting our Sunday services.
They have many questions since they’ve never been exposed to Bible exposition. We launched our first young adult ministry under the capable leadership of our deacon, Thato Mohapi. This first meeting had 21 students in attendance of which some admitted that they were not really Christians but attended church services because of family pressure. Keep them in your prayers.
Appeal to help a township church
Our fellow Sola 5 church, Makhaza Reformed Baptist Church, is in need of R90,000 to purchase a former Baptist church building in its community. This is a poor church in a poor township that needs our support. I am adding this need here as an attempt to raise this money before Christmas. What a blessing it would be if this church can have their Christmas service in this building. May the Lord open your heart to give towards this need.
We are still trusting the Lord for this building. Through God’s grace, we are now busy gathering all data needed to do a real-time assessment of the value of the building. With the help of some professionals, who are members of Goodwood Baptist Church, we will be able to assess the true value of the building. This was decided after we had a meeting with the financial committee of the church that owns the building. The current valuation of the building stands at R7.4 million. The church still wants R2.5million for it. The assessment is for our own due diligence. Pray with us that the Lord will make our way plain.
Please share our need with those who might want to contribute to this end.
South African Account Details
First National Bank
Account Name: Reformed Faith Mission
Cheque Account: 62505439663
Branch code: 200910
Reference: Building Project
We are grateful to God for Capitol Hill Baptist Church who made their Great Commission Partners account facility available for US donors to contribute towards this building fund. Simply put “Reformed Faith Mission Community Church” as reference or in the memo.
Alternatively, contribute via PayPal.
- Please pray that our church will constantly be reminded that the Lord is our keeper and that we can have confidence in his providence.
- Praise God that, for the past month, there have been no shootings.
- Praise God for adding to our church and for the rich fellowship we have around his word.
- Pray that our newly-started young adults ministry will grow and bear gospel fruit.
- Pray that those men who are labouring alongside us will see lasting fruit for their labour.
- Pray that the Lord will provide the funds needed for Makhaza Reformed Baptist Church to buy the building.
- Pray that the Lord will work in your heart to financially support those trusted, struggling churches in townships around you.
May the Lord accomplish his will for us. We look to him!
Yours in his service
Mario F. Maneville
Reformed Faith Mission Community Church