October has been a difficult and delightful month for us. With a new baby in the house to parents that are quickly rushing towards the fifty-year-old mark … well … it’s been eventful and full of joy. Little Noah is full of energy and loves to smile with everyone. He hardly cries, but likes to play and talk. I praise God for the blessing he is to our family and I just love to see the light in my wife’s eyes when she has him in her arms. God has been so good to us.
On the other hand I am saddened and even more aware of the reality of man’s depravity and the deceitfulness of the heart. It grieves me to see no real change in my daughter after her very emotional profession of faith. It seems like it was just an emotional response to some hurt or disappointment she went through. Charlene is busy discipling her through a small booklet called “Biblical Repentance.” Please keep praying that the Lord will do a real work in her life.
Devon has been a real blessing to us. He is a good influence on Tyran and Nathan with regards to their school work and just overall work ethic. He is constantly inviting friends to church and youth and has a keen interest in Scripture. He seems to be seeking for some meaning in life and I am always encouraged to see him read the Bible with Tyran and on his own. I had a very deep conversation with him recounting his life from his earliest memories. I wanted him to see the Lord’s goodness toward him despite all the abuse he suffered throughout his life. This seem to have brought some perspective to why he should seek the Lord more earnestly and turn to him. Please pray for him.
New Members. We had the privilege of inducting new members to our congregation. After more than a year of discipleship we are confident to say to our community, “Here are those who represent Christ and his local church.” New members are Thato, Myron and Shihaam. Shihaam was actually already baptised into membership, but we made her part of the service since we were handing them membership certificates that she did not receive. Thato has already been such a blessing to our youth. He has an amazing ability to draw youth to himself and to gain their trust and respect and to disciple them. Myron is a young married man who also broke away from the Pentecostal movement and has grown in Reformed doctrines. He has a passion for the Bible and the local church. He is still struggling to get his wife committed. She supports him, but has not been faithfully attending services and has not shown much interest in the life of the church. Please pray that the Lord will bring her towards humble submission to her husband as he loving leads her.
We also had the privilege of dedicating our baby Noah to the Lord. We trust that he will know Christ’s saving grace at a very young age.
School ministry. I have had the privilege to preach the gospel at a memorial service organised by the school whose hall we use for our Sunday services. One of their students (9) passed away after a lengthy struggle with cancer. We conducted house services at their home in the past. It was such a blessing to share with students, teachers and members of the community the hope that is to be found only in Christ.
Open air services. We have been busy with open air services in our community. Much of the gang violence has stopped and for this year we have had no fatal shootings. Praise the Lord! However, we have seen an increase in drug dealing and street gambling among teenagers. It is sad to say that there seems to be a growing hatred towards open air gospel preaching. There used to be a time when drug addicts, alcoholics, even gangsters, would bow their heads when we started the open air in prayer. They would take time to stand still and listen to the preaching. This past week we had pastor Japie with us who preached at our open air services. As he preached one of the guys were cussing at him and cursing God while he was preaching. I also noticed that when we prayed that those who were in the street were chatting loud with no regard for God at all. This really grieved my spirit!
It is in this environment when you get tempted to “call fire from heaven,” and yet when I look at what the Lord has done in Enrico’s life, I’m encouraged by our great God and his powerful gospel! Enrico is a new addition to our church family. This man used to be a hardened criminal who belonged to the 28 Numbers Gang. He started visiting our church thinking he was saved because he left gangsterism, but really were regenerated one Sunday as I was preaching on “What it means to be a person sent from God.” That Sunday evening, he came to Bible study and just broke down and wept over his sins asking that the church pray for him because he wants to follow Christ in a true way. He is currently being discipled by Theodore, who used to belong to the 26 Numbers Gang who were enemies of the 28 Gang. The gospel reconciles man to God and man to man. What a blessing to see this brother grow in the Lord. Hallelujah!
Pastor’s Seminar. Pastor Japie was our speaker at this year’s last Pastors’ Seminar. The last seminar is always conducted in Afrikaans, which means that the pastors who do attend are mostly from Bellville South. We had five new people attend, of which three were elders from Pentecostal churches. We were able to bless them each with an ESV Global Study bible and some good books. The theme for the seminar was “Die Plaaslike Kerk: ‘n Vertoonvenster van die Evangelie” (“The Local Church: A Visible Display of the Gospel”). At the end of the seminar there was a call to respond in repentance before the Lord. It was humbling to hear these men call out to the Lord in repentance for their lack of fear towards him and their complacency towards his sheep. One pastor told me during fellowship after the seminar that this seminar really broke him down to build him up again. Please keep these pastors in your prayers.
Church Building—WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We are still trusting God for the funds to buy an existing church building that is in the middle of our community. It is situated in such a strategic place. We need to raise R2.5 million before 1 December 2018. A Word of Faith church has offered to buy the building for R5 million, but the owners of the building said that they will honour their agreement with us and only if we prove to not be able to buy the building will they consider the other offer. There are a lot of Charismatics and Pentecostals who are not happy that we might buy the building, because they also had plans for the building. We also heard of a businessman that wants to convert the building into a brothel for prostitution. We trust that the Lord will not allow this building to fall into the hands of these charlatans. Please pray with us that the Lord will release the funds for the purchase of this building. Please DO SHARE our need with those who might want to contribute to this end.
South African Account. South African donors can direct their donations to the following account:
- Bank: First National Bank
- Account Name: Reformed Faith Mission
- Account Type: Cheque
- Account Number: 62505439663
- Branch Code: 200910
- Reference: Building Project
US Account. We are grateful to God for Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Mark Dever & 9Marks) 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. Here is the link.
You can also donate via Paypal.
Thank you for taking time to read this report. I trust you were encouraged and moved towards greater endeavours for our Lord.
Yours in his service,
Mario F. Maneville