Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Oh the glory of the cross! May every aspect of your life, work and recreation be done under the shadow of the cross. May everyone who engages with you, everyone who comes into the sphere of your life, see the unmistakable glory of the cross overshadowing your daily life. This is my prayer for you that you would live unashamedly and deliberately in full view of the cross.
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
The past month up to today has been eventful and full of God’s amazing grace! I trust you will be encouraged as you read through this brief report and share in our joy.
I believe that the most challenging, humbling, joyous and rewarding vocation is that of a pastor. I can certainly reiterate the question of the apostle Paul: “Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:16). We are not, but Christ and his gospel is. The cross is our sufficiency! Preaching through the Gospel of John has renewed my wonder of Christ! I am swept away by the infinite wonder and majesty of the eternal Word becoming flesh! Oh that my knees stay bend before him and my heart remain broken, while these hands and feet rush with the good news of the cross proclaimed with boldness through sanctified lips.
I have personally grown through the study and preaching of his word. It almost seems unfair that this would be the bulk of my vocation, but the reward to my family, our church, the community, and personally is greater than any other occupation could render. This, of course, does not negate or minimise the challenges that comes with ministry, but our God always holds us fast.
A double adoption
It has been our desire for years now to adopt a baby. We started with the process late last year if memory serves me well. On the recommendation of Doug Van Meter’s daughter, Lydia, we approach ABBA Adoptions and started with the screening process.
After almost a year of waiting our adoption finally came through. God has been pleased to bless us with our forever baby, Mario Noah Maneville. What an adorable blessing from the Lord! He is such a perfect fit that I am convinced that God knitted him together according to our DNA. I mean, he looks just like his daddy!
A double adoption? You’re probably wondering about that by now. This is greater—yes, even greater than our adoption of baby Noah! Monday morning, just after 1:00 AM, our daughter Chané (27), called us in the room in tears. She had come to stay with us for the week to meet her new baby brother and went to church with us. She attended two services with us. Both services had a high focus on God’s love for those he came to save. Both had a high focus on the cross.
Monday morning, 24 September 2018 our daughter told us that she could not go on living in defiance toward God who has brought her through so much. She was sorry for her sins and wants the Lord to save her. She wept before the Lord. After reading several passages of Scripture, we prayed with her and gave her time alone to call on the Lord for forgiveness and salvation. My wife and I went into the other room to intercede for her while she was calling on the Lord. Oh, what time of wrestling and pleading we had, praying God’s promises back to him knowing that our Lord is full of lovingkindness and grace. After a while she came into our room and again I read to her the promises of our God to those who repent and believe and what it would cost her. We prayed with her again and committed her to the Lord. Oh that this would be the answer to our prayers—that this indeed would be the day of her new birth—for our Lord is full of love and mercy and he loves to save sinners. He will not cast out those who come to him. He will save anyone who calls on his name, who puts their trust in him for salvation. Our daughter called on him and we trust that he listened and saved her! May this be documented in heaven that another lost sheep came home and we her parents were privileged to guide her to Christ. Hallelujah!
Continue to pray for her—that the work the Lord started will be brought to completion producing fruit of repentance.
She send me a message that her heart is broken, because she needs to break up with her boyfriend. She told me that he has treated her well and that she loves him, but she has to do this because she wants Christ. She said that his whole family loves her and this will be one of the most difficult and painful things she had ever done, but she knows the Lord will help her through it.
I am just without words and overjoyed at what the Lord has done! This to me was the test (in my mind) that the Lord had truly done a saving work in her life. She had forsaken her family for this guy. Now Christ has restored our daughter back to us and adopted her into his family! Rejoice with us!
This moment is not just ours as parents but yours as well. This brings hope to all of us for the salvation of all our kids. He came to set the captives free! Praise God for his mercy and amazing grace! Thank you for your unceasing prayers, love and support. God is glorified in the salvation of sinners!
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him all creatures here below, praise him above, ye heav’nly host; praise Father Son and Holy Ghost!”
It was a tremendous joy to have Jeff Gage and his family from Brackenhurst Baptist Church with us for two days.
The Saturday some of our men and women met separately with Jeff and his wife Deborah. They shared about the importance of knowing the redemptive storyline of the entire Bible and showed how you can trace God’s plan of restoration from Genesis to Revelation. On Sunday we were blessed by Jeff’s preaching as he expounded from the book of Ruth 4 on the subject “From Emptiness to Fullness.” He highlighted the beauty of Christ’s redemption as typified by Boaz. It is always a privilege when our brothers come “bearing the seed for sowing” (Psalm 126:6).
Missions high tea
We once again had our annual missions high tea. The missions high tea is our endeavour to make the plight of the persecuted church known and to raise prayer support for the churches in hard places. The funds we raise go towards missionaries, evangelism and church planting initiatives that we are in contact with and praying for as a congregation.
This year the theme was “The Glorious Church.” We focused on how Christ is building his church in countries such as Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, India, and Somalia. We celebrated the growth of the church in persecuted countries and had a time of reflection and a clear presentation of the gospel. Every table had a poster with information of a specific country and prayer needs. It is always a beautiful thing to see God’s people coming from different walks of life together in prayer for the nations.
Opportunity to buy an existing church building
We have been praying for a particular church building since 2015. We now have an incredible opportunity to purchase this specific building which is right in the middle of our community. This building will give us greater visibility and communicate permanence to the people in our community. We need R2.5 million (approximately $167,000) by 1 December 2018, before this building goes on the open market. There is already an offer of R5 million for the building by a Charismatic church, but we have first option and our offer of R2.5 million has been accepted. Please trust God with us and pray that the Lord will work in the hearts of those who holds his money to give towards this end.
We are grateful to Tim Cantrell and Antioch Bible Church who is working at setting up a U.S. account that will make it easier for donors from the United States to give.Those in South Africa are welcome to deposit donations into our church account with reference: “Building Project.”
Reformed Faith Mission
FNB cheque account: 62505439663
Branch code: 200910
Reference: Building Project
For more info please, view below.
We will be leaving for Kimberley on Thursday to attend the funeral of Charlene’s aunt. We decided to take the opportunity to break away for a week and use it as a holiday with the family. I am grateful to the Lord for this much needed rest. I will also be preaching at Harvestime Baptist Church in Kimberley. Some of you might know Gerald Barnes who is pastoring this church. He has inherited a church that is Pentecostal and for the past couple of years he has had much progress in moving the members towards reformed convictions. Please keep this church in your prayers.
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, pastor
Reformed Faith Mission Community Church