Ministry Update: Sovereign Grace Bible Church (Olievenhoutbosch, South Africa) (December 2018)

Dear brethren,

Please find below the latest ministry update from Bheki Bembe and Sovereign Grace Bible Church in Olievenhoutbosch, South Africa.

Family

Our son Ntokozo has completed writing his final matric exams. The results will be released next year. We pray all goes well and for the Lord to help us find a suitable college for him to further his studies. 

Deacon Shimi and Jeniffer are thankful the Lord has helped them with their home-schooling. It has been a challenging year for the children. We praise the Lord that they were able to do well in their final exams.

Deacon Jacob’s son, Thabang, was hospitalised and diagnosed with diabetes. He is back at home and recovering. It is a daily challenge for them maintaining his health. Please pray for them.

Elder Sello and Pearl are grateful that their children have also done well at school.

Thanksgiving

It has been an eventful year and, as we approach the end of the year, we thank God for giving us strength to endure the challenges we have faced as a church and personally.

We rejoice in knowing that nothing will separate us from the love of Christ. This year, God’s word has repeatedly reminded us to trust the Lord and to persevere; therefore, we look forward to seeing more of God’s grace, goodness and faithfulness.

Challenges

We continue to be in desperate need to move from our current location. The car repair business that has been setup next to the church has often left us without parking space because cars are being repaired and consequently blocking our entrance. This situation discourages visitors and often results in interruptions during the sermons.

There is increasing pressure upon us to move. Finding a place is proving rather challenging, but we continue to prayerfully search for a place. It is still very encouraging to see our church members make regular attendance regardless of the discomfort of our current place of fellowship. We have been on the lookout for places we could potentially use for fellowship. Nothing concrete has come of it, but we are confident the Lord will provide. Please continue to pray for us.

Encouragement

In light of the challenges we have faced as a church, we have had visitors coming but not remaining in our church. We reminded ourselves of how we can be a magnetic local church. Our Scripture reading came from 1 Peter 5:1–4 and we were all reminded that the success of the local church depends upon its imitating of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As a local church we were encouraged as we learned the qualities we are to have in order to be a Christ-exalting church that will draw the lost to Christ. As we look around us, it is easy to be discouraged, but what an encouragement it is to us knowing that, when the chief Shepherd appears, we will receive an unfading crown of glory. We were assured that our hard labour for Christ’s glory is not in vain, and that there is an unfading crown of glory reserved for Christ’s church.

Outreach and Evangelism

It has been challenging for us to consistently evangelise and conduct outreaches. With the chaos surrounding our place, it discourages visitors from coming to our church and makes us less visible.  We do pray for consistency in reaching the community with the gospel and for the Lord to save people in the community.

However, we continue to do the work of the ministry.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for wisdom to find a place that will not be a stumbling block for visitors and well-situated for evangelistic efforts.
  • Pray for school ministry for the new year, since schools are closed now for holiday season. We look forward to the new year, hoping and praying that the Lord will open a door for us. 
  • Pray for Thabang’s health, and also for my wife’s (Thandi Bembe) health.
  • Pray for more opportunities to evangelise in the senior secondary schools around us.
  • Pray for several of our members seeking employment.

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