It has been a Long time since our last report. As I was sharing with someone recently, I hate writing reports. When things are going well, you don’t have time to write reports and when they are not going so well, you don’t want to write them.
Nevertheless, we would like you to join us in giving thanks to the Lord for he is indeed good, and by His grace we have been blessed in many different ways over the past two years. Pray with us that He would continue to sustain us, uphold us and build His church for the glory of His name. As always, in the providence of God, the church faces many challenges, setbacks and disappointments. However, in general, by God’s grace things have been going well at Germiston. We have been, and are enjoying a “good season” of God’s mercies. We can take no credit for this, it is all by His grace and His grace alone.
Most significantly has been the appointment of a second Elder. Tim Mahoney comes to us from the U.S.A. He and his wife Jeanne are missionaries serving with the IMB, and have been a real blessing to us as a church. Tim’s role on the eldership has been a great blessing, encouragement and assistance to me.
We have been blessed with some numerical growth in our membership, our Sunday school, our Sunday morning Adult Bible class, as well as the attendance at both our morning and evening services. This is nowhere near revival (yet), but it has been most encouraging. We are getting to the point where we may need to start using the gallery on a Sunday morning, something that has not happened in many decades. The Thursday evening prayer meeting has grown, as has the Wednesday morning Ladies Bible study, with a regular attendance of around 14 ladies. Both the prayer meeting and the Ladies Bible Study are held in our home.
In addition to our ministries that we have been running over many years such as the hospital ministry, the Old Age Home, Bible sales and monthly Teenage girls’ book club, we have started some new ministries:
1. The Neema “Gateway to Reading Project” a course which assists learners who have reading problems. We started with one young girl who has been struggling at school due to her lack of reading ability. Since starting the course she has earned two merit badges. We now have a second class which is being attended by two adults. The desire is to get an open door into the schools to assist them with their “problem readers” and thereby create an opening for the gospel.
- “Legacy Leavers” a mothers group which meets once a month where they are taught how to raise a Godly next generation, in the fear of the Lord. The aim is to work on the heart issues using Tedd Tripp’s book and DVD series, Shepherding a Child’s Heart. Skills and crafts are also taught to the ladies, which they can, in turn pass onto their children.
- Covenant Generations. Due to the nature of our location, it was deemed unsafe for our young people and junior young people to be meeting at the church on a Friday evening. Both groups had started growing and a solution was needed. We have therefore, started “Covenant Generations”. On Friday evenings, the whole church comes together for an intergenerational evening. The adults have a Bible Study (which has replaced mid-week Bible studies) while the youth and junior youth run their programs. This allows for a great deal of flexibility, for joint programs as and when desired. So far the attendance has been very encouraging. Pray that this would continue and in fact grow.
We have enjoyed increasing fellowship with sister churches. In 2014 we had a combined camp with Glenvista and Wychwood which was a great success. In 2015 this was enlarged to include Moletsane Baptist, Crystal Park Baptist, Daveyton Baptist and Grace Christian, Primrose. Beside the combined Sunrise service and Ascension day service, we also enjoy a combined evening service with Grace, Wychwood and Glenvista, once a quarter. In addition, the Lord has also provided opportunities for our ladies to have fellowship with ladies from other churches. My wife, Sue has had opportunities to speak to the ladies at Calvary Baptist in Pretoria, Wychwood, Bethany, Glenvista, Constantia Park, Midrand Chapel and Crystal Park.
At a very practical level, we have done some remodelling inside our building which has made a world of difference in terms of space and aesthetics. If you have not yet seen them, why not take a Sunday off and visit us, we would love to have you join us.
We would very much covert your prayers concerning our building. The church has occupied the present building since 1946. It has served us well, but over the past 20 years the area in which we are located – on the edge of the city centre – has become increasingly run down and riddled with crime and grime. Although we are very accessible, we are not very visible, and increasingly so as the city centre becomes more and more of a “no go” area. There is no doubt that at certain levels this is hampering the ministry. For years many have asked “why don’t you move?” The answer has always been simple, because our building is basically not saleable and where to? Also, our position has provided a wonderful opportunity for us to minister to a wide diversity of peoples and we wouldn’t want to miss that opportunity or lose any of the folk to whom we are so accessible. Well, by God’s providence, we now have some parties interested in buying our building, AND we have found a property that is available which is perfectly suited to our needs on what is probably one of the most accessible and visible intersections in Germiston. Not only that, but it is close enough to our present location that we would not lose anyone. The big issue is that it is, literally, on the “right side of the railway tracks”.
Please pray that the interested parties will be able to come up with the money necessary to purchase our building and that we will be able to raise the amount needed to purchase the new property and to build on it. There are obviously huge financial implications to all of this, but if it is the Lord’s will, He will provide.
We will keep you updated.