Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is a privilege to declare to you by the grace of God that which our Saviour Jesus Christ has accomplished in his vineyard here in Tzaneen Baptist Church this present year 2013.
It is drawing close to two years now that I have been the pastor of this wonderful congregation and count it an absolute privilege to be able to shepherd this flock by God’s written word.
Although this year started off slowly it did gain momentum, and we have seen a nice growth both spiritually and numerically, especially the later part of the year. Most of the folk have been relatively healthy and happy and we have had no major incidents at all.
During the course of this year we lost two families. As always, it is not easy for a pastor to say goodbye to members of his flock. Anita and Johann immigrated back to New Zealand, whilst the other sons left to go to the biggest Charismatic church in Tzaneen. Bobbi was part of the worship team, played the piano and has an incredible voice. However, in God’s great providence, he has brought two new pianists to our church during this time.
We have conducted two separate baptismal services during this year and with great joy have just recently brought fourteen new candidates into membership, for which we praise the Lord. We also have a number of adherents who have been faithful in church attendance and hopefully next year that would see the need to join as members.
Cosmetically, we painted the interior of the church and managed to put in new carpets in the worship hall. We also removed three large trees and one large stump to make the parking lot bigger and cleaner. Unfortunately, our gardener of twenty years, Thomas, resigned due to medical reasons, but we managed to employ a young and strong gardener by the name of George who is doing a great job keeping our property clean. We have also managed to waterproof the church manse just before the rainy season.
In the beginning of the year I got my marriage licence from the Department of Home Affairs, which allows me to conduct official weddings and also become a Commissioner of Oath in South Africa. To date, I have conducted two weddings with another scheduled for March 2014.
In the beginning of the year we also appointed three new deacons who are serving alongside the existing deacons. They are Brian Rajoo (Finances), Felix Hacker (Music) and Kelvin Fowler (Care Group).
We have had a number of church family braais and sing-spirations and giving of testimonies, which has really united us as a church. We will have our last function on 1 December, where we will join together for our Christmas lunch.
Just recently we have had Doug and Ann Forsyth from Weltervreden Chapel fellowship and worship with us at Tzaneen Baptist Church. They enjoyed their three month sabbatical in our neck of the woods and were deeply encouraged by their friendship and fellowship.
BAND OF BROTHERS
In the beginning of 2014 we will start a men’s fellowship group called Band of Brothers. We will meet on Saturday mornings. The point of this group is spiritual fellowship and accountability together with edification from God’s word through encouragement. The theme for the year will be “Caring Hearts and Calloused Hands.” In the future we will draw out of this group potential leadership. It is by mutual agreement that we will occasionally meet with Iron men from Christ Baptist church in Polokwane for joint fellowship.
GENERATIONS OF GRACE
We have also had an opportunity to be able to secure the Generations of Grace Sunday school curriculum, which will be implemented in January 2014. This curriculum was designed and developed by Grace Community Church, which is headed up by John MacArthur. Christ Baptist Church in Polokwane was kind enough to put our Sunday school teachers through four one-hour long lectures, which will enable them to be ready to implement the curriculum.
THE MARKETING OF MADNESS
This last year I have encountered so many people who have been diagnosed with depression and/or bipolar. So I have been spending many hours studying this subject from a secular and scriptural point and am planning on putting a seminar together for all the churches in Tzaneen early next year. I am hoping, by God’s grace, that I might be able to take this seminar beyond the bounds of our town and province. The conference will be entitled “The Marketing of Madness.”
We have a number of prayer requests for 2014:
- Numeric and spiritual growth.
- Financial stability and growth.
- Strength, love and protection for pastoral family.
- Leadership will have wisdom in leading the church.
- Leading in preaching and teaching.
- Sunday school teachers for strength and patience.
- Time and wisdom to put the depression seminar together.
I trust that your ministries and Christian walk this year have been to God’s glory and honour and that not only will you have a blessed festive season but also a prosperous 2014.
The point of this newsletter is to encourage you with what the Lord is doing with his church in Tzaneen. Thank you for your prayers, support and friendship toward us and for the ministry work here in the Limpopo Province.
Wayne, Michelle and Kirsten Jardine