Adding a New Deacon
We are overjoyed with the appointment of Thato as one of our deacons. I cannot begin to describe what a blessing this man has been to our church, and to my soul personally. The Lord has used this brother in phenomenal ways to reach the hearts of Bellville South youth. These are all kids that come from the toughest backgrounds imaginable and they are not an easy bunch. Yet, the Lord has enabled Thato to connect with these kids on a very personal level.
These kids should be involved in gangs, on drugs, in prostitution, pregnant, or school drop-outs, but the Lord has saved them from these things that are the norm in our community. They have lost friends because of their commitment to the youth group. We are grateful to the Lord for enabling Thato to care and love the “unlovable” in the way he does.
We are committed to training up men to be preachers of the Word. Thato preached his first sermon two weeks ago. A 1hour and 30minute exposition on 1John 1! It was a joy to see the church glued to every word and giving him feedback afterwards. Everyone had patience knowing it’s his first time preaching. Oh, how I love our church!
Adding New Members
We were privileged to recently introduce two new members to our congregation. Both of them are transfers from other Sola 5 churches. Maselaelo (Massie) was one of the founding members of Heritage Baptist Church. Massie married our newest deacon, Thato, earlier this year. She is already proving to be a blessing to our church.
Anthony is from Cape Town, but has been living in Gauteng due to his studies. He used to visit our church during the holidays. He was a member of Antioch Bible Church and is a young man with a passion for Jesus that can be seen by all. He joins our church with high recommendations from his former pastor, Tim Cantrell. We have witnessed this young man’s growth in godliness and his zeal for the Lord throughout this year. Thank you to Antioch for investing in this young man!
We are also busy with new member’s classes with 4 people who left the prosperity church in search of truth. When they visited our Sunday service for the first time they immediately felt that this is where they belong. They’ve been attending all our services and midweek gatherings faithfully for the past 3 months now and have enrolled in our new members’ class. We are excited about what the Lord is doing in their lives.
I speak on behalf of our whole church when I say that when we talk about Enrico, all of us are filled with awe and amazement at the work the Lord is doing in this brother. Enrico is an ex-gang leader whom the Lord saved after visiting our church for several months. He attended our Bible study while we were discussing the importance of formal membership and what membership in a local church means. This man suddenly started confessing his sins and his need of Christ!
He says for months he just observed us and listened to what we were teaching, and had discovered our genuine love for him and the Lord. He’s never seen people love each other and strangers like that. He’s not only heard the Gospel, but he has seen it in the pastors and the members of the church. Since then we have seen him grown in the Lord, with an insatiable desire for the Word and a passion for the saints. Please keep this man in prayer as he shares his new found faith with some of his ex-gang buddies.
Last Sunday was Enrico’s baptism. You can imagine the excitement of the church. This was really a celebration! What made it more special is that on Saturday Enrico went out with his family for his sister’s 50th birthday. He did not want to go, because he knew that there would be drinking and chaos involved, but his sister begged him since he was the only surviving brother left. His brother was shot dead about two months ago. As he expected, the party got out of hand and there was a fight between his family and another group. He tried to break up the fight and was assaulted. Some of his teeth were kicked out and his foot was badly hurt. I thought we should postpone the baptism, but he insisted that he must be baptized. He would not allow anything to prohibit him from being baptized the next day. This was indeed a special moment for him and our church.
Praise God for a church that does not just speak about sacrificial giving…they live it out!
Ricky’s New Home
Our brother Enrico used to live in a shack of wood built around a make-shift bed. As you can see in the photo, there was nothing to keep out the cold in the winter. With the help of the saints, we were able to buy him materials for a new home. What a joy it was to see the members of our church put their hands in their pockets to give toward this bungalow so our brother can have a decent home. Many of our members are poor with low income jobs, but it was these domestic workers and street sweepers that were the first to give. Praise God for a church that does not just speak about sacrificial giving…they live it out!