In Pastor Mario’s latest update, we have more news that we have come to expect from his ministry – challenging Pentecostal pastors with biblical truth and taking the gospel to violent gangs.
April 2017 – Pastor’s Seminar with Dr. Tim Cantrell
We have had another challenging, Christ-exalting pastors’ seminar with Tim Cantrell as our speaker. These Pentecostal pastors were called upon to examine whether they’re really living a life worthy of the high calling of the pastor. The seminar is divided into three sessions and each session spoke directly to the life of the pastor, his responsibility to the flock, and his accountability before God.
Session 1 – Are you sure you want to be a pastor?
Session 2 – The Marks of a good minister
Session 3 – An ordinary ministry
We had about 76 people in attendance, most of which were pastors and some “apostles and prophets”. We are grateful to Antioch Bible Church in Johannesburg for blessing our community with the ministry of their pastor.
July 2017 – Pastor’s Seminar with Dr. Victor Kuligan
Our second Pastor’s Seminar for the year with Victor Kuligan drew out some heated discussion as some of the prominent pastors of Bellville South had their view on the sovereignty of God in salvation crushed and corrected. Dr. Victor Kuligan has authored four books and is a co-author with respected theologian, Robert Yarbrough. The seminar was focused on his book, “The Language of Salvation”.
What a blessing it was to see the “lights go on” for many of the pastors as Victor dealt with the Doctrine of Election and what genuine salvation is. Most of these pastors have never really considered the sovereignty of God and its implications. Some of them got angry at the idea of a God who chooses those whom He will save apart from the “free will” of man. Many of them understood for the first time what grace really meant. It was such an encouragement to have some pastors come up to me during our lunch time and admit that there is much that they still need to learn and that these seminars make them realize that the Bible is the highest and final authority.
Please pray that God would allow us to continue with these seminars and that it would bear lasting fruit in the lives of these pastors. Our next Pastor’s Seminar is on 21st October 2017. We look forward to your support. We are grateful to the Lord for HeartCry Missionary Society who sponsored every pastor with a copy of Victor’s book, “The Language of Salvation”.
Gang violence erupts
Our community has been reasonably quiet for the past few months, until about a month ago when the shooting starting again and three gang members were killed in “Hell’s Kitchen.” Shortly after, three more were shot, and one of them was killed in my street, about 4 houses from where I live. The dead body of the guy laid in my street for almost three hours before the police came. This happened in broad daylight and we soon found out who the killer was and why he killed this man. One of the drug merchants had put a hit out on this man and the two gang members he was with. The other two got away, but were also wounded.
Fortunately we quickly found out who the guys were that put out the hit and who the contract killer was. For the past few weeks we’ve been trying to get hold of them to share the gospel with them before they kill anyone else or before they themselves are killed. By God’s grace we were able to get hold of two contract killers and two drug merchants and were able to challenge them with the gospel. Please keep us in prayer as we engage with these guys. Our church is evidence that God is able to save drug dealers and murderers for such were some of us.
Due to the violent nature of our community we have many funerals. This has become a lucrative source of income for many churches in our area. Churches charge up to R3000 (over $200) to conduct a funeral regardless of whether the deceased or their family is a member of the church. This presents us with many opportunities to bury people since we do not charge for this service, but rather see it as an evangelistic opportunity. We are grateful for the privilege to preach the gospel to people that would never set their feet inside a church building.
Before his current role at HeartCry, S.R. served several years in pastoral ministry, and a few years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary. He is also a veteran of the Marine Corps. S.R. and his wife have been blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They live near Christiansburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, where he enjoys deer hunting and fly-fishing for trout.More By S.R.