Land and a New Location for Chris’ Church
The last couple of months have been unusually busy for Chris Mnguni. The primary cause was the acquiring of new land in a prime location for their church building. With the help of HeartCry’s new partner-church in South Africa, Brackenhurst Baptist, Chris’ church was able to purchase a plot in a new housing development directly across from the main shopping center. This location will greatly increase the church’s visibility and accessibility in Daveyton. (left – Brackenhurst’s pastor, Doug van Meter, visits the new plot with Chris)
But, of course, acquiring the land was no easy task. For Chris, there was lots of paperwork registering the church with the Revenue Service, banking issues, and consulting with the land agent and lawyer. In the end, Chris was exhausted, but finally news came from the lawyer that the land was now registered in the church’s name. They had the deed of transfer and could begin using the land! (below right – cleaning the new church plot) If you have any experience with corruption in African countries, you know that it is no small miracle when everything finally falls into place. Thank the Lord for answering many prayers!
Chris and some of the members have been trying to meet with the community leaders of the area where they purchased the land. It is a small community and the church wants to hear their expectations. They want to avoid upsetting them before they have opportunity to share the gospel with them. However, the local leaders are not showing much willingness to meet the church. Nevertheless, some of the people in the community have been nice. They even promised to visit the church when they start services in the new property. Please pray that the Lord grant them favor with the local leaders.
Evangelism Opportunities and Fruit
Despite the busyness of purchasing the land, Chris remained faithful in his evangelistic efforts throughout the community. Every day, Chris is preaching the gospel in medical clinics, schools, or on the streets. Lack of conversions and church growth from all these efforts has deeply troubled Chris. But things have been different of late. Chris writes:
“The church life has been encouraging lately. The Lord is sending some new visitors. One Sunday we ran out of space for people! This was so encouraging for us since, for many years, we never had more than 25 people in our service.
The Clinic ministry has also been encouraging. One lady approached me after the preaching and told me that she’s been looking for me. She told me that she decided to commit her life to Christ. And she told me that her older daughter didn’t believe her. In fact, when I went to visit her home, I found her daughter there. The daughter told me that she was supposed to go somewhere but she stayed, because she just wanted to confirm if her mother was telling the truth, that a pastor will be visiting her!
The Lord is opening more opportunity in one of the schools, although through tragic circumstances. This month one student committed suicide. This was very hard for the school. They asked me to conduct the memorial service. (left) I used this as an opportunity to share the Gospel with the students and teachers. The girl who committed suicide was living in the area around our church structure. This has given us the opportunity to help the family and share the Gospel with them. After the girl’s funeral, her brother started attending our Bible study. He has been asking good questions. Please pray for salvation to come to this family and many students in the midst of tragedy.”
Another Gospel Opportunity with Grieving Students
Chris is not the only South African missionary to preach to a school in the midst of tragedy. Pastor Mario Maneville shared this in his latest report:
“I had the privilege to preach the Gospel at a memorial service organized by the school whose hall we use for our Sunday services. One of their students, 9 years old, passed away after a lengthy struggle with cancer. We have conducted house services at that family’s home in the past. It was such a blessing to share with students, teachers, and members of the community the hope that is to be found only in Christ.”
Before his current role at HeartCry, Robert 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. Robert 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 Robert Shepherd