David and Julie write: Pray for the church at Umhlatuze Village. The school they have met in for the last 5 years since starting was undergoing renovation. They were asked not to meet there for worship while the renovations were underway. Now that the renovations are finished, the school is not allowing them to return citing new regulations against churches meeting in government schools. The church is meeting in homes for the time being, while they decide what to do about a place to meet. Pray this church will find open doors to a new venue for worship.
Monica writes: Our hearts were saddened to hear the news that the new church building Lesibovu Baptist Church was about to put a roof on collapsed in a recent horrible storm. Lesibovu is south of Manzini (about a 1 1/2 hour drive down for us) and was one of the last day of clinics for our recent medical team. This faithful church has been slowly gathering their resources and building their own church building by themselves. Now the church needs to rebuild and I know they are discouraged. We were all looking forward to meeting in their new structure very soon. Pray for this precious church to press on with all God has called them to do and not give up on the task of rebuilding their church structure. Thank you for praying for this church and community that means much to our family!
David and Julie write: “We had an unexpected revelation about the resistance we have been feeling in the L* community over the last year. When the children stopped coming to Sunday School for no apparent reason and our weekly visitors suddenly stopped coming, we were suspicious that something was not right. This week it has finally been revealed to us that a rumor has been spread in the community that we are not really a church but a part of one of the South African political parties, and our reason for being in the area is to recruit votes for that specific party. There is a great political battle in the area in light of the upcoming elections next year. The area was controlled by one party, until the last election when a different party took control in a close election. So, people are being told that they had better not be seen associating with us or they will be considered as joining a specific political party. While it is good to know what the problem is, we are uncertain of how to overcome the false perception that has been accepted as truth by the community.” Pray that the truths of God’s Word will penetrate the hearts of people in these areas. Pray that those who follow Christ will stand firm in their faith. Pray for protection as missionaries travel in and out of communities like these across South Africa.
“I know what this path is I have started to take. I have known so many who say they are on this path, but they do not remain on it. They just wander around. Please pray for me. I do not want to be like them. I want to be true to the path that I am walking. I really need your prayers.”
Just recently, three older men were baptized from Thembalethu Baptist Church in the Xhosa Township of George, South Africa. “Mr. N”, who spoke the words above, is starting a new path in this new year of 2013. He faces the same problems and questions of life that most of us do: “How will I provide for my family? How can we survive this financial hardship?” However, Mr. N has been tackling the questions that matter most: “What about all this sin in my life? What is my response to the amazing love of God?”
Please pray for Mr. N and for the others as well. Pray for them to be faithful and true to the path they have begun to walk. Pray that many more, like Mr. N, will find the narrow path that leads to abundant life in Christ Jesus. Ask the Lord to mature these men into godly, spiritual leaders of the church; for, you see, after three years of meeting together as a church, Thembalethu Baptist Church has no deacons or elders yet. Praise God that He is building His church in Thembalethu.
The main focus of the 2012 International World Changers project in June/July was on prayer. The young people studied about prayer all week and then went out to do evangelism and “cultural cross pollination” projects in the area of Bongolethu, Oudtshoorn. Bongolethu is a Xhosa township in the Garden Route. There is a tiny, mainly one-family, Baptist Church existing already in Bongolethu—Klein Karoo Baptist Church. Klein Karoo means ‘Little Karoo’ referring to the region where this church is located. It has long had a vision of reaching the community around them, Xhosa and Coloured. Now students from the USA and students from RSA have partnered together to help Klein Karoo to reach out to its neighbors.
Please pray for the little congregation as they attempt the huge job of following up after the youth project. It is the heart’s desire of Klein Karoo to draw in more youth, adults, and children during the follow up time. Pray that those who have given their lives to Jesus would find real discipleship and honest fellowship through Klein Karoo. May the church shine out as a light in the community of Bongolethu to the glory and praise of God our Savior!
Missions Pastor Johnny Walker writes,
“Join us in praying for the Shangaan churches as they plan for 2013. The pastors in the area are seeking God to know when and where they will plant a new church next year. Pray also for the newly-started preaching class, as they seek to train up some of the young men and youth in the church. Finally, be in prayer for Westview Baptist Church as we make plans to partner with them in 2013.”
David & Julie in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa write:
The church at Isilovo continues to move forward. They have initiated a Sunday afternoon visitation program to visit absentees, prospects, and those in need of prayer. The church is gaining a vision for their community that is Spirit- and not missionary-directed. This is most encouraging.
Pray for growth and encouragement in the church at Isilovo.
One newspaper reported that there are over 300 languages spoken in Johannesburg, South Africa. Many people living downtown come from West Africa. Pastor R, Bellevue Baptist Church, is originally from the Congo and French is his home language. He has a vision to plant a Francophone church downtown. Please pray for Pastor R and his team as they share Jesus among French speakers. Pray that God leads them to someone open to begin a Bible study. Pray that they find a home, school, building to plant a church.
Team NoMad (Northern Madagascar) has been working in the village of Mahamasina for over a year with the vision of planting a church. The missionaries have been greatly encouraged since showing the JESUS Film several weeks ago because the number in attendance to the weekly Bible Study has doubled. The group is learning about what it means to be a church now and the people are excited to become a church. Now due to meetings, Team NoMad will have to be away for two weeks. Please pray that the momentum that the Lord has started in Mahamasina will not diminish because the missionaries will not be there. Pray that the people will desire to gather together and continue on even without the missionary presence. Team NoMad knows that this is the Lord’s work and not theirs and are trusting that the Lord will continue to work through the Malagasy believers in Mahamasina.