Bro Charlie arrived at the end of the first week in February, so we got of to slow start. Once here, we drew up a plan of action and got to it.
We spent time with the brethren & sisters at the BECs in Durban and Lamontville. Assisting with classes and support from a teaching and management point of view.
We continue to have our BEC classes every Wednesday night. Usually attended by 6-8 locals and the same in volunteers. They are often buoyant and there is a lot of discussion. Every second Sunday we have a BEC lunch after out memorial meeting. After the meal we gather for a class which is really appreciated by all those that attend. We usually cater for 40. Sometimes there are more, sometimes less.
We spent time with a number of brethren & sisters in isolation by way of bible study, fellowship and breaking of bread.
South Coast: We paid a visit to Bro Allan & Lucille Stead in Port Edward, Bro Garry & Sis Sue Boothway (inland of Port Edward), Sister Adrienne D’aeth in Margate. We also visited Bro Cleopas & sis Doreen Luvuno in Umlazi township and Bro Mhloli & Sis Buyiswa Malanga in Folweni.
Bro. Charlie has visited Margate a number of times to encourage Sis Fikezile, Bro Nelson and Bro Themba. He has also led the Kingdom Youth down there and has found their enthusiasm very encouraging.
Hilton: We have made a number of trips to Hilton. Bro David Oosthuisen and his wife Ginny who, together with Caroline (nee Leask) applied for baptism. We went up to their home in Hilton (north of Piertermaritzberg), and after a good confession of faith, both were duly baptised. There is an elderly sister in the area, Sis Sally Gibbings who lives in isolation. We suggested that Bro David start a new ecclesia in the area, which he has subsequently done and they are meeting on a regular basis. We plan to visit them from time-to-time in order to support them in any way possible.
Inanda: Bro Lithle & Sis Rosie Khanyile live in abject poverty in Inanda. They are both very active in teaching the gospel in their area. We have paid them a number of visits, and on one occasion were introduced as the ‘mfundisi’ (the teachers). We started off with 6 Sunday school students (who from time-to-time) ran out to fetch neighbours, friends and family. We ended up with 28 people listening to the gospel. Truly the ‘fields are white for harvest, but the labourers are few’.
Effingham: Last year we were making good progress with Bro Lucas Hadebe and a small group of keen Bible students in a squatter camp at Effingham. Unfortunately the group had a fall-out, and for now, our efforts there have been put on hold.
We had two applications for baptism. One from Numvula Khathi (the wife of Bro Bongani) at the far end of the Umlazi township, and the other from one of our BEC students, Miss Nonthanthla Mkhize. During Numvula’s confession, I asked why she wanted to be baptised? Her reply was amazing. “My husband Bongani was baptised 5 years ago. The change in him was remarkable. Everyday I could see that Jesus was with him. I want to be like him!’ If only our wives could say that of us.
Nonthanthla has been friends with, and works in the same office as Bro. Pierre Habumuremyi. Due to his constant ‘Christlike’ example, she too gave an excellent confession of faith, and was baptised in the saving Name of Jesus Christ. Both sisters are attending regularly.
We had our first combined fraternal at the end of February. 3 Speakers from 3 ecclesias spoke on the Kingdom of God Past, Present & Future. It was well attended by all our African brethren and sisters from Margate, Inanda, Umlazi, Lamontville, Clermont, Marriannhill and Pietermaritzburg. Our next fraternal is planned in about 2 weeks and will follow the same format. Our African brethren & sisters really appreciate these as it provides them with a healthy platform for learning about the gospel as well as a time of fellowship that they would not otherwise enjoy.
We spend a number of days in the week visiting some of the elderly members in the area. Some of them seldom get someone to share the readings and lift their spirits spiritually.
As you all know, on the 6th of this month Wendith was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. In incurable cancer of the bone marrow. Since then my preaching life has been put on hold. My prime concern is to care for her as best as I can. We are hoping in the months ahead to have some sort of routine, but for now life is a little chaotic as chemo is scheduled for one day, then because the blood tests are not right, that day is moved and becomes 2 days then 4 days in hospital while they try and stabilise her kidneys. Once we manage to get a routine, I can start to plan the projects that we had intended when we stared out this year.
When I am looking after Wendith at home, I have been given the opportunity by the COPT group to put my ‘graphic design’ skills to work. I am currently designing 3 websites. The new COPT site (the business portal). The Kingdom of God site (the teaching portal) The new Ignite2020 site (the touching portal). I am also able to design posters and flyers and promotional material for gospel proclamation events.
For now I am extremely grateful to Bro Matt Blewett for ‘batting for me’ during these times of trial and testing.
Bro Charlie Taylor
Although things haven’t quite turned out the way we had thought, Bro. Charlie has turned out to be my rock and support, and I am extremely grateful to have him as my partner. He gets on and does the work with a smile on his face. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him.
We are grateful to our Heavenly Father and His Son for the opportunities we have been given to serve our brothers, sisters and the various communities in the area.