(Walking to and from the BEC – Hamba means to travel, walk, etc)
In my “Hamba Ministries” activities (walking the streets of Durban and sharing God’s Master Plan course) I have met several people who are pursuing the course diligently. One of them, Stella, has completed God’s Master Plan and is currently working on our “Learn Your Bible” course. I met Stella and about 5 other students at a hairdressers at the edge of Durban Town Center, as it was on my path into town. About 3 weeks ago, Stella quite working at the hairdressers at the edge of town and I haven’t seen her since until last Thursday. On Thursday, I heard a little commotion inside the BEC and then Mary Wilondja came to the study room in the back and brought Stella in with her. Stella very excitedly told me that she and her husband both know Mary and Boniface, that they are friends, and are completely surprised that they are part of our church. I then asked the Very Excited Stella how her studies are coming and how she is enjoying what she is learning of the Bible. Stella was VERY excited to tell me how much she was enjoying and benefitting from what she has learned and how much she values the courses that she has taken so far. Then I asked her if she would like to come to church and she said she would really like that, and that she plans on coming to meeting with her husband and kids. She was totally pumped!!
And after this, so was I. Think of it. 3 Million people m/l in the Durban area. What are the odds that I would have 12 students actively working on the God’s Master Plan and Learn Your Bible courses, and of those 12 students, at least 2 of them know Mary Wilondja who goes to the Durban Ecclesia? Incredible!
I have two more amazing students from the Hamba Ministries. One is John Yeboah and the other is Isaac Muningo. Currently John and Isaac are both completing the Learn Your Bible courses and will begin on the next set of courses within a couple of weeks. We are having VERY stimulating discussions on the One God, How we are created to Manifest God’s Glory and many other wonderful topics, all related to the faith of the Kingdom of God. Today’s study was a 4.5 hour “marathon”, and I was about to apologize for the intensity and duration, and they were asking me if I could spend some more long days this week to continue the discussion. WOW, you’ve got to love the energy and excitement of people who are this motivated to hear the Word of God spoken!
God continues to show me that He will do the Work, I just need to keep stepping out in Faith!
974 New students since March 1st.
We are averaging 45 new students weekly as a result of active Bible reading outside and the BEC Singing on Friday. Amazing participation. This is statistical observation beginning March 1st of 2010. The average daily New student count is now 7.5 as compared to 2.5 new students daily last year. To put this into perspective, we’ve totalled 974 New students since March 1st, 2010. This does NOT include students who progress to the next class (Learn your Bible), etc. Amazing.
Satelite instruction. We have some previous students who are returning to collect class material from us to help teach Bible classes to their friends and the churches that some of them come from. Sometimes the classes can be as many as 50 students. Amazing!
Fundisi (Minister) Class
The stated objective of the ministers course is to provide a common vision and foundation for the group of ministers so that they can support each others in their preaching efforts, as well as provide consistent, biblically based teachings for their congregation. I anticipate their goal is to combine their congregations into a larger church one day.
I am so excited with the continued participation, excitement and energy of the 5 ministers in my God’s Master Plan class! Two sessions remain to complete the God’s Master Plan course, after which we expect to continue with the Learn Your Bible coursework. I’m personally very excited about their progress and would invite you to pray for us as we continue to progress into richer and meatier Biblical topics! Praise God!
In the Following picture, from the Bottom Left: Ntombifikile Undlovu, Bhekizenzo Ngobese, Xolani Bomvana, Nomhle Ngquzuka, Norbert Myeza. An awesome group of student ministers.
P2P South Africa
Kim and I have been in South Africa, contributing as missionaries for the last year, but funny enough, never had any official “training”, just a little OJT (Thanks Paul and Jane + local contributors). We are very fortunate to participate in the P2P South Africa, that was run by some very experienced British Ladies (Jude Norcross and Esther Abson) and had great contributions from the Local Brethren! It was an excellent opportunity to collect many brothers and sisters of all ages who were looking for ways to expand their preaching horizons. It was very beneficial in helping us to understand that Preaching comes in many forms, and that each person has traits, skills and raw talents that allow them to be effective in different ways. The one thing in common that all believers have is that we are to be Passionate for the faith, and we are to use whatever skills God has given us to effectively express our passion of God and Christ and the Kingdom to come! Wonderfully beneficial course.
Some people build swingsets, some encourage people in hardship, some preach, some teach, some help by administering, some just lend a helping hand and some counsel. All believers can contribute in some way…But at the root of our involvement in the lives of others, is our desire to “touch” others for Jesus’ sake!
Oh, and it must be added that this course is designed for ALL ages (the little’s didn’t actually attend, though 😉
The Claremont project is being run principally by the Palmer family with help from many volunteers, but we’ve experienced much interest in this little community, so we’ve realized that God wants us to be involved here. We are collaboratively developing relationships in the township and arranging activities to begin to help the local community learn to trust us. In July, the volunteers and friends did a “Kick-Off” event that included a “Grand Opening” of a house we use for a church, and had a Braai (BBQ) and singing in the community. The Beelers were happy to participate in the event, and seek to contribute to several events with Claremont each month. It is definitely interesting to see how important it is to first develop a trust with a community before putting in a church presence.
General news and activities
I have translated the “Christadelphian Bible Companion” into Zulu. It will be professionally printed within two weeks, and we will hand out our Daily reading program to those people who purchase our Bibles, and to our students to help encourage them to read their Bible daily. However, our Zulu, Xhosa, and French Bibles all have different book names, and even Month name differences. To address this opportunity, I have also completed the form for a Zulu to English Books of the Bible cross reference bookmark, that is the same dimension of the Zulu Bible Companion, that is finally ready to go to print and should be completed in two more weeks. YEAH!!!
We’ve had 3 baptisms in the Durban / Westville / Mariannhill ecclesias this Month, that I know of. Vincent, Jabu and Sizwe. Amazing the amount of committed interest that we are seeing, who are answering the call of God & Jesus! AMEN!!
September is shaping up to be an amazing month!
Student followup hasn’t begun yet, as we need a full program to initiate. Anticipate beginning after Bible School and following P2P session, both occurring in Sept/Oct. The next month will prove to be incredibly busy!
Bible School in September
P2P session with 4 teams in South Africa beginning in Septemeber