WCF Report April 2010
Some very interesting developments have taken place over the past two months, as the work continues to expand rapidly. Durban, Clermont, Soweto, Umlazi and Maphumulo have all been the scenes of marked progress…”cast your bread upon the waters.”
My own work continues to be focused in two main areas:
The Durban BEC has been the magnet, not only for the many lessons taught there and courses marked, but also as the starting point for preaching activities elsewhere. Several BEC students now regularly attend a new Saturday morning class held every week at the Durban Hall. Five sessions, based on God’s Master Plan, are now being held for an average of nine interested friends and nine recently baptized members. Bro. Ben and I have joined forces, as Ben has been given a leading preaching role for the area, and I have a responsibility for the spiritual development of recently baptized members. These classes are working extremely well.
In addition to nine or ten member attending the joint Saturday morning sessions with interested friends, we are expanding their experiences by having lunch, and including them in the following activities:
A. a preaching/singing activity in the afternoon (monthly)
B. a new “Life in Christ” discussion class suitable for their present levels (fortnightly)
C. a fellowship/social afternoon (monthly)
These additional sessions are proving to be very helpful and much appreciated by the group.
I reported last time about a visit to talk to several hundred young people in Maphumulo, a large township about 1.5 hours north of Durban. After a very successful initial meeting, plans are in hand to begin regular fortnightly Bible studies with around 30 prospective university students, beginning in June. With Bro. Cam, Bro. Ben and myself already teaching classes every Saturday, Bro. Phil Ashcroft, a very competent P2Per, has agreed to lead these studies.
The Sunday afternoon seminars, led by Bro. Barry Van Heerden and myself continue fortnightly. Local, recently baptized members, are developing their skills by introducing Bible topics to the group of brethren, sisters and interested friends. This is now a well established and profitable class.
Another focus area in our work, and one that is sometimes overlooked in our community. We must take advantage of the early enthusiasm of newly baptized members to help them develop into the roles that best fit them. The first few years after baptism are vital, we must strike while the Iron is Hot. Spending quality time together, dedicated to scriptural teaching, Biblical encouragement and close fellowship while focusing on committing our life to Jesus and God soon after baptism, will make all the difference, enabling members becoming dedicated, dynamic members of our community for a lifetime. The Monday and Friday Bible classes are committed specifically to newly baptized members, providing the opportunity to share fellowship, Bible truth and spiritual encouragement.
2. TEACHING FUTURE TEACHERS
Developing the abilities of younger baptized members be they local or volunteers, is an extremely important part of my personal contribution to the work. Weekly classes are held in various places on Monday, Tuesday and Friday evening in addition to the Saturday and Sunday classes. The long-term preaching future in South Africa very much depends on how many young local brethren and sisters develop the enthusiasm and teaching skills to carry on the work. Consistency of teaching is vital, and will be a major focus for me as long as I am in South Africa.
Another exciting project is being led by Bro. Cam, recently confirmed as the “South African” brother with the portfolio for preaching. At the request of a group of 10 pastors – who are seeking a unified preaching approach and message. He will be teaching using the God’s Master Plan, Learn your Bible and related correspondence courses, as well as some custom materials and assignments to help them develop a solid, unified, Biblical message to pass on to their congregations.
Lot’s of exciting projects and amazing potential is being seen and realized. Truly the Fields are ripe for the Harvest!
One final comment I enjoyed from Bro. Chris Abson, visiting his daughter Esther. Chris was having an informal talk with Nozipho, an older pupil at Happy’s school for the physically challenged, who has asked for baptism.
Chris: “Who’s son is Jesus?”
Nozipho: “The Son of God”
Chris: “Who else’s son?” (expecting Mary’s)
Nozipho: “The Son of David!”
With love in Jesus,