Our Father in Heaven Gives the Increase
Four years ago the Christadelphians based in Westville were given funds to build a community centre. It was decided to build it in Lamontville because a previous outreach programme resulted in five local ladies being baptised. Surprisingly, when the doors of the community centre were opened not one of these baptised sisters attended the first breaking of bread service. Most had moved from the area and one of the sisters had also sadly died.
At our first breaking of bread meeting there were 2 brothers and 1 sister who attended. These brothers and sister were unknown to the community. Comforted by the words of Jesus that where three or four are gathered in his name there he is with them, they remembered Jesus while at the same time asking for his help to make contact and help the community. Part of their challenge was to gain the trust of people who may not be accustomed to receive good news from pure strangers. As the weeks went by they continued to worry God and His Son, asking how they could share the Good News in a positive and practical way within a very poor community. With time they developed this idea that instead of expecting the people to come to them that they would take the Good News to each household door. Each Sunday they roamed the paths between make-shift homes offering a warm smile and transforming the Good News from words to bread. Bread was handed to people their hands outstretched, hearts rejoicing and minds enquiring who we are and why we are taking the trouble to help.
Over the years not much has changed other than the fact that we learned lasting love generates trust. Our commitment to the community has been that we will be there week in and week out, that they are now our family and that their pain is our pain. Today we have been blessed with an Ecclesia that has grown from 3 to 13 baptised members. Six of these members are from the surrounding area and to witness how God, Jesus, the angels are active in assisting us all to overcome racial and cultural barriers are indeed a modern and living miracle. Lamontville continues to grow and we now have twenty active young people who attend all the functions held on a regular basis. The Sunday School has fifty regular children attending and ranging from the ages of 3 to 12 years of age. The youth and Sunday School have had opportunities to attend Bible schools, youth camps and Sunday School weekends where they have met other youth from other neighbouring Ecclesias.
Field workers visiting South Africa have introduced new programmes to the Lamontville Community Centre such as English extension classes, foreign pen pals, after school homework club and mighty men and gospel girl’s classes. All of these activities have helped to bring the young people together and to help them nurture new friendships too. We have become a real family and Lamontville will always touch your heart and remind you that there is an urgent need for each one of us to bring the kingdom joys to the poor today – while at the same time acknowledging that we cannot do this alone, we need Jesus to come back so together with Him we can continue to rebuild this earth and give new hope to its people.
We pray our heavenly Father will continue to strengthen and grow us as we spread His Good News to those in the Lamontville area.