News from the Presiding Bishop – December 2018

Its been quite a year for our denomination and there have been many exciting gospel developments as well as some very complex challenges.  The difficult economic and political climate has also been reflected in our local church contexts, but by God’s grace we have been able to persevere and continue to see healthy signs of conversion, discipleship and ministry growth.  Our God grows and strengthens His church through adversity, such is His divine wisdom.  

2018 in Review

 Our Bible College (GWC) has had a large crop of applicants for 2019. So far there are 45 students enrolled for the first year programs. This is a heartening sign and we are most grateful to God for raising up a new generation of men and women for the harvest fields.  Our College is a critical part of our ministry pipeline and relies heavily on partnerships with people and organizations who see the strategic significance of Theological Education in Africa.  We are grateful to God for such Gospel minded donors who invest strategically in the growth of God’s Kingdom. 

 

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Providing Tuition Bursaries for REACH-SA students at George Whitefield College
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Some encouraging highlights this year were our Gospel DNA ministry conference where Richard Coekin exhorted us in a series of very applicable ministry teachings from Acts 20.  We also had a strong focus on Women in Ministry this year with teaching visits from Jenny Salt (Aus) and Carrie Sandom (UK).  

Our Synod was held at Christ Church Midrand and our speaker at the opening service was Bishop Bethlehem Nopece who has just retired as Bishop of Port Elizabeth Diocese.  He also chaired our GAFCON delegation to Jerusalem in June.  Bishop Jomo Mchunu did our Synod Bible readings and his messages were both soul searching and deeply encouraging.  Carrie Sandom also delivered an excellent talk outlining a clear Biblical understanding of the role of women in ministry. Next year GWC will host a combined National Synod and Ministry Conference at their college.  We look forward to an encouraging week of Gospel teaching and Gospel business sessions. 

It was also exciting to see so many of our churches and pastors attending the launch of The Gospel Coalition Africa.  We are thrilled to be involved in this important move towards growing a cohesive network of African theology, teaching and discipleship across our vast continent. 

Prayer Points

  • Pray for our bishops, ministers and gospel workers as they plan, prepare and participate in active gospel ministry over a season where most people are winding down and in holiday mode. Call on the Lord to bring responsive hearts from the many who will be attending Christmas services and seasonal events in our REACH-SA churches across the country. Pray also for the many teens and their leaders who will be attending Crossword camps in our regions. Ask the Lord for lives to be won for Christ.
  • A number of our churches are facing challenging times both with land issues as well as financial issues. Pray for wisdom from our leadership and God’s provision for all our needs.
  • Remember to pray for those who face this holiday season without loved ones or without means. Many people deal struggle with loneliness and sadness over this “festive” season. Also consider how you can be some part of the answer to this prayer.

We are soon to enter a new year which holds much mystery and even some concern for us. We make our plans but the Lord determines the outcomes. Let us continue to trust and pray that God will unfold His good purposes in our lives and enable us to keep looking to Him through all that lies ahead.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:5

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