Dear Friends,

You are probably already in the throes of Christmas programmes and some of you will soon be off on holiday. Here are a few items of interest.

1. George Whitefield College Children’s Course

David Seccombe has asked me to remind you of the Children’s Worker Course at George Whitefield College. There are not many applications for 2010. Would you kindly consider speaking to suitable people about this course? Churches continually ask me if I know of available Children’s workers. We all need them. It would also be good if men would consider this course. Furthermore, good children’s workers do not always need to be young; older and more mature people who have a gift with young children should also be encouraged

2. George Whitefield College 21st Birthday

Next year George Whitefield College celebrates its 21st Birthday. The Principal and his team are thinking about the best way to celebrate. Please continue to pray for and support George Whitefield College. You might consider inviting either the Principal or one of the faculty to do a weekend in your Church and put the focus on George Whitefield College next year.

3. Siegfried Ngubane

Siegfried has accepted the position of National Director of SIM. Siegfried is anxious that this move should not be misinterpreted. He continues to be a minister of CESA seconded to SIM. He will be based in Cape Town and so continue to play a role at GWC. He is also keen to be involved in CESA Churches although his duties will take him to all Churches and all parts of the country. It might be good to have him at your Church for a missions’ event. He and Maureen would value your prayers for them.

4. Raj Moodley

As you know Raj Moodley was made a Bishop on 21 November. It was a great time for all. Please support Raj and Evelyn with your prayers. It’s new territory for him and he and he and Warwick are planning a working programme. We are also praying and hoping for additional Bishops by next Synod. We pray that God will continue to raise up Godly leadership for us so that our denomination can move confidently into the future.

5. St John’s Church Umlazi

The 50th anniversary celebrations of St John’s Church on 22 November was a great occasion. Njabulo Mazibuko was in top form for the occasion. The Church was packed. There was much rejoicing, singing, dancing, laughter and God’s Word and the Gospel were affirmed. The greatness of this event can be understood only against the struggles they had in the past. Many years ago they had their buildings destroyed and for years met for worship under a tree. They were known as the Church under the Tree. Then more recently there were troubles that occasioned the Church being closed for 18 months. Happily these days are now over and a new era has dawned under the leadership of Njabulo. Please remember them when you pray for our CESA Churches.

6. Lily of the Valley and Makaphutu

Bishop Des Inglesby and I had the joy of visiting Lily and Makaphutu recently with Noel and Pat Wright. Once again the experience was overwhelming even though I have been there on several occasions. Each time I go new things are happening and it’s almost impossible to remember all the varied programmes and ministries in which they are engaged. If you get a chance to visit them, please go. If you can take a volunteer group, please do. But at least check out their website and pray regularly for them.

7. The Christian Care Centre Hillbrow

Although I have not visited there in a long time, Mike Sunker sends out a detailed newsletter. Here, too, is a most amazing ministry in the middle of Hillbrow where needy children are cared for and dedicated people work for the Lord.

It is quite trendy today for people to support charities. Pop stars, sports heroes, even Miss World, have to have some charity or charitable cause about which they are “passionate”. But for Christians it is a Gospel imperative as we have opportunities to do good to all people (Galatians 6:10). Our people are hands-on cleaning, working, playing with, speaking to, tending, nourishing and loving the needy as individuals. Praise God!

8. Personal

Since Synod in September I have had the privilege of speaking at many different Churches, including non-CESA. I have also attended several interdenominational events. It has been my special privilege since Synod to write nearly 300 letters to people to encourage them to follow Christ. Both Beulah and I consider reaching lost people to be the greatest privilege we can be given and hope to continue in this work, in one way or another, until the Lord takes us home. We will be away from 14 December to 14 January. After that I go to England for one weekend of convention meetings. Then the process begins of working toward next Synod and the handing over of leadership. Please pray for CESA and its leadership. Beloved colleagues, we must remember to be purposively evangelistic. Preach Christ. Live righteously. Love others. Invite people to come to Christ and pray that they Holy Spirit will enable them to do so. Next year soccer teams from around the world will compete for a trophy, for which they will need to compete for again in four years time. But our “trophy” is eternal. Paul puts it like this in 2 Timothy 4:8:

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Wishing you every blessing in Christ this Christmas time.