A typical landscape of Mid-Illovo
A typical landscape of Mid-Illovo

Christ Church – Mid-Illovo

A party comprising six members of the Rector’s Bible study group and two of the

Bereans Growth Group accompanied Wayne Barkhuizen and Mbongiseni Zuma to the

Mid-Illovo Parish Churches on Sunday 24th May 2009. The service and meeting at St

Luke’s on-the-hill Church was well attended by both adults and children and was

liturgical in format. Many of the ladies were dressed formally in black and white

church uniforms. The singing in Zulu (unaccompanied) was typically beautiful and

the children of all ages were extremely well behaved. An impromptu Annual Vestry

Meeting was held, explaining ministry, the role of their pastor and answering some

important questions. Everyone was encouraged by these developments.

The local community is dispersed over a wide area of remote and hilly

countryside and difficulty with transport was evidenced by the number of latecomers

to the service. The church building, although dating back to 1940, has a brand-new

roof and looks good for many years to come! Ernest Nzama’s rectory nearby is very

neat but could do with some TLC in the form of, for example, curtaining, floor

coverings and plumbing.

After the service we enjoyed some cool-drinks and biscuits with members of the

congregation and then set off to see the other two church buildings – Christ Church –

still in an early stage of construction with no roof, and Holy Trinity Church which has

no seating. Because the terrain is so hilly and with limited transport available it is

necessary to have numerous church venues to meet in.

Clearly, many opportunities exist for physical help with the facilities, and also with

ministry to the many women and children in the area. Difficulties that would need to

be dealt with include; transport problems in the community, language – for those of

us who can’t speak Zulu and the fact that the community is poor – as much as 85%


St Mary’s Church – Sobantu

We thank God for being with us each and every Sunday during our church services.

We were all so encouraged after finishing the Bible series “Close Encounters with

Jesus” from the Gospel of John. God spoke to us through His Word by rebuking,

correcting, training and teaching us all we need to do and also those things we need

to get rid off in our lives. We learned a lot last term and this term we will be looking at

1 Corinthians. God is certainly with us. During the next term, which will be the last

term of the year, we are planning to preach on topical issues.

In our weekly Bible study, on Wednesday evenings, we are just about to finish the

books of 1 & 2 Corinthians. It was so helpful to start the book from the very beginning

and study it till the end, to help us better understand its message. We have really been

able to understand the background, and realized that this is really a relevant

message for us as Christians today as it was for these Corinthians. We pray that God

will change us to be more like Christ and help us apply these truths to our lives.

We had our first ever Annual Vestry Meeting on the 12 July 2009, where we

covered 4 important issues, namely: electing a new Church Council, adopting our

very own local Church Constitution, better understanding our church status as a

daughter church and finally presenting all the necessary ministry reports. I

personally was so encouraged and all people were so excited about ministry at our

church. Our Rector also visited us for this important meeting to challenge us to serve

Christ effectively within our community and explained CESA procedures of ministry.

We also committed ourselves to pay our 10% CESA levy.

Last term we had a full week for evangelism from the 19 – 28 June. We witnessed

God working in people’s lives which was awesome. Five people gave their lives to

Christ. We walked the streets telling people about Christ and inviting them to the

evening services which started at 7.00pm – 8:30pm for the whole week.

Please continue to pray for us here as I see a promising future for this little

church here.

Emmanuel Church – Imbali 2

These past few months have seen some BIG changes at Emmanuel Church. A very

kind donation of wood crates from a large local company enabled the church to fix

the shack’s floor. A cartage company transported this material to the site for free.

There was so much extra wood that an extra little room for Sunday School was also

built. This has made a real difference to the structure for which we thank God.

Regrettably, our full-time pastoral apprentice was ensnared in an immoral

relationship, and, for obvious reasons, has now been dismissed. He was placed under

discipline until the end of 2010 when, dependant on his response, his future ministry

will be decided upon. Sadly, the young woman involved is now pregnant. By God’s

grace, his relationship with his wife has been saved but there is plenty work ahead to

fix the damage. He has responded in repentance and submitted to discipline. This is a

massive setback for the work and a tragic reminder of how the evil one is able to

destroy God’s worker and work. With immediate effect Sipho Ngubane, another

fulltime apprentice, has been appointed to lead the work. He will need much prayer

and support to consolidate the work. He has also just recently got married so will

need to adjust to married life and his new responsibilities in ministry.

Yet a sign of the good health of the church was that, in spite of the

disappointments with their pastor, the entire church leadership attended a 3 night’s

Winter Bible School hosted at Holy Trinity Church to help them better understand

God’s word. Transport was arranged and all 6 leaders attended every evening and

were so grateful for the teaching and training.