September Prayer Requests and Updates

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.   1 Thess. 5:16-18

We know that many of God’s people have been praying for us without ceasing.  In this,  we give thanks and find reason to rejoice!!  Please continue to pray.

1. Living Hope Church rents a facility on Sunday afternoons in which its members joyfully gather and worship.  The leaders of the church have been informed recently that the rent is scheduled to be raised by 400% starting in January 2013!  This extreme increase has provided the church body with the opportunity to search for a different facility and trust in God’s miraculous provision!  Please pray that God would direct, lead and guide the church body concerning where they are to gather.  Also, pray that the church leaders would be trusting and discerning in God’s will for the church.

Randy with the Young Singles Group from Living Hope Church

2. AWANA also needs a mid-week facility in which to meet.  The church is eager and excited to begin this program to reach the children and families of Sunnyside and its surrounding areas with the gospel.  Randy and Andre will begin combing the city to find room(s) to rent for both a Sunday church service and an AWANA program. Please pray that God would lead them to the right place for the needs of this program.  One ideal solution would be that God would provide for church’s and AWANA’s need in one location!

3.  We are discovering that discipleship is a major priority for the members of Living Hope Church!  It has been exciting for Randy to participate in the start-up of a discipleship group in inner-city Salvocop.  Randy, Andre and Nixon (an intern pastor at Living Hope), are working alongside Cladious, a member of Living Hope who lives in Salvocop. They have started a weekly Bible Study to reach this community with the light of the gospel. Cladious is a refugee from Zimbabwe and was crippled by polio at age 8.  Of his seven siblings, he is the only one still alive.  He lives in this inner-city community with his wife and 3 children.  His “home” is a mere tin shack without electricity or running water.

Cladious and his wife, Praise, in front of their home. Photo courtesy of Mark Jacobs.

He was invited to Living Hope church 1 ½ years ago and has faithfully been attending ever since.

“The word I received at Living Hope was very different than that of the other church I was attending.  At that church I learned that my salvation is based on good works, but at Living Hope I learned the truth.  My salvation is based on my belief that Jesus died for my sins and good works will follow after”. Pastor Josh Mack had the privilege of baptizing Cladious on March 18, 2012.

When asked how understanding the gospel has changed him, he replied, “I now know how to choose between right and wrong, what to teach my children and how to choose my friends.”

We are thankful that Cladious will come to work for us twice a month doing various outdoor work around our home.

Please pray for the Bible study that has been started in Salvocop and that the light of Christ would penetrate and transform the hearts of those who come.

Nixon, Randy and Cladious after Bible study by candle light.

Also, please pray for Cladious.  He desires better living conditions for his family.  The roof of his tin shack leaks when it rains and he spends much money on candles to keep his home lit at night.  He also asked that you would pray that “he would be strong in the word of God and be able to share this word with other friends so that they would know the truth”

4. Last weekend, we spent some time on the farm of Alan and Charleen Lester.  Alan is an elder for Living Hope church and his family journeys 1½ hours (one way) to attend Sunday church service.  I asked him to share his family’s dream and prayer for this extensive property.  Since I cannot improve on his response, I will simply excerpt it here:

“When John opens his first epistle, speaking to his readers about the Lord Jesus Christ, he doesn’t simply begin with the facts; he begins with the glorious concept. He speaks of the eternal, unfathomable glory of the Word, through whom God created the universe. Then at the same time he speaks of that stupendous being sitting with them in an ordinary human body that they, weak, needy, simple, sinners, could listen to with their ears, look at with their eyes, and touch with their hands. How it must have stirred John to consider Jesus coming to him personally, and to have called himself the one whom Jesus loved. So John is in love with the tremendous glory of God’s eternal intentions, projected down into the humble person of Christ, whom he actually touched with his hands…

Grace Manor- Home of the Lester Family

We desire a place where people can come to see Christ from this perspective.We desire a place where people leave the world of cares outside the gate and come solely to perceive Jesus. A place where, after you have parked your car in the parking area, you walk with your bags to a small room, that when you enter it, you feel as if you are coming home. A place where electronic communication devices are turned off and left in your room. A place with paved walkways between the rooms that lead to a central meeting area, where campers can spend un-rushed time in Christian fellowship around a fire under the vast African skies, surrounded by God’s gracious soft night sounds. A place where Christians, as it were, can find the lovely Jesus sitting at the fire, providing food for His disciples…We desire a place, and have been praying for this for the best part of two decades, where Christ is preached during the day, and in the evenings, every mouth is deliberately hushed, except for songs of praise and dialogue about our glorious Saviour.

The Lester, Mack and Clark kids had a blast exploring the farm!

Our fifty-seven hectare (140 acres) farm, forty kilometres outside the town of Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng, was originally purchased with two goals in mind. My father, Clinton Lester, who is supported by the believers who meet at Bethel Chapel Pretoria, as a missionary to Zulu Christians, has always desired a campsite where he can train African pastors for Africa. Toward this goal, he has laboured selflessly for the best part of twenty years. He has pressed himself to the limits of his physical endurance and financial resources in order to see this project established. He has already erected the chapel itself, with a kitchen area, along with toilet facilities, which are not yet functional. Also under construction is an area for accommodation.

The chapel built by Alan, his father and brothers. The inside is incomplete, still in need of a kitchen and flooring.

Charleen and I are founding members of Living Hope Church Sunnyside, which meets approximately ninety kilometres from our home. We desire to see the campsite on the farm being instrumental in aiding the growth of that church as well. The church loves the farm, and we desire to make it a home away from home for them, where they can really apply themselves to the work and pleasure of knowing Christ.

Charleen and Alan Lester

 

If this farm serves the purpose of drawing people not only from a lost eternity into the delightful inheritance of the saints, but also draws people into a more accurate and rewarding relationship with Christ, it has served a higher purpose than any land could ever serve.”  Learn more about the Lester family here.

4 thoughts on “September Prayer Requests and Updates

  1. Pingback: Come, behold the works of the Lord! | Journey with us as we follow Christ to South Africa.

  2. Pingback: Happy New Year! | Journey with us as we follow Christ to South Africa.

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