REPORT ON THE LORD’S MOVE IN SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 2019
Presently, there are approximately 500 saints in South Africa, meeting in 9 localities all of whom take the Lord’s Table, testifiying of the one Body. The number of saints meeting in these locailties vary significantly with the church in Pretoria having approximately 150-180 saints meeting regularly, while the church in Cape Town and the church in Johannesburg each have about 50-60 saints who meet regularly. In addition to the churches in these 9 places, there are groups of saints meeting weekly, as well as individuals who are consistently pursuing the up to date ministry in another 22 locations. The map below indicates the various locations.
There are 2 annual conferences for Southern African countries held in Pretoria every year.
These are attended by approximately 400 saints. In addition, there are around 5 other reoccurring conferences hosted by various localities yearly.
The Lord has faithfully continued the furtherance of His move in recovery here in South Africa. This report presents a brief overview of His advance, mainly in Pretoria, where the church life started some years ago and will conclude with an item on the Full Time Training which commenced in 2013 in Pretoria.
Campus work (Pretoria)
The South African university calendar runs from January through December and we ended 2018 with a customary Annual National Student Training, attended by 46 students, of which 7 were baptised. Decidedly, this was our best Student Training to date, with regard to the strengthening of coordination amongst the participants, and also their having grown in maturity and being built up more in the church. This benefit was carried forward to our Student Internship in January where the participants were equipped to contact new students on campus in a good way, and to clearly share our faith with them. We were richly supplied in the close coordination amongst the full-time serving ones, the students who meet with us and the Full Time Trainees.
Over 300 students have signed up (as of 20 February) for further contact and we are following up with them one by one, in small on-campus group Bible studies and by means of a Lord’s Day late afternoon ministry series at the church in Pretoria’s meeting hall, called “Solid Ground”.
High Schoolers Work
An annual young people's conference is held during the weekend preceding the start of the new school year. This year, during the weekend of 4 - 6 January, 36 young people (ages 12 - 19) from various areas in South Africa and from Lesotho attended. Monthly get-togethers are arranged for the young people, which occur after every combined meeting of the Church in Pretoria. The emphasis during these times is mainly on cherishing the young ones.
In addition to these times we are endeavouring to establish more frequent contact with the young people by means of regular visitations, phone calls and text messages. They are also increasingly being brought into practical services at our conferences and church meetings, resulting in their developing the experience of being at home in the church. As a developing burden, there has been a sense to consider a "truth school" for our young people, and we are seeking the Lord’s leading through much prayerful fellowship in this regard.
Children’s Work (Pretoria)
Children's service meetings are conducted every Lord's Day in the three districts in which meetings are held. During the course of last year, in response to a burden to intensify our coordination and service with the children, three steps were taken:
- Having a most enjoyable day-event in June where we sang new songs with the children and told them stories from the Gospel of Mark. A number of children from the community were invited, whose parents also attended. About 60 children were present;
- A good number of parents and burdened saints regularly attended more frequent times of fellowship, perfecting, coordination and prayer on our cildren’s work;
- A neighbourhood children's meeting was started with the help of serving ones from the FTTP. We hope to have many more of these meetings in the future.
Young Adults Work
After much consideration, fellowship and prayer, there was a feeling to start a young adults work in South Africa. From 16-18 November 2018 the first young adults retreat was held in the northern part of South Africa, with 30 saints attending. The topic of the weekend was “Recovering our Function in the Church Life to be Normal Functioning Members in the Body of Christ.” The atmosphere of the weekend was wonderful, and the Lord touched many of the young adults. Some of them have since become burdened for their friends and for younger saints in the church life. We also had a day fellowship gathering during November for the young adults with around 20 saints attending the fellowship. Subsequently we have just ended another retreat for saints in this stage in life from March 21-23, 2019.
The church in Pretoria currently meets in 3 districts, and it is anticipated that a fourth district will be established in the foreseeable future. We have a total of 22 small group meetings in Pretoria. The saints are picking up a burden for the gospel and for visiting people in their homes as part of progressing in practicing the God-ordained way. Since January this year, the prayer meeting was rearranged into smaller groups which now meet in a number of homes, and join together for combined prayer once a month.
Full Time Training in Pretoria ( FTTP )
Nine trainees completed their 2 years training in December 2018, and a total of 44 trainees have graduated from the FTTP since 2013. Of the saints who have graduated from the FTTP—some are furthering their education, others have taken up employment, and a number were called to serving fulltime—their functioning in the churches has proven to be a great profit to the churches here and abroad. Eleven trainees have enrolled in the current term which started in February of this year. Six of these saints are South African, and the others are from Zimbabwe, Angola, Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana respectively.