Central Baptist Church: Rustenburg

Karabo and his wife Khensi and their two boys

“…I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” – Matthew 16:18

The promise of our faithful Lord and Saviour has been a great encouraging in the season we find ourselves in as we serve God’s people in Rustenburg. Jesus Christ is committed to the success of His church, and this frees us from anxiety in the midst of challenges and discouragement. Below is a brief report what God has been doing in our family and the church.

 

Family Life

The past few months have been mixed with both trials and joys. Strangely, my wife and I  have been struggling with constant headaches, but my wife’s have been much worse.  She was given medication for migraines and has been responding well to the  medication. On the other hand, we are experiencing the sustaining grace of God in our  family – raising our boys (Lwazi and Nkazimulo) has been a joy and it is wonderful to see  the grow. Recently I have started with my Masters Degree in the New Testament after a generous sponsorship to pay for my studies – I pray it will be a fruitful endeavour and  will work to serve the church well in the future.  

Church Life:

It has been encouraging to see how the church is growing in their desire to pray together.  Seeing God’s people on their knees together calling on the name of Lord is something  that has been a joy. We have been intentional about meeting together for prayer during  the week as a church and gathering before church. 

We have started with street evangelism in the inner city, it is an area that is frequented by people, presenting a great opportunity to reach many with the gospel. This has also  presented an opportunity for one on one with those who stop to hear the word being  preached. Our desire is that God will bring fruit from this by drawing his own people to  the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  

However, amidst the progress, we have encountered challenges inherent to our  transient town. With the platinum price dropping to its record low, many people are  leaving Rustenburg in search of employment elsewhere. Since late last year, we have  seen a significant number of members leave Rustenburg, and unfortunately, this trend  has continued into the current year. Several members who were with us at the beginning  of the year have since moved away, impacting our church’s stability. 

One of the most tangible effects of this exodus has been felt in our finances. From  October 2023 to February 2024, the church faced difficulties in meeting its financial  obligations, particularly in paying rates and taxes. However, through prudent  management and the generosity of remaining members, we have been able to stabilize  our financial situation in recent months. However in the midst of all this, our hope remains secured that Christ will build His  church, and that the gospel will prevail.  

What to pray for: 

  • Pray for faithfulness and perseverance as we serve the church 
  • Pray for our evangelism efforts, that God will be pleased to save many Pray for financial stability as we experience a loss of members
  •  Pray that some of our church members will stay in Rustenburg instead of moving.

 

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Unity Bible Church: Malawi, Zomba

“After 15 months since we started the work of church planting, it has pleased the Lord that we would finally welcome the first group of people as members of UBC. My heart is filled with a lot of emotions looking at what God has been doing in His church here at UBC. It is not too long ago when if three people won’t show up for church, I would be preaching to my family only. Fast forward to this month, we have welcomed 10 people as members of UBC.”

Maya Kuthyola update-compressed
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Amazing Grace Baptist Church: Xigalo-Limpopo

Aaron and Clara with their three daughters

Family Life 
We thank God for His amazing grace upon our family. We thank God for sustaining us in various areas of our lives. The Lord is continuing to work in our lives to change us to be more like His Son Jesus Christ. Through His Word, Holy Spirit and circumstances the Lord is humbling us and causes us to behold His Son Jesus Christ. We thank God for the times we are able to have devotions in our family. Through them we strive to mortify the deeds of the flesh and strive to be renewed in the spirit of our minds and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. In our devotion we read the Scriptures and pray together. It’s not always easy but by God’s grace we are striving to maintain family devotions.Our girls have done so well in their first term school results, and we thank God for His grace upon them, who gives them understanding and wisdom to comprehend what they are learning at school. We thank God that they also still attend children’s ministry consistently and willingly.

Local Church Ministry
The Lord according his grace continues to build and keep his church. He began the work and he is sustaining the work and he will bring it to completion and fulfil all his purposes. We thank God I witness growth in some members of our church. Our midweek services are well attended and we notice a consistency with the Sunday service attendees also. 

Through His word God is exposing and changing our hearts and humbles us by showering us with his undeserved blessings. Our church is a village church and disadvantaged area but the Lord is changing the lives of people both spiritually and socially. Amongst the members few young people are employed as educators by the government and it is a milestone for our
church which has a humble beginning and which is still not developed. We just pray that these young people may have hearts that love Jesus that they will be able to be a blessing to the church.

 

Sunday Service at Xigalo, Aaron preaching

In some of our African churches we face difficulties when it comes to people who are blessed to support God’s work. I’m not really sure where we get this wrong. Some of our African Christians both the poor and well to do are not givers. They tend to be self-centered and it is the battle that we still face even with members of our church. Generosity is a huge struggle to some who are blessed by God. But we thank God for the few that are faithfully worship God with their finances. I just trust that we need to hold on there and persevere to teach the word and let God do only what He can; soften peoples hearts and teach them to be generous.

It was an exciting April as a sister Dzuniso Chauke and brother Oupa Mabaso (one of our first members of our church) were united in holy matrimony married. Having grown up in our church it was a time of great rejoicing for all and wonderful encouragement especially for the youth to follow in her footsteps. The bridegroom is from our mother church, Muchipisi where Pastor Kenneth is shepherds. We thank God for His grace. And this will edify the church and witness for our Saviour who is the author of marriage.

Joint Youth Meeting of Xigalo and Nyavani churches

Our church ministries are going well, especially the youth ministry and for that we thank God. We have a number of young people who attend the youth services on Fridays consistently. I’m currently shepherding and assisting in youth ministry. My fellow elder Pastor Stanford Chauke was responsible for youth ministry but since he is now pastoring our church plant in his village I have taken over the youth ministry. Our arrangement is that some days the two groups will be combined for fellowship and co-labouring. Our prayer is that God may raise other young men to take over this ministry, until such a time, I will be ministering and shepherding the youth of our church.

 

Church Plant

Our new church plant is coming along very well. Pastor Stanford and his wife are doing a good job there to shepherd this new church. The ministries are going well and the number of the people and the commitment is so impressive. The Lord is building this church in such a wonderful way. It’s a new church but their zeal and commitment is amazing. Please keep this young church in your prayers and that the body would grow into a mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Aaron’s personal study and devotion 
In my personal study I have been blessed to read the book by Erwin W. Lutzer called “One minute after you die”. It is such a wonderful book that warmed my heart and gave me a very clear picture about what the Bible teaches about afterlife. I think it’s also a great resource to help us teach others about what the Bible teaches on life after death. 

I have also been blessed reading an anthology from the Reformed Pastor by Stuart Baxter called “Pastoral Ministry”. One of the things that really convicted me it’s when he was talking about a pastor as an example and he said, “One proud, surly, lordly word, one needless contention, one covetous action, may cut the throat of many a sermon.” I learned that how I live has much impact on my preaching and teaching. I may strive to preach well but I may shut people’s hearing by my ungodly living.

I’m currently reading a book by Joseph Allein called a “Sure Guide To Heaven.” Yoo-hoo it’s such a great book as well. When talking about the mistakes about conversion he says, conversion is not taking upon us the profession of Christianity. Conversion is not putting on the badge of Christ in baptism. Conversion does not lie in moral righteousness. Conversion does not consist in an external conformity to the rules of piety. Conversion is not the mere chaining up of corruption by education, human laws or the force of affliction. And Conversion does not consist in illumination or conviction or in a superficial change or partial change or partial reformation. On this point he says, “So a man may pass through various transmutations, from ignorance to knowledge, from profanity to civility, then to a form of religion, and all this time he is still carnal and unregenerate, his nature remains unchanged.” He continues: “O repent and be converted, break off your sins by righteousness. Away to Christ for pardoning and renewing grace. Give up yourselves to Him, to walk with Him in holiness, or you shall never see God.” These books have challenged me to be faithfully devoted to His work and to be certain about my preparedness to meet my maker.

From the Scriptures I have reading the book of 1 John and I was very much humbled and built up to examine myself if I love my brother and if I don’t continue to live in sin and if I do not love the world and if I keep God’s commandments. It challenged me to examine myself to see if I am in the faith. I thank God for His sweet word and the writings of other men that are so
enlightening about the truth of God’s word. They both sharpen me spiritually and encourage me to be more equipped for ministry. This plus the time I spend tutoring Mukhanyo classestruly sharpen me to keep focused and challenged and growing. Recently at Mukhanyo I have been teaching African church history and I’m learning about African and South African Church History. I’m so grateful to God for these opportunities, I am so thankful to God for the privilege of attending an Apologetics conference in Harare, Zimbabwe in January. My colleague from Mukhanyo extended the invitation and also helped cover a large part of my travel cost. We had a fruitful time to learn about defending our faith, learning from the suited men and interacting with the fellow attendees was so enriching. Currently we are enrolled into the certificate program which will end in July. It is an excellent online study attended on Saturdays, with affordable fees,  and thank God for my colleague who also covered my fees for this course. This certificate course is ran by Apologeticts on Mission based in USA.

Dumela Mission Trip

Praise God I was able to join the Amazing Grace Baptist Church Mission trip to Mozambique in February. We were in the village called Dumela along the Limpopo corridor in the Pafuri area. There we shared the gospel with the locals and had services in the local church. The church was also facing some challenges and we were able to try and help the church to commit to God’s work and to be of the same mind. We had a wonderful time there in many ways. We thank God for AGBC Mission which is a ministry of a joint effort of our Amazing Grace Baptist Churches in Malamulele. We are coming alongside churches in Mozambique to encourage them and to help them reach out their communities. The Lord is building His church in Mozambique and we are privileged to be part of the wonderful work He is doing in Mozambique.

African Pastors Conference
I thank God for the African Pastors Conference I attended with my fellow pastors in February in Mogalakwena, Mokopane. It was a two days conference was very refreshing and convicting as we surveyed the gospel according to the book of Romans. The sub-themes were: The gospel: The power of God for salvation. The failure of human righteousness. God’s provision for salvation justification. Deliverance: Freedom from sin and wrath. The Spirit of life in Christ. God’s Sovereignty in
salvation. The gospel must be proclaimed to every nation. Holiness in the church and Holiness
in all of life.

Praise Items
– Praise God with us for the work that He is doing in the lives of the members of the church to
transform them to grow in their faith and to be committed to God’s work.
– Praise God for the people who are consistent in coming to church to hear His word and worship
Him.
Prayer Items
– Please pray for our church to continue growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus
Christ so as to live lives worthy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
– Pray for the members of the church to be faithful and generous givers.
– Pray for our church to strive to seek the glory of God in all that we do.
– Pray for God to provide for all our needs.

May the grace and peace from God be with you all.
Yours in Christ’s Harvest,
Aaron Ndove,
Amazing Grace Baptist Church Xigalo,

Limpopo Malamulele

 

 

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What Is the Purpose of The Church?

No question requires our most diligent study to answer correctly than the one concerning the purpose of the Church. Wrong conclusions reached on this important subject will dishonor the Lord and perhaps result in misuse of the Lord’s resources granted to His body. It is of paramount significance then that we start this discussion by defining what the church is.

The Definition of the Church

Jesus Christ himself calls the church “His” and promises to “build” it and guarantees its success against “the gates of Hades” which “will not overpower it” (Matt 16:18). The church therefore belongs to the Lord, and not to the pastors or members of a local assembly. The church has a unique relationship with the Lord as stipulated by repeated references to it being the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27; Rom 12:5, Eph 3:6; Col 1:18). Other metaphors used in the New Testament to refer to the Church includes the bride of Christ (Rev 19:7–8; 21:9; Eph 5:31–32), or the temple of God (1 Pet 2:5; 1 Cor 6:19). This is a staggering reality in light of the fact that the one who is so united to the church possesses “all authority” in heaven and on earth (Matt 28:18). Needless to say that since the Lord is the head of the church, only he alone must define the purpose of its existence.

The Commission to the Church

After Jesus’s resurrection, he summoned his disciples to meet him in Galilee and there he gave them the great commission. The only imperative in the commission was for his followers to “make disciples” (Matt 28:19). The Lord also gave them express directions on how they were to fulfill the commission; by going, baptizing, and teaching. Minimizing the force of the imperative or any of the participles surrounding it is to limit the scope of the mission. The synoptic Gospels give us accounts of how the Lord himself made disciples after him.

We read in the Gospels that he called the disciples to follow him (John 1:35–51). He then spent a significant amount of time with them and taught them throughout his earthly ministry (Matt 5:1–7:29). At one point he sent them out to preach and make disciples (Mark 6:7–13). Simply stated, our Lord’s life provided plentiful examples of how to fulfil the commission he gave the disciples before his ascension.

Reaching Unbelievers

Fulfilling the great commission often requires that we go to where unbelievers are and reach them with the truth of the gospel. As Paul says “How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?” (Rom 10:14–15). Evangelism then is the first major aspect of obeying the great commission. To expect unbelievers to flock to our churches to hear and respond to the gospel is to believe too highly of man. Scripture presents man as hostile to God and at enmity with him with a mind set on the flesh and utterly incapable of pleasing him (Rom 8:6–8). Elsewhere the Holy Spirit testifies that a natural man does not accept the things of God for they are foolish to him and he cannot understand them (1 Cor 2:14).

The point of these Scripture references is to conclude the case that sinners will not flock to us, but we must pursue them. Therefore, going is a crucial element of the discipleship process. And words are necessary to fulfil this “first” part of the process. As stated by Paul, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17). It bears emphasizing that this is the work of every believer and not just the leaders of a local assembly. Matter of fact, those who are not in vocational ministry tend to have ample opportunities to reach the lost more than vocational ministers because of their broader scope of contact with unbelievers. Another important aspect of evangelism is a transformed and sanctified life. 

Wives of unbelieving husbands are commanded to remain submissive to their husbands so that “they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives” (1 Pet 3:1). And believers are to let their light shine before men in such a way that they may see their good works and glorify God (Matt 5:16). Although the pastor must be faithful in accomplishing the work of an evangelist (2 Tim 4:5), the whole church must be involved in consciously seeking to fulfil this commission by reaching out to unbelievers.

Baptising New Believers

True obedience to the great commission however does not end with the unbeliever coming to saving faith. The immediate step that follows confirms whether the new professor of Christianity is genuine by his willingness to rightly name Jesus as Lord before the eyes of a watching world. The local church has been suitably qualified by the Lord to assess the genuineness of one’s saving faith (Matt 18:18). Baptism is an ordinance granted to the church by the Lord Jesus and a church confirms that the one being baptized has evidence of repentance every time there’s a baptism event. Baptism then is part of fulfilling the mission of the church and a visible gospel presentation of the power of the saving gospel.

This aspect of discipleship was so entrenched into the minds of the disciples to the degree that the call to repentance was also referred to as the call to baptism (Acts 2:38). To be a follower of Jesus Christ and remain unbaptized would have been an oxymoron in the New Testament church and must be the case in our day. The Apostles obeyed the charge granted to them in the great commission by baptizing those who had received the word (Acts 2:41).  Although baptism doesn’t save anyone, it is still an important aspect of discipleship simply because our Lord commands it and it also signifies a central reality of the believer’s union with the Lord in his death and resurrection power.

Lifelong Discipleship

The Lord concludes his address in Matthew 28:16–18 with a direct command of what making disciples looks like. Contrary to most modern strategies that are only concerned with people repeating a prayer after them or walking down the aisle, the Lord says that the rest of the lifelong discipleship process concerns teaching new disciples to obey all that he has commanded (Matt 28:20). The church is the rightful place for this to happen since it is “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). As exemplified by the early church, after new believers were baptized, they immediately devoted themselves to “the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). Teaching is a major component in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. As Jesus himself said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). Hearing and following the commandments of Jesus is evidence of true conversion. Elsewhere Peter confessed that the Lord has the “words of eternal life” (John 6:68). The main reason why preaching, and teaching occurs in the local church is for “the equipping of the saints for the work of service” (Eph 4:12).

The Lord has designed it in such a way that the sheep will only grow in their maturity and not be tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine by hearing the truth spoken in love (Eph 4:14–15). Believers are equipped to minister and admonish one another when they “let the word of Christ richly dwell within” (Col 3:16). For this reason, teaching is an essential aspect of discipleship and fulfilling the great commission. When one comes to saving faith, in essence, they enlist themselves for war and need to be equipped for it by being taught to absorb and apply Scripture. The believer’s full armor against the schemes of the devil consists of the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:17). To neglect Scripture then is to forfeit the protection and preparation necessary for one to bear up under trials and temptations. As our Lord reminded us when he was tempted by the devil, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4). 

In summary, the purpose of the church is to reach the lost with the word of the gospel buttressed by sanctified lives devoted to the Lord Jesus, followed by the baptism of new believers who respond to that message in repentance and faith, and then being taught Scripture in the context of fellowship in the local church so they grow to maturity for the rest of their lives to the glory of Christ and their own eternal good.


We long to see the townships and rural areas filled with healthy churches that fulfill Christ’s mission. We would love to hear how your church is fulfilling the great commission. Please do not hesitate to contact us today with your prayer requests.

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