In the Western Cape Province of South Africa people are battling with various challenges. Cape Town remains in a serious drought, with water levels unlikely to be replenished sufficiently through the winter rains. Having said this, a huge storm battered Cape Town during the first week in June, resulting in a number of deaths. Listening to the wind howl from the comfort of our home is nothing compared with the experience of many shack dwellers during this kind of weather. Just around the same time, a popular holiday town called Knysna, around 5 hours from Cape Town was devastated by fire. Around 160 homes were destroyed and a number of lives lost. While the human cost is very real, we are hoping that people will turn to God during these times of extremity.
In the latter part of May and into June I visited Kwa-Zulu Natal Province which is around 1,000 miles from Cape Town. My first port of call was Oslo Beach Assembly, Port Shepstone. Most nights there were taken up with Bible Teaching with some gospel activities during the day time, particularly school visits. The Bible Teaching meetings were well attended with great interest from many believers (and unbelievers) who attend denominations in the area. The thirst for the Word of God made it a privilege to teach each evening. The local primary school and high school were visited on four occasions in total. The interest from the youngsters was quite amazing. Some had tough questions about ancestor worship as in that area many families would practice animal sacrifices and other elements of African Traditional Religion. Other young people seemed genuinely interested in salvation. We are continuing to pray that some of them will trust the Saviour in simplicity.
Following Port Shepstone I moved on to Durban to visit two assemblies there for Bible Teaching. One of Durban’s many claims to fame is that they have the greatest concentration of Indians in any one place outside of India. Many of the believers in the assemblies in Durban are of Indian heritage and they arranged a special gospel meeting during my visit for some unsaved Hindu contacts. I told the story of my Indian Grandfather’s conversion and preached the gospel. We believe the Lord is working with some and we look to Him for blessing in salvation. A new assembly was recently planted in Durban and I hope to return there for some Bible Teaching on some fundamental issues later in the year if the Lord permits.
Going forward in the will of the Lord I have a number of Bible Teaching responsibilities in Cape Town in June as well as helping locally in the assembly at Northpine Gospel Hall. We have had a handful of responses to the Gospel Newsletter we distributed around Northpine in May but none of these have come to much so far. Hopefully the second round of visitation in a month or so will generate more interest. We have had some encouragement in Northpine with a young sister and her son moving to the area from another province and requesting fellowship. She had previously been away from assembly fellowship for around 10 years so we are thanking God for this unexpected encouragement. One committed believer makes a great difference in an assembly of 17 believers! I am continuing with the monthly Saturday Night Bible Teaching in Northpine as we work our way through 1 Timothy systematically. Some young believers from surrounding assemblies are showing good interest in God’s Word.
At the end of June we are looking forward to a visit from our brother David Gilliland for some Bible Teaching meetings. We are hosting him during the Cape Town leg of his visit and very much looking forward to his ministry. In July I hope to have two series of Bible Teaching with different assemblies in the Western Cape. I am also looking forward to a trip to Gaborone, Botswana to assist with a conference there.
When not engaged elsewhere we are continuing with house to house visitation and open air preaching in some nearby areas. I am also trying to get access to some schools locally in order to preach the gospel to the young people. We would appreciate your specific prayers about this that the Lord would open these doors for us in His will.
Looking quite a bit further ahead, in the will of the Lord, we are now planning to make it back to the UK for Alexander’s school holidays in December and January. It will be lovely to catch up with many who are praying for us at that time. Alexander and Daniel are already looking forward to this and hoping for snow! We are getting plenty of practice with cold weather at the moment as the chill of the Cape Town Winter has set in. The temperatures are not so bad as Scotland but the hot summer beforehand and lack of central heating in houses over here mean that we feel the cold!
Thank you to all for your ongoing prayers. We feel our need of the Lord’s help for this work and it is humbling to know many are so thoughtful as to mention our names in prayer.