|The time came for us to pack our bags and travel down to Cape Town where we would once again have the privilege to have fellowship, share the Gospel and minister at the Pastor’s Seminar hosted by the Reformed Faith Mission Community Church under the leadership of Pastor Mario – and Quinton Maneville.
It was dark on Tuesday; 16 October 2018 as we started our journey to Johannesburg International airport. After 3 hours of driving we were greeted by urban peak hour traffic. It felt as if all the vehicles from our rural town were driving on the highway at the same time. Thousands of people, each on their own mission, so focused on the here and the now that they are most probably completely oblivious to the fact that this world is passing, and eternity is waiting.
Open Air Preaching
After arriving in Cape town, we traveled to Belville South with some time to rest and to prepare for the first open air service at 7pm in Cupido street. This street was targeted because of the increase in drug and gang related problems. I was privileged to preach the Gospel on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. While preaching on Tuesday a man under the influence of some or other substance started cussing and cursing God while I was preaching the Gospel.
The Gospel is preached no matter what!
Despite the disturbance; the Gospel message was heard by those sitting and standing next to the street.On Wednesday morning I woke up with a sinus infection which affected my voice. Before the service started in the evening I struggled to speak. The team prayed for me and God, by His mercy gave me the ability to preach the Gospel without losing my voice. The street was empty as we sang a few songs, testified and prayed. For some or another reason most people stayed in-doors. Some opened the windows of their homes but didn’t come out into the street. After we concluded the service they came out of their homes and mingled on the street like they normally do.
I didn’t attend the Thursday open-air service due to illness. Pastor Quinton preached the Gospel, appealing to those who were listening to repent and believe the Gospel. Pastor Mario shared his experience about the service on Thursday in his report: “I also noticed that when we prayed that those who were in the street were chatting loud with no regard for God at all. This really grieved my spirit! It is in this environment when you get tempted to “call fire from heaven”, and yet when I look at what the Lord has done in Enrico’s life, I’m encouraged by our great God and His powerful Gospel!”Enrico used to be a hardened criminal who belonged to the 28 numbers gang, but God saved him and today he is growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The theme for this seminar was “The Local Church, a visible display of the Gospel in the world”.During the seminar we looked at 3 means through which a local church displays the Gospel in the world:
The last session was devoted to Christ’s evaluation of the 7 churches in Asia Minor with regards to their character, heart and life as discussed in the previous sessions.Pastor Mario said the following in his report as he reflected on the seminar: “At the end of the seminar there was a call to respond in repentance before the Lord. It was humbling to hear these men call out to the Lord in repentance for their lack of fear towards Him and their complacency towards His sheep. One pastor told me during fellowship after the seminar that this seminar really broke him down to build him up again. Please keep these pastors in your prayers.”
The Bible study was held in the same street where the open- air services were held. Just before we started the Bible Study a fight broke out in the street. One of the women broke the wiper blade of a vehicle which was parked next the road and she used it to attack people who were in the crowd. The contrast between the unsaved and the saved were tangible as we were studying the Word of God in peace while the unsaved were fighting one another in the street.
No wonder the world looks at believers the way they do. We are in this world, but we are not of this world.To the people in Belville South, the fighting on the streets is the norm, but for us it is an unusual experience – coming from rural Kwa-Zulu Natal. The amazing thing is that God in His providence planted a Christ Centered Church in the middle of this God forsaking area. This local church is making a difference in the lives of sinners – one soul at a time – as God draws them to Himself through the faithful preaching of the Gospel.
A few last words
All praise be to Christ Jesus our Lord for placing a Gospel witness in an area where people are living hopelessly from one day to the next. We have once again been richly blessed to spend time with believers who love Christ, His Word and His people.
Word of thanks
A word of thanks to the leadership, brothers and sisters of the Reformed Faith Mission Community Church for your love, hospitality, care and ministry into our lives during our visit. May the Lord richly bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you and may He give you His peace.
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