No. of localities: 10
No. of saints in church life: 500
No. of saints attending the Table meeting: 350
Direction of the Lord’s move in South Africa
As mentioned in the August 2020 newsletter, we in South Africa are still focused on strengthening the Lord’s existing testimony in 3 strategic cities — Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg. The population in these three cities combined is estimated at more than 12 million people. We believe that churches in each of these cities should be made up of at least 200 saints meeting regularly. What follows is a brief report from each of these localities.
The church in Cape Town
Approximately 70 saints meet together as the church in Cape Town including children and young people in 2 districts. Some are breaking bread in the homes while others continue to meet on Zoom. There are also a number of saints meeting regularly in the town of Stellenbosch, close to Cape Town, who also join the Cape Town meetings. Furthermore, there are about 11 saints who live further away from Cape Town who try to join the meetings and who are visited regularly by the saints.
In 2020 the student work at the University of Cape Town suffered greatly during the lock-down. Online meetings between the serving ones and students, however, gave us the opportunity to labor together nationally in the Body. In 2021, most students are required to be physically present at the university again and we have started to receive small groups of students into the homes of the saints. A group of core students are emerging to pick up the burden for their campus. With the support of the full-timers, they are endeavoring to pray and work together to reach other students at the university. We are also grateful for the addition of a home near the UCT campus after the recent migration of a couple from Pretoria.
Due to the pandemic, the children’s meetings also changed from physical to virtual meetings. The children have been enjoying these times and have been inviting their friends to join. They were also able to attend via Zoom an international Bible camp, the European Young People’s conference and an ongoing national weekly young people’s prophesying meeting.
The church in Durban
Towards the end of 2014 one couple moved to Durban and began to take the way of the Lord’s recovery, meeting with some seeking ones and contacts. Later in 2017 two other couples and a single sister migrated to Durban which led to the first Lord’s Table meeting in 2018. At the end of November 2020 another couple, one retired sister and one student brother moved to Durban. This has meant that our Lord’s Day meetings have increased from about 8 adults and 4 children to about 13 adults and 7 children. Being small in number, we are grateful that the Lord has sovereignly made a way for all the saints to live very near to one another. There is a lovely day-by-day church life in one another’s homes as well as regular church meetings including various prayer and fellowship times and the Lord’s day meetings.
A weekly children’s meeting has shifted to become more of a neighborhood children’s meeting as a number of the saints’ children’s friends and even some parents have been joining us. These meetings have grown from our own 7 children to 15-16 children. The young working ones/student age have also started meeting to fellowship in a regular way. Between 5 and 7 saints of this age group join regularly and this has provided a way to shepherd some of the new contacts that the trainees from the FTTP met at the end of last year during a gospel trip.
There have been various informal times with warm doors and contacts and small Bible studies starting up. It seems that the world situation has made some contacts more open and seeking of fellowship.
The church in Johannesburg
The church in Johannesburg is currently made up of approximately 70 saints. There is a very strong burden for small groups where the saints are vitally related to each other. With this in view, the church is reading through ministry on the vital groups once a week with the intention to bring the saints into the desperate need to be living and active through the groups. We don’t only want to have meetings, but we desire that the saints be vitally connected and related in their daily living. Through these groups, we are praying for the saints to further bear fruit and perfect new ones. Also, we desire not only that the groups bear fruit but also would pray and recover many of the saints who have become discouraged and isolated during the last year. Lord Jesus, the vital groups!
Although there are two large university campuses in Johannesburg with approximately 100,000 students in total, there is currently no labor on these campuses due to the pandemic and due to a lack of workers.
A large percentage of the church comprises young couples of below forty years of age. Many of these have very young children or are expecting children. We have 13 children in the church, with three new arrivals expected, and all of them are under the age of 7! There is a burden to labor on the children regularly and to endeavor to group them so that they can be companions growing up in the church. May these children grow up to have companions like Daniel had!
The leading brothers also desire strongly to be vitally related to each other and to begin practicing blending at least once a month with the leading brothers from other localities. We are not just local churches but we are the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27).