Sunday 23rd was Vision Sunday for Thembalezizwe and everyone was very excited as both congregations met together. Dave went the extra mile and picked up the people from St. Peters where the squatters are being re-housed. a journey of about 30 k along very rough tracks. It turned out to be a very interesting journey as his brakes failed on the way to church with his loaded truck!! (it turned out that the brake pads had disintegrated in less than 3 months) Thats Zim roads for you!
|Taking Communion and praying in groups at Vision Sunday|
Despite that we had a great time, where the leaders summed up how far we had come in the last 18months and where we are asking God to take us in the next year or so. They had felt at the beginning of this year that God was putting in front of the church, an open door and there were testimonies of personal breakthroughs as well as a summary of the doors God had opened for us as a church.
The congregation over the two sites is now 200 including children. Just 15months ago, when we first visited, it was about 60! God has been so faithful.. Whilst praying, the leaders really felt that God was saying we should be looking to be 400 by Christmas 2013 and in order to get there, Taps was encouraging us with the slogan 'Each one, reach one, teach one'.
This past Friday night we had another all night prayer meeting from 9pm to 5am. I must confess we don't always look forward to these.. It is probably our age! But it was a really powerful and blessed time and the hours just flew past. It was very much focused on reaching out and everyone is really excited about the prospect of another new congregation in St Peters!
The families that have been moved there are desperate for us to start a Sunday meeting there as it is so far out it would cost them too much to come by combi (public transport) and the church does not have the finances to pay for it.
Basically World Vision have put them in tents (plastic draped around poles with a corrugated tin roof) out in the bush with the promise of their own house. The houses haven't been started yet and there are no facilities there. So it is very grim but the people are happy as it will be their own home eventually, but with the rains on the way, we can see disillusionment setting in quite soon.
Taurai is going out tomorrow to see if it is possible to hire a building or the school in the village which is about 3k from where they are living at the moment, to enable us to set up a church meeting on Sundays and on Wednesday Dave is taking him out on a pastoral visit as several of the church members are ill, which isn't really that surprising. There seems to be a lot of sickness around at the moment, probably due to the water cuts. Last week we had water for 3 hours Monday morning and it was then off until Wednesday when again we had 3 hours in the afternoon. Off then until Friday when a trickle came through for 2 hours but it was so brown you didn't even want to wash in it! Then it was off until Saturday lunchtime but on all day Sunday. That was a real blessing as we had a life group BBQ (Dave refuses to call it a braii!) With hangers on and children there were 29 here altogether. It was for Dolly who is in our life group and is leaving to take up a scholarship in the Netherlands to study for a Masters in water management.(or what to do when water eventually comes out of the tap! (joke) ) She is an environmental health officer here. She will be away for 18months and leaves her husband and 6 year old son behind which is very brave. We are thinking of planning a life group outing to visit!!
This Sunday (30th) was Gift Day. The leaders are looking to buy a vehicle for the church (a small truck) in which people can be transported as it is so difficult for the two, let alone three congregations to get together. We often have 20 or so bodies in our Navara but as the church grows the problem will only get bigger!
Spring has arrived now and many of the trees are in blossom, particularly the Jacarandas which are purple and stunning when fully out. All the roads are tree lined here so it is very pretty and amazing to me that things continue to grow after 8 months without water!
A few prayer points.. That we have good rains this year, that we can secure a venue to meet at St Peters and for protection for the families there while the houses are built. Thank you for all your support in prayer and communication. Look forward to your news and comments.