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Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Life & Times of Louis & Amber - Church Happenings

Church Happenings

I’d like to update you all on what has been happening at our church the last few weeks.

-The school is going through some facilities upgrades.  One of those includes a new fence.  This meant that during the school holiday they used one room to store the materials as they worked.  Of course, they chose the cleanest, most organized room – the one we were using (why do you think it was clean and organized).  We arrived one Sunday morning to find a new gate over the door to our room, a gate that was welded shut.  This forced us to find a new room.

-The school has no electric service in any of the classrooms due to vandalism.  As a result of our forced move we found the new classroom we selected also housed the electric panel box.  While everything had been stripped out of it, the stub wires coming in were still hot.  Brian rigged something up to allow us to clamp onto those wires each week.  So we’ve been able to use our projector for music and sermons, and plug in a keyboard and speakers.

-Thanks to the Moses family (Amber’s aunt and uncle), we now have a real speaker for the church.  We had been using our computer speakers.  This new speaker is big enough to be heard all over the school property, as well as across the road if necessary, but still small enough to be easily transported.  It is nice because we use it before church to play music, thereby letting everyone know that there is something going on that they need to come check out.

-The principal at the school is new, as of mid-term last year.  Nanabolela Secondary School has a terrible reputation, ranking as one of the worst two schools in the whole area.  We’ve been told there is much demonic, gang, and drug related activity.  This principal is working to change and improve the school and seems to be making some progress.  The problem with that is now there is a reason to keep the gate closed and locked.  The key is held by a man named Slender who allegedly is the security at the school.  We have to go to his house each Sunday morning before church to get the key.  So far we’ve been able to find him every week.  We’ll see what happens when we can’t find him.

-In early January Brian’s uncle and aunt were visiting from the US.  His uncle was able to preach for us and the sermon was fantastic.  When we arrived at the school that morning it was locked for the first time.  We contacted Slender who told us that lock was only temporary because the workers were still installing the fence.  Therefore, he didn’t have a key to the temporary lock.  Brian was able to “pick” the lock (with permission), using a pliers and blunt force trauma.  We had finished church, everyone left, and we locked it right back up.

-We have had a variety of visitors come and go.  The boys from our Bible Study are now back at school, diminishing our numbers a bit.  Okuhle has been bringing a couple friends every week for several weeks now.  DJ had some family members visiting over the school holidays and they are also gone now, but our average is still 25-30.

-Knowing that some day I’ll be sick, or run out of time to prepare, or for some other reason be kept from preaching I’ve decided to introduce video sermons.  With the projector we’re able to put it up on a screen that we bring along.  I’m going to try to use one of these videos or podcasts about once per month.  This past week we showed a sermon on Luke 13:22-30 “The Narrow Door”. 

-Several young boys have been coming since the first Sunday.  You may remember that they came to the school the first week just to loiter and cause mischief of some sort.  We told them they needed to come to church or hang out somewhere else.  Predictably they left.  Surprisingly they returned 15 minutes later with several friends.  These boys have been back every week except two, and they informed us in advance that they would be gone those weeks.  Both those things are very unusual in this culture.  This week, after the Narrow Door sermon, the 5 boys approached me and said they wanted to accept Jesus.  I took them around the building to speak in private and asked several questions to make sure they understood.  4 of the 5 answered questions and it seemed they did understand.  I led them in prayer, then we had a further discussion about living a Christian life.  Time will tell which of them were making genuine decisions, but we are thrilled with their response.  As a funny side note, one of the boys came in a few minutes late and picked up the podcast right as the preacher asked “Who are you going to trust?”  Usually when I preach the sermons are a bit interactive, so he must have thought the same here.  When he heard the question he blurted out “JESUS!” loud enough for everyone to hear.  At least we know the message is getting through!!!

Praise God with us for the fruit He is producing in lives.  We haven’t yet made a concerted effort to promote the church within the surrounding community.  We have some teams coming soon and we hope to do some outreach, as well as do some ministry within the school in partnership with the principal.  Pray that these will result in many people coming to Christ.

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