Instead of our typical prayer letter style, I have arranged this one in the format of a report update.
A brief description of our ministry involvement:
Our Primary ministry is the Blue Downs Baptiste church plant. A Secondary ministry is syllabi & curriculum development and lecturing in the Church Ministries Institute. Third priority is the development and operation of Paardeberg Mountain Retreat camp ministry. Fourth priority is Good Hope Christian School in an assistance role as pastor of a participating church.
Special blessings and highlights we have been experiencing in ministry:
BLUE DOWNS BAPTISTE CHURCH: The church is doing well and there is a good level of participation in ministry. The ladies group is a continuing source of encouragement as these women enthusiastically help out wherever they see a need in the lives of others. Nancy has handed the Bible teaching over to one of the older ladies who teaches the weekly Bible study and leads the women in a time of prayer. Our men too, have stepped up to serve by taking leadership in the worship services and the mid-week Bible study and they are enthusiastic about the Sat coffee and prayer time before they go to work. Last year, Nancy and I counseled a lady for depression and anxiety attacks. It is encouraging to see how well she has done in trusting God and controlling her thinking with His Word. She is like a new person and loves to tell others how the Lord has helped her. We have experienced a good number of visitors at our services and 4 new families are now regularly attending. Another blessing a few months ago was a young man from a sister church who approached us to be our church pianist, filling a great need!
BREDASDORP BIBLE STUDY: Located in an outlying farm town, this group is numerically stable, and evidenced much spiritual growth. One of the couples is faithfully pursing lay-ministry training.
CAMP DEVELOPMENT: The camp continues to be a great spiritual blessing in our lives and ministries here in the Cape. Nearly half of the funds for the Multi-Purpose Building have been raised and Ted Weinberg from the ABWE project office will be supervising the construction in the second half of 2008.
GOOD HOPE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL: Seven church families have their children enrolled and this is so helpful in spiritual growth in these homes.
Difficulties we encountered in ministry during the past year include:
Ø Lack of a pianist for our church, meant we were reliant on pre-recorded cd's.
Ø 1 couple at the Bredasdorp bible study dropped out of their lay-training due to other commitments.
Ø Plans for the Multi-Purpose Building (gym/auditorium, games room, kitchen & cafeteria) were at the regional council for building approvals for about 8 months.
5 key short range ministry goals for 2008:
1. Blue Downs Baptiste – Outreach focus on families; Strengthen core families/individuals; Constitution, Statement of Faith, Membership
2. Afrikaans team – develop a team approach to ministry amongst 2 or 3 Afrikaans language congregations.
3. Bredasdorp – use the couple in lay-training to lead an outreach Bible study on the alternate weeks.
4. Paardeberg – Development oversight of: completion of building approval process; landscaping; sidewalks; zip-lines; begin construction of multi-purpose building.
5. Church Ministries Institute – syllabi & curriculum development and regular lecturing.
Thank you for continued prayer and support of our ministry here in Cape Town, South Africa.
Your Co-laborers for Christ,
Marc, Nancy, Nicole and Matthew