The Huisgenoot advertisement placed in February 2001 brought in
a total of 1023 students and so it was decided to forego the advertisement
in 2002 . 247 Students completed the course and received the Afrikaans
Bible Basics but as so often happens the interest in taking their
studies further is disappointing. This year in January 2003 it was
decided to place a differently worded advertisement spelling out
our distinctive beliefs- One God not three, Kingdom on earth not
heaven etc in an attempt at reducing the number who register to
those who are receptive to true bible teaching. It has had the desired
effect so far in that the numbers this time are much fewer- 258
to date Two Afrikaans seminars were held in Centurion We pray these
efforts will make inroads into the Afrikaner stronghold of orthodoxy.
OF INTRODUCING BIBLE BASICS
It was felt that a bridging course was necessary between the 22
lesson course and Bible Basics and the printing of 1000 Introducing
Bible Basics was undertaken. Sis Leonie Verster had the cover done
locally & Bro Paul Bouwer and his team in Durban did the laborious
work of printing, collating and guillotining the booklets. We are
very grateful for their effort especially as the booklet is proving
very popular. Hot off the press in the news that Bro Zwelakhe Shologu
and his wife Sis Grace of PE have completed the translation of IBB
into Xhosa. 1000 copies are being printed by a team led by Bro Leon
and Sis Joan Shuker in Durban.
DUPLO machine purchased by CALSSA has been put to good use for the
courses, booklets, leaflets and seminar material in all the languages
and has proved to be very reliable. An interim hymn book of 60 selected
hymns from the new hymn book was printed to fill the needs particularly
of Swaziland and the Transkei where groups consist of baptised and
many unbaptised members and where the purchase of sufficient Christadelphian
hymn books would be very costly .The photocopier purchased four
years ago with funds from an appeal made by Bro Leon Shuker overseas
is also proving invaluable but is now in need of a major service.
i) Bro Zwelakhe and his wife Sis Grace Sholugu of Port Elizabeth
have translated IBB into Xhosa . Together with Bro Athol Shem they
are going to embark on translating Bible Basics .
ii) The 22 lesson course is also being translated into Swazi
by Bro Fanuel Sithole in Swaziland.
iii) Bro Sipho Majodwana has translated most of Bible Basics
into Zulu .
iv) The course is available in 9 of our 11 official languages.English,
Afrikaans,Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, Sepedi(Northern Sotho), Sesotho,
Shangaan, Venda and soon GW in Siswati.Translation is a laborious
exercise in that often the person doing the translation does not
use a computer and so in turn someone else must type it up, various
proof readings then follow before it is finally printed.
PREACHING ACTIVITY WITHIN SOUTHERN AFRICA
The advertising in the Express newspaper in Bloemfontein resulted
in a good student base, 43 of the 126 students are doing the course
in Sesotho which Bro Solomon Ramolahleli is handling. Regular seminars
have been held by Bro Lucas Scheepers and other brethren and it
was with much joy that 4 of these students were baptised at the
weekend camp held in Gauteng in September 2002. These monthly seminars
have been extended to Botshabelo (a township 60kms outside Bloemfontein)
where to date Bre Obed Mafifi and Austen Mataka of KP have presented
two seminars. Further newspaper advertising for the course is planned
An advertisement was placed in Botswana offering Introducing Bible
Basics and we've had a good response of 72 students. To follow up
on this student base invitations were sent to all students and another
ad. was placed advertising a seminar in Gaborone. Bro Norman Durk
gave the seminar to 6 students. Bro Kgamakwe Mokoena attended too
as well as Sis Dorothy Gomana a Zimbabwean sister living in Gaborone.
This was followed up by Bro Paul & Sis Leonie Verster in April
and a small group of interested students is forming. Bro Leon and
Sis Joan Shuker are planning to continue follow up work later in
the year GW.
The response to advertising has been disappointing - however a student
who has been studying with us for 2 years Tsepo Bernard Lintsa was
baptised by Bro Norman Durk on 26 March 2003. Visits to Bloemfontein
(his closest ecclesia) will be arranged for Bro Tsepo to enjoy fellowship
and be encouraged to preach and keep strong in faith as the only
brother in his country.
Efforts in Namibia have lagged behind because of the difficulty
in doing follow up (great distances and costs) and the lack of workers
to do it. The first visit was made in December 1999 followed by
one in 2000 and since then none. A few advertisements were placed
in the intervening years but without many students. In 2003 a renewed
effort was made and an advertisement for the course placed in February.
Only 15 new students have enrolled to date. Despite this a visit
was undertaken because a brother Isaac Peter N, baptised in Cape
Town in 2000 is living there in the Osire Refugee camp and he had
requested a visit to consider baptising the group he has been preaching
to. Also in the prison at Marienthal two students of the 20 we have
there has requested baptism some time ago. Bro Paul and Sis Leonie
Verster visited in the first week of April. Two full mornings were
spent in the prison but there are only 8 of the 20 students left
and the ones wanting baptisms have been discharged. The prison authorities
were very accommodating in facilitating a room with the students
but they are very Pentecostal in their beliefs. A trip 260kms north
of Windhoek to Otjiwarongo was where Bro Isaac was met with a his
group of 8. Interviews were conducted with them all but only two
had sufficient understanding and with pleasure we baptised Jafari
Amisi and Nduwimana Melkior. An attempt to visit the brothers outside
the camp at Osire the next day was thwarted by very officious policemen
who said permits were required not only to enter the camp but also
to even speak outside the camp to anyone. That was a disappointment
as the previous day there had been no time to Break Bread or give
words of exhortation. Permits have to be obtained two weeks prior
to going to the camp according to the UNHCR. On the Saturday a 3
hr "How to Read the Bible Effectively" seminar was held
at the new and very suitable Nampower Convention Centre in Windhoek.
It had been advertised twice in the newspaper and we were very happy
to have 25 interested friends attend. GW Bro Leon and Sis Joan Shuker
will do a follow up in May/June but if we hope to sustain interest
we will need to find the money and workers to make more visits.
Another ad. was placed in the Sowetan mid June offering the course
in all the languages. Bro Obed Mafifi is to lead and co ordinate
the team of Black tutors that will handle the response. To date
358 students started the course. Two day seminars have been held
-each advertised in the new newspaper "The Sun" which
is cheaper than the Sowetan. Although attendance was small- 5 and
8 it is planned to persevere.
Regular seminars usually in Manzini have been held in Swaziland
where there is a student base of 187 students. On 9 November a student
of long standing was baptised in Nhlangano. Bro Fanuel Sithole was
the leader of the Nazarene church but fell out with them as he was
teaching Christadelphian doctrines. He has his own premises which
he uses for a meeting room. A campaign was held there on 23/24 November
when Bre Emmanuel Mphambo of JHB, Van Zyl du Plooy and Paul Verster
of KP gave a series of talks. From the 9th January to the 13th,and
from 25 February to 3rd March about 18 talks were given in Nhlangano
by Bro Norman Durk and supported by his wife. The best attendance
was about 30 adults and 30 children and an average overall of about
15. Sis. Lily Sithole (Bro Fanuel's wife) was baptised. Two others
applied for baptism. One was interviewed but not accepted, the other
was working away and could not be interviewed. At one Sat. seminar
in Manzini the Swazi TV filmed about half an hour of the seminar.
It appeared on the national TV on the Sunday. Bro Leon and Sis Joan
Shuker accompanied by Sis Jane Samwell will follow up for a month
Two visits were made to the Transkei and the following "town"
shopping centers were canvassed resulting in 630 applications for
the correspondence courses in Xhosa and English: Lady Frere, Stutterheim,
Butterworth, Kentani, Willowvale, Idutywa, Candu, Elliotdale, Mqanduli,
Ngqeleni, Umtata, and Port St Johns. We also obtained applications
from as far away as Cape Town, Durban, Pieternaritzburg and Johannesburg..
These efforts were assisted by Bro .Zwelake and Sis Grace Shologu(PE),
Bro. Simphiwe (Mfuleni) Sis. Lydia Kraal (Bloemfontein) and Bro.
and Sis. Durk (Reading) These students are being attended to by
Bro. Templeton and the local sisters. . Our thanks to Bro Templeton
for accommodating and feeding so many.
Talks were given
in Kei Road location,(3) Elliotdale(20) Ntlaza(6) Ndabakazi(5)and
Candu. Some of those who attended are very interested. (Figures
in brackets are the numbers of friends attending) The talk in Kei
Road was organised and supported by East London Meeting and Bro
John Shrosbree. Bro Templeton was the speaker and was accompanied
by an enthusiastic bakkie load from Candu.
There have been
five baptisms so far, they are: Sisters Andiswa Mbuge, Felicia Mdludlu,
Eugenia Mapukata, Charlotte Jevu; and Bro.Michael Maseti. We have
more than a dozen who are very interested and are being followed
In view of these
numbers and the need for a centralised focus for the activities
an ecclesia was formed at Candu which now numbers 14. Recording
Bro : Templeton Mdludlu. Breaking of Bread 12 noon. Bible class
Wednesdays 4pm. Meetings at Bro. Templeton's home. Postal address;
P.O.Box 2113 Idutywa 5000. East London Ecclesia have agreed that
one or two Bre. should visit Candu Ecclesia the last Sunday of each
Quarter. The first visit was undertaken by Bro.Gordon Shrosbree.
On one Sunday two cars and one bakkie full of T/Kei Bre. and Sis.
and friends attended the East London Ecclesia filling their meeting
The plan at
present (God Willing) is to try and cover the whole of the Transkei
in three years by concentrating on the local centres, hoping that
groups may be formed there, and they can then take the gospel to
the surrounding villages. We have completed the first part of the
target by covering the area between the N2 and the coast. We now
have to cover Pondoland and then Northern Transkei. The greater
challenge in "Xhosaland"-The Ciskei, East London, Port
Elizabeth, Cape Town. Bro. Zwelake has started at Port Elizabeth,
and hopefully Mfuleni will be able to handle Cape Town.
the lack of communication -phones, transport, electricity (computers),
a subsistence economy and no measurable income etc. Lack of simple
things like pens, envelopes, post offices, and few able to converse
in English. Nevertheless great enthusiasm and interest is evident.
STUDENTS IN ISOLATION
Visits have been made to various students in the following places:
three times to Middelburg, three times to Badplaas, once to Britstown,
one to De Aar, one to Aliwal North, one to Welkom. Anyway travelling
though these places are urged to contact the students there.
Bro Oliver Lebotho in Ekangala ( near Bronkhorstspruit) arranged
to have the correspondence course advertised in Zulu on the local
radio station which covers Mpumalanga. We intend investigating other
local radio stations.
An advertisment was placed in Polish offering the Polish Bible course
in a newspaper in the Sasolburg area as there is quite a concentration
of Poles in the area. Bro Wacek Cwiewek was anxious to preach to
his people. The advert. resulted in contact and a number of Bible
studies with a group of Poles who meet together. We pray something
might develop with those more open minded in the group.
In the Western Cape, Bro Stuart Strachan holds regular studies with
a group of some 15 students in the Malmesbury Prison where we have
two brethren. The prison authorities there welcome the involvement
of outside "pastors" as it assists with rehabilitation.
Bro Lucas Scheepers
regularly visits Bro Hansie Barnard in the Zonderwater prison in
We are very thankful that this year has seen the baptisms of 14
new brethren and sisters as a result of CBM work. The challenge
is that these babes be fed spiritually and nurtured so that where
they are in isolation these areas may be the start of lightstands.
To take THIS Gospel of the Kingdom to all areas in Southern Africa
for the end to come. Labourers in any capacity are urgently needed
as well as an awareness in South Africa that preaching outside our
immediate ecclesias is a responsibility and funds are required on
an on going basis if the work initiated is to continue.
It is always
our prayer that more will accept the invitation of salvation through
Christ Jesus and that in Southern Africa there will be those from
every nation, race, tribe and language standing before the Lamb,
dressed in white on that great day.