After just a few minutes of conversation with Pastor Praise Nkosi from Living Hope Tabernacle in Soweto, you get a sense of the burden that he carries for his people.
“Due to initial government restrictions we had to adapt our aftercare Eagle Youth Empowerment Project – where we ministered to children on a daily basis. So, we had to think differently. Because the people in the community are suffering, we decided to distribute food parcels to the families of children that we were feeding at the aftercare. We had to identify those who were struggling the most and we have now been providing food parcels to 50 families every month.”
According to a volunteer at the aftercare, Somi Sifile:
“There are many difficulties facing the families of the children in aftercare. It is painful. Most families are not working, and many people live in one house. There are problems with child neglect and drinking. Some parents are unable to care for their kids. We are trying to do what Jesus would do. We are trying to be with the people and share with the people and re-connect them with the church.
Please pray for strength and wisdom to encourage the volunteers in this work – that we might bring hope as we meet needs within our community. Please also pray for us for wisdom to best meet the needs of those in the aftercare.”
Bishop Thimlela David Mathebula, senior Pastor of The Hour of Revival Gospel Church shares:
“During the Corona Virus Lockdown, with the help of Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa and turn the tide 4 children we have been able to provide monthly food parcels to 15 pastors and their families. This has been through our caring project called Acts of Compassion. These pastors were in desperate times. In these harsh economic times, their churches were unable to support them. Many of these pastors are also part of Walk Thru the Bible’s Pastor Circle, where they are equipped with ready-to-use sermon tools. These food parcels relieved a great burden for them, as they continue to minister to their people. The church really is the answer in our communities.”
Some of the pastors share their stories:
The groceries came at just the right time, when we were in real need, not knowing where to go to ask for help. As a family we were able to survive, and it was a great stress relief for me as the breadwinner and head of the family. I want to extend my gratitude for these gifts of groceries that my family have been receiving during the lockdown.
~ Apostle Alfred (full-time Pastor, father of three children)
The food parcels brought such a huge relief in our home. We had no other alternative except hoping in the Lord – and the food parcels were an answered prayer and are still so. We are singing praises to the Lord who has provided during these hard times.
~ Pastor Lucky (full time pastor in Kwa-Thema, married with four children)
I would like to take this time to Praise God for the help we received during the Lockdown period. It has been difficult for us financially, but the groceries we received during the past months have helped us as a family.
~ Pastor Jabulani (full time pastor in Daveyton and father of five children)
What a privilege it was to present the otLIVE Live Event to the ministry team of Straatwerk, a ministry based in Cape Town.
Straatwerk has a specific burden to share the love of Christ with those who are cast out by society and to those who are broken.
The Straatwerk ministry team in action with the otLIVE hand signs
Please pray for this team – a dedicated and diverse group of women, who continue to reach out to others. May what they have learned through otLIVE, about the God of the Old Testament, strengthen them as they bring His message of hope to others.
What a privilege it was to present the otLIVE Live Event to the volunteers and workers of Straatwerk, a ministry based in Cape Town. Straatwerk has a specific burden to share the love of Christ with those who are cast out by society and to those who are broken. Part of their ministry is discipling ladies who have come to Christ out of prostitution.
According to a member of the Straatwerk ministry team:
“I had seen otLIVE elsewhere and realized of how much benefit it would be as we minister to the ladies who have come to Christ. Many of the ladies we disciple have come out of prostitution and have a background of abuse. The story of the Old Testament reminds us all that there is hope after sin. God still loves people, and still uses people, despite their sin. God still used King David after he had sinned, repented and turned back to God. And what an encouragement to remember the story of Rahab. The Old Testament story remind us each that we are of value in God’s eyes and that God notices us. We all need this message and we need to pass it on to the ladies we minister to and disciple.”
Please pray for the Straatwerk ministry team – a dedicated and diverse group of women, who continue to reach out.
May what they have learned through otLIVE, about the God of the Old Testament, strengthen them as they bring His message of hope to others.
“We had the privilege of doing otLIVE at three different schools in the inner city of Johannesburg”.
This is the report of Mr Welcome Ndlovu and Mr Seabird Siziba from Smart Choices South Africa – who presented otLIVE at the schools in partnership with Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa and Beacon of Hope. Mr Ndlovu and Mr Siziba were both Trained at a Walk Thru the Bible otLIVE Instructor Training Event in Johannesburg at the end of 2019.
“We were able to teach the big picture of the Old Testament to over 1526 children during this time – which included both primary and high school learners. 20% of these children accepted Christ as their Saviour. We know this because of the response cards they complete. We will also have the opportunity to follow up with these children and the children approach us freely afterwards with questions.”
“The children have really loved otLIVE.
They love following the story and the hand signs – which are easy to understand. otLIVE captures their attention. It really creates an interest and enthusiasm for the Bible. When we first tell them that we are going to cover the whole of the Old Testament in this short time, they don’t believe us, but they receive the message very well. One of the special highlights is teaching the Passover principle, which really impacts the kids.
We thank the Lord for the work that He is doing in the lives of these children. Please pray with us for many more opportunities in schools. The pandemic has created many challenges with distancing, and schools are under pressure with curriculum catch up and the everchanging environment.
otLIVE is a fun and interactive way to understand the big picture of God’s story in the Old Testament. Have you thought of doing otLIVE at your school or church?
For more information, please click here or contact the Walk thru the Bible office.
Pastor Matthews Vilakazi is a man with a vision and a man on a mission:
“I want to be a light to people.
I want to encourage them. I want to be able to share and teach even more.”
And not even the tough restrictions imposed by South Africa’s strict Covid 19 Lockdown have deterred him.
Pastor of Mount of Olives Ministries based in Duduza, he also ministers in KwaThema and Tsakane on Johannesburg’s East Rand. He is a busy man, who balances his time between pastoring and teaching his congregation and working in steel work and maintenance. Pastor Vilakazi is one of the pastors who was equipped at Walk Thru the Bible’s Pastor Circle events.
Launched in 2019, Pastor’s Circle is a new initiative from Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa which encourages Bible teaching by providing easy-to-use sermons and tools for pastors, as well as a network of support. The aim of Pastor’s Circle is to support the local church – recognizing that pastors face immense challenges that often include time constraints, and sometimes a lack of resources and training.
Prior to Lockdown, Pastor Vilakazi had already been doing live teaching of the Pastor’s Circle sermon series: Choices that Change Your Life Forever (based on Crucible and the life of David) and the sermon series Finding Purpose When Life Doesn’t Make Sense (based on Detour and the life of Joseph). He had already, prior to the Lockdown, reached over 647 people with this material, doing live teaching for at least 10 different groups.
“But I believe God was preparing me to continue teaching this material using technology – even before the government imposed its restrictions.”
Previously as I was teaching the various groups, I got into the habit of recording my teaching. That way, the messages could be used at our church plants in other areas like Tembisa and KwaZulu Natal. And I could also send the message to anyone in my home church who had missed the live teaching.
Now since the Lockdown was imposed and we were unable to meet together in person, I have organized with various groups, that I send them recorded teachings and sermons using WhatsApp. So, I have been able to teach the new sermon series Finding Purpose When Life Doesn’t Make Sense to eleven groups, a total of 798 people, since the Lockdown started.”
The groups that he sends the sermons to are carefully compiled. Some of these are Bible Study groups that he had previously established. Others are groups of people that he has specifically targeted within his community and taught before. Still others are made up people who hear about the sermons, and then ask to also receive them.
“Many times, I will meet someone and after interacting with them for a while, and once they hear what I am doing, they want to be included to receive the sermons. I have also received requests from people I didn’t know before, saying they have heard about these teachings and asking me to send them these sermons and teaching.
After listening to the sermons, the group participants also message me in response. Or otherwise, I contact them to follow up. We have also been able to ‘meet’ afterwards on Facebook to discuss with the people what they have been learning.
I have had so many encouraging messages back in response to these sermons. There are so many people who feel that life doesn’t make sense right now. These teachings based on Detour bring hope and are so relevant. People in my community are facing many challenges with job losses and food security. Everything is worse during this Covid 19 Crisis and people are dejected.
Detour reminds us that just like with Joseph, when things don’t always appear to make sense, God has not forgotten us and is still at work. He will use the challenges and difficulties we go through for His Glory. Just three weeks ago, I heard the testimony of a pastor who for the last two years had given up on Jesus and was demotivated. But now, because of these teachings on Detour, he is starting to develop a positiveness again.
These same sermons have also appealed to non-believers. They tell me: “This teaching brings knowledge and light. All along I had been living without purpose.”
“My wife, Matilda, is together with me in this ministry and she has also been able to teach the sermons on Finding Purpose When Life Doesn’t Make Sense to her ‘Sisters for Life’ Woman’s groups – which reach out to women in our community.”
“These same sermons on Detour have also spoken to me personally…”
“You know, you cannot give what you do not have. Once I have received what is good, I have a passion to pass it on and bring encouragement to others. And these sermons from Walk Thru the Bible’s Pastor’s Circle are good!
I grew up in the church and my father was a leader. From a young age, I was always interested and prepared to learn from others. And now I am learning from Pastor’s Circle.
What I really appreciate about Pastor’s Circle is the ready and easy-to-use sermons. This material brings light and is so easy to follow. The sermons have really helped me as a pastor with my preparation and study. The sermons have good order and structure and fill me up with more ideas. Every time I preach these sermons, I myself advance and learn more.
I will continue to bring God’s Word to people. Walk Thru the Bible’s Pastor’s Circle is helping with this.”
For more information on Pastor’s Circle please click here