My first week back in Chris Nissen was mainly taken up with visiting friends and reassuring folk that we had returned its nice to know that we were missed. By and large, things seem to have ticked over quite well in our absence with the members of our groups having held onto some of the key teachings we imparted just prior to our leave. In particular, gossip amongst the brethren appears to have reduced which is an amazing answer to prayer! We now need to build on this and help people to move forwards, building on the works God is doing in their lives. As such, our groups will press on with basic biblical teachings and discipleship which is really key to seeing personal spiritual growth.
Not all was well however. Sadly Michael is struggling with some personal issues relating to one of our key church members living in the community. On Thursday he came in late to our bible study, swore about this person and then left! Great! Two of my members then started gossiping about the situation which I had to jump on immediately. This I did with the help of Vicky (who was also appalled by this behaviour) but after our study the gossip started again. This remains a huge area for prayer as gossip and jealousy really are the most poisonous and destructive elements within the community!
Despite this, Michael impressed me with the way that he & Joyce are caring for his father. You may remember our posts about Michael & Joyce being taken to court by is father to have them evicted from his house. Despite the eviction, Michael & Joyce appear to be harbouring no malice towards Douglas, but rather in his time of need they are there for him. Douglas requires a lot of care at present which includes tasks that the average person would balk at. However they are quietly and diligently getting on with it. It would be so easy after having been evicted to just walk away and turn their backs on Douglas, but theyve chosen to do the right thing and help Douglas. Praise God for this.
One of my priorities in the coming week or two is to secure three wheelchairs for various folk in CNP. There really is a desperate need for these but they are really hard to come by. One of our aims is to have a couple at the church office which we could loan out to people for a time and then pass them on once they are no longer needed. At present we need them for Vissy, Ernest and Douglas, but there are probably others who could use one too.
On Wednesday we had a church family meeting (members meeting) when my bible study was formally recognised as part of the church cell group structure it only took 2 years but I also gained a new member which is great. Paula was also able to appeal or help with the childcare side of her group and had one person come forward. Hopefully this will go some way towards addressing the problem, at least in part.
It was great to be back in our own church this morning, absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder and we loved being back in lively worship with some African songs, nothing else quite compares! Were also encouraged by things that are happening in the church at present and we really hope and pray that Gods hand will be evident in guiding and strengthening the life of our church. Please pray for Godly wisdom and strength for our leaders as they do have a tough job trying to keep everyone happy.