THE SOWETO LIGHTSTAND (South Africa)
Soweto, once the home of the violent uprising against apartheid and once a no-go area is now a thriving sprawling town of 3.5 million people. It was here that the heroes such as Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu lived and it is now really exciting that an Ecclesia has been formed there, and we pray for them in this great venture. The following are details submitted by Sister Leonie Verster. MH
We are excited and delighted to announce the formation of an ecclesia. For the last year Soweto has been a satellite ecclesia but now, thanks be to God at work, it has “landed” with 10 enthusiastic founder members committed to making it a vibrant Lightstand. There is great potential in Soweto as preaching activities have indicated and we ask for your prayers that it will grow to God’s glory and bring the light of the true gospel to many who are perishing, often through having been misled by the “prosperity theology” of many huge Pentecostal churches in Soweto. .
Sunday 15 Nov was a significant day for the ecclesia with the first baptism in Soweto itself. It was a heartwarming experience to witness Bro Derrick Banda put on the saving name of Jesus and then to be given the right hand of fellowship by the “father” of the ecclesia Bro Elijah Rabaji. Wheelchair bound Bro Elijah has been wonderfully faithful since his baptism 13 years ago and it is for him, his dream come true to know there is now an ecclesia and the truth has taken root. Bro Daniel and Sis Maria Makhado have transferred from the Yeoville ecclesia as have Bro Paul and Sis Leonie Verster from the Kempton Park ecclesia.
A “Learn to Read the Bible Effectively” was presented for 8 Tuesday evenings in Oct /Nov. The attendance of the brethren has been excellent and there have been a group of 5 regular visitors. We welcomed Sis Debbie Payne (Pinetown) to one session.
Bro Obed & Sis Betty Mafifi were welcome visitors on 29 Nov and we thank Bro Obed for a very thought provoking exhortation.
If anyone has friends or relatives in Soweto that you would like us to contact please do so by fax 0866183665 or telephone 011 4523681.
We send our love in Jesus and warm invitation to visit the ecclesia.
Keen Seminar attendees
Baptism of Bro Derrick Banda
Bre Elijah the right hand of fellowship and some fatherly words of encouragement.
Soweto suburban sprawl
Bro. Elijah being baptised in 1994
Historical Reminiscence: In the early 1990s Elijah Rabaji had a serious accident with the heavy lorry he was driving, resulting in his being paralysed from the waist down. At that time he was not interested in the Bible. The CAT had advertised in the Soweto papers and he applied for the correspondence course and was later baptised by Duncan in 1994. His baptism was difficult, and all obstacles can be overcome to obey God’s commands and he had to be carried from his wheelchair into the water. I visited him sometime after and he praised God that he had been so injured as this is what turned him to think about God, without the accident he doubted if he would have ever come to a knowledge of the Truth. MH
Sister Leonie Verster