Dear Friends and Family,

Spring has sprung in the southern hemisphere and with the new season, a new sermon and Bible study series. Alun is leading us through 1 Thessalonians this term as we look at God’s plan for his church.  Encouraged by this small epistle, we at St Thomas seek to be the church the world needs: hard working (1:3), joyful in suffering (6), eager to engage in evangelism (7-8) and modelling real repentance (9). As we strive towards this in Heideveld, we are thankful that it doesn’t depend on us, but rather on the Lord who graciously chose us (4), empowered us by his Spirit (5) and rescued us (6) for such a task. 

Let us start by telling you something of what the Lord is doing on Groenberg Road at the moment. Over the last few years we have been encouraged by the openings we are having in this street. Stemming back to some of Arise’s earliest kids clubs, we have seen children (now teenagers) become a part of our church family. More recently, we have seen their gift of inviting others bearing gospel fruit, as neighbour brings neighbour, friend brings friend. Across a number of houses now, we have parents, grandparents, cousins or uncles joining us too – (not just for services, though many begin there), but for Bible study, camps and other events too. We have cooks, readers and handyman using their gifts for the good of the church family. We see teens prioritise Friday nights and Sunday mornings and studying hard at school. We rejoice!

Much of establishing Christ as a new foundation comes through the Bible being regularly and faithfully taught. This week, we are running a kids’ holiday club and are encouraged by children attending and youth and adults serving! Last weekend, we took our regular teenagers to the termly Cutting-Edge youth rally. Hosted by one of our churches in a nearby township, we were encouraged to see young people from across our city meeting, praising and listening to God’s word together. Our youth work culminates in a six-day Crossword Camp in December, back for the first time in 3 years!  We hope to take about a dozen teens and are currently supporting them in their fundraising tasks.     Plans continue for a new Biblical counselling work at St Thomas. The church council has taken considerably greater ownership for this new work and shown maturity in shaping its vision and recruiting for this position. Beginning has been slower than we would have liked, but we are convinced having a unanimous and involved council who know the context so intimately, is worth the extra months.  

Finally turning towards home. Our children have all grown this term and we are thankful. Likhona excelled in his regional competitions for karate and was recently able to do some job-shadowing with his Sensei who works professionally in the fitness industry. He has a couple more job-shadowing days lined up at the Sports Science Institute next month, although he is keeping his options open for afterschool. Ilana sang beautifully at the City Hall and has made huge progress in piano this year. Both teens completed a three-day first aid course with a bunch of other home-schoolers and are now partway through a finance course with the same group. Malachi thoroughly enjoyed his first time on stage as part of his school’s Peter Pan performance. Timothy is now building complicated Lego models and learning to write simple sentences. He is counting down the months until he can join Malachi at Grace Primary in January!

We are so aware of your prayers and financial support of us and regularly pray for you too. We are tremendously grateful for the opportunity to be gospel partners with you.

With every blessing,

Alun, Debbie, Likhona (17), Ilana (14), Malachi (10) and Timothy (6)

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Give thanks for...

  • the children, their parents, grandparents, cousins or uncles joining us  for services,  Bible study, camps and other events.
  • the cooks, readers and handyman using their gifts for the good of the church family.
  • for the teens who prioritise Friday nights and Sunday mornings and are studying hard at school.

Please pray for...

  • 5 November: Women’s Bible teaching event
  • 4 December: Christmas Sing!
  • 16–21 December: Crossword Camp

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