Relief distribution leads to church plant
By Tianna Haas | South Africa in Southern Africa
Opening service in Vryburg.
A church plant has grown from SIM South Africa’s distribution of food parcels, Christian literature and sanitary supplies to widows, abused women and orphans during the COVID-19 lockdown.
SIM South Africa director Dr Pookkattu Paul said, “Can anything good happen during COVID-19 lockdown? Yes, is the answer … this church is the fruit.”
Starting in June 2020, newly appointed ambassadors for the Northern Cape Province carried relief goods in what Dr Paul called a “labour of love” for the SIM South Africa COVID-19 response project. SIM workers and office staff did the same across the nation.
Evangelical Bible Church has had under 50 people attending services, given the pandemic restrictions. They do not yet have a permanent place to gather. Dr Paul said, “They are meeting in a public place, a facility for physical distancing and sanitising.
“The church and members need our prayerful generosity to establish and make it self-sustainable … The impact of abuse along with cultural, traditional, and systematic spiritual darkness stand as strongholds in the city and township.”
For the opening service in Vryburg, Dr Paul and other SIM leaders travelled more than 1,100 kilometres in one day so they could celebrate together. Bishop Nowel Lyuma and his wife Ester, faithful shepherds of an historic SIM and AEF partner church among the Luchazi people, were also present.
Dr Paul said, “The Lord’s hands were with us in representing SIM SA by giving encouraging words and preaching the Word that touched many in the church. We heard testimonies of how the SIM contributions toward food parcels helped in a time of their desperate need.
“We were concerned about the facility possibly being over-crowded with difficulty in physical distancing and sanitising. The Lord took care of all such anxiety by providing sufficient open spaces – the pictures tell the story. What more to witness the presence of God?
“We had … food cooked by the church members. And [those who cooked] sacrificed their worship time, like Martha, which kept the number below the legal limit for 50 gathering at one time. The Lord is good.”
Pray for Evangelical Bible Church and SIM SA
• Ask God to strengthen, support, and heal those who have experienced abuse and pain in the community. Pray that the light of Christ will be ever present amid the darkness.
• Pray that God will equip the young church with resources and resilience.
• Pray for SIM SA and the ambassadors’ relief help during the pandemic. Ask God to provide more opportunities to display his love and share the good news of redemption.