Thursday, May 7, 2009

AMAZING BEC Award Ceremony

Brothers & sisters - Just wanted to let you know that the "graduation" this afternoon (about a week ago - sorry for journalistic delays ;-) was terrific! (Actually, we're trying to call them "certificate award ceremonies" now, to try to avoid an implication of a qualification--and to try to dissuade people from renting caps & gowns. Seemed to work! No gowns, even for the 2 people who had said they were going to rent them.)

We had 32 people who completed courses since the last award ceremony, of whom 9 had completed more than one course. Twenty of them came to the ceremony, and we had 40 total visitors (most people brought a friend or a family member, or two).

Most exciting, two of the students are very close to baptism. Almita, an older woman who has done all the courses, has been talking about baptism for some time. Her sister has been trying to talk her out of it, but today she said to Mary that she wants to go forward. Mary will have a class with her on Tuesday as a final "do you appreciate what you are taking on" session, but I expect there to be a baptism next Sunday morning. The other student is a man named Crispin, who has completed 3 courses and is mid-way through Bible Basics. He just seems to be on fire. Today besides asking me how he would go about being baptized, he made a financial donation to the work. (The two weren't related - it's just clear that he believes in the message and wants to support spreading it.) He is going to come to meeting tomorrow (God willing), along with his family, and we will establish a convenient time to have some classes in preparation for baptism -- but I don't expect them to go on a long time; he is ready.

The Lord is indeed blessing the work here! There are other positive things happening. Bro John Gumede's niece has asked for baptism preparation classes, which Mary is going to arrange with her. She will probably not be far behind the other two. A man named David has resumed The Way of Life classes with Bro David. A young guy named Zipho, who had been very keen, but whom we hadn't seen in the BEC for some time, was at the ceremony and had a great conversation with Barry and Steve Motley. Almita has a friend who has occasionally attended in Pinetown, and who came with her today -- and wants to start attending more regularly. Another young guy named Jerom has done all the courses and has been attending regularly in Durban. A woman named Nokuthula is mid-way in Bible Basics and attends regularly, and has said when she completes BB she wants to talk about baptism. On and on. God be praised!

Many thanks to Jane for all the food shopping and prep, and helping with the certificate presentations. Many thanks to Bro Barry for the talk, the music, and the A/V help. Thanks to Wendith & Christy for the help in the kitchen. And of course to Mary (who unfortunately won't get this), for her ongoing work with these students, as well as for contributing to the ceremony today. Thanks to Cam and to Steve for fetching people, helping with the setup, and to Steve who acted as usher/doorkeeper. And thanks to David, Dieudonne, Charlotte, Rose, and Mhloli for attending & supporting the effort.

It's been an exciting day. Please join us in praying for the students, for God's direction in their lives and for their continued spiritual growth. And for laborers to work in these white fields.

God bless you all. Love in our Lord,
Paul Zilmer

Print this post

No comments: