It seems that in almost every update I receive from Mala, Antioch Baptist Church is celebrating another baptism. This is especially exciting coming from a church that is careful about genuine conversion. However, in this report, there is grief mixed with joy:
Rejoicing in More Conversions and Baptisms
As a church we greatly benefited from surveying the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament. The idea was to give our church a bird’s eye view of these books. Through these sermons, we have seen one lady come to the Lord. It is very encouraging for our church. We are currently meeting with this young lady for discipleship. Please pray for us that we will see more conversions as we continue to minister God’s word in this city. We also had the privilege recently to conduct three baptisms of new believers – Rodney, Agatha, and Angela.
Grieving for a Church Discipline Case
Amidst all the exciting and encouraging news I am sharing with you, it is also a very difficult time for our church. Two of our earliest members, who were engaged and preparing to marry this year, are under church discipline. They have currently been suspended from membership. I returned from a trip to South Africa to the news that some time in March they fell into sin and later discovered that she was expecting. They tried to cover it up for four months, but confessed after being confronted by church members who were noticing some things about the couple and the young lady. You can imagine the difficulty our small church is facing. I have spent weeks in all kinds of meetings with church members, the couple, and their families. Probably the most difficult meetings have been with the families, who want to have their way in the matter regardless of what Scripture says. It has been tough and confusing for some of our young members. Such news easily spreads in our very social African society. So far, our church has been united in a course of action as we have been examining Scripture. Please pray for the couple for true repentance. Please pray for all of us to fear and examine ourselves more seriously.