We are happy to help support Ben Little in his work for the Lord in South Africa. Ben was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. He has been married to Melanie Little for 23 years. They have two children, Kayla and Zack. He has been preaching the gospel since 2001. Ben graduated from the Southern Africa Bible College. Currently, he is preaching for the Benoni church of Christ and is actively involved with evangelism with World Bible School.
Ben's Report - January 7, 2023
Dear beloved brethren,
I trust that all is well on your side of the pond. We heard about the icy weather that gripped parts of North America, and hope it did not affect you too much.
We are looking forward to what 2023 has to offer. 2022 was a mixed bag of highs and lows but in all things there was something to learn, especially the importance of faith in God and trusting Him for the outcome.
BAPTISMS We had around 50 baptisms in various places during 2022, many are due to our WBS work. 5 baptisms were as a result of brother Spencer Ross's visit to Ironsyde, South of Johannesburg. I am trying to engage more folks to do online evangelism via the WBS online platform. We no longer have a functional mail system - it does work occasionally, but we are finding the online system to work very well for us. It will be fantastic if we can find someone to do this online work full-time. I think we could double this number each year, going forward, subject to time, opportunity, and manpower. I have included a few pics.
FEEDING PROGRAM We provided +- 5000 hot meals for the underprivileged children of Tembisa. This is besides the end-of-year party that we held for them, where each child also received a small gift. This area is fertile ground for the Gospel -- however the fields are white unto harvest, but the workers are few (Lk.10:2). I have included a few pics.
YOUTH PROGRAM Our Youth are doing well, and those who come from troubled backgrounds are more stable now that Covid-19 is behind us (hopefully forever). We need a full-time youth minister. Please help us pray for this to happen soon. These young folks are struggling with various socio-economic problems. Social-media plays a big role in exposure to negative stimuli, leading to negative behaviour.
CONGREGATIONAL HEALTH For me it felt like we were treading water during 2022. So many challenges in the congregation on all fronts, from death, serious illness, addiction, etc. We desperately need more workers, and on this note our elders made the commitment to appoint new deacons. All the previous deacons have emigrated. We thank God we have competent men and their wives who desire to serve in this area.
COUNSELING Last year, folks came from various congregations for premarital counseling, since I am one of only a few marriage officers and counselors in this area. Those who I could not see in person due to distance, I used Zoom, which proved to be quite effective. There are many folks that are suffering with mental and emotional-health challenges. Covid-19 has accelerated and compounded the challenges that people face.
WEDDINGS weddings are very much a part of ministry, and I probably conducted around 10 for the year. I do enjoy helping young couples with this because it is so beautiful to witness the forming of a marriage covenant between two of God's children. One challenge is that I have to register these marriages at the Home Affairs office in Bellville, Cape Town. They have not yet sent my file to Benoni so that I can register marriages up here. It's a pain and it doesn't look like it will be resolved anytime soon.
HIGHLIGHT A major highlight for the year, for me, was the opportunity to once again attend the WBS Global Missions Conference where I learned a lot of things that I am trying to implement over here in South Africa. It was also great spending a week with the SABC Director of development, promoting the Bible College in the Houston area. My task was to talk to folks who either support or intend to support SABC. This was a huge privilege for me, to talk about how the Bible College has impacted my life. Thank you for the opportunity to speak at Northwest and for the new partnership in the spread of the Gospel.
LOWS One major low was my dad passing away just before Christmas. He had been poorly for a while, struggling with Dementia and overall poor health, no appetite, bodily weakness, etc. My greatest comfort is that he died in the Faith, even though I had not seen him in 3 years due to Covid-19 and the distance (900 miles) also played a role. Mel's personal struggle also impacted the family & ministry. Prayerfully she'll win this battle. There are obviously the usual challenges with juggling family commitments, trying to be in too many places at the same time, car troubles, a leaky house roof, etc :-) :-) I did not achieve my goal of qualifying as a Moderator, but this will go onto my list for 2023. There were many more projects, like the blanket drive that we do each year just before Winter, as well as the clothing drive for the poor in the Zenzele Squatter Camp near us. Bible and Tract distribution also gets done as needed.
PROSPECTS FOR 2023 Naturally, the tempo of Evangelism is what I would like to increase. As mentioned before, the more workers I can engage in this area of ministry, the more people we can reach for Christ. I am excited about teaching 2 courses at SABC beginning mid February 2023, and would like to include the WBS online program as a method of Evangelism, among other methods. I am looking forward to us having Deacons by March 2023. This will help a lot, especially with following up on the sick, the bereaved, benevolence, etc.
Please continue to pray for us as we work to expand the borders of the Kingdom.
Love, Ben and family
Northwest church of christ
6059 Azle Avenue Fort Worth, TX 76135 817-237-1205 email@example.com northwestcofc.org