Dear Northside

I have been away over the long weekend with my family in the south of Zimbabwe. We were reminded as a family of just how incredible our amazing country is. We are so blessed to live here, even with all our problems. I think we need to focus on the positives we have – the weather, the bush, the animals, the people and many more!
But we do not ignore all that is going on in our nation and world. I believe that God, the Bible and we God’s church are the one place that can look at our world with absolute honesty and yet remain hopeful and people of joy. Because our hope is not in mankind, but in God.

I was asked to speak about Church Growth from Acts 2 & 3 for Week of Transformation this year. In it I see that God does something that should cause people to run to the church. In Acts 1 it was Pentecost and the disciples proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus in languages they did not learn. In Acts 3 it was the healing of the beggar outside the Temple. People were drawn to the disciples where they heard the Gospel. They were cut to the heart and were encouraged to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. And many did. Then these new believers became part of this radically transformed community called the church, which is described in Acts 2:42-47. This new community was so different to the world that it became the thing that attracted the world and we are told that God added to their number new believers daily.

In Zimbabwe we have a situation that is causing people to look for answers. Man and all men’s ideas have failed. The problem is, that when they look at the church, they see more world in the church than the church in the world. We need to become the radically transformed community that God wants His church to be. So that people will be attracted to what we have! I am thinking about preaching on this in some way next term. Please pray for me as I ask God for guidance on what to preach on from God’s Word to His church here at Northside.
I have had a short report from Lindie Hove about the Proj127 camp. They had less orphans than usual but Lindie said this meant they could give more attention to the orphans who came. Thank you to everyone who went on camp and to everyone who prayed and those who donated towards the camp.
We had a good team at the BUZ Annual Assembly this week. It is great to be part of a bigger grouping of like-minded churches in Zimbabwe. It was a wonderful privilege to be the speaker at this year’s conference. Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and the Assembly. We are part of the Harare churches that are hosting next year’s Assembly!

Please continue to support and pray for the Icthys camp this week. Then we have the ACSI conference and if you are able to attend, we highly recommend it. Following that we have Bring it On! Please pray for and support this as well.

Thanks and God bless, Pastor Gary

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God's heart, in the heart of the Community
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