Update from South Africa

I’m writing from Johannesburg, South Africa, where CJ and I, along with Ligon Duncan, Kevin DeYoung, and Mark Dever, have been participating in the Rezolution Conference. It’s been a full and fruitful time, due in large part I’m sure to prayers from back home. Words can’t adequately express our gratefulness to you for praying.

The church situation in South Africa is eclectic and complex, due in part to the years of apartheid which officially ended in 1994. But much residual damage remains, and this is a country in great need of the unity, peace, and hope that only the gospel can bring.

Last Sunday morning the four speakers gave messages at churches in Johannesburg (I led the music at Antioch Bible Church where CJ spoke). They then flew to either Durban or Capetown to speak at other churches that night.

Monday and Tuesday, CJ and I were with Lig Duncan in Capetown leading a pastors’ conference. The messages focused on various aspects of the gospel. Mark Dever and Kevin DeYoung led a similar conference in Durban at the same time.

Early Wednesday morning we took a two hour flight back to Johannesburg for another two day pastors conference, which all four speakers participated in. That conference finished Thursday night. Mark Dever led a 9 Marks conference on Friday, and the final Rezolution conference for young adults will be held Friday night and all day Saturday.

People have received us warmly and responded enthusiastically both to the preaching and the singing. There’s a growing hunger here for gospel-informed expository preaching that is encouraging, and these four guys can bring it!

CJ has had the opportunity to interact with numerous pastors, some of whom are eager to talk about how we combine reformed theology with a continuationist practice.

I’ve been encouraged to hear how Sovereign Grace songs have made their way into churches here. People are familiar with far more of our songs than I thought they’d be! I had a humorous moment Thursday night when I started the hymn And Can it Be. I wrote a new melody for it years ago for GLAD, and unfortunately that’s the melody I started singing. I had to stop, explain what had happened, and go back to the song. Wish you could have been there.

We’re grateful for the reports we heard from the last Sunday and wish we could be with you this Sunday! We know you’ll enjoy a rich time of worship in song and benefit from Dr. Ware’s teaching gift.

We’ll be home some time on Tuesday and are looking forward to being again with the church we love the most.