March 2018 Update

Click here to download and print.

South Africa needs your prayers and has for a long time. Yes, you could say all countries need prayer, rich, poor, peaceful or troubled and the Bible commands Christians everywhere to pray but in most cases, the answers to prayer aren’t so evident. From the end of Apartheid’s reign in 1994 to the present, South Africa has unexpectedly weathered great political storms clearly buoyed by God’s hand. No doubt, many have prayed.

Prior to the first peaceful democratic elections in 1994, the country was close to civil war. Various factions argued vehemently for a piece of the political pie and the debate spawned violence at the grassroots level in many parts of the country. Miraculously, in spite of widespread trouble, the election happened, was jubilantly celebrated and power was transferred with relative peace.

Since then, however, power plays, corruption, in-fighting, manipulation and plain old stupidity have been the rule. Mbeki’s assertion that AIDS is caused by poverty made everyone cringe.

It’s no surprise that celebrations faded and confidence was lost. It’s also no surprise that global economic agencies downgraded South African banks to junk status, sending the Rand into a downward spiral. It was naturally assumed that South Africa would be the next Zimbabwe. Locals were leaving by the thousands for greener grass anywhere they could find it.

But after suffering the nonsense for so many years, another miracle recently occurred. Cyril Ramaphosa was appointed deputy president of South Africa. You may not have heard of Mr. Ramaphosa but his resume is long and decorated. His reputation is so strong internationally, the local currency immediately strengthened once the news of his appointment was published. Cyril has a great work ethic, is a qualified lawyer and has proven his skills in several significant positions but the cherry on top is he grew up under Christian influences. No, Cyril isn’t a political savior but his appointment is a welcome change and a real answer to prayer. Please keep praying. God is still answering.

Update – May 2017

Click here to download and print May prayer letter.

Dear Pastor,

We’ve known Janice for years. My wife sees her and talks to her just about every week. Usually more than once a week. Janice knows we are Christians. She knows we are in ministry. She also is aware that we started a church and will often ask Becky how things are going.

Sadly, Janice is not a Christian. She was born into a family that was heavily involved in a cult. From the time she was born, that is all she knew. Thankfully, once she reached adult age she began asking questions and at great expense, eventually managed to extricate herself from the organization.

Since then, Janice has been searching and, although she is a bit leery about religion in general, she is showing an interest in Christianity. We’ve had Janice in our home more than once but recently we invited her to attend a series of studies focused on salvation. She’s agreed!

There’s no doubt God is working in Janice’s heart. Please pray for her and many others just like her as we share the Gospel in South Africa.

Serving this side,
Ennis & Becky Pepper

Update – June 2016

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Click here to download June 2016 update.

Dear Pastor,

Building News: Unfortunately, what we wanted to avoid has come to pass. Although the builder imploringly and repeatedly assured us of his good intentions, it became obvious that his promises were empty, and we formally cancelled his contract a few weeks ago.

We need your prayers, though. He has a large amount of our money and so far hasn’t been very forthcoming.

Also, please pray as we talk to new builders.

Second Generation Conversions: Great news! A fellow we led to Christ a few years back recently led one of his children to the Lord. The interesting thing is this particular Dad wasn’t easy to win. He attended services and Bible studies regularly for a couple of years before getting saved. He wasn’t resistant or negative, just deliberate. He was single when he got saved. Now he’s passing the Good News along to the next generation!

Bible Study Please: Got a call recently asking me to do a Bible study. The caller lives near our building, which is in plain view to everyone, and decided to give me a call. There were nine visitors in the study!

As always, your faithful support is humbly and truly appreciated.

Serving this side,
Ennis & Becky Pepper

Close To Home, Not That Unusual

Neighbor defends lone woman from thieves.

The following article was posted on News24.com, Thursday evening, November 12, 2015. The incident occurred about 700 yards from my house, as the crow flies. It’s worth mentioning because, even though horrible, it’s not that unusual. Vigilance is always essential.

Two Suspected House Robbers Shot Dead

Durban – Two suspected house robbers were shot and killed and a third was critically wounded in Durban North on Thursday night.

A well placed police source, who could not be named as he is not authorised to speak (sic) the media, told News24 that four men had forced their way inside a home in Welwitchia Avenue in Glen Hills.

“Four men in a Golf 7 GTI had forced the gate open and reversed inside the property before they used a 10 pound hammer to break down the front door,” he said.

“A neighbour heard the commotion and took on the men. Two of the gunmen were found inside the house a third died from gunshot wounds in the back garden.”

“These guys were professionals and were wearing gloves and balaclavas. The car they were using had been stolen in Chatsworth,” the source added.

Paramedics treated the injured man at the scene before (sic) was transported to a city hospital under police guard.

A fourth suspect is understood to be at large.

Police recovered two firearms at the scene and the homeowners were uninjured in the hail of bullets.

Additional Information

The critically wounded robber died in the hospital.

Only the wife was at home when the robbers broke in. The husband was away on business and the children, all older, were out for the evening.

Fireworks being set off during the evening – the Diwali festival – would have masked any noise the housebreakers made.

Though armed with guns, the thieves were no match for a sure-shot neighbor.

Update – September 2015

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Click here to download September 2015 update.

To print image: Right Click -> Copy -> Paste -> Print

Dear Pastor,

I’m very happy to report that our building construction is back under way. It’s going a little slow but it is happening. The roof should be on soon, if the rain holds off. I will have picture and video updates as progress made.

Our oldest son, Ennis, was twelve when

Retaining wall on the backside of the church

Retaining Wall Behind Main Building

we came to South Africa almost thirty years ago. During that time he made occasional trips to the States but he grew up in South Africa, got married to a local girl and they have a couple of kids.

Two years ago he began planning to return to the States and in September of this year he made the move.

As you can guess, we have mixed emotions. We are very happy that he is taking what he believes is the next move for him and his family but sad that we won’t see them quite so often.

Ennis has been a great asset to the ministry in South Africa. He was always very generous financially and he built a great youth group. He organized youth camps involving several churches and spoke in church on several occasions. And all his service was volunteer. He worked for a major corporation for several years and then started and maintained his own business while serving.

Please pray for our building progress and for Ennis and his family as they settle into the States.

Serving this side,
Ennis & Becky Pepper

Ennis And Becky Photograph

Ennis and Becky Pepper PhotographTo download, right click on the picture, copy, save to file and print.

Everyone’s Looking – They Notice

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Click here to download prayer letter: July 2014

Dear Pastor,

To keep fit and make contact with people I wouldn’t otherwise see, I started cycling with a group on Saturday mornings. It’s a way to evangelize and it works. Anyone can ride so I meet new people all the time and get to know the regulars riders better. The good thing is many different topics arise during these rides: salvation, the Bible, creation, you name it. Once I was asked about tithing.

I rarely have to do much to get these conversations going other than answer the question “So, what do you do?” My answer always opens the door to whatever question-problem-issue they’re grappling with at the time.

Conversations have been great! Recently, however, something different but very exciting happened.

A rider I’ve seen many times and had interesting conversations with exclaimed out of the blue, “hey, I saw your building going up. Looks nice.” This rider doesn’t live any where near our building so his seeing the building shows how prominent it is.

I also donate blood plasma every two weeks and recently attended a rewards banquet for donors. While sitting at our table of eight, we had the usual “What kind of work do you do” conversation and the building came up.

And what a response! One lady exclaimed, “I wondered who that was. I was going to Google it to find out.” Another couple at the table had noticed also.

The point? This building is a landmark. You can’t miss it. Everyone sees it and we can’t wait to hold services there. Please pray as construction continues.

Serving this side,

Ennis & Becky Pepper
 

New Video Below

The following video shows progress since our March 2014 restart date. Instructions to download and project on screen are below the video.

IF VIDEO DOES NOT APPEAR – CLEAR CACHE AND REFRESH PAGE.
 

Follow these instructions to download video to you computer:

Step One: Copy this YouTube link – http://youtu.be/70BigL-TUII

Step Two: Click this link to go to ClipConverter.

Step Three: Paste the YouTube link in field labeled “Media URL to download” and click “Continue.”

Step Four: Follow the on-screen instructions to download video to your computer.

Step Five: Copy file to a DVD or connect your computer to an in house projection unit for viewing.

Construction Progress Church Plant Durban – Main Building

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Video Of Main Building Construction
Now Available

Below is a video showing the progress on construction for the church build – the main building. You can download the video to a computer and project it on screen.

IF VIDEO DOES NOT APPEAR – CLEAR CACHE AND REFRESH PAGE.
 


 

Follow these instructions to download video to you computer:

Step One: Copy this YouTube link – http://youtu.be/70BigL-TUII

Step Two: Click this link to go to ClipConverter.

Step Three: Paste the YouTube link in field labeled “Media URL to download” and click “Continue.”

Step Four: Follow the on-screen instructions to download video to your computer.

Step Five: Copy file to a DVD or connect your computer to an in house projection unit for viewing.

Restart Date: Early March

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Click Here To Download PDF: February Prayer Letter

Dear Pastor,

Several years ago a young girl attended our church and youth group and made a profession of faith. I later had the privilege of baptizing her and she seemed to be doing well spiritually. As she grew older, however she was influenced by friends to try other churches and even avoid church completely. We prayed.

Our prayers were answered. About five months ago she showed up for church one Sunday and hasn’t missed since. She’s even influenced a few others to be a bit more faithful.

It made me realize once again that the Lord is faithful. He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

Building News

Much has happened since my last letter and it is all good!

I never thought I would enjoy a “building project” but in this case I’m very pleased to get back into the planning stages.

So far we have short listed two contractors and isolated one of those as the most likely candidate. It has involved many discussions and much studying of Front view of auditoriumcontracts. We’re very close to signing. So close we’ve begun clearing the property, getting ready for material deliveries and such.

Our actual restart date is project for early March. Please pray for our building.

Thank you for your faithful support.

Serving this side,

Ennis & Becky Pepper

Getting Over The Slump

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Download PDF October 2013 Prayer Letter

October Prayer letter

Dear Pastor and Fellow Helpers,

Great news! Our plans have been approved and all the drawings and documentation are in hand. We are now free to continue with the construction of our building. I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven, but, of course, I’m glad to be here carrying on with the work.

Here is what we need you to pray for:

  • The money. We have approximately four fifths of what we need to complete the work. We thank the Lord for this but are prayerfully considering ways to fill the gap. One of the things we will do is ask for material donations. Pray for open hearts and surplus supplies.
  • Safety. The next phase involves building retaining walls to hold up steep banks on two different sides. It can be dangerous. Please pray.
  • Timing. We are in the planning stage at the moment and there are many things to consider. Restarting now, before the builders’ December-January break, which can happen no sooner than 15 October, may cost more than it will save. We need wisdom to get the timing right.
  • Outreach. Our building is so prominent people will easily notice the restart of construction. We’ve already gotten the attention of many in the area and that will only increase. We need wisdom to build on this momentum effectively.

Obviously, these are exciting times but I must admit there have been a few “valley” moments getting here. No one likes being in the valley but it does happen occasionally so learning how to find encouragement in the Lord is an essential skill to learn. My encouragement came from looking at the following drawing and reminding myself that God is the One who opened this door.

Church Side View

Thank you for praying and for your faithful support. Without you we couldn’t be here.

Serving this side,
Ennis and Becky Pepper