Who knew that a birthday celebration would ultimately lead to the best gift in the world?
In December 2004 our family was enjoying our summer holiday in Cape Town and decided to celebrate Valerie’s birthday with a lunch on a wine estate. Our children spotted one of their teachers who was on holiday with her father, Jack Ingle. He started a conversation and invited us to visit the Johannesburg Church of Christ on our return home.
We started studying the Bible and Valerie was baptised in May 2004, while I made the decision to become a disciple in July 2005.
The love and energy of the disciples were the first things we were drawn to.
Valerie: The disciples went out of their way to build a great friendship with us. They were always ready to hang out and do fun things and their love made us feel accepted.
We love the fellowship in the North West Region where we are based. The way people encourage you when you’re up in your faith and also when you’re feeling down, showing us scriptures and always willing to help us in our marriage and parenting.
We have very close friendships with a number of people, spend a lot of time with them and have gone on a few holidays together.
Elijah: For me, it was the great teaching from the Bible that convinced me to follow Christ. The messages were amazing and we went back home to look at the scriptures on our own after each service and Bible study. I loved what God was saying to me through his Word.
I love that our leaders provide us with opportunities to deepen our knowledge of the Bible by offering study courses on various subjects. My love for the Bible and my convictions have grown stronger with each course.
We have learned how to serve God as a family, learning how to do devotionals with our children and helping them develop their own convictions. Our two teen daughters Sindi and Buhle love the vibrant teen ministry and have both become disciples – Sindi in 2011 and Buhle a year later. They enjoy preparing some of our family devos and relish the chance to share their insights with us.
One scripture that means a lot to us is Philipians 4:8-9: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
These words help us to trust God and leave everything in his hands.