Visit To Palm Ridge 2013/12/16

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Palm Ridge Evangelical ChurchMany thanks to all who donated goods to the Chauke family in Palm Ridge. We delivered all the goods, excluding the beds.

The Chauke Family, on behalf of the Palm Ridge Evangelical Church, thanked the Weltevreden Chapel for their generous support.

Gallery-Vist to Palm Ridge 201312 View the photo gallery of the visit.

We had the opportunity for a detailed discussion on the Evangelical Church in Palm Ridge, where the Chauke’s ministry.

The Church’s Organisation

  • The church is growing numerically – 160 people.
  • There is also significant spiritual growth in some of the members
  • The regular gatherings:



    • Wednesday Prayer Meeting, 6pm, 30 regulars attending
    • Friday Bible Study, 6 pm, 20 regulars attending
    • Discipleship teaching, Saturday 1 pm
    • Youth Club, Saturday 4pm
    • Weekday morning prayer and intercession sessions, 8am, 15 regulars
    • Sunday School, Saturday at 11 am (Yes, Saturday), attendance varies between 20 and 50 children
    • Sunday Morning worship services at 9am; average attendance is 120 people.
  • Pastor Eric Chaukes’s former assistant, Rwambile, is no longer with the church.
  • The seating arrangements for worship services:



    • 80 chairs with backs
    • 15 chairs with no backs
    • 2 benches seating 3 people each

Church Site

  • The church building is situated at a major and busy intersection. The photographs at the gallery show this very clearly.
  • It is a temporary structure.
  • There is a taxi rank just outside the church building.
  • Lots of hawkers and informal traders at the intersection. Some of them have semi-permanent structures.
  • There is no wall around the property. So hawkers, pedestrians and the general population have free access to the property grounds.
  • There is very little security. There has already been a break in, and some of the contents were stolen.
  • There are no modern ablution facilities; just an exterior pit toilet which is partially enclosed.
  • There is no electricity in the building. They use candles when it is dark.
  • There is a big Zionist Church right next to their site – the blue one in the photographs.

Current Site is Illegal

  • Eric Chauke was recently informed by the municipality that the current site was illegally established and needs to be demolished, and that they should move.
  • The counsellor who awarded them the site did not have the proper authorisation from the municipality.
  • Apparently it was zoned for business use.
  • Eric has been in discussions with officials at the local municipality. They have been allowed to stay on a temporary basis. It is not clear for how long they can stay.
  • Other churches are also after the site. They want to purchase it, and then rezone it for religious use.
  • There are basically two options for the church.
  • Purchase the ground and rezone it. Eric will find out the costs involved.
  • Look at alternative sites zoned for religious use. Eric is in discussions with the local municipality.

Praise Items

  • The congregation has improved in their giving. The church was able to purchase and lay tiles in the front half of the interior. This has significantly improve the general look and feel.
  • Eric and Lotina’s daughter, Sarah, has been promoted to Grade 10. She now attends a school closer to home – 30 minutes walk. Previously it was a 5km walk. She now attends the Palm Ridge High School.
  • Their son, Gift, has been promoted to Grade 7. He attends the Palm Ridge Primary School.
  • Eric junior is growing up fast. He is now 2 years old.
  • Congregation is growing – in numbers and spiritually.
  • An electrical meter has already been installed in their home. They have been promised that electricity will be switched on early 2014.

Prayer Items

  • An additional room for the Chauke home. Sarah and Gift share a room.
  • Safety of the interior contents of the church building.
  • A new door for the entrance of the building.
  • Additional storage for the expensive items; e.g. Drums and synthesiser are stored in the Chauke’s lounge, which is already very small.
  • The church site. See above
  • Future plans of the church. See below.
  • That the electricity switch on, in the Chauke home, will happen early 2014 as promised.
  • There is a need for more men in the core group. They currently have 5 men.
  • The church needs more chairs. Some of the the Sunday worshippers have to stand.
  • The family’s motor vehicle needs to have the oil pump replaced. This will happen soon.
  • The Chapel will be assisting with the registration of the church as a non-profit organisation. These plans will now be expedited.

Future Plans

  • Consolidate the prayer group, who will regularly pray for the needs of the church.
  • Establish an evangelism group.
  • Establish a discipleship group
  • In the medium term, establish a missions group. This will be modelled on the missions work that the Weltevreden Chapel is doing.
  • Move the worship process closer to that of the Biblical model.

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