God Is on the Move in Bloem

Testimony by HJ Nel

It’s only been 4 months since we officially planted Unity Life Church (ULC), a Four12 partnering church, and what a journey it has been. From our first Sunday morning meeting where we realized that we hadn’t thought of buying a cable for our new speakers (and consequently had to run around calling people to try and arrange one on the fly), to seeing people grow and fall in love with Christ and His church.

In the first month of our plant, there was a lot of curiosity; we had a 120 first time visitors, a lot of connecting coffee visits and phone calls. Some visited (unfortunately just as fast as they came they left) and some stayed and planted themselves in the church. Others came looking for the “man of God”, but only saw ‘normal people’, saints loving Jesus passionately.

We can honestly say that it is going well with ULC; people are planting themselves and giving of themselves to the church. We have had salvations and baptisms. We have seen people with church hurts and abandonment issues being set free and find their place in family. There is a real hunger for authentic community life, so much so that our weekly community nights (life group/ small group) rarely end before 10 pm.

We have had a lot of people from Four12 partnering churches come and visit us. Some people drove more than 8 hours on just to support us on a Sunday morning. Through acts like this, our new church family of ULC have seen the heart of Four12 and have caught it! An amazing testimony of this is how one man, who was a pastor, gave his preaching license back after he saw and tasted what Four12 is and he is now slotted in at ULC.

We are really thankful for the immense support that we have received from a lot of our partners across Four12 and for the apostolic input and guidance we have received and are still receiving. Without this, I don’t think we would have seen all the fruit that we had thus far.

We are so thankful for God’s grace and His Hand in this time. We love seeing how He moves and how He is adding people to our family, because ultimately it is God who builds His church and makes it grow. This makes me think of how Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” We can truly say that we have learned a lot in this short time and if we were asked to do this again our answer will still be YES. God is without a doubt moving in Bloemfontein (Bloem) and its surrounds and we as Unity Life Church have the privilege to be a vehicle which God is using to bring His Kingdom to Bloem. We are excited to see what the future holds.


HJ Nel is married to Johanri. They are the lead eldership couple of Unity Life Church in Bloemfontein, South Africa, their second church plant in their marriage of nearly two years.

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