Germans and South Africans Combine for Outreach in the Eastern Cape
From 17 to 24 July 2023, a team from Germany combined with a team from Rustenburg (RSA Gauteng District) and members of the RSA Eastern Cape District to engage in community outreach in the city of Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), South Africa. One of the goals of this team effort was to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and create an opportunity for local churches to “walk across the street” to their neighbours while generating a passion in the hearts of young people to start a vibrant ministry in schools or wherever they have a sphere of influence.
The team was able to minister through a KidzFest at Sapphire Road Primary School in Booysens Park with over 320 kids in attendance. Through songs, games and other activities, the children were able to hear the Word of God in a fun and engaging way.
Through a much different form of ministry, the team was also able to go to Indlela Mental Health Huis Herberg In Hillside to minister in a much different way to residence there. The exercised a ministry of presence as they listened to the stories of the residents and played games with them.
The Eastern Cape District NYI were also able to gather for a Youth Fest during the team’s visit. Due to the pandemic, it had been three years since the youth of the district had met. The young people were immersed in Bible teaching, passionate and loud worship and fun. Pastor Jana and the team from Germany and Rustenburg challenged the youth with an array of powerful messages. There were young people who surrendered their lives to Jesus and made lasting memories along the way. District NYI President, Samantha Titus stated that the pandemic had robbed the youth of valuable time together, and she said, “As the week went on, I began to realise how much we had missed out on through the pandemic.”
Additionally, Rev Dawie de Koker was able to conduct leadership training for the pastors and spouses on the Eastern Cape District. The topics covered were the real job of the pastor, mission shift, post modernity, the concept of “crossing the street” and the 5 levels of leadership. Each pastor’s thinking was challenged, and they were all engaged in meaningful conversations with one another, discussing and evaluating where the local church stands, particularly post-COVID-19.
The team’s time in the Eastern Cape was capped off by a moving and vibrant District Rally. The Lord used Rev de Koker to challenge those present to be salt and light in their communities, families and in the marketplace. He gave an invitation to those present to commit themselves to be this driving force wherever they find themselves. District Superintendent, Rev Randall Julie, said, “The atmosphere was truly amazing, and a tangible presence of the Holy Spirit was indeed felt as we worshipped, prayed, experienced the preaching of God’s Word and responded to His move in our midst.”
One of the goals of this team was to help find that balance between reaching new people and building up those who have already been reached through a focus to move forward with purpose and continue to be the Church that God has called us to be. Truly, the seeds sown will reap an abundant harvest.