News from South Africa: 3 Challenges to Ministry in the Townships
Kevin Hall is a church-planting missionary working in the Xhosa-speaking townships in Port Elisabeth, South Africa. I have known Kevin for a long time. We were both students in Bible college at the same time. We worked construction together while in college. And we have been privileged to remain friends in the ministry for over a decade now.
God is doing a great work through their ministry with many churches being planted and men trained. Kevin’s latest update highlights some of the challenges they face there. I have posted the update below. I think it will help you know how to pray better. I would encourage you to follow his blog. God is raising up a great team there in South Africa, and you can find more info at ProjectSouthAfrica.com.
It’s not a small problem. It’s not something that can be worked around. God has a very specific design for the home and when this design is ignored or changed the consequences for a society are catastrophic. In South Africa we are seeing the effects of this issue. The home is in shambles. Kids grow up without accountability. They grow up without a loving parent encouraging them in the right direction. Many kids grow up in single parent homes, most of the time without a father. Many grow up under a grandparent. Many grow up in foster care as orphans. Girls grow up not knowing what it looks like and truly means to be a mom and wife. Boys grow up without a clue of what it really means to be a man and father. This is a huge burden!
South Africa is a wonderful country with much to offer its citizens. Some great schools are one aspect of what the country offers. Many of the schools are wonderful and would be comparable to the best any country could offer. One of the major problems is also the schools. There are some great schools but there are far more inferior schools. Schools where the textbooks arrive well into the school year. Schools where teachers don’t teach. Schools where standards have been lowered just so more kids can pass. This is a huge burden!
I hate making statements about other people’s religion for fear of misrepresenting it. This past week as we had visitors and we’re showing them around and teaching them about the Xhosa people and their religion we met a couple of police officers who offered to teach us more. They were both Xhosa men. They both were “Christian”. One was Dutch Reformed and one was Methodist. Yet, both were faithful ancestor worshippers. As we began to listen we learned that to these “Christians” God was far off and that the ancestors were close by. There is a good word for this it is syncretism. The combining of different religions. That is definitely possible with religions but impossible with Christianity. It’s Christ alone or no Christ. Unfortunately I would say that many churches in township South Africa allow this to go on and have lost the Gospel! This is the biggest burden of all! Please pray for South Africa!