The Spiritual Need in South Africa
Archbishop Desmond Tutu first called South Africa the “Rainbow Nation” due its diverse population. With this cultural diversity has come a history of intense conflict and inequality between segments of South Africa’s 56.5 million people. In terms of religious diversity, every major religion is represented (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and others), particularly as immigrants from other African nations, Pakistan, and India make their home in South Africa. Christianity makes up the majority religion, with 77% of people identifying as such. But among the Christian population there is significant and sustained syncretism with traditional African religions, affecting churches even at leadership levels and flowing down to regular daily faith practice among congregants.
The AIDS virus continues to take a brutal toll on South Africans both physically and emotionally. Very few families in under-resourced communities and villages are unaffected by this deadly disease. Many children are left to be raised by their relatives, siblings or to care for themselves entirely because their parents have died. The local church needs to be resourced to step into these hurting lives with hope.
From much-needed racial reconciliation, to theological discernment amidst cultural syncretism, to meeting physical needs with compassion, South Africa desperately needs the reconciling truth of the gospel.
Church Planting In South Africa
ABWE has teams serving in three major South African cities: Cape Town, Durban and George. All three of the teams dedicated to church planting in South Africa are working in multiple church plants in their areas, with the objective to plant reproducing, multi-cultural congregations led by national pastors and leaders. In addition, our missionaries are serving in various other ministries, such as chaplaincy, counseling, youth centers and coffee shops, children’s ministry, and leadership development for local believers.
While there are opportunities to work alongside the veteran missionaries who began these ministries, we are also looking for additional church planters and missionaries to continue establishing new Bible-believing churches and engage in community development opportunities.
Is the Lord leading you to learn a new culture, live among a new people group, and share the gospel in South Africa?