ArticleField Stories

‘You Didn’t Preach Love, You Showed Love’: How This South Africa Meal Ministry Is Changing Hearts

In towns affected by spirit worship, a feeding program is witnessing gospel transformation.
A South African boy receives a meal through the benevolence ministry in Durban. (Photo credit: Darin and Kathy Ishler)
For many South Africans, the concept of salvation by faith in Christ alone is completely foreign.

Many communities are deeply involved in ancestor worship and witchcraft. Sometimes they need to hear a clear presentation of the gospel a number of times before it begins to have an impact. Salvation by faith in Christ alone is something they have never heard. They naturally have many questions as their culture is steeped in good works and animal sacrifice as a means to earn their way to Heaven.

Yet the work of ministry continues in Durban, South Africa. Kathy Ishler shares that some of the church members and other folks who have received food packages in the past weeks are coming out to help with the food stations. They are able to help by chopping vegetables, cooking, cleaning, dishing up food, setting up, sanitizing, trash collection, and most importantly sharing Jesus with communities that are physically and spiritually hungry.

A program worker serves meals to needy residents. (Photo credit: Darin and Kathy Ishler)

At a food station in Chesterville (near Durban), the gospel was preached by Pastor Mhlongo before the meal was given. One lady kept saying, “I want to know this Jesus, I want to know this Jesus” as she waited in line. The team is now arranging to visit this eager woman at her home to share more about Jesus.

Then, this past Sunday, in KwaMakhutha (30 minutes from Durban), Pastor Congolo shared a devotion. A gentleman and two ladies approached him afterwards and said that they were interested in the gospel message that was presented and wanted to join the team. These precious souls will also be visited by team members soon.

A South African pastor speaks to the program participants. (Photo credit: Darin and Kathy Ishler)

A South African man responds in worship during the outreach. (Photo credit: Darin and Kathy Ishler)

In addition to the food stations, the team is still delivering groceries to church members as well as friends of those members who are in need. Consider this testimony of a gentleman who received food and posted later on social media:

“Back to work ya’ll (sic) since the 26th of March 2020 I had been locked down. Thank God I still have [a] job. Many thanks to all the Saints who had been visiting our home every 3rd week from April just to check how we are doing. You didn’t preach love, you showed love. God bless ya’ll.”

Please pray for the lady in Chesterville to come to Christ for salvation, and pray for all the others involved in or impacted by this exciting ministry.


Editor’s Note: You can support this ministry through the Durban benevolence fund or give towards all compassion projects in Africa

About the Author

Hannah Strayer is a media specialist serving in Africa with ABWE. Hannah uses her photography and media skills to share the needs on the field, help missionaries more effectively communicate with supporters, and share the gospel with nationals. Support Hannah’s ministry.

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