South Africa

The Spiritual Need in South Africa

Archbishop Desmond Tutu first called South Africa the “Rainbow Nation" due to diverse people groups living there. South Africa is a country with profound spiritual need, from much-needed racial reconciliation to an influx of new religions being combined with ancient superstitions, South Africa desperately needs the reconciling truth of the gospel.

Additionally, the AIDS virus continues to hit South Africa in a brutal way. Very few families in the poorer communities and villages are unaffected by this deadly disease. Many children are left to be raised by their relatives, siblings or to fend for themselves on the streets, because their parents have died. The need is great for the local church to step into these people’s lives with hope.

Currently, our missionaries are hard at work primarily in three South African cities and their surrounding areas: Cape Town, Durban, and George.

ABWE Cape Town

Located in the Western Cape, the Cape Town Team is committed to planting churches in both the suburbs and townships (impoverished communities) and has seen God move in amazing ways. Many churches have been planted and graduated to South African leadership, with several more in the process. The objective is to plant reproducing, multi-cultural congregations led by national pastors and leaders.

While there are opportunities to work alongside the veteran missionaries who began these works, we are also looking for additional church planters and missionaries to come and start new ministries and assist national pastors who have been trained and are ready to establish more Bible-believing churches and engage in community development ministries.

The Xhosa people are one of the people groups in the Cape we are trying to reach with the gospel. They are very relational and easily approached. We need missionaries who are willing to seek to understand their culture and learn their language. There are also endless opportunities for those who are called to do children’s ministries, as children are eager to come and learn the Bible and be loved by those who are teaching it.

Opportunities also exist to help South Africans develop skills that will serve them in the work force as well as be equipped to share the gospel with family, friends and neighbors in their community.

ABWE missionaries in Cape Town have established a Christian School and also a center for disabled children. It is a field where the diversity of the people is reflected in the diversity of the needs and ministry opportunities. ESL, sports ministry, counseling and orphan/foster care are just a few examples of ministry opportunities that are available, but dependent on the addition of new missionaries.

Numerous opportunities exist to work in other cultures among the Afrikaans speaking people as well as English speaking South Africans. Language study is helpful and strongly encouraged, but not necessary. English is widely spoken , making this a field open to all who are willing to come.

ABWE Durban

KwaZulu Natal (KZN) is situated on the eastern seaboard of South Africa and is roughly the size of Portugal. While it is South Africa’s third smallest province, it has the second highest population with over at 10.3 million people. At the heart of KZN is Durban, the third-largest city in South Africa and home to approximately three3 million people. Durban is a unique, modern cosmopolitan city renowned for its sub-tropical climate, sunny beaches, cultural diversity, and vibrant lifestyle.

Despite its attractiveness, KZN is in spiritual darkness, with most churches promoting syncretism and many lost without the truth of the gospel. Additionally, KZN is at the center of the AIDS pandemic with the highest infection rates in South Africa at more than one in three people infected.

ABWE began church planting and equipping local pastors in Durban in 1980, and now many Bible-believing churches have been planted throughout the KZN province. These churches reflect the cultural diversity of the area and most are now under South African national leadership.

ABWE Durban’s current strategy is focused on developing and training national pastors, especially in the Zulu communities and more rural areas. We need passionate individuals who can help us in this task. Additionally, we are striving to develop strong churches that can reproduce strong churches. We need gifted church leaders, youth workers, and people called to work in community development and outreach ministries.

ABWE George

The Garden Route is a 120-mile stretch along the southern coast of South Africa. It extends from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The city of George is the largest and fastest growing city along the Garden Route with a population of over 200,000. As the economic and political center of the Garden Route, it is experiencing rapid growth and is strategically viable for an aggressive church planting initiative. Various open doors are available in the area of church planting, leadership training, children and youth ministries as well as community development ministries; however, additional missionaries are needed in order to take advantage of these opportunities.

Formed in 2009, the George Team is ABWE’s newest ministry team in South Africa. Currently, ABWE missionaries are working with like-minded missionaries and national church planters in Knysna and Sedgefield as part of a larger network of missionaries along the Garden Route. They share talents, abilities, and collective experience as they work together to plant churches through evangelism, discipleship, and leadership training and sports ministries.

Is God calling you to learn a new culture, live among a new people group, and share His good news?

We’d love to get to know you and discuss how God is calling you.

Related Stories