About This Endeavor
From August 2008 to June 2009, we served as interns with Africa Revolution , a small nonprofit that serves a number of Sub-Saharan churches and communities. We spent a large portion of our time working with a church in Mamelodi called the Powerhouse.
Mamelodi is a black township—comparable to a U.S. inner-city—located just outside of Pretoria (near Johannesburg). It is the community that Nathan documented in his master’s thesis project “HIV Stories: AIDS, Poverty and Faith .” Through Nathan’s continued relationship with the Powerhouse Church and their pastor Vincent Nyathi, God, in His mysterious way, laid on Nathan’s heart the desire to return to Mamelodi. It soon became clear to both of us that God was indeed calling us to step away from the comforts (and distractions) of the United States to serve this precious, broken community for a time. In 2008, we resigned from our jobs in Raleigh, NC, to pursue this calling to serve in South Africa.
We praise God that He provided a means by which we were able to serve in Mamelodi, matching us with Allan and Annie Greig, founders of Africa Revolution. Allan and Annie share a vision to bring about a revolution of holistic redemption through God’s Church and are inviting Christians to join them in this work by spending a year serving various communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Revolution’s innovative philosophy of ministry involves building caring relationships and relying on indigenous leadership. To find out more about this ministry, we encourage you to visit Africa Revolution‘s website.
The yearlong Africa Revolution “internship” program is designed to serve various communities, including Mamelodi, that are suffering under the consequences of Apartheid, the AIDS crisis and the complicating effects of poverty. We were part of a small team of people, led by Allan and Annie, based in Pretoria. We shared daily devotional time and meals as a group, and each person served the community of Mamelodi as the Lord led. Specifically, Nathan developed and taught courses in web design and photography; and Rebecca co-developed and co-taught a class in small business development as well as a series of workshops on personal finance as Biblically explained.
Our goal in serving was not to impose our own set of solutions or quick fixes to problems, but instead to come alongside the local church, learning from our brothers and sisters how best to serve their community. This approach ensured that the work we did has a lasting impact beyond our short year there. There were many opportunities to serve in addition to teaching skills development classes, including participating on the various outreach ministries of the church, spending time and praying with those suffering from AIDS and other illnesses and working with children and youth through Powerhouse after-school programs. God took us beyond the comforts we had learned to rely on, and we learned to live in a place where only faith in Him could answer the demands laid before us.
We remain excited about what God is doing in Mamelodi and communities like it, and are very grateful for the opportunity to have had a small part in it. We’re also eager to extend you the opportunity to come alongside us, joining in the amazing work that God is doing.
Please join this adventure by following this blog, which features many different stories—with photos, audio and video—about those we served as well as about our own experiences there. By following along and participating through comments, we trust you will get a more complete picture of life there and along with us, be compelled to grieve with those who are suffering, pray for those in need and most of all rejoice in God’s unending mercy and love.