A Bridge of Hope in Mpumalanga Province
Welcome to the Bridge of Hope Training Center
A report from Pastor Innocent
I was introduced to the Family of God Ministries (FGM) by my friend Joseph back in 2015. In January of 2018, my colleague Rev. Craig Sefa and I went on a mission trip to visit the Family of God Ministries. We held a three day revival in a dusty church building with no roof. We saw how people of Zakheni and Mandela Villages were eager to travel miles for worship. When we partnered with the Family of God Ministries we pledged to raise money for them to finish their church building project.
Pastor Jeremy and I discussed our partnership. We were not going to take over their ministry, but create a mutual partnership. In June of 2019, I went to South Africa and I witnessed the impact our partnership has made. Before we partnered, the Family of God Ministries was renting a small room within the village. The other side of the building housed a ministry that helped people with mental illness. Due to the generosity of people who supported African Rescue Ministries we were able to raise enough money to open the church building of FGM. The church is growing to the point they are having Sunday school for children outside.
The Family of God Ministries, though located in a poverty-stricken village, managed to buy the land and build their building but they struggled to finish it. As an African who served different congregations I experienced how churches struggle to fill a half of their sanctuary in buildings that are mostly paid off. The United States is becoming more secular while churches are booming in Africa. If we are building the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, I hope we will support churches like Family of God Ministries. They have a hunger for serving the Lord and transforming their community, but they do not have resources. On the other hand, here in the US we are blessed with resources so that we can be a blessing to others like our brothers and sisters at The Family of God.
This family of God became my own in January of 2018. When I was there in June of 2019, I noticed that the congregation doubled in number! What is amazing about this congregation is that is mostly made up of children and adults who are under 40 years old. There is no doubt that this congregation has a bright future. Through our partnership we launched the Bridge of Hope Training Center on July 3rd. The training center is hosted by Family of God Ministries because the church is in the community to transform it, which is part of ARM’s mission statement. We started with a vocational training program in sewing and kicked off with two cohorts of six students each. The program will last for three months then students will receive their certificates.
In launching the Bridge of Hope Training Center, we need more supporters because we will be paying instructors and a security guard who will need to be at the school so that machines will not be stolen. Students who are in the two cohorts will have their training for free. We are planning to charge a little bit of money to future cohorts because the goal is for the school to be able to sustain itself financially. Students who have a passion and who qualify would receive scholarships. We hope to develop other programs such as brick laying and electrical training in the future.
We are grateful to churches such as Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church in Greensboro for their generous support.
Would you consider partnering with us with a monthly gift to sponsor this new training center as we empower, equip and transform the wonderful people in the Zakheni and Mandela villages of Mpumalanga? Please set up your monthly tax deductible donation here.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. Please share this amazing ministry with your friends, families and churches.