4 Cities… or 4 different Countries?

We just got back from holiday in Cape Town.  This marks the 4th major South African city I’ve spent significant time in, though I’ve also been in some pretty small towns and what not as well.  All this to say, I have a few thoughts on mission here in South Africa that may seem a bit obvious, but I think need to be said.

When we were first getting ready to come to SA over a year ago, I had some conversations with people about what mission in South Africa would look like.  When I got here, it didn’t look like that exactly.  Then I visited some other sections (like the Cape Flats where the black and coloured communities were forced to move during Apartheid) and I understood what they meant.  Pretoria just doesn’t role the same way Cape Town, Durban, or Johannesburg role.  Things look, feel, smell, etc… way different EVERYWHERE.  There’s just not a cookie cutter approach to mission here (is there really one for any town on the globe?).

This post goes along with another one I posted a while back on focus.  Look, there’s a LOT of need in South Africa.  AIDS is killing a generation.  Poverty rules the lives of millions.  Rape is a common place headline in every major city’s newspaper.  It’s hard reality.  But how we address each need is neighborhood specific, and we need to get strategic in how we’re addressing specific community needs.  On top of that, I’m not convinced that every organization can really do all things to end all problems in a neighborhood.  We’re going to get stronger when we do those things we’re set up to do… really well.

So networking becomes pretty important then.  We’ve met a lot of people that are much better at addressing human trafficking that we are.  So we’re working with them on how to support what they’re doing without sacrificing what God’s called us here for specifically.  Same thing with the AIDS crisis.  We have a sister ministry in one of the townships doing incredible work dealing with the AIDS crisis.  And they’re licensed and qualified to do what they do!

It’s time to pull together the business people, the medical people, the social service people, and the local church people to collectively develop communities of hope here.  I think there’s a lot of that going on now… So how do we multiply those kinds of things all throughout our area and our country?

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