That’s a great question! Actually, NieuCommunities has a branch in San Diego right now and we’re hoping to see others start as well.
When I (Joe) took on the role of directing the South Africa site (October 2009), one of the things I felt very compelled to work towards was handing this off to South African leadership. I thought that would be relatively quick and easy. However, we’re finding that there are many pieces involved in moving people into full time ministry there that we were unaware of. That makes the transition much slower than we had thought it would be.
Some Road Blocks
- Spiritual realities. I’m becoming more and more aware of spiritual issues at work. The more I journey with Christian leaders in South Africa, the more I’m confronted with spiritual warfare on many fronts.
- Funding workers. When the unemployment rate is over 35%, it’s hard to pull funds for workers in any kind of Christian work. So we have to get creative in how we create funding for new staff. That’s been the trickiest part of this, but we’re working on some things that we hope will help alleviate some if not all of those issues.
- Reality of the calling. This is a global reality, NOT specific to South Africa. I would say that MOST of the leaders we work with fall into a category of “Ultimate Saints”. These men and women know the needs around them, understand the sacrifice that comes with their calling, and run in hard to serve. But the workers are few with such a ripe harvest.
I could keep going, but these are some of the reasons we know we’re supposed to stay on in South Africa for this season. Stay tuned to the next “Frequenty Asked Question” section tomorrow answering more fully the question, “When are you guys coming back?”