Harvesters Ministries has been working in South Africa for the last three years. In that time, 13 church planting hubs have started in five of South Africa’s nine provinces. The more established hubs were able to continue planting new churches even during the lockdowns over the last year. Namely in the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZula-Natal, where 11 new churches have been planted in total! However, some of the hubs are very new and Covid-19 has had a negative impact on momentum. “Therefore, we need to refresh and retrain in many of these areas,” explains Beyers Brink, Harvesters’ Regional Director for Southern Africa.
Kick Off Conference
The newest of the five regions to gain a Harvesters presence is Mpumalanga, where two Kick Off conferences occurred in early 2021. Located on the north-eastern border of South Africa, Mpumalanga literally means “place where the sun rises”.
Kick Off Conferences happen after initial contacts are made in any new region. They cover the need for the Gospel, detail the Great Commission and introduce the Harvesters training programme, amongst other things. The conference lasts two days and includes an evangelism event where participants go out into their communities to share the Gospel. The locations for evangelism are planned beforehand and form the early foundations of new church plants.
The first Kick Off event was in KaNyamazane. Driving to the township, the team could see the evidence of a month’s heavy rains. Nevertheless, upon arrival they went out in the local area with the Heart of Man chart. This is a very visual tool that shows various states of the human heart – from a heart without God to a repentant heart submitted to the Lord. It is an effective evangelism tool. In KaNyamazane that day, 15 people were saved! We praise God for each one of them.
The two-day conference was hosted by a church led by Reverend Kabelo Mohotsi. He reflected on their time together. “God has opened our eyes in a very wonderful way and we hope what we have [been] taught, the lessons that have been imparted in us, we will surely take them out and go out and fulfil the Great Commission and make disciples because that is what our Lord has said.”
Travelling west a couple of weeks later, Harvesters presented a second Kick Off in Bronkhorstspruit. Those present enjoyed the relevant and useful training. “Everyone eagerly participated as we went through the church planting building blocks,” explains Beyers. During the outreach part of the Kick Off event there, 31 people gave their heart to God! All the new converts will be soon followed up by local hub leaders, “because we want to make disciples not converts,” says Beyers, emphasising the underpinning vision of Harvesters Ministries.
What Happens Next
Following Kick Off events, Harvesters Ministries returns to do a Refresher event and then to teach Phase A, all within 6 months to maintain momentum. In this case, “both KaNyamazane and Bronkhorstspruit will start training on Phase A within the next 3 months,” explains Beyers. “Disciple-making first then evangelism and church planting will follow.” There is a dedicated team of HLT’s (Harvesters Licenced Trainers) who will train the new hub leaders on a regular basis – weekly or bi-weekly.
We praise God for the seeds planted and fruit harvested during these Kick Off conferences. The focus in South Africa is the 1:1:1 project. “We want to see that every church planter (pastor) plants 1 church in 1 year,” explains Beyers.
We pray that the face of the Son shines brightly upon this new region – Mpumalanga, the place where the sun rises.
Your Gifts Can Open the Way for Even More Training
Kick Off events are the very start of years’ worth of investment, training and support from Harvesters Ministries. The precious people saved in KaNyamazane and Bronkhorstspruit will be invited into new church plants led by Harvesters student pastors.
To train a pastor costs £150 ($200/R3,000). This covers all three years of training which includes six modules and a Bible in their native language. During the training each student will plant three churches. Your gift of £150, or £12.50 ($15/R250) monthly, will provide this programme for one student.
To give, click here.