You may have noticed that I’ve written a bit about South Africa lately. Well, that’s because I’m going there. Lord willing I will go to White River, Mpumalanga, in May, and visit Iris Ministries there. They have a children’s home called Michael’s Children’s Village which is led by Mozambiquians Surprise and Tryphina Sithole and Americans Teisa and Jean Nicole.
They’re practicing true charismatic activism. Surprise have seen food miracles as well as people raised from the dead, and at the Village they combine social work and compassion with prayer for signs and wonders. The reason it’s called Michael’s Children’s Village is that the arch angel Michael appeared to them and told them to start it.
There are huge needs of this type of social ministry in SA. Many may think of the country as a prosperous, emerging economy; however, it is one of the most unequal countries in the world. The traces of apartheid are still visible, damning millions of people into poverty while the richest only get richer.
Half of SA’s children live in poverty. 5.6 million South Africans suffer from HIV and over 200 000 die from AIDS annually. And the social unrest make crime very prevalent, making the rich isolating themselves from the poor even more.
Michael’s Children’s Village is located just outside Mbonisweni (Backdoor), a township where many of these social problems are visible. They write:
A municipal report suggests 70% of the region is considered poor – with 30% living in extreme poverty. Housing consists of simple breeze block structures with tin roofs. Water is controlled by the provincial chief & erratic to say the least – a few hours every 8 weeks has been the recent trend. […]
AIDS is wiping out entire generations in Backdoor (high estimates for our region say 1 in 2 have AIDS, low estimates say 1 in 4). The high numbers of abandoned children have exhausted the current social welfare system. At any given time, the local hospital has 5-10 abandoned children in addition to the several special needs kids (some have been at the hospital for 3-6 years). Consequently, these precious treasures will be the focus of our new children’s village. What a reward from King Jesus (Psalm 127:3)!
This is were I’m heading. Pray that God will do amazing things down there and that I may be able to help. Pray also for a safe trip and that I won’t get robbed (or worse). And pray for Michael’s Children’s Village, that the Lord may use them powerfully to transform their community and that they will see even more miracles, salvation and poverty reduction! Thank you.
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