South Africa 3
My first full day in South Africa, I sat down in Pastor Josiah’s office and talked with him about the community and his ministry here. He has served in the ministry for about 30 years, most of the time in this church. He is actually the founding pastor of Christian Revival Ministries.
One of the challenges he faces here is the high unemployment rate in South Africa. While he could not give me a figure, I later found out it was around 25%. One of the homes we painted was for a man who had been out of work for four years. He would gather plastic and other recyclable materials to sell for enough to live on and send his children to school. Pastor Josiah told me that University graduates even had a hard time finding work and sometimes had to settle for jobs cleaning floors in factories.
He said that many in his church are very poor and so it is the poor ministering to the poor. “Prayer,” he said, “is what the church offers and often all we have.”
He told me that often what he preaches in the church is completely counter to what the people learn in the culture. The church preaches honesty and godly living, but often people tempted to steal or prostitute themselves just to survive. As a church they can offer support to those who choose not to go the way of the culture.
One of the biggest challenges he faces is Satanism. Worship of Satan is alive and well in South Africa. Satanism here even includes human sacrifice and many are drawn to it. I asked him what was the attraction for people? He said, money, power and status. Satanism, as it is practiced here, promises people that if they will do the sacrifices and following their teaching and rituals that they will become rich and be able to control their own destiny.
If you want to add something to your prayer list, pray that the people of South Africa would have their eyes opened to the true power of the gospel in Jesus Christ. This is one of the places in the world where spiritual warfare is real.