Frequently in the news the past few months, South Africa has not been given a kind depiction.
The divisions between socio-cultural groups designed during the apartheid regime and perpetuated by socio-economic conditions are described in this TIME cover article: South Africa is the world’s most divided country. The pervasiveness of the divisions are well illustrated by the Unequal Scenes project (header image source). Abuses of power are common in both religious (Fake pastors and false prophets in Southern Africa) and political (Corrupt Public Prosecutor?) spheres. Related issues include: The Battle for Land Reform in South Africa and Rising crime rates? and deploying the army to combat gangs.
The thread tying these stories together, the theme which unites these disparate tales into one clear picture of the state of the union, is the pervasive need for well-grounded, well-equipped leaders. This is precisely the need East Mountain exists to fill. While these reports are discouraging to read, they remind us of why we are here.
Some Secular Statistics
South Africa is in dire need of leaders who have been transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, living in Christian community and inspiring Kingdom change in those around them in all spheres of life, in the church, in the workplace, in schools, in their communities. This is the need EM is trying to meet by coming alongside our church partners and supporting and augmenting their efforts to invest in their people.
And there is cause for hope. Some of our partners are employing sports as an agent for change in the Cape Flats. Another partner is utilizing the training discipleship methods of Ambassadors Football in the same region.
One distinctive of EM’s programs is the bringing together of people from different cultures. The remnants of apartheid run deep, and there is much work to be done to work towards true racial reconciliation. Things will not be fixed overnight. But one thing is clear: the gospel of Jesus Christ needs to be proclaimed and demonstrated through systematic programs and individuals actions pursuing of restorative justice.
Would you join us in praying for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed and the Kingdom of God to be advanced in South Africa?
Helpful Resources for Further Reading
The Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela (autobiography)
The Covenant - James Michener (historical fiction)
Diamonds, Gold, & War - Martin Meredith (historical)
Cry, the Beloved Country - Alan Paton (historical fiction)
Indaba, My Children - Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa (tribal history)
News on the recent election in South Africa:
BBC election results - https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48211598
Julius Malema, leader of the EFF - https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-14718226
Msumi Maimane, leader of the DA - https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48066052