South Africa (GAM/MNN) — Within the shadows of Johannesburg, South Africa lays a community of 20,000 people who live in brutal poverty. An estimated 60% of the residents in that community suffer from HIV and other life-threatening disease.
However, a refuge of hope and healing is right next door through a group called Impact Africa. It's a ministry that has developed schools, clinics, and discipleship programs which share the transforming life of Christ.
Global Advance has come alongside Impact Africa to partner with the head of the ministry, Pastor Evans. A Frontline Shepherd, Evans planted a church dedicated to reaching and discipling the poorest of the poor of this community.
Women are among "the least of these" in the community, often undervalued and undermined in a male-dominated society. However, they aren't forgotten. As part of the Global Advance Esther Project*, Impact Africa hosted a conference and outreach targeting the women of this community.
A few weeks ago, the church issued an invitation for a special conference. Called "Daughters of Destiny," the theme was "Taste and See that the Lord is Good," which seemed to resonate with the women.
More than 300 ladies–mostly unchurched–arrived not quite sure of what to expect. From the second they entered the tent, they were honored and loved. Each woman was warmly welcomed and given a special bag of goodies to be used at the conference. All were individually pampered, which opened the door for one-on-one ministry.
The sessions throughout the 2-day event were messages filled with hope, encouraging the women that God is good and that they are dear to His heart.
As a result, over 100 ladies prayed to receive Christ for the first time. They're now being guided into discipleship opportunities. Many discovered their dignity and destiny. One lady said, "Thank you! Jesus restored my spirit and soul that was broken."
And that's not all. While the women were enjoying respite, a special Kids Conference was held, centered on the "Armor of God." There were roughly 200 children in attendance, ranging from ages 4 months to 14 years.
The kids participated in various team activities such as pudding eating contests, cookie decorating, coloring, crafts, stories and fun games. The Word of God was also sown into their hearts through special sessions about being clothed in the armor of God.
An ongoing demographic study is being done to strategically meet needs and provide solutions to this community. Pray that the Gospel seeds sown take root. Pray for community transformation.
Global Advance is grateful to ministry partners Impact Africa, Pastor Evans, and COTR Texarkana for working together to make a difference.
*The Esther Project is a global initiative to encourage, equip, and mobilize women leaders in under-served nations to become catalysts for God's purposes. Their desire is to instill vision and hope by providing strategic training and resources to enable women to impact others through influence, wisdom, and prayer.