The reason for this writing, which has been brooding for sometime, but now, spurred on by a comment I read, which said … “Even when a piece does not have an impact, it provides a testimony, sets the record right for history” – Anya Schiffrin.
In other words, I hope these Writings on South Africa will become a writing for prosterity.
South Africa is such a diverse and vibrant nation, with many shades of cultures and creeds that you can rightfully think it is indeed a hotch potch of humanity weaved together with many different colourful strands of different peoples and their different histories. Your perspective will depend on which lense you view it through. But in the end you will be looking, as if through a kaleidescope, at many parts forming the nation South Africa, or affectionately called Mzanzi ! A nation still trying to grow, at most times successfully, the tolerance needed to become an unified nation blending into the bigger picture of a fast developing Africa.
So I have hauled out some way back former writings, which I am going to pen down as it was written then, through the forging of a New South Africa – with its hopes, and dreams and aspirations. I hope that it will set the record right for prosterity, that will not only use one lense to understand its complexities.
Theses writings go back to the decade of the eighties’ in SA’s recent history. It was the Kairos Documents, in some way, that was the catalyst that opened the way for a new South Africa to emerge. It was written by unknown, to me, Concerned Christians who perhaps feared a bloody revolution and had to prophetically warn the Church to sit up and pay attention to the injustices of Apartheid, and issue the call for social justice and a new government to lead the nation. It may also have been the influence of Black Theology that spawned this necessary document.
However, in retrospect you see the Christian Church working quietly and gently to effect the change that was, and still is, needed in our societies.
These writings were also spurred on by a call to write a manuscript : The Christian Faith in South Africa in the Decade of the Nineties, by a publishing company in New York. Very green behind the ears I took up the challenge, and received my first official polite rejection !
Now, after a twenty three year time span of collecting dust in a box named CareSA Dreams and Visions the time may be right to air these writings on the CareSA Foundation blog page, in the hope to gain perspective and hope, and be true to the original purpose of the Blog. See About page at https://caresafoundation.wordpress.com/about
SUMMARY OF THE WRITINGS ON SOUTH AFRICA
A Journey begins.
1989 Report on the Street Children’s Winter Feeding in Bloemfontein
1990 Proposal : Disprin and Detol : I Care for Children Promotion
1992 Urban Mission Bloemfontein – Workshop 13 May 1992.
South Africa, and the Church at a Crossroad.
1993 A Churchmouse responds to the Kairos Document.
1994 A Churchmouse responds at the Reconstruction and Development Programme
Synergy : A proposal for a Way of meeting great community needs within the PWV Area.
Writings on The Christian Church in the decade of the nineties.
Concept on Development – Wholistic Approach
1994 Report to Chrisnet on the Reconstruction and Development Programme.
1997 Response to the : Report of National Interim Consultation Committee on Developmental Social Services.
1997 Motivation for a Serving/Caring Ethos for the South African Society through Ecumenical Diaconia in the Church and Voluntarism through the Government.
1997 Motivation Letter to Chrisnet for the Churches of South Africa to participate in creating a Serving/Caring Ethos for the South African Society through Eumenical Diaconia.
1997 Response to the Report of National Interim Consultative Committee on Development Social Service.
1999 Part Presentation for Christian Volunteers in Community Care and Counsel at the Second South African Congress on Christian Counselling : A call for a CareSA Christian Caregiver Network.
2000 Introduction to Care South Africa
Vision Document : Toward a National Christian Plan for Poverty Alleviation.
2001 CareSA Books
2007 CareSA Community Network :
Campaigns for Poverty Alleviation
CareSA Craft Project -creating mini/micro income-generation.
2011 Developing CareSA Designs through products and markets.
2007 – NEWSAS The new South African Society. Writings on a new vision for SA
2011 – Care Africa.
2015 – The CareSA Foundation Blog : https://caresafoundation.wordpress.com
It all began in Bloemfontein, in the heart of winter where the winter’s are extremely cold. St John’s Presbyterian Church, under Reverend Donald Dowie, was the fertile soil in which these little seeds of writings, and visions became a launching pad for ‘my story told’.
REPORT ON THE STREET CHILDREN’S WINTER FEEDING – 1989
Thursday 28th September 1989 saw the last of the feeding of between 80 -100 “Volksblad” newspaper boys. This was a special day, because each boy received a pocket Bible, with his very own name written on the inside page of the Bible. Although we’ve said our good-byes to these boys we are continuing to feed the 25 Street Children behind the Methodist Church, for as long as funds last.
This work gave birth one cold winter morning at the 6.00 am prayer meeting held in our Church. After the congregation responded to a call for funds for this scheme, a miraculous R 5,509.25 was collected as donation. Thank you, you marvelous people of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in
Thank you not only for the money, but for the old clothes, transport, food, support, soup-making, bread-cutting, egg-boiling, orange buying, all your love and your inconvenience, and interest, and your prayers of praise, support and thanksgiving.
The work commenced in June, and by mid July was running effectively and smoothly. Our menu : thickly sliced bread, boiled egg, cup of ho soup and an orange for each child at the Volksblad and for each Street Child. This was given each Monday and Thursday evening, totaling our food expenses to R2,469.74. Socks and balaclavas were bought to the value of R1,000.00 and was much sought after, and grealy appreciated by these children, for the winters are very severe in Bloemfontein.
A sum of R1,200.00 was given to the Youth for Christ organisation without whose help this work would not be as effective as it is. Three of their fellows namely Dennis, James and Floriso met us each night and ministered on the harmful effects of sniffing thinners and meths rags. Floris did a marvelous work by re-establishing seven boys back in their families. The “Place of Safety” an admirable, modern hostel for these rejected ones took in 15 of these boys.
Our total expenses were thus R4,944.74 leaving us with a balance of R564.51 with which to continue our feeding.
Those involved with and connected to the winter feeding of these children have been greatl blessed by seeing these children turn from aggressive,selfish, almost barbarous kids into a gentle, mindful mannerd group of boys eager to sing praises to God taking their caps off in humble respect when in prayer, and having a warm affection for those who come to them.
May you all, too, be blessed with the love of our Lord Jesus.
This may well have been the birthing of the CareSA dream to combat hunger through care gardens throughout the African continent.
1990 – PROPOSAL – Disprin and Detol : I Care for Children.
I care, because God cares. So often in the history of mankind you read of people who have done so much for others simply because in their hearts there were seeds of compassion and love. These qualities are not our own, but are gently placed there by God our Creator. Often these seeds are watered, and they grow and become acts of kindness, and beautiful deeds done toward other people. It all comes from God, for the benefit of mankind. See how well He has provided for us through His love for us ?
With this “competition” or promotion, I am sure you will be seeing many seeds growing and I hope we will all have the lovely fruit that could come from these seeds, and deeds.
My seeds of compassion are not only for the children, but for the Poor – and how many poor people we have in this lovely country of ours. In fact almost all are poor, with only perhaps one fifth who have an abundance. Because people, like sheep need to be led, I am hoping that the Church will take the lead in teaching all the people of South Africa to share. So for this reason I have gone to my Church Board and have presented this plan to them. I also pray I will have an opportunity to present it to the City Council of Bloemfontein, so that they may take the initiative to promote it to other towns and city councils.
It is a simple plan yet will depend entirely upon God to bring it about, as He will first have to plant the little seeds of “want to” in the peoples hearts, and then gently and magnificently lead them “to do”. Here it is :
Our Church in the white community of Bloemfontein, together with our sister church in the black community of Bloemfontein begin a “demonstration” Food Garden – growing a variety of vegetables and fruit. That we strongly encourage the members of both congregations to have their OWN home Food Gardens. From these gardens they can eat and even make a small living in selling some of the vegetables. We should ask the other churches of Bloemfontein to come and see our Food Gardens, and invite them to join in on this project, also linking with their own sister black churches to do the same.
Once these Food Gardens are a reality to make a central point whereto the food gardeners can bring a portion of their harvest, for distribution to the Poor in the Squatter Camps or destitute township areas. The Churches to take the responsibility for the distribution to the Poor. We here at St. Johns Bloemfontein have our eye upon five creches and an Old Age Home in the Botsabela Township outside Bloemfontein – that just being a starting point for the distribution of fresh vegetables for the children of the poor.
When (or perhaps even before) this plan is operating effectively an approach can be made to the Bloemfontein City Council to start a Community Food Garden for the Poor. I would love to see the Street Children being used to labour in these gardens. It would give them a sense of purpose, a sense of self-worth, it would give them a vision – a mission to their own people. The Word of God says :”Where there is no vision the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18. In addition to all this it would also give them a parcel of fresh vegetables to take home to their hungry families or friends in the local location where they come from.
This Community Food Garden could be for the benefit of the Welfare organisations in Bloemfontein. I am thinking of the Child and Family Welfare always in dire straits for financial and material help from the Public, The Blind Society, The Frieda Ollemans Home, and there are many more I am sure who would love a supply of fresh food on a regular basis. However the Community Food Garden, as the Church Food Gardens, should primarily serve as a demonstration garden, as the stimulant to the people and to organisations to begin their own fresh food gardens.
Do you know that this circle could go wider and incorporate schools, and school hostels in black and white areas. Encouraging them to grow their own vegetables, not only for consumption, but to sell for funds for school projects, books, buildings, equipment etc.
If this plan works in Bloemfontein why could it not work in other cities. Bloemfontein’s City Council should grasp it and make it their own vision, and be a role model for the other capital cities, so that the Church and the State can work together in the betterment of a new South Africa. Wouldn’t it be w o n d e r f u l if each city took care of its own Poor and destitute citizens !!
Hunger leads to desperation, desperation leads to crime, crime leads to brokeness and destruction. With the help of God we could bring about wholeness and well-being. These Food Gardens could bring not only food for children with hungry tummies, but food for all with hungry souls as well.
God once gave us Eden for our provision, the soil and nature to feed us in abundance, let us go back to His ways and principles for an abundant and bountiful life.
May God have all the glory in this project.
In 1991, as a result of a visit by Ray Bakke to the Body of Christ in Bloemfontein, a statement may have been made : God has a plan with Bloemfontein. This may well have opened up conversations on *forming a partnership in the City. * to be salt and light in the Reconstruction and Development of the City instead of the Church (as corporate power) being absent, and * where is the Church’s Reconstruction and Development Programme ?
Dr Skip Krige of the University of the Orange Free State, called a steering committe together on the basis of God’s Word : Matt. 5:16 and Proverbs 15:22
And a four year timeline plan was penned, beginning with the calling of a Workshop for setting the scene in the BBT region – Bloemfontein Bochabella Thaba Nchu. The Workshop theme was : What is God’s vision for our region ?
The main motivation was : “To the glory of God and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Urban Mission supports the Body of Christ in serving the people of Bloemfontein Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu area by facilitation, networking and research” The long term vision was to establish an Institute for Urban Mission with the vision : “To challenge, equip and network people to love the cities of Africa and the world as God loves them.”
The first Urban Mission Workshop was held in Bloemfontein on 13 May 1992, and I was priviledged to be part of it. There were several discussion groups : Co-ordination, Communication, Trans-Cultural, Children/Youth, Prayer, Health and, Evangelism.
What follows is my writing on general comments on the groups. :
South Africa and the Church at a Crossroad
1993 : A Response to the Kairos Document, in the form of Letters written to
Jesus, Monghadi, and the Church, with a Proposal for synergy
2.1. A Letter to Jesus.
Dear Lord Jesus,
In anticipation of You coming soon I want to write You this letter concerning Your Bride. She has grown so these last 2,000 years. She is very big, and reaches all the continents of the world, and though there are many places and peoples she has not yet reached, she is endeavouring to make stout efforts to reach those far away places, and the lost. You certainly will be proud of her when You see how she has grown, and what she has accompolished.
At times though she can be awfully timid, and I suspect that there is a part of her that thinks she is unworthy of Your great commission. I know how You love that in her, and even would swooningly overlook it, but nonetheless Lord she needs your assurance, and a heap of boldness to go out to reach the lost.
Sadly Lord, I think so many of the lost are right here in her midsts. I just take the big inner cities of our land called South Africa for instance. Here in the decade of the nineties Your Church seems to have moved out of the city into the suburbs – where of course she is also very necessary. But do you know Lord I personally think she is getting verycomfortable where she is at, and unwittingly, I say that again Lord unwittingly, she has become a little de-sensitised to the pain and hardship of urban problems around her, sometimes even when it is staring her in the face, she still does not seem to see. She is still thinking to reach the lost nations in the back of the beyond, instead of looking at her very own inner cities or local communities, and reaching them with that cup of kindness – in essence Your practical love.
I know that You love Your Church, and will not hear a word wrong of her – and I love her too, but You have to remind her, and show her with Your eyes of compassion the many who are starving right under her nose.
O Lord it is so awful, and the homeless who sleep under cardboard boxes, and in little tin shacks. The unemployed – who sees their desparation and anguish of heart ? I know it is not so easily detected, but Your Church should be aware with Your sensitivity of the silent crying pleas for help, not to mention the stripping away of self dignity, and feelings of unworthiness and hoplessness that accompanies the loss of income to support a family and loved ones.
Listening to some of Your faithful ones I am beginning to get a glimpse of a global view of the world at large, and realise that the problems in South Africa are but a reflection of what is going on world wide.
Yes Lord, I agree with You, for I know You will try to find some softening evidence for your Bride, she is indeed ignorant of all the incredible hardships that face people in dire poverty areas like the squatter camps, townships and even in threadbare flats where the retrenched, unemployed live. And yes she has absolutely no knowledge of the fear and intimidation that goes on in these times, in the innocent lives of the majority of the South African population. Somehow seeing it on the television set, from a comfortable lounge chair, after having a warm sustaining supper, feet in familiar slippers, the impact of the suffering goes by almost unnotice. O sure there may be the rise of a flikker of compassion, even a feeling of hopelessness for really what can she do. ?
Yes Lord she is ignorant of alot of the great awfullness “out there”, but nevertheless with Your compassion which should be in her, she should pick it up, perhaps store it for a season, but take it to You in prayer, and begin a small act of faith. Knowing You as I do Lord, it would bring such great pleasure to You, if Your people, who are called by Your name, would show and extend kindness to those who live in misery. No we cannot all to to Bosnia, or Somalia or war torn Angola, which we see on the TV news, but we can come alongside those in our own vicinity who have lost their jobs, or start a soup kitchen for those who have not eaten for three days. There are so many needs that need to be met in a p r a c t i c al way. You have even in some cases Lord, already put the desire of serving You in their hearts, but no response is forthcoming.
Lord You do so come up for her ! Yes I agree that she has been lulled into a safe sense of complacency, but surely You must agree that the time has come that that state of deception cannot be indulged any longer. Your Church is supposed to be the light to a dark and a broken, hungry, hurting world. She is the salt that preserves the fruit of goodness and kindness, she has to be YOU Lord Jesus, so that the world, who incidently, as You know, our Father in heaven loves so much – is able to see and recognise YOU Lord, and so come back to Him. You well know that ache in our Father’s heart for mankind to return to Him, and so become totaly free, and blessed with an abundant life. Just for that reason alone Lord, you will have to gently shake your Bride out of her complacency, for the glory of our Father, and the blessings of His people, and of course for the rest of mankind.
In any case, Lord, if you are coming soon she needs to make herself ready, and a little more beautiful, and she needs to purify herself for You. She most certainly will feel all the better for it, and come into her own full bloom and fulfilment. So it is for her sake as well as for Your lovely name’s sake Lord Jesus, that she needs to shape up.
Before you chastise me again for speaking out against your Beloved, I will emphtically state that she has indeed been faithful in proclaiming your Word. In some areas of Your great vineyard so much emphasis has been put on Evangelism, your Word going out, and so much church building and church planting and church growing has been stressed, and that is so good in itself, and so necessary, but perhpas we have fallen a little short on the LOVE aspect. Would You agree with me on this Lord ?
No ? Yes I understand, there are those who have done a magnificent “barmhartigheidsdiens” Those who have indeed taken care of the needy and ministered to the poor, not only in the physical, but in the emotional and spiritual areas. There are most certainly those that have focussed on the practicality of Your love. I do agree with you Lord, You are right. Perhaps I have just been in a place where there is much talk of church planting and growing, and I want to be where there is Church BEING. I understand now that both are essential in good full proportioned measures. Thank You Lord. Forgive me then again for judging Your Bride, for You see the whole picture, an I only in part.
However Lord may I persist just a little longer on the love aspect of your people. If the condition of the world reflects that of poverty, worklessness, homelessness, deprivation, murder, rape, killings, maimings, addictions and so ever on, does it not then, whether it be global or national or regional, need to see more than ever befor your practical love displayed in words of comfort, deeds of love, in fact trillions of little actions of kindnesses. Is it not kindness that leads to repentance ? And so giving the place for the power of forgiveness to work in the lives, and in the minds of the “poor”, whether it be in the physical or the emtional or spiritual areas of mankind? Surely Your church needs to move more now than ever before, by Your Spirit, in compassion, and do these deeds of kindness in Your name, and to love with Your love? Then what an opportunity to bring Your Word with Your Love. It is in itself a magnificent way for Evangelism, to bring the healing we so desparately need.
And O Lord, our land South Africa needs Your healing so at this time. Please Lord Jesus bring Your healing to our land, South Africa.
I have just had an exciting thought, if you would give us, the South African Church, the role model of Healing for our nations, perhaps You will bring this to the greater part of Your global work. Other nations could follow our example of practical love, and so restore to themselves Your Healing for them too. I believe that America Lord, with all her complex problems, especially in the racial area would benefit if she complied with Your Word, the Word you gave us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
I have heard them speak the same Word, and I believe You have given them 2 Chronicles 7:14 for the healing of their country.
I believe that, through the outworking of Your Holy Spirit here in South Africa, many nations will be blessed.
But we Your Church in South Africa will need the grace of Your obedience. We will need to exalt You, to worhsip You, so that You are King in our lives, and in our worship so that You our King can instruct us to perform Your will, and perhaps a solution, an answer, an example a model or pattern of small pieces, will emerge for not only the continent of Africa, but be spread abroad to other nations in this broken world. It was just a thought Lord!! It is an exciting thought, and I like it. Help me to make it come true. Afterall You did say in Hebrew 22:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Enlarge our hearts Lord with faith and vision.
You certainly are a great and an almighty God. Your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts. And nother is to difficult for You to do. Youare so exciting and sofresh with Your wisdom. For it is deeper than the deepest sea, higher than the clouds, how wonderful are Your ways O lord our Saviour. To you Jesus be all honour glory and praise. You are great and greatly to be praised, and I do, we Your curch do. We love You Lord Jesus.
Your Church ! If only she would realize her true worth and value in You. All the resources we have are in Your Christ Jesus. It is quite a shattering thought to realize how rich we really are in You. All the power, treasures of heaven and earth are ours, and available to us through You. We are needing a bit of revelation of who we are in You. We need to know, that we know that we can ask for anything in your name, and if we believe, we can have it. We want to believe Lord, we often do believe, … but oh at times we need Your help with our unbelief.
I think of your Word, the Bible, which is the Truth, and if we know the truth the Truth will make us free – and help us to set others free too !!
I think of Prayer, what power at our disposal Lord. With prayer we can move any mountain. And You will make bare Your mighty strong arm Lord in our defence, and in our forward move by Your Holy Spirit, in prayer.
I think of Worship, Praise and Thanksgiving. What a magnificent way to release from heaven Your power, Your will to make it easy for You to come amongst Your people. How You inhabit the praises of Your people, to bless and instruct them. The healing in paising You, the loveliness of Your sweet Presence when we praise You. Why don’t we praise and worship You more Lord ? Please give us that desire. Perhaps therein lies the answer in becoming a more powerful people for You Lord?
I think of Your Spirit-filled ministers and teachers of Your Word. How they bless us when they bring Your anointed Word to us, that changes our lives, our values and our directions.
I think of Your missions, a mass of them, helping Your church. Urging, supporting our people. What a blessing. I think of all the missionaries going out bravely for You into the unfamiliar and the unknown. They face so many dangers, for there are so many pitfalls in this faith-walk we walk.
I think of the Lay people found in Your Church, what an army of volunteers. In Psalm 110 You said Your people will volunteer, and they do (some at least do!) – sorry Lord. Do You think You could mobilize more of these Your soldiers? They have such a wealth to offer, not only Your Church, but their own communities too. When I wrote of the timid ones, these were the ones I had in mind. They are so very precious to You, and over these, the very heart of Your Bride, You are so protective, and I know You defend them, and intercede for them, and will hear no word of wrong against them. I love them too Lord, but some days I could just shake them, gently, of course !!
Yes, looking at Your Church, and what You have placed at our disposal I am quite stunned that we make so little impact on Your world.
But then Lord, that is only my point of view. You do see the whole story from start to finish, and the consequences of all Your people’s deed down the ages, and through the generations, and I see only in part. So please forgive me.
I know that Your people often work in the unseen places, more often than not they are unheralded and unrecognised and work in the unseen realm. But You see Lord, and You appreciate them and what they accomplish. And most comforting of all Lord, You see their hearts. Bless You for that, and forgive me.
I have jabbed a little at Your Church, Your Bride, but it is with a heart full of love for her and of her that I wrote these matters down. And should there be traces of death in my words, may I also bring a trace of life. Because with You Jesus, after death always comes life, and so I too would bring a proposal, that may not be in its entirety from You, as I suspect there is a lot of me in it, but nonetheless may it be received in the light of faith, and may it spark off a great work of restoration amonst Your people for the blessing of South Africa, the African continent, and indeed for the whole of mankind, albeit just for a season.
The proposal is that of linking the vast resources to the immense needs. An urban mission networking, or a central resource centre, the title or name does not really matter. Perhaps You would choose a Denomination to run the whole network. May I ask that You chose my Denomination, for I have already put this proposal to her. I ask that You will give her the courage, the boldness and that You will increase her trust and her faith in You to accept this challenge, but Lord, only according to Your will. Perhpas I will just leave that proposal at Your feet now, and ask you to deal with it in anyway You wish and will.
Forgive us please God for our part or lack of participation, we Your church have played in the South African history, and particularly in the present day scenario. Forgive us too for our complacency, our self-righteousness, our pride, our spiritual pride, our lack of obedienc. Cleanse and purify us, and renew within us a right spirit. Set us free O lord, so that we may become effective and righteous instruments in Your hands for the restoration of our country, and for peace on earth.
Bless You, we love You Jesus.
Love from a churchmouse.
Through the Kairos Document Revised Second Edition, a voice came through strong, clear, hurting, and crying for change, for righteousness to be done, and to be seen to be done before the emergence of the new South Africa. A desperate voice indeed !
At first my anger and indignation arose at some of the challenges offered at the perhaps distorted perceptions of truth presented, but after my emotions settled I became aware of the need to heed this voice appealing for help.
I believe it was the voice of the Oppressed in the South African scenario, coming through with anguish. It also was the voice of my Black brother in Christ, and because of his position in Christ, regardless of whether he was altogether justified in his challenges , and that directed mainly at the Church, that even though he was radical in his solution-finding for the injustices that have been done in the past to the Oppressed in our land, he nevertheless needs to be heard, and needs to be ministered to, with urgent loving attention. And so I would venture to minister that love by communicating my heart to the Oppressed voice in A Letter to Monghadi.
“Monghadi” in the Sotho vernacular means Mister. For me it denotes the leadership or the head of the family. I am using this term to respectfully address and embrace the Black nation as a whole, especially the Black Christian bothers and sisters in Christ.
In my understanding there was a reply from the Church to this challenge of the Oppressed human heart in our nation, in the form of the Rustenburg Declaration document. Of course the challenges or accusations, even perceptions whether right or wrong, needed to be answered, and defended, but what about a ministry of practical love to that cry. My attempt to do this was to write a letter that was never sent or read before this post on my blog. I hope he will come across it, and respond, even now some 23 years on !
2.2. A Letter to Monghadi
Please come and sit beside me for a moment, and allow me to speak with you. I have heard your challenge and I feel your hurt and your pain. You have indeed been a victim of great oppression. Many of the accusations you have brought are true. There has been much suffering among your peoples. For this I am truly sorry Monghadi. I weep at your suffering, past and present, and the great hurt within your nations. I ask you Monghadi to please forgive me, the church, and those who have been as an Oppressor to you, also to forgive our Almighty God, and to forgive your own people who are still inflicting a lot of pain on you, and you yourself. In essence Monghadi I am highlighting the starting point of your healing as forgiveness. No, do not respond, or retort. Please allow me to minister further to you. Allow me to speak to you, to comfort you. For I have heard, and I am willing to listen to you. But I want my words to flow over you, to bless you, and to bring you to a new and an other understanding.
You have almost demanded of the Church not to be neutral, but she has to be, and she has to offer God’s righteousness, not justify your revenge or reprisals, or referee the situation in South Africa, but to bring God’s message of justice and righteousness, which always begins with forgiveness and repentance. Luke 24:47 “and that reprentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem” That is our part, preaching repentance !
I know that you understand this powerful principle of forgiveness and know that only thereafter can true justice be done, and true righteousness seen, and would you agree the new true South African can begin ! I do believe so !
Glimpse with me at God’s mercy and grace for this country. For He is such a patient God. Since your Kairos Document a time laps 1985 – 1993 has taken place. Why do you think we cannot get ahead in the negotiating process, in the culmination of the affairs of state or interim state, and get on with a new governing body in our land ? It is God’s grace, and His mercy, His patience at work. For the Lord God Almighty is in control of the affairs of nations, and so too in South Africa’s case. The politicians, as much as they think the power lies in their hands, their doings, are wrong. It rests with our God. I believe our God is waiting patiently on this repentance and forgiveness from both the Oppressor… AND THE OPPRESSED !! And in the meatime the violence continues, inflicting more pain upon pain and hurt. And Satan has a field day !
Through apartheid great oppression over the Black people of South Africa was committed. It stripped many of the self dignity, which is an awfulness in itself. Many fell into dire poverty and deprivation, which led to much crime and violence, which in turn bred more crime and violence. That is a fact. But it is also a fact that those errors have been seen, confessed, and forgiveness as been asked, not only in public, but also before Almighty God. And God’s Word says that ” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
For a moment, if I may just defend the White nation of South Africa, may I say that at the very bottom of her heart does not lie the nature of oppression, but indeed of goodwill. Yes there are always elements within the society of any nation that want to cause destruction and devastation, we can even see that now amongst the Black people as well. At the very heart of the Black nation lies the desire for peace and goodwill, but there are those who want to destoy and cause havoc.
This element of death lies in all people, for the heart is devious. So the White and the Black people of this land have one thing in common, the good and the bad found in both. I would offer that we focus on the good, but nonetheless look and perceive the bad that can be done. Let us take a little step back and look at history.
I believe that almost all of our problems stem from deception the work of the great Deceiver. He was active in the garden of Eden in his dealings with Adam and Eve, for it was the lie that was told to Eve that caused Eve to be deceived, and so fall from God’s good intention toward mankind, fall out of God’s plan so to speak. For our God is the author of our history. He knows full well what He has written, but having given us a will, therefore a choice, the story does not always run the way He has written it, and He I suspect more often than not has to bring in an emergency measure to rectify plans to cause us to prosper. But being a stubborn stiff-necked people, we will have own own way, and we are so easily led astray, fooled, and deceived, that He must spend an awful amount of time picking up broken bits and dreams, and lives…and nations ! But you see God has time. He created it, and so in our foolishness we extend our own suffering and hardship, because we are not obedient to His will. We will have our own will be done, instead of His will being done.
Looking at history, I see him (the Deceiver) not only deceiving people in their personal lives, but indeed deceiving nations too !! Please do not under estimate him. He is the father of all lies. A master at deception dissention and disunity.
Perhaps Hendrik Verword was a victim of his deception, and used as an instrument causing vast depravity within our nation, particularly the Black nation. Did you know that the architect of apartheid, studied in Germany at the time era of Hitler’s obessession with a pure race ? The seeds of nationalism may well have been planted and nurtured there – all unbeknown to Verwoerd. ? And in this way, through the influencing of the mind, it came to the shores of South Africa. It came into fruition in the great Afrikaner “nationalism”. It came into full bloom to a people who were needing to be encourage and moulded into an independnt nation. And it may well have been very good for the people of South Africa, at that time ! In fact, just what God intended in order to build a nation to be developed here in the southern tip of Africa, to become a strong prosperous nation in order to bless the continent of Africa ?
The intentions of Verword, at the time, were very visionary, the motive well founded toward the upliftment of his people. And as there was no other race or group in any kind of leadership position to offer an argument or alternative, even the possibility of no Godly advice sought or given, the Deceiver had an opportunity, and took nationalism and the White nation on a road that has ended in destruction and death, as seen today in our devasted country. I would like to believe that Hendrik Verwoerd was a good man and a good leader. But good men and good leaders are influenced… and deceived !
May I pause for a moment, and say to you that you are coming into a leadership role in the history of South Africa. May I ask who is influencing your thinking at present ? Who are your ‘advisers’ ? Is there Islamic influences, or Liberation Theology, or is the wind of a Black Theology stirring on the horizens of a new South Africa, gathering momentum to herald in .. what ? Could it be Africanism ? Another ism that could go awry as most do, even though it starts out as a solution to societal problems.
Well who knows what new deceptions the ever-present Deceiver will flicker up. O how we need the Truth, so that the freedom we all long for can set us truly free. We all need to guard our hearts and our minds, don’t you agree ? In passing may I also mention that there are dangers of “New Age” thinkers, “Humanism” and human rights at the heart of the Democracy which proclaims a “ free for all society” which includes the moral highground ! – and many more hidden dangers we are not even aware of, and that right in our very own midsts.
However I am convinced that as Hendrik Verwoerd and his Cabinet made the laws of apartheid, entrenching nationalism he did it with the country’s very best interest at heart, as he thought, at the time. Could he have seen but a part of the great deception, or the awful poverty and oppression, and the rise of the Black nations, he would I am sure have responded differently But it is not for us to foresee the futue, so mistakes will be made, are made daily, effecting and embracing everybody – many of the nations within our land called South Africa. Let us pray to God, that decisions being made today in our history, will be according to God’s will and not that of a power hungry people, or least then the small group that lead them.
For God has time. And as nationalism led us into apartheid and apartheid brought captivity so the Deceiver could well be setting his trap for the next 40 to 50 even 70 years of strategic captivity. Humanism looks nice, Ubuntu sounds good and rings true. Please know that God has a plan for the nation called South Africa. He did too for the Israelites, but they chose a wilderness stroll, which took them 40 years !! Our leaders need God’s wisdom. They need to know God’s will for our land South Africa. So that we can be blessed as a people and be a blessing to the whole of the African continent, and a light to the world. We need to turn to the ancient paths. We all need to turn to God
Monghadi you are correct when you say we are to fight the evil forces. We need to come against the powers and principalities that rule. But instead of wanting to fight one another – another of the evil one’s strategies is to divide, cause division – we should stand together, one nation, the church and the governmetn, to fight the forces of evil, the lies, the deceptions and divisions offered to us.
Perhaps you think that an impossible task. It is. But when you sit at the feet of Jesus Christ, in prayer, in worship, you change, you unite, you bond, you build relationships, you love, and receive Godly wisdom and you received Godly knowledge. You receive Truth, His Truth, for Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life , and it is then possible to build a new nation – a Godly nation !
Now I seem to be preaching mostly at you, but will you bear with me just a little longer. May I warn you of pride, even of a sense of martyrdom. For deception could well be waiting at your door. Should you hanker after prosperity you may get greed and corruption, and fall into that awful trap called materialism, in which the White nation of South Africa finds itself. I can assure you it is not a very fulfilling place to be found in.
I most certainly do not wish you an easy prosperity. I wish you and all our peoples a flood of continuous peace. Certainly more contentment that prosperity – in Ecclesiates 6:9 “Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire..”
I have seen the unspeakable joy of the people in poverty areas, when the light of Christ falls upon them. As a White person I have been humbled before these Black people full of joy in their poverty !! The sharing I have seen taking place among people who are poor was such an eye opener for me and mine. The acceptance and tolerance of one another that I saw of one toward the other was a precious lesson indeed. You see the more affluent are not so, in fact they are poor in comparison in these wonderful qualities which you have ingrained in you. Perhaps Monghadi you have far more riches than you can imagine. Think on these things.
This insight is not to put you off your ambition for a betterment of your life or that of your people, but please do not lose what you already have, or exchange your joy for greed, your tolerant nature for false pride, and a spirit of sharing for a “gimme gimme” attitude to life. It only places the Self on the throne of your life, and Jesus finds it very difficult to break through the outer walls to rule from within. Jesus Christ is Lord and King of your life Christian brother, and needs to be seen as such, for the sake of the Church, the Black Nation in particular, for our country’s sake and perhaps even for the continent of Africa, and I believe the hope and light of the rest of the world.
You have listened well, and I thank you for that. May I say to you that we the church, will continue to pray for you, to support you in love and kindness. May you go, and grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we wish and pray God’s peace to flood your life.
By God’s grace, and through the wisdom of the leaders, especially the Black Church leaders in South Africa, a practical process of repentance for apartheid and its evils done to the Black peoples of South Africa was held through an organised, open and very painful process called the Peace and Reconciliation Commission
2.3 A Letter to the Church
I was very excited to read of the Christian Writers Award and knew instinctively that I was going to enter into this challenge. Not so much for my writing ability, but merely from an ardent desire to gently shake you, the Church, into action in these very critical times in South Africa.
Developments in South Africa are exhilerating and exciting at present. The political scene is unsure and unsettled to say the least, the economy is critical, social structures are disintergrating daily, values and standards are without foundation. You are here amongst all this impending disaster and ruin, and you had better be gently nudged and awakened to the fact that the time has come for you to “arise and shine” so that the glory of our Lord can be seen.
The South African Church is here in this land for such a time as this – Esther 4:14. What opportunity for you to gently begin to move in amongst the poor and needy, amongst community workers, government workers and departments in the City councils and social organisations, bringing with you the Christian values and influence to flavour them with Christ. So that He can be practised, be embraced, be desired and an awareness of Jesus can be made by the shear presence of His people.
But the time is now, the action immediate. In less than one year it is very likely that a new government will be in position in the ‘high place’ in the land. We do not know how much freedom will be available in the Church – as unthinkable as that may seem to you, for a complacency has seemed to come upon you, but it is none the less a very real possibility. A view taken from the book of Jim Wilson Principles of War is : “their (Christ’s disciples) failure to move out was disobedience to orders. But God finally forced them to leave by allowing persecution” !! My prayer is that we the Church of South Africa will have already influenced and fragranced the new South Africa with Christ, should there be exile or persecution for her by a new democratic government.
Where to begin then, you may ask.
I believe the operative word could be GOODWILL. As seen from the CODESA, the spirit that reigned there was goodwill. Strangely enough, or is it ? this word “goodwill” was used by F.W. de Klerk in his address to the nation in February 1991 when he began the dismantling of apartheid. He said : ” I am relying on the tremendous resevoir of goodwill of the South Africa peoples…” If he is backing goodwill, I am too simply because it has the element of faith in it.
I do believe that God in His grace has given the people of South Africa the gift of goodwill, that it lies at the very heart of this nation, and that it should be given a chance to bloom. It is then up to the people, LED BY THE CHURCH, to excercise that goodwill. Let us then cause an epidemic of goodwill, and good works, amongst the nations of South Africa. I have a proposal for ministering this “goodwill” to our nation in a further chapter.
But of course we need to do the basics first. We need to turn to the Word of God, seeking the Lord’s will. We need to pray, and pray and pray. We need to humble ourselves. We need to confess our sins of oppression, complacency, self-righteousness, selfishness, pride and others the Lord reveals to us. We need to ask for God’s forgiveness. We need to turn from our wicked ways. We need to forgive, and we need to receive forgiveness too. And Church we also need to create an environment to enable those who are harbouring unforgiveness and bitterness the possibility and opportunity to forgive. For God’s Word says the kindness and goodness leads to repentance. And that is what we all need to do, by God’s Holy Spirit. It needs FAITH IN ACTION.
One of the first steps of action I believe is to lift Jesus Christ up, to exalt Him in worship, to declare and proclaim His name, to praise Him. We are to make way for Jesus, to create a platform for Him to be praised and to bew lifted up. To sit at His feet so that He can minister to and instruct us His servants to do what He requires of each one of us personally and corporately. We are to pray, and pray for and excercise a spirit of prayer and mercy for in Zechariah 12:10 it says : “I will fill the descendants of David and the other people of Jerusalem with a spirit of mercy and the spirit of prayer” (Good News) We must begin to build with Jesus, the Lord of His Church a relevant, fresh in new approaches, contemporary Church for ourtimes, and for our land – and I believe for a further new work that God wants to accomplish in a “new global situation”. For a new world is coming, and it is offering humanism as an alternative to the groping seeking human heartthat does not know Christ in all His loveliness and healing power. So let us get competitive for the souls of men. We the Church have the answers for a hurting hungry world, we also can give them comfort, guidance, deliverance and the Tuth in Jesus, by His Spirit. We can offer His Word, and when applied to lives, give the alternatives. But do we ? Or do we only feed in God’s green pastures, and get fat and complacent and uncaring, thinking only of ourselves, our own hurts and short-comings ? Michael Cassidy said it so pointedly that we are so busy singing and clapping in our little religious ghettos, but forgetting about a suffering world out there, this from his book Bursting the Wineskins.
Yes there is much work to be done, and as always the harvest is great and the labourers few. It has been so down the ages.
South Africa is the mission field for the SouthAfrican Church – and what a rich field for evangelism it is. The Church should be feasting in evanglism, spreading God’s Word and bringing the Love and Salvation of Christ to the nations of our Nation. There is so muchopportunity, there is so much pain, suffering, hunger and incredible hurt. We could be excersisting our gifts from God, growing our faith, as we begin to see God working, as we work. We could be experiencing God in great new dimensions we never thought possible. For we serve such an almighty and such a great God. He will not reveal Himself if we won’t grow our faith, and if our deeds for Him are non existant and tiny and hesitant. We will not see His glory revealed, and then we His Church are the poor ones – and what a poverty that is !!
We will miss out on His provision and His mercy and on the abundant life Jesus spoke of in John 10:10. So I cry, come Church “Arise shine; for theylight is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people : but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee” Isaish 60 : 1, 2.
So let us then arise and shine, let the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ be seen, heard and tasted. Le us enjoy Him, and share Him with others so that they may enjoy Him too – for He is so good, and we ALL need to experience Jesus for the healing of our nation.
Please consider the proposal offered in the following chapter. Amend it, change it, peruse it, even throw it out if you have a better plan of for our nation. Will someone step forward and take on this challenge of love.
Lets get practical for Christ Jesus, ready with His love and His Word to Bless South Africa, and the African Continent, through His Church.
Jesus loves you Church, and so do I.
Simply Illustration of Needs and Resources
1994 : PROPOSAL for synergy; for a way of meeting great community needs within the PWV area in a practical (PWV – Pretoria, Witwatersrand and Vereeniging) – now the provinces of Gauteng and Tswane) in South Africa.
1.4.1. The Foundation
1.4.2. The Goal
1.4.3. The Compostion
1.4.4. The Objective
1.4.5. Practical Steps on the Healing Road.
1.4.1. The Foundation.
2 Corinthians 9:12 and 13
For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God. While by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the Gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men.
1.4.2. The Goal
To link the enormous needs of the poor in our land (and to bless the Saints) to the resources available, in essence a central resource centre, comprising mainly but initially of information, knowledge, channeling, advertising, a place to begin, a point of contact for Co-workers among the needy and the Needy themselves.
Secondly to give practical help in the receiving, storing, warehousing of goods donated or sponsored, but also for the distribution and or collection of goods, always accompanied by God’s Word and prayer, in Jesus Name.
We are to lift the banner of Jesus Christ high in this land, so that all men may be drawn unto Him.
1.4.3 The Composition
To compile two information pillars viz. Needs and Resources.
To identify, recognise and record the various categories of both Needs and Resources.
Each of the Needs categories is a heavily burned problem in our Society. Each one should be headed up by a Spirit-filled compassionate man of God, and should have its own team of voluntary workers. These categories then meet for encouragement and development and administation. Information to be stored at a Central Resource Centre.
1. Hunger. Food Feeding.
2. Accommodation / Homeless people.
4. Environmental Care
5. The Family Restored.
8. Aids / Hospice / Health.
10. Vi0lence / Crime
11. Addictions / Drugs
12. Legal Aid / Laws
13. Industry / Labour.
1. Church Leaders
2. Lay people (Volunteers)
3. Church Mission organisations.
4. Bible and other courses, relevant to Life.
Ecclesiates 4:12 A threefold cord is not quickly broken:
1. God’s Word and Prayer
2. Worship Praise and Thanksgiving
3. Community Projects.
1. State Departments e.g. Health, Population Development, Manpower,
Social Welfare, Economics etc.
Ecclesiates 4:12 A threefold cord is not quickly broken :
2. Industries/ Labour
3. Projects. Infrastructure.
The Private Sector / General Public
3. Business – big and small
4. Large Corporations.
10. Universities / Technikons
Ecclesiates 4:12 A threefold cord is not quickly broken :
1. Information Co-ordination
2. Commitment in Finance or Involvement / Participation.
1.4.4. The Objective
2. Chronicles 7 : 14
If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and
WILL HEAL THEIR LAND.
It is God’s grace, and our faith, and our action that will bring the healing to our land, and bless our continent. It is also my belief that America, and other nations, will be blessed by the Word of God, and our obedience and actions. To God be the glory.
1.4.5 Practical Steps of Faith on the Healing Road.
1. Pray, seek God’s Word.
2. Consult, link up with other para church organisations e.g.
African Enterprise, Bloemfontein Urban Mission, ACAT, Pretoria Community Ministries. Operation Mobilisation etc.
3. Advertise, Print a bumper sticker for Operation Mobilisation’s Love
Southern Africa campaign. The response and donations to go to OM, but the information to go to the “Resource Centre” for the P.W.V. area.
4. Organise, a “Church Awareness” or “Church Expo”, with the Population Development Corporation to introduce Church Mission Organisations .e.g Operation Mobilisation and Operation SA and Church Projects e.g. Food Gardens, Soup Kitchens etc. to existing programmes, which are already neatly structured and geared to the Poor in our communities. At the same time fragrancing them with Jesus Christ. To also link together those who work in needy areas, to encourage and draw encouragment from each other.
5. Persuade, the Population Development Programme to hold a follow up seminar, extending and widening the field of interest for the volunteer or role player, in regard to opportunities, information and knowledge of Needs and Resources.
6. Arrange, a celebration of Prayer and in particular Praise and Thanksgiving.
7. Invite, ALL co-workers in the Church, the Missions, State and the Private and General Public sectors, in order to lift and exalt Jesus Christ, our Lord.
8. Request, a Reconciliation Seminar at a higher level, incorporating leadership in the Church and the Government in a kind of report back from a higher level for the sake of Encouragement, Hope and Goodwill.
This is merely a framework of ideas. More details are necessary, and more discussion would need to take place.
Thank you for the opportunity of allowing me to present this proposal.
Be encouraged, wayfaring men of faith, by God’s Wor found in
Ephesians 3 : 20,21
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all the ages, world withou end. AMEN.
This Proposal was sent to various people in the Church, in particular to my Denomination, at the time, but sadly it did not evoke any interest or action., even to the Church Unity Commission, who gladly read it, but sadly only wished me well with the vision and warned me against disullutionment. And so the dream of a caring Church, a caring nation, went into dormancy.
In 1994 a miracle happened, when South Africa went to the election polls and all elegible South Africans (not just the Whites) were allowed to place their votes in for a new government. The ANC – the African National Congress party won in a fair and monitored election. The result was freedom from oppression, and South Africa was put on a new road called democracy, and a new nation was born here at the southern tip of Africa.
Writings to Chrisnet – Christian Churc Welfare and Development Network :
1995 – Report to Chrisnet on the Reconstruction and Development Programme.
Introduction to capture the RDP in a report is like chasing the wind, as there are so many aspects to this matter, so many angles that it may be approached from – and so in order to begin I would relate it very narrowly to Chrisnet. For as in all matters I believe that one has to begin with yourself first, and then build on a foundation of truth for an enduring work.
In March 1994 at the AFM – Apostolic Faith Mission Centre in Lyndhurst, Christnet’s first NEC meeting, I was present and witnessed Sam Tsjabalala breaking forth upon that Chrisnet meeting, saying that Chrisnet would not work as it was not representing the whole Church, and that there were to many white faces and not sufficient black people directly involved. And even through Rev Palos was present representing the Methodist Church which is considered to have of the laregest membership of which the majority are Black congregants, and also representing the South African Council of Churches, few black faces were visible at that meeting. Many may remember that significent incident.
It was there at that meeting that I perceived that in order for Chrisnet to focus soley on welfare she would need to halt or delay her progress until the Black community of South Africa which hosts the severly marginalised in our society had caught up to the standard of “welfare” in its official capacity. That of course would demand great self-restraint and a great deal of tolerence and patience on the one side, and a leap forward by the helpless underprivildged. Being fully aware of how impossible the situation was I perceived that it would need a groundswell within the poor community to begin, gather momentum and to then be captured into a new all-embracing structured Welfare Department.
This grounswell, which I believe is only now beginning to happen, and that mainly through the encouragment of the RDP may be regarded as development, and it is therefore very necessary that Chrisnet, who is focused on “Welfare” need also to perceive this, and make allowance for “Development” to be given a chance to occur and grow, and then in shared capacity building and partnership advance into a New Welfare structure for South Africa, taking with it all levels of welfare and development, using the whole Church as a resource to contribute to the building and maintaining and caring of our Nation. For Welfare is nothing other than caring, and the Church should lead our Nation to a place of caring and sharing, and not just fill in the gaps on Government policies and initiatives.
In order to accomplish this the Church and Chrisnet are going to have to enlarge their hearts, their thinking and their embracing of all South Africa’s peoples. Perhaps the name Chrisnet – Christian Church Welfare and Development Network may provide the parameters for us to work in.
There are many developmental-minded people within, not only Chrisnet, but the Church as a whole, and these people more often than not the Laity, should be sought out, encouraged and motivated to emerge with their visions, ideas, ministeries, gifts and talents. We will stand amazed when our eyes are opened to the enormous resources found within the Church and the Christian community at large. We will then see how the Lord Jesus Christ has gone ahead of us to prepare the resources and provisions within the Church, preparing His people with faith, talent and ability to usher in His will for welfare and development of the South African nations through Christian Networking. I believe that God is relying on His people who are called by His name to bring UNITY in the Church and in the Nation, in order to bless Africa, and indeed the World. Let us not hinder His work by persuing our own agendas, but with discernment work with Him to do His will for this land.
If this is so, then it may well be a time of re-examination and assesment. The SACC’s Task Force on the RDP also mentions a time of re-examination and a re-reading of the Bible, we would be wise to heed this satement.
In my wrestling to put together a report on the RDP for Chrisnet, I have conversed with different people within the Christian Community, trying to get as wide a perspectived as I can. I am enclosing of the insights on the RDP that I have obtained, for your perusal. I believe that a united consensus from the Church, should be arrived at, and seemingly so far, there is agreement from all quarters that the Church needs and indeed must contribute, be involved in, better yet own and driver her “own RDP”, under the leadership and authority of Jesus Christ, for the Word of God says “Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts” in Zechariah 4:6
I believe that the RDP could be a testing and a challenge to the Church on her obedience to God’s Word and His will.
But the hour is NOW. As Rev Ross Olivier fasilitator of the Methodist’s “Journey into a New Land” – a wonderful new convocation process begun – put it so clearly : the Church is at a time of crisis, like a door on a hange, if she moves with the NEW SA the door will remain open, if she ramdains complacent and only inward looking, the door will swing shut !! The decision awaits us all individually and corporately, and is at Chrisnet’s door too.
Before concluding I would pen a few observations made as a result of my interaction with various Christians.
Church and Christian Leadership – This should be compiled of all sides of the colour line, as I perceived from visits and reports that there are unvoiced fears, different motives, differnt goals and different ambitions – therefore different agendas. There is need for unity.
Clergy and Laity – These people are often found working at the grass roots level, causing the groundswell in development to occur, and who have first hand knowledge of needs, and may be better equipped to monisotr any progress. And many of the Laity are frustrated at the lack of expression of their faith, gifts and talents. There is a need to hear the needs, visions in the hearts of God’s people, and to create a channel for the expression of faith – perhaps in the form of a Christian Network Resource Centre.
A “Church RDP” – could be a catalyst for unity through a focussed and single-minded agenda, whose three-braided cord will not quickly be broken.
Imbabing a spiritual and moral fibre in the nation.
Uplifting the Poor.
Creating a prophetic voice in the nation.
The Church needs to be practical, and open, to new concepts in relevant contextual matters of not only our society, but in global strategies as well. We need to work at creating a Christian voice, and so a prophetic voice within our nation, and the world. This could all begin at Christ who can access our Church Leaders through the N.E.C, for such a continuum needs to be under the authority, in submission to, approval, of and guidance and blessing of our South African Church Leaders.
There is a new age dawning, the Church of South Africa needs to move with the times, carrying the torch of the testimony of Christ with her.
In faith then, I regard this manuscript merely as an introduction to the Church’s Reconstruction and Development Programme, which I pray will be a continuinG process forward from here onward.
a working group or task force needs to be set apart for this work to continue, therefore I would like to leave the reat of the pages of this manuscirpt blank, for those with co-hearts to write on, to bring deeper insights and discernment as to what the Lord Jesus Christ wishes to accomplish with His Church in the New South Africa.
I conclude then on a practical note, by pointing to various avenues that Chrisnet may want to explore in order to either develop the process of Chrisnet soley – or enlarge and embrace her parameters in the “total welfare” scenario in South Africa today.
South African Communication Servies. Co-workers with Government Communication on the RDP, at all levels of structures, establish corresponding Chrisnets at the local level.
Methodist Church. Rev Ross Olivier. Further consultation on the Convocation process.
C.S.I.R. World Information Network , Mr Adrian Mickie, incorpoating GenPof’s, Mr Mouritz Read, Information Village concept
Christian Counsellors : SA Christian Counsellors Association, Mr Mervyn vd Spuy
Telefriend and L0-Him.
Impact Community Volunteer Service, Mr Sas Conradie – placing Christians in practical service in communities, local and overseas.
African Growth Network, Mr Reinhardt Odendaal. Broadcasting Corp using modern technology for training and education points in business and commuunitires. Access to Community through Community Centres
Urban Mission, Bloemfontein, Dr Skip Krige. Incorporating the Bloemfontein Church Forum, who is seeking God’s will and a process to move forward with the New SA
Host of Other Christian institutions, who can be consulted and incorporated to advance unity, welfare and development.
Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.
Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21
Appendix to the RDP Report to Chrisnet : Not included in this writing.
1.Die Heropbou en Ontwikkelingsprogram – SKDB Suid Tvl – Dr Dawie Theron
2. meeting of the SACC Task Force on the RDP on 14 Nov 1994 – Teresa Tyacke, SACC Development Dept
3. The Involvement of the Church in the Southern MNetropolital Sub-structure : Rev Gideon due Toit and Mr. Mourits Reid, Chrisnet.
4. Theological Reflection on the RDP : Extract from minutes of Christnet committee meeting held on 2.9.94 – Rev Mamabolo Raphesu.
5. Bloemfontein Church Forum and the OFS PRovincial Government meet, and premier urges : “Church of Christ stand up, unite and be heard” – Dr Skip Krige, Urban Mission, Bloemfontein.
6. A Church Mouse looks at the RDP – Mrs. Carol Lyle
7. Forum Founding Document – Greater Pretoria Metropolitan Development and Econonimc Forum (RDP)
CONCEPT ON DEVELOPMENT
At Chrisnet an identification process is being asked for in the clarification between Welfare and Development, and a complete or unified thought on the State’s Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) and the Church’s role therein. This document will attempt to do that by seeking the responsibility-sharing roles of the Church, The State and Civil Society.
The RDP, the State’s Social Welfare, and the Church.
On reading through the lengthy Social Welafe Discussion Document I noted that no spiritual input is asked for in this Document. On attending Vista II Gauteng’s superb humanistic effort in steering the RDP no reference was made to meeting spiritual or emotional needs. I have come to this conclusion :
The Department of Social Welfare, the RDP, the Civil Society in conjunction with the Church must approach the welfare and the soocial upliftment challenges in our country in a wholistic way. Each one has a role to play, and these roles must be identified, for I believe that in all these categories the aims similarly point to a common goald, and that is the reconstrion, restoration and healing of our country and all its people, yet from different aspect. Working together, yet separately, in synergy to achieve our goals.
The Wholistic Approach
I will attempt to set parameters into which roles can be clarified, and emphasie the Church’s mandate in her role. The wholistic approach, from my Biblical view is taken from Mark 12:30 Love the Lord thy God with all your heart with all your soul with all your mind and with all your strength.
Heart – spiritual Soul – emotion and intelligense Strength – physcial – which makes up the whole person.
Mark 12:31 says Love your neighbour as you love yourself.
Matthew 22:27 says the same and conclues with verse 40 which says
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
As we love God with our whole person, I believe, we must love our neighbour in an wholistic way and thus apply this Biblical principle in formulating the process to address welfare and devedlopment in South Africa
With a Constitution based on Human Rights South Africa is becoming what is known as an “open society” a free for all if you like. This is a good thing because it means that it is imperative to know who you are, where you fit in and what contribution is yours to bring.
To clarigy the parameters even further I would offer the following illustration of share responsibility in the boardes of braoest erms, in order to pass on the concept of an wholistick application. Loosely thrown together, in the tabular, are the subjects and objects. (Recently revised)
SPIRITUAL SOUL & INTELLIGENCE PHYSICAL PROPHETIC
The Church Civil Society The State The Church
Truth Nurture Policy Frameworks Truth
Moral & Ethic Values Ethic Values The Law
The Word of God Families Enforcement & Correction
Prayer Communities Environmental/Agric.
Faith Actions Schools Social Development
Para Church org. Education
Spiritual Counsel Recreation Health
Other Religions Land & Housing
World Views Art & Culture
Sport & Recreation Economy
Para Gov. Org.
Seen in this light it becomes very clear that the Goverment or State and other roleplayers in the Civil Society can do only so much, but that, at present, a vacuum exists in addressing the spiritual (moral), emotional healing of the society at large.
My viewpoint is taken from the Secular and not from within the Church, as the Church does minister to the church)
I think it was Pres. Jan Brandt who said “Alles sal reg kom as elkeen sy plig doen”
I believe that the healing God has promised us in 2 Chronicales 7:14 will be accelerated and flow when this wholistic approach is applied to South Africa. For the Church to partake, it would mean unity, mobilisation and co-ordination in bringing a Christian voice and contribution. I believe that is what God has begun at Chrisnet, and He will bring to conclusion that which He has begun; and indeed we may begin to see an increase in “Christian networking” addressing other fundamental Christian or rather Biblical issues.
The Reconstruction and Development Programme : Vista ll clearly showed the parameters of the RDP in the form of a spearhead opening the way for land development objectives, law infrastructures and law implementation regarding the new dispensation, and then also addressing the physical needs of housing, water issues, education, health and projects and programmes to ensure the delivery of the materialistic upliftment. I suspect there will be a further phase to come in the entrenching of these laws.
The Social Welfare Department : The Welfare parameters are not as clearly to be seen, as there seems to be much overlapping, but essentially it is focussed on the welfare and the well being of specific target groups of the population e.g. the elderly, disabled, youth, women, unemployed, ill health and also social programmes and social security.
Once the past is finally shaken off I imagine there will be a major restructuring in the Welfare Department. As a people are the main feature in welfare delivery I believe that a wholistic application is of paramount importance.
The Church : Although the Church is not even mentioned in the above two scenarios she has nevertheless played a great role behind the scenes and at grass roots in an unseen and unhearalded capacity, but as an Institution is not reckoned with as a role player by the Powers that be. I suppose that she has been so busy building and growing the Church, and thus become a little inward-looking, that she missed it in bringing a “seen” contribution to the state of the country. Much accusation has been laid at her door because of the past history, but that is another debate. The fact is that she must contribute to nation building, or be left behind in the ashes of the past.
The Church is a rich resource for spiritual and emotional healing and her faith-filled manpower often finds itself in bringing a physical contribution in practical projects. Her prophetic role is of utmost imporatance in leading, and warning, the nation.
If she does not fulfil her role there will be a vacuum which others and their doctrines will fill. Even today as the new constitutuion is being written it reveals the horros of humanisic and “human rights” thinkers who do not know the truth as revealed in the Word of God. It is the Church’s God-given duty to warn, and lead the nation into the Truth. It is we who are going to be held accountable for the state of the nation, before Go one day.
A Gap in Welfare and Development : In both the RDP and the Welfare scenarios no mention is made of emotional healing or spiritual enrichment. If these areas are overlooked, and not consciously brought into play a role in wholistic development, then South Africa is fighting a losing battle, as most of our problems lie deeply rooted in the emotion and spiritual areas of life. We will only be continuously addressing the sick symptons of society and not dealing with root causes in order to usher in healing and true development. And so we will exhaust the emotional human resources and its development, and thus the finances of not only the Welfare Department, but our country too!
It is essential to apply the Truth in all aspects of human development, and the truth of South Africa must be revealed. Just as there is a call for a Truth and Justice Commission to root out the wrongs of apartheid, so we should call for the truth to come out of our history in acestoral worship and occultic practices, from which, I believe, flows much of the violence our people are subjected to at this time. The awful crime wave that has hit South Africa, with drug addiction, pornography with moral decay waiting in the wings – is this because of a lack of moral and ethic values, that Truth brings, but has not been brought to our society at large, resulting in moral poverty? Most certainly unemployment, and the ills of apartheid brought its contribution, but the deeper causes are not addressed, or exposed, and so our country bleeds on !!
The Church who has the Truth needs to unleash it on civil society. The Christians need to be mobilised to bring truth to communities in word and in deed, new strategies in evangelism are desparately needed. Could Christnet, at the provincial levels be that mobilizer?
A Christian voice is needed at the local forum level. Local ministers and pastors need to be activated into partnerships with the development and welfare fora.
At the upper eschelons of Government a very strong and very loud Christian voice is needed to challenge the Constitution.
The Lord asks in Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
Who will stand in the gap?
1997 Response to the Report of National Interim Consultative Committe on Developmental Social Services.
1. Introduction to Response
An applaud must be given, and an appreciation expressed to the Natioanl Interim Consultative Committee on the work that has thus far been accomplished. Glimpsed through the eys of this Report one can begin to perceive the enormity of their rask. The applause would go to the clarity of thinking that emerged from the Report that has made it simple and understandable to the person with a bottom up approach to the welfare and developmental challenges in South Africa today.
An infrastructure for consultation will strengthen the process that will draw deeply from the well of our rich and diverse human resource in South Africa. It is a daunting honour to respond to this Report, but it is done with a certain amount of confidence and faith in the new concepts of a serving ethos as a building block of a new welfare system in South Africa.
2. Motivation for Response
The motive behind the concept of a national ethos of service is threefold :
i To usher in an wholistic application for welfare and development. Body Soul and Spirit makes up the whole man, and these needs must be addressed for total transformation. The alternative is that Welfare will continually address only the symptons of poverty within our sick societies – which are escalating at an alarming rate. New paradigms are needed and Service to Scoeity may usher in one such paradigm.
ii. To imbibe a serving/caring ethos into the South African people, thereby raising a sense of self-worth and community caring for itself. If this could be achieved, then it would cartainly ease the plight of the Government’s responsiility in welfare provision. One of government’s responsibilities is to assist the lame and the weak, however Community must learn to Care for Community, and the initiating of a serving-mentality in South Africa may lead the way to reach this attainable goal for a new welfare and development dimension.
iii. Entrenching a serving-mentality, and selfworth as a new foundation stone in a new South Africa, may be the breeding ground of a fresh integrity and high morality (so deparately needed in all sectors of our society, expecially the Political, Civil Service and Local Governance)
3. Brief Comments on the Models for Governance Structure
Model 1 : Stakeholder/Constituency
This Model could provide the braod framework for governance structure, but needs to enlare and strengthen itself by incorporating aspects of Models 3,4, and 5. It seems to promote the effective participation of most stakeholders, yet it has not gone fare enough down the governance ladder to incorporate the voice of the voiceless.
There is a need for a further infrastructure down the line – a mechansim that the ordinary roleplayer or local service provider will feel comfortable with, and in tune with in order to rend an inpute, and practical contribution. Within this same mechanism the expert can contribute his expertise, and so accelerate decision making and resource linkage to need. This may result in the delivery of cost effective, equitable and appropriate social service delivery to all the people of South Africa.
Model 2 : Co-operative Governance
This Model is to high up the governance ladder, and would be out of touch with the needs and nuance of those who deliver a welfare or developmental service, and thus deprive those who are in desparate need of welfare and development. There should be little room for academic and political indulgences when the task at hand is so great, and practical action would bring more benefit.
Model 3: Experts
Certainly there is room for the experts. Apart from an advisory consultative capacity the experts should be drawn in as a voluntary resource, bringing them nearer the ground level of welfare and development, and so allowing them to view some of the insurmountable, and often invisible problems communities have to contend with in their endeavours to survive. Invisible or hidden poverty exists in all areas and at all depths in our societies, and the expert’s expertise could be put to fuller and more effective use for social welfare and developmen services, as it is a rich resource indeed.
Model 4 : Sector-based
This Model may form the necessary bridge between the upper and lower levels of democratic governance. This structure should be welfare and development orientated, but be neutral enough for affiliated generic fields of service to be attracted to, and in such a manner an application for wholistic welfare and development can occur, capturing and drawing from a vastly expanded, yet co-ordinated, network of human resource Service.
Envisaged and labelled in this structure of governance, yet dove-tailing with existing welfare agendas and systems in the new paradigm of a : National Social Volunteer Service.
A National Social Volunteer Service could release a new manpower for welfare and community development AND release the “official” or academic welfare worker to a new position of monitoring, promoting and identifying community potential within the ambit of welfare and development.
The concept of Voluntarims will have to be sanctioned and instituted from the upper governance levels, as local roleplayers, especially welfare workers submit to their constituency or organisational leadership – and rightly so !
Such a Model will enhance capacity building within the welfare service delivery and enable local community to organse and mobilise themselves for community service, it would also open up a communication and consultation channel to grassroots.
Model 5 : Grassroots
The thinking on this model seems to have been discarded before it saw the light of day. It is perhaps correct to think that people are unorganised at the lower levels of society, but it is a mistake to assume that the potential does not exist, and with the correct institued goverance stracture in place local communities can and would organise itself for the betterment of their communities. The RDP’ Community Development Forums are evidence for this argument. There is a dormant leadeership potential within communities that could be released for the good, but human nature being what it is, and politicians being what they are often purposely quench leadership, and or annex initiatives as their own, for greedy gain. Many initiatives, and potential leaders end in the watelands due to a lack of infrastructure and support systems, and shear frustation. A great deal of human-resource waste occurs, and ferments into ‘grime’ and crime.
A Local Volunteer Programme may well be the foundation stone of a capacity building process within an emerging Grassroots Model.
Grassroots should not be discarded, or cosidered time consuming, or that it will necessarity require vast resources to build and sustain. Investing in people especially caring people in community, may hold the key to releasing new paradigms in welfare and development, for it is in people, and not programmes that the potential lies for a better and higher lifestyle.
4. Arguments for a National Social Volunteer Service to be placed within the Governance Policies and Programmes of Developmental Social Services.
- A National Social Volunteer Service could capture a vast human resource, as yet untapped, and used not only in Welfare and Development but other government departments, and so form an interconnecting corridor for wholistic development !
- A National Social Volunteer Service could enhance and accelerate a national sense of self worth, and thereby elevate the nation to a higher morality and leadership position internationally.
- A National Social Volunteer Servce could bring about a pivotal transformation through wholoistic application.
- A Natioanl Social Volunteer Service could be developed as a model, or basis for part of the solution to the problems of the African continent, as boundaries are rapidly falling away, and South Africa taking on a facilitating leadership role.
- A National Social Volunteer Service would dove-tail into the thinking of the National Development Welfare Consultative Committee :
- influence development and welfare by adding inclusivity and participation of local communities.
- be an active and creative partner, enabling closer consultative processes between Civil Society and Goernment, making the Democratic dream more of a reality, than just a lip service !
- assisting in the identification, promotion and monitoring of policy implementation – through the relese of welfare workers.
- by increasing the human resource requirement and organisational capacity building for service delivery
- facilitating dialogue with local and grassroot communities.
create an opportunity for the beneficiaries of welfare to make a contribution through participation and attendance at Local Volunteer Programme.
5.Proposal for Instituting a National Social Volunteer Service for South Africa.
This Response to the NICC’s Report then proposed the the NDWCC would consider the instituting of a National Social Volunteer Service within the governance stractures of Welfare and Development in South Africa, and commit itself to the thorough investigation, through wider consultation with pathfinders in voluntary servic, not only in South Africa, but internationally as well, on the benefite and viability of such a proposal, as a new dimension of Social Welfare and Development Services.
6. Conclusion of Response
With the advent of a new era in South Africa Democracy has not only brought with it a freedom for the oppressed, but a tremendous release of the potential within South Africa.
If South Africa can dismantle her political coat and reach for a fresh cloak of faith, hope and love, through s e r v i c e, we may well reach the high road of “development” Our Democratic Government is leading the way, and through a new Welfare and Development dimension ushering in the focus on, and release of, the caring human resource factor, in the form of a National Social Volunteer Service, we may reach heights never dreamed of, though of, or aspired to, as yet.
The road ahead will also be strewn with deep pitfalls, dangerous traps, and new idols waiting and wanting to be set up – but through it all one thing South Africa must hold on to with all wit, weight, and might, and that is the Truth, found in the Word of God, the Bible. For it is through the Word of God, revelaed through His Holy Spirit, that leads us into Truth that will guide, and assist us through the gloom and glory days of the future.
In faithfulnees, I would serve you with this closing thought on wholism, influenced by eh passage found in the book of Colossians 1 verses 16 and 17 :
For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers : and things were created by Him and for Him : And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.
It is at the place of social welfare and development that democratic government can take South Africa to new heights, if Jesus Christ is the hallmark, and the church of Jesus Christ is a partner on the road ahead.
Broadly, contextually, yet simply captured :
At the heart of democratic government is community
At the heart of community is man.
At the heart of man is God.
At the heart of God is Jesus Christ, Who came to serve mankind.
May South Africa follow His way.
And lead all nations in Truth,
And so fulfill the plan that God has for the New South Africa. Amen.
1997 Response to a Discussion Workshop on “The Process Towards a Policy Framework for Voluntarism” at the Welfare Deparment in Pretoria :
Motivation for a Serving/Caring Ethos for the South African Society through Ecumenical Diaconia in the Church and Voluntarism through the Government.
This paper is a response to the round table discussion on “The Process Towards a Policy Framework for Voluntarism” held on 24 February 1997 at the Welfare Department in Pretoria.
It is intended to serve as an encouragement to the process of instituting a National Voluntary Service, within the Government, as well as an initiative for an unified vision for Ecumenical Diaconia, within the Church of South Africa, to assist in building a new caring nation through service.
The visitation of Prof. Peter Edelman, and the American Peace Corps, may well have added fuel to the smouldering fire of goodwill in South Africa.
In his famous speech in 1992 Mr. F.W. de Klerk said that he depended on the tremendous
r e s e r v o i r of g o o d w i l l within the people of South Africa. It was this statement of faith in the people of South Africa, that is the hope of South Africa. It has proved to be true, for when one views the immediate recent past of our new nation, even amongst the crumbling of old foundations, the strain of g o o d w i l l is very evident. One stands amazed at the capacity for tolerance and goodwill amongst A L L South Africans!
Now that “political dust” is beginning to settle, it may be the time for d e v e l o p m e n t, in its fullest sense to occur. This dormant goodwill can be released through a form of voluntary community service, and so further continue the miracle of theSouth African metamorphosis. Goodwill runs through the life of ALL South Africans like a golden thread – it is a national characteristic ! It can, and should be harnessed through a structure for social transformation namely a National Volunteer Service
By such an act a great justice will be done to all South Africans, for serving others increases a person’s self-worth, which brings with it dignity. Dignity tends to build, preserve and protect Family, Community and Environment !! It would truly be a worthwhile exercise to put mechanisms in place to persue this ideal for the new South African nation.
Voluntarism is a spark that is igniting the imaginations of not only Welfare and Community development brokers, but the crime plagued businessman and public are beginning to see the potential value of community volunteers for combatting the many ills and evils within our stressed societies – especially her in the province of Gauteng.
Voluntary Community Service could be a panacea on many levels within our diverse society. Not only will it be a benefit to the “materially-marginalised” but bring more meaning to the “affluent-barren” in our societies. Materialsim soes not always bring with it a sense of purpose or fulfillment, and at the end of the rainbow there is often an empy void !! Caring and serving others can begin to fill the void in the seeking out of a more meaningful existence, and a “higher” life style.
In the Church, the goodwill that arises from faith becomes a compulsion of compassion that will not be quenched, as it carries the love of God, through Jesus Christ, to our fellow man, whereever and whoever it is in nedd. When captured it is terms Diaconia, and can become a rich resource for a National Voluntary Service.
The Worksop was an inspiration, and a release of a myriad of ideas which formed vsionary building blocks :
1. Establish a National Volunteer Registrar, with braod policy frames for a support base for volunteer interest and guidelines.
2. Incorporate and Information Data Base – eg. Prodder directory
3. Develop and make available Training programmes for Volunteers. Build in recognition of service, and a monitoring support system, and the relase of human potential / development / manpower into main stream Govt. departments.
4. Categorize :
Geographically : Inner City : Urban : Rural :Regions :Provinces
Govt Ministries : Welfare : Health : Environment : Education :Trade etc.
Generically : Elderly, Disabled, Youth, Women, Children, Abuse Addictions etc.
Social Issues : Hunger, Housing, Counselling, Clothing, Sick & Prisons.
Government of SA : Church of SA : Retrenchees of Affirmative Actions process Unemployed (Materially-marginalised) : Affluent availablity and Community hearted (Civil Society) – herein lies a rich resource of goodwill, waiting and willing to be “captured” and released into service.
6. Funding :
Policy on remuneration of Volunteers.
Source of funding for the infrastrudture of a National Volunteer Service, and the developing of Local Volunteer Programmes.
Voluntary Community Service can greatly go towards resolving resource constraints in the Social Welfare fields, and in the Business?Labour sectors, Environmental issues even Public Safety and Security.
The Economy’s Macro Stategy through SMME’s (Small Micro Medium Enterprises) could be swayed more readily through Volunteers drawn into Projects for Job Creation streamed into small business enterprises – for there are a host of institutions waiting in the wings to do skills training / business training, which links into the thinking of overall Economic growth strategies !
One of the keys to development in South Africa is Community Voluntary Service in Action Groups, developed through projects, streamline into Human development …through a Service ethos.
This is no feeble argument for the urgent attention, and necessary implementation of a National Voluntary Service within the Government, as well as in the Church of South Africa, with one purpose in mind, to promote caring, serving communities b imbibing a servanthood attitude within the heart of a new South Africa, and in so doing elevate our nation, so that the Son may shine on all nations – and please the heart of God !
This motivation for a National Volunteer Service within the Government, and Ecumenical Diaconia in the Church of South Africa, will be submitted via various avenues of access, seeking approval, and endorsement for the facilitation of the release of the magnificent g o o d w i l l of the people of South Africa, for the benefit of even the African continent, indeed all nations of the world, as the eyes of the world is upon South Africa as a role model of democracy, truth, reconsiliation and prosperity.
May we not disappoint them, and above all : May Souh Africa bring glory to God.
To hasten the process, and build the vision a submission for a pilot project is proposed for a Local Volunteer Programme, together with a request for support in the form of approval, endorsement, even financial sponsoring, from those recipients with co-hearts in instilling a serving-caring ethos into the South African society.
This envisaged pilot project, which is only a concept at this state, will only be considered for implementation once local community and local role players commit themselves to participation and co-operation in testing the value of a Local Volunteer Programme.
March 1997 : Communication to Chrisnet on :
Motivation for the Churches to participate in creating a Serving / Caring ethos for the South African Society through Ecumenical Diaconia.
This paper makes up part of a whole motivation document, which intends to motivate and encourage the Government, via the Welfare Department, even the National Interim Consultative Committe, to institute a National Volunteer Service, and at the same time prompt an initiative from the Church in South Africa, via Chrisnet, for an unified vision for Ecumencial Diaconia, from within the Church of South Africa, to assist in the nation building process, by creating an ethos of caring and serving within the South African society at large.
This part of the document will be submitted to the “Ecumenical Church” via Chrisnet, and not submitted to the Government structures, as this is only a concept document seeking consensus from the various Denominations within the Church, and from para church organisation, and the Laity.
It must surely be realised that the “Corporate Church” is a rich resource of voluntary service, talents, expertise – in almost every field of society – with tremendous resource of spiritual gifts, often lying dormant and unused, that if, and when, harnessed, channelled and released through service for Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit of God, can richly bless and enhance the fabric of the South African society.
The Church has before it the great challenge of bringing a contribution to the new South Africa. It certainly has a spiritual responsibility and function to fulfill, or forever be accountable before God for its participatory role in moulding a “brand new nation” – which surely must feature in God’s plans for the nations – especially in Africa !
Certainly the Church cannot rise to the challenge unless an unified vision is put in place.
Therefore this motivation for an Ecumenical Diaconia may be part of a new papadigm approach to address the role of the South African Church within the new diverse South African nation.
Chrisnet, should they wish to embrace this new vision has already established the foundation for dialogue for “Church to Church” and for “Church to Government” on matters concerning Welfare and Development, and may be in the right position to institute the process for the capacity-building of a new Ecumenical Diaconia – the equivalent to a National Volunteer Service.
This capacity building infrastructure placed within the Church is imperative for the Church to ensure that the Word of God is set in place as a foundation stone for the new South Africa – even if the new South Africa does not want it, or recognise the authority of God’s word in dealing and coping with its problems – especially in the field of social welfare and human development. Such an infrastructure certainly becomes necessary for imbibing the Word of God into the broader South African society, and thereby contributing the spiritual content for the development and the well-being of the Nation.
This unified vision for Ecumenical Diaconia – or more beautifully capture in the phrase of “Ekumeniese Barmhartiheid”(few words bring out the essence of “barmharigheid”… like the word apartheid, it is indigenous to South Africa) Simply translated it means ecumenical compassion, which seems to expose the heart of God, and enlarge the capacity of His Church. This vision will require a brave and bold step, with clear consensus from the various Denominations to mandate such a movement from within the Church.
Many ideas and much inspiration flowed from the Workshop on Voluntarism,. which could be adapted for a “Christian Church Volunteer Service”. It is evident that there is a wealth of resources to be tapped from forerunners in this line of thinking, who are willing to build onto the concepts of voluntary service.
To conclude this motivation to the Church in South Africa, it is hoped, and fervantly prayed, that a mandate will be forthcoming to raise an infrastructure for the concept of Ecumenical Diaconia, with new paradigms from within the Church, for the effective release of the spirit-filled Laity into community building, and so set South Africa on the sure foundation of the Living Word Jesus Christ.
It is only then that South Africa will become a shing light to all nations, and fulfill its God-given destiny, and by the grace of God, be it only for one brief moment in time, the Church may unite, and become an answer to her Lord’s prayer in John 17:21
“That they all may be one”
March 1999 Part Presentation of Christian Volunteers in Community Care
and Counsel at the Second South African Congress on Christian Counselling: A call for CareSA : Christian Caregive Network
A Proposal to Entrench a Vision for Caring Voluntarism in Southern Africa viz. CareSA : Christian Caregivers Network.
History : This proposal is the outflowing of a passion to serve South Africa. In 1994
Sas Conradie and Bheki Madola approached various Church Denominations in South Africa in the hope that there would be birthed “The South African Christian Volunteer Movement”
Although well-receive, these efforts met with no success. Rev Demitri Palos of the Methodist Church in South Africa however saw the value of such a movement in South Africa, came to the rescue and Impact : Community Volunteers Serving South Africa was born. For the last four years Impact’s very existence has been tested, and by the grace of God, and a few truly committed people, has survived. However Impact stands at a crossroad and must stand or fall if support is not forthcoming. And a very valuable bastion for voluntarism – which in essence ushers in a serving ethos, and with it a work ethic – may lose its opportunity to be entrenched into the new South Africn psyche.
In order to strengthen, and broaden the concept of voluntarism, especially in a Caregiving capacity, this proposal called CaeSA : Christian Caregiver Network endeavours to be a catalyst for the concept to be entrenched, with the Christian Church and Christian Fraternity as a focal point, in offering valuable service into the wider context of our Southern African society.
The Benefits of Voluntarism : Voluntarism in essence is Service, and draws to it, in the main, caring hearts – Love in action.
Yet it broadens itself to new opportunities, adventure, missions and new paths to follow in life’s journey – Faith in action.
On the outer rim voluntarism lends itself to survivial – Hope in action.
Which all add up to 1 Corinthians 13:13 Faith Hope and Love.
Voluntarism is a neutral, and a universal concept, that is people-oriented.
Voluntarism is a wonderful means to service, self development, and a great leveller for the healer of the human conditon.
Voluntarism is cross-cultural, and thus a nation builder.
Organised voluntarism is a means of releasing goodwill among communities , countries and indeed nations.
It is a wonderfully enabling resource to live out our humanyity and so should be harnessed and made accessble and available in organised opportunities for all our people.
Voluntarism through Christing caring carries with it a value added element.
Most importantly voluntarism enriches the lives of people as it offers the most basic of humand needs – a sense of self worth, purpose and belonging – and therein lie the elements of healing – a healing that has been promised to South Africa in 2 Chronicales 7:14
If My people who have been called by My name will humble themselves turn from their wicked ways and prayer, then I will heal their land.
In order to entrench the value, the concept of caring voluntarism in South Africa, this “CareSA proposal” calls for an infrastructure to implement the rich resource of the caring capacity of the Christian fraternity, and seeks a response from the reader who will appreciate the essence of service, who has a deep sense of the value of caring; and will volunteer to implement the concept into a reality.
The place to begin is the ecumenical Christian Church and Christian fraternity. It is a microcism of our South African society. Within the Church there is a wealth of professional and lay expertise, gifts, talents and a variety of other resources that, if effectively mobilised, and efficiently administered, can benefit the broader communities in our societies.
Thus caring volunarism (servanthood) should manifest from the Christian Church into a vital building block for community healing and wholistic developmental upliftment through Service – the doing of the Word of God.
Voluntarism is the life-system of the Christian Church, drawing on the Servant example, and compassion of Jesus Christ. And when His compassion is released through His people, who are called by His name, then healing comes to the nations – and fresh hope for Africa dawns ?
These very vital Christian volunteers will bring a new dimension to voluntarism, Caring Voluntarims and it is this dimension that must be explored, and developed into a unified vision of Christians is Southern Africa. But for it to manifest, the potential of it will have to be recognised, and the leaders of the Church and the Christian fraternity, mandate the implementations thereof. A mechanism, or infrastructure and a willing Proto team, must make itself available, and be fully and widely supported to entrench the concept of Caring Christian Voluntarism. It must develop an all embracing Christian ecumenical vision, and the necessary support to do so, with clear and achievable goals. It must stand at the head and not the tail of such a mission. To that end then, this proposal offers a very broad framework of its prime functions which may form the basis for further discussion.
The Broad Framework :
Vision : To invite, and relase the serving ethos of the Christian Church and Christian fraternity, through the capacity of the concept of Caring Voluntarism in the wider South African contexr, and imbibe a work and serving ethos into the Southern African culture, through the promotion and facilitation of Voluntarism.
+ To serve South Africa through Care and Service through Voluntarism.
+ To promote and facilitate the concept of Caring Voluntarism.
+ To encourage local and rural communities to engage themselves in voluntarism, through campaigns and celebrations.
+ To network the facilitating of the placement of short term volunteers on service portfolios.
+ To monitor and assess the procedure of volunteers, and caring Voluntarism in Southern Africa.
+ To promote and present various models of Caring Voluntarism to Christian Churches and Local Communities.
+ To serve our diverse societies with the concept of Caring Voluntarism.
+ To make Voluntarism accessible and available to peoples at all societal levels.
+ To create opportunities for Caring Voluntarism, through campaigns, projects, programmes and celebrations.
+ To support and monitor volunteers, where and when necessary.
+ To render a responsible, accountable and excellant service to Partners, Donors, Placement portfolios and especially to Volunteers.
+ To network with volunteers, Christian ministries and community projects.
The task of implementing such a vision for South Africa will not be accommplished by one Denomination, Network, Organisation or Ministry, – informal partnerships will have to be forged in a spirit of co-operation and co-ordination, and be implemented for the sake of the higher agenda, which is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14…….”heal our land”
Beneficial Results :
The following models are offered, as subject discussion in promoting and developing Christian Service through Caring Voluntarism. On scrutiny of these models, it becomes apparant that by creating a structure for the promotion and implementation of these models
Poverty will be addressed in a wholistic manner e.g. Physical Emotional and Spiritual at the Local and Grass-root levels of our societies, which will benefit both the Care-giver and the Care-receiver, a win win situation indeed, for the basic principle involved is – it is more blessed to give than receive.
Financial Implication :
It is difficult to estimate a financial outlay initially.
What is of vital importance is the spirit of co-operation and co-ordination, the will and means to form partnerships to support and implement the concept of a Caring Christian Service with shared resources, through combined and informal ecumenical partnerships., and to carry it through to its ful blown status and minifestation in CareSA
Initial seed funding, for the first nine to twelve months may be estimated at R80,000 and if shared resources/finance method is applied, partnership contributions of smaller advances may succeed in reaching the estimated finance.
The time is ripe for the ecumenical Christian Church, and its Fraternity to make a corporate contribution, in a multi faceted approach, of combine caring through networking of services in the building of the new foundations for a morally strong and emotionally sound South African nation who cares about life, and about his fellow-man.
What remains is this question, are there any Volunteers to drive such a concept to its conclusion.
The writer may be contacted for further co-ordination.
Model 1 : Christian Church Careivging
Model 2 : Community Caring through Portfolios
Model 3 : Community / Cultural and Personal Caregiving
Purpose of Intent, and the Positioning of CareSA : Christian Caregivers Network
CareSA is called into existence for the purpose of Christian synergy, through networking, for the purpose of promoting Christian service in the field of social responsibility and wholistic poverty alleviation.
CareSA is an autonomous network for Christian Caregivers and seeks informal partnerships with the Christian Churches, Networks, Ministries, Organisations and Individuals who wish to engage in social responsibility.
CareSA wishes to imbibe a service ethos, and work ethic, into the Southern African societies.
CareSA wishes to align itself to Chrisnet (Christian Church Welfare and Development Network), and its Internet Date Base at Chrisitian Network – Info. (see diagram)
CareSA will promote and fascilitate Christian Care-giving, through caregiving workshops
CareSA will endeavour to create portfolios for voluntarism, in order to effectively mobilise, and facilitate Christian caregives in community (see diagram)
CareSA will with the necessary support, develop a model for Christian Church Voluntarism Care and Counsel Model (See diagram)
CareSA will act as a bridge/link between Churches and Communities in care-giving and community volunteers.
CareSA will co-operate with other care groups and volunteer organisations in the advancement of the concept of self development through Voluntarism
CareSA declares itself subject to the Christian Church, the Word of God, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Contact Co-ordinator :
The years between 1994 and 2000 saw the enthusiam for Nelson Mandela’s dream for a new united South Africa take on the form of many new endeavours, initiatives and visions. One such endeavour was Chrisnet – the Christian Church Welfare and Development Network, comprising of the social welfare desks of various Churches and Christian organisation. Chrisnet played an unifying role, bringing Christians together to seek out ways in which to assist the process of the welfare and development of the people, especially those living in poverty. The call and the need for inclusivity had been heard.
These were years of shedding off the old cloak of exclusivity and putting on a new cloak of inclusivity, of redefining welfare and development. These years were a wrestling with the metamorphosis needed in becoming a new nation; setting a foundation for those who wanted to bring a vital and valuble contribution to build a new South Africa. Chrisnet drew co-hearted Christians together, but very sadly, missed its opportunity to really develop its full potential, and its intentions faded after a few years.
However one of its congruents carried a spark for a caring South Africa, and in 2000 a small conference met to express the vision of Care South Africa, the Resource Centre for Poverty Alleviation.
The following is a motivation for the establishing of a Christian Resource Centre, and its 2003 Revised Vision Document.
Introduction to Care South Africa : The Christian Resource Centre for Poverty Alleviation
Dear Fellow Worker in Christ,
I have pleasure in introducing you to the concept of The Christian Resource Centre for Poverty Alleviation, which has taken awhile in forming itself, and mainly through the association of many individuals and emering Christian networks.
During 1990 in Bloemfontein, and in association with the then Urban Mission of Dr Skip Krige of the University of the Orange Free State, looking to the well-being of the cities of South Africa, the concept to identify needs and link them to resources began to emerge.
This concept was transferred to Gauteng in 1992 and further obtrusively grew with and in association with Mr. Mourits Read, retired civil engineer of Pretoria and Dr Sas Conradie who has done his doctrate on Christian voluntarism, and the Christian Church Welfare and Development Network (CHRISNET), whose founder members are Dr Dawie Theron of the Diens van Barmhartigheid of the NG Kerk, Dr Johan Mostert of the Welfare desk of the Apostolic Faith Mission Church and Rev Jimmy Palos of the Methodist Church in Southern Africa.
Now during 2000 it has begun to show itself at the Kempton Park Presbyterian Church who has agreed to host the first meeting, towards becoming an independent and neurtral Christian Network for the Body of Christ who wish to offer their gifts and talents in service to their wider community in social development, particular in the area of poverty alleviation; beginning with the Biblical mandate from Matthew 25:34,36
Its main function will be to develop a Christian resource centre with Christian portfolios, and thus serve the Body of Christ as an information centre, with the purpose of linking up Christians who wish to serve, to relevant Christian porfolios and networks. The reason for its existence will be one of Christian co-ordination in social developmnet, which may be developed generically through portfolios, and geographically through the concept of Christian Action Networks (CANS) – a concept of the Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom.
It will in no way infringe on the automony of any Church, Christian ministry or network, but will merely serve as a co-ordinating body, to link associates in social / community development, encourage and motivate Christians to serve their fellow-man, and from time to time be pro-active by organising campaigns and celebrations, to bring attention to poverty alleviation, or disaster relief.
We wish you to know of this service to the Body of Christ, and that you will make yourself and your ministry known to us so that we may link you in to the Christian Resource Centre – in short “CareSA” for it is the compassion of Christ that identifies, compels and unites us to serve, and so perhaps make more of an impact on the hopelessness and lostness of our dark and desperate world.
In particular we hope that it will strengthen your ministry, and avoid duplication of service in any given region. Our prayer is : Christians unite for action and interaction !
We look forward to hearing from you, and to a conference on poverty alleviation in the near future.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
Co-ordinator, CARE SA
Ephesians 3 : 20,21
2000 : Vision Document of Care South Africa – The Christian Resource Centre for Poverty Alleviation
Toward a National Vision for Poverty Alleviation
Christian synergy is one of the keys that can make an impact on poverty, and effectively attend to Southern Africa’s social developmental needs. The Christian contingent in this society has the potential of playing a very vital role in its social moral and spiritual developmnet, as the Christian Church is one of South Africa’s richest resources in manpower, professional / lay expertise, goodwill, and Biblical principles that contain spiritual values that will make fundamental and lasting transformation possible, and bring a healing to this land.
Care South Africa wishes to pursue the search for effective Christian synergy – within the broader spectrum of social development, yet with a clear and practical focus on applications to poverty alleviation situations.
3. Vision Content
Care South Africa’s vision contains four main frames of application – develop, promote and initiate the concept of strategies of :
A) Christian portfolios in poverty alleviation – through the “I Care” programme.
B) Christian volunteer service – an extension of the I Care programme.
C) Christian Action Networks (CANS) provincial geographic network for social action
D) Community benefit campaigns – annual campaigns in poverty alleviation.
4. Advisors to Care South Africa
Mrs. Carol Lyle – Founder, Kempton Park.
Mr. Billy Lyle – Bilcor Agencies – Sponsor, Kempton Park.
Mr. Mourits Read, Bsc Eng. MBA SS (SA) Stellenbosch
Dr. Sas Conradie – World In Need Internation, England.
Mrs. Johanna Mathengwe – Community Leader, Tembisa.
5. Co-ordinating Body (2000)
Care South Africa. The Christian Resource Centre for Poverty Alleviation
PO Box 11202 Aston Manor 1630 Tel 011 3952881Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Premises: CareSA Books, Bonaero Centre, Atlad Road, Bonaero Park. Kempton Park
6. Financial Structure
Business account : Absa Bank, Kempton Park.
7. Envisaged Outcome
In the regeneration of the South African society, poverty alleviation and social development is indeed the pivotal place to build the vision.
The three streams of Social, Moral and Spiritual transformation need to be interwoven into the South Afrcian fabric, both separately and yet corporately. To establish such a work all three streams need to be established individually but find common ground to implement plans and strategies – consistenly. Presently there is no structure for a unified Christian structure for poverty alleviation.
This writing serves as a framework for a social regeneration plan done through the filter of a National Christian Poverty Alleviation Plan :
1. The establishment of a recognised infrastructure, through Care South Africa for the administration and mobilisation of Christian action in poverty alleviation campaigns and social action programme.
2. The promotion and introduction of the Biblically based I Care programme will provide a proto type for mobilisation of Christian action at local and regional level.
3. The Christian Volunteer Service should be developed through the advancement of the I Care programme and Cans concept, and be a human resource factor for poverty alleviation, social and disaster relief action.
4. The formation of CANS (Christian Action Networks) for utilisation as a national strategy, that can be encouraged at provincial levels, and be activated in cases for national and disaster relief exercises.
5. Christians in social service will result in Christian growth, increased faith in God Almighty, joy in the service of Christ – brining fulfilment, and good mental health.
6. People in need, and in poverty, will experience God’s goodness, goodwill and be encouraged, and have some of their needs met in a myriad of ways.
7. The Care South Africa vision will result in a unified Christian vision culminating in the establishment of The South African Christian Trust for Poverty Alleviation (SACT) wherein Christian ministries in the forefront of poverty and social actions can be assisted and encourage to enlarge and improve their continued serves to communities in need.
Mobilising and utilising the wonderful resource that Christ has provided through the committed Christian’s compassion and care, makes sense in a land in which the long and dark shadows of immorality, corruption and violent crime against innocent people looms larger and larger – a land that is in a moral crisis, social despair and in need of spiritual revival.
8. Budget Proposal – 2004 150,000
Resource Centre : Administration, Operations 36,000
Concepts Development 40,000
Community Benefit Campaigns : The Care Bag 74,000
9. Action Plan – 2004
1. Assign a part time Concept Co-ordinator to :
Promote the I Care Programme at Churches
Promote the Cans concept at national level
Initiate the Christian Volunteer Service
Link with accredited Christian ministries.
2. Organise Community Benefit Campaigns.
3. Arrange discussion groups/plan on poverty issues.
10. Visual of an I Care Programme : see attached
Poverty is Southern Africa’s number one challenge, and has to be addressed by the whole of our society – especially so by the followers of Jesus Christ, who are compelled by His compassion, to take practical action in the alleviation of poverty. New structures and paradigms are needed to meet the overwhelming social conditions we are faced with in this continent. Broad approaches which include the emotional and the spiritual aspects of the human condition need to be addressed and plans implemented with patience, consistency and tolerance.
It is hope that Care South Africa will be instrumental in ushering in a National Christian Poverty Alleviation Plan, with co-hearts who wish to see the love of Christ bring healing and wholeness to our nation – and the Christian faith laying the foundation of love on which a new nation can build a new future.
“Nobody can force a single soul to turn to Christ. All we can do is lift Him up before the world, bring Him into the dingy places and dark corners of the earth where He is unknown. Introduce Him to everyone, and live so closely with Him, and in Him that others may see that there really is such a person as Jesus.” Author unknown.
Ephesians 3 :20.21
Now to Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
THE INTEGRATED CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME ( I CARE)
Based on Matthew 25: 34,36
Establishing an “I Care” Programme.
1. Assign a Facilitating Co-ordinator for the Programme.
2. Identify Portfolio Co-ordinators for social concerns.
3. Each Portfolio develops own strategies, and recruits volunteers/caregivers.
4. Meet regularly to pray, report back, and implement strategies.
5. Introduce a Practical Pantry e.g. the collection / distribution of food, clothing blankets, wool, material, garden equipment, seeds etc. as a local resource centre for community projects, outreaches and even disaster relief.
6. Affiliate to CareSA Community Network for information and communication.
7. Campaign with other local Churches to combine and form regional CANS, (Christian Action Networks) to avoid duplication and share resources.
2007 : CareSA Community Network
At the end of 2001 CareSA Books, a Christian Bookshop, began operating in the quiet suburb of Bonaero Park, near the then Johannesburg International Airport. This is where some of the above visions and dreams were kept on hold, but when their reality began to fade, and networking seemed to become the trend of the time, the CareSA Community Network took shape.
The following is an overview of some of the activities, initiatives, campaigns and projects that were conducted from the CareSA Bookshop.
2000 – Care South Africa Consultation – seeking Christian synergy.
2001 – CareSA Bookshop opened.
2002 – Open Your Hand wide to the Poor & Needy – collect & distribute.
2003 – The Care Bag – collect & distribute food in a Care Bag for those in need.
2004 – CareSA Foundation Fund concept.
2005 – Focus on Health and Own business concepts.
Let’s Talk – community discussions groups held at the CareSA bookshop.
2006 – Bring a blanket / Bring a can – collect & distribute.
2007 – 1,000 Little Deeds of Kindness – Community involvement in knitted squares for blankets, wider community involvement.
CareSA Community Network – presence established on Internet.
2008 – Have a Heart campaign – collect & distribute food.
The Care Bag for Community Development : containing food plus an Envelope of veggie seeds for a food garden included in the bag.
The Craft Project – sale of hand painted shopping bags to promote a work ethic for those willing to earn money.
2009 – The Food Garden Project : growing vegetables in the Church grounds.
Two Can Campaign – food for the Destitute.
Care SA Food Garden Project at the Gateway Church in Kempton Park. in which Craig Lyle prepared and assisted in sowing and reaping, and giving of the vegetables to soup kitchens in the region.
2010 – CAN Kempton Park – Christian networking for poverty alleviation. The Care Africa Bag – Commodities, Hope Seed Envelopes and Bibles made available – for Care Garden – The Care Africa Movement project.
2011 – The Love Tub – collection of toiletries for families of flooded Squatter camps.
The Red Beanie Kindness Brigade – Community knitting beanies for children in poverty areas.
2012 – Care Africa Bag sent to “Care Lesotho”, and “Care Botswana” with veggies seeds and warm Beanies for children.
– Writings on a holistic vision for a New South Africa Society – NEWSAS Vision.
Seed Envelopes and Care Bags with Bibles for the Care Africa project.
“Grow a garden in your yard
Grow a garden in your heart “
2011 Durban :
2013 – Link with Soul Action / Integral Mission Consultation in Durban.
Promoting food gardens.
CareSA Designs – entrepreneurial crochet craft enterprise.
Entrepreneural Development Focus Group – Soul Action, Durban.
2014 – Hope Market at Grace Church and elementary business skills workshops.
CareSA Designs marketing at various Christmas and Craft Markets.
2015 – Blog established on the Internet – https://caresafoundation.wordpress.com
Thoughts on SOCX (Social Caring vision for civil societies) – envisioned from the Democracy Development Programme’s conference on Civil Society.
2016 – Blogging and collating the SA Writings for the CareSA Foundation Blog.
2007 : NEWSAS – THE NEW SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIETY
This vision was born from the passion for the new South Africa, and from the Word of God found in Mark 2:22
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.
It lay dormant for awhile, but was sparked by an article in a national newspaper written in 2010 by Mr Bobby Godsell, on building the next Economic National Dialogue, which could shape a new shared vision or dream. He asked : “What kind of country do we want to be, going into the future?” – with the heading “Create a shared vision and act on it – or again face the ring of fire.”
The following is my response to that article, never published, till now.
RESPONSE TO A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE BY BOBBY GODSELL IN THE STAR NEWSPAPER
The heading caught my attention : “Create a shared vision and act on it – or again face the ring of fire”. It had the same echo in it as another heading I had read : “New thinking is needed in South Africa”
May these whispers of thought, like frail filmsy clouds gather momentum, and form a huge rain cloud that will pour down on a new South Africa, bringing newness and showers of lasting blessings on all South Africans.
I add my dream too, for a new vibrant and healthy South Africa.
The dream is called NEWSAS – the New South African Society.
The developed ability to see opportunity and work holistically, to create a new society is priority to the development of a society as a whole.
In other words we need to consider all the elements of the whole, and develop as a whole Society.
South Africa with all its magnificent diversity, has at this present time in world history the unique challenge to create a new nation, a model on which other emerging nations can model or re-mould themselves t ocreate a better contintent.
The voices on global care and climate change loudly whisper that new innovations and new lifestyles will have to be found to benefit the planet. Nature demands that conscience be given to education and development in Environmental care.
In his article, Bobby Godsell mentions the Economic National Dialogue will create a platform for great conversation in South Africa. This may clarify a vision for the Economy, – and certainly one is needed. Viewing the whole specturm of the global economy may bring the new thinking : Let us take a view from the top – but not lose sight of those who are unemployed and the destitute.
An over-arching view may look something like this :
* the complex global markets
* the governmental state’s greed, mismanagement and wealth disappearance
* troublesome and hungry parastatals
* corporate business, and other levels of business in South Africa
* micro business
* entrepreneurial enterprises
* community markets – a new survival phenonmena
* the unemployed, the desperate
* the destitute – street people living in hopelessness,mental and spiritual decay.
A new vision for a New Economy must make room for all levels of our societies.
The whole spectrum of the economy should not only be for the rich the famous and the greedy, but be broadened to include those lower entrepreneurial initiatives.
This will enthuse the ordinary South African, trying to survive economically, to get
producing and to get manufacturing – thus creating capacity for a new Emerging Economy at the level of ordinary people in community, and bring with it a “work ethic”.
Echoing the writing of Bobby Godsell, ‘a new economic vision that will take South Africa to a developed nation, and not a developing country and so include growth that transforms social realities,’ adds value and not greed management.
The new economic vision is only but part of the whole picture of building a new nation.
It is not the only pillar that a new South Africa will stand on. As challenging as the New Economic pillar is – with its great appetite for wealth power and progress – sight must not be lost of the whole picture. The experts will dialogue, form visions and stategies, take action and move the wheels onward to economic progress, but end up building a house of cards. More than a New Economy is needed !!
The Welfare of the state of the nation is in need of an overhaul. Serious and large endorsing, supporting structures for community organization and the civil society need to be inclusive of this portfolio for a Nation’s development. Room has to be made for the “little people” – as in the Economic Pillar so too room needs to be created for civil society active in community service. Community-caring is not the lame duck of a nation’s psyche, it is the soul of any nation.
It is the continuous heart beat of the nation that will keep it alive and well. In short it is the emotion (soul) element needed to make up the whole !
South Africa’s greatest resource is not its gold or government, it is its people – caring people who add value to other people.
Creating recognised room for caring civil society – with decisive support structures, may even result in creating jobs from community service. This pillar must be provided for in the whole vision of a new South African Society, even resulting in the development of a new kind of leadership !
Undoubtedly the Moral Pillar that imbibes a nation’s moral fibre, is essential for sustainability, equality and true progress. The development of the whole person will constitue the development of the whole naion. I once read when you want to make a quantum leap (as South Africa will need to do, as it shapes its place in a new history) you need to make small fundamental changes that have the capacity for gigantic change and lasting transformation. Dr James Richards in his book Breaking the Cycle gives an example of the atomic bomb as quantum change “For years man devised weapons of mass destruction by attempting to make larger bombs, bigger explosions. But at the end of the World War ll the concept of quantum-change rocked the world. The atomic bomb brought staggering consequences – and it was the result of splitting the atom Massive change happens by affecting the smallest parts. Changing the moral fibre of our nation is the quantum leap that will reap the results we want for a new South African Society.
How then to bring moral fibre to a nation ? Dialogue will be needed. The religious leaders, the politicians, the theologians can talk, define morals and morality – as they do, and the result will bring a documented resolution. That is not enough. Careful on-going praying, planning, dialoguing and positive action with practical projects will be needed to win this war. In truth, even that is not totally enough, for it will take a change of the individual’s heart to bring about the quantum leap to moral transformation, and that will require a new spiritual birth !
If the moral fibre of the nation is left unattended, it will leave South Africa undone ! We will become another statistic of the African continent’s inability to provide good governance; and the opportunity to become the continent of plenty – plenty in morals, plenty in soul and caring, plenty in economy – the hope to leave poverty in the past, will sadly be lost !!
So, as the first Economic regeneration pillar needs to support and embrace the second Social regeneration pillar, the whole sprouting from the third Moral Regeneration pillar, which needs to be given the first place and not the last, as the true foundation of moral righteous living will hold the New South African Society in suspension to fulfill its God given destiny in Africa, and indeed globally.
“Your time has come South Africa” – as the new song goes in preparation of the great world cup soccer event that will be hosted by South Africa in 2010. May this song resound in the hearts of all South Africans, especially so in those hearts which dare to dream for a better, and a New South African Society.
New wineskins for a new nation, – this is my dream for South Africa… it is possible !
Be encouraged, residents of NEWSAS from the unfathomable wisdom of Almighty God
found in :
Ephesians 3 : 20,21
Now unto Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Visual of NEWSAS VISION
Developing CareSA Designs through products and markets.
Kzn Christmas Craft Market, Hillcrest – 2016
CareSA Designs’ Entrepreneurial project…”going from poverty to progress”
Visit and be inspired at https://caresafoundation.wordpress.com/caresa.designs
for more pictures and writings.