As I wrote yesterday, I see 4 avenues of missional engagement with South Africans as the primary ‘currents’ within which I’ll swim as I return to South Africa for the next two years. Here’s the second avenue I see myself engaged in:
2. Transitioning our Community to move into the heart of downtown Pretoria so we can mentor & send South Africans: As a missional community seeking to incarnate within a neighborhood as a redemptive presence for all who we live among, NieuCommunities South Africa will move into the heart of downtown Pretoria in May 2010, specifically a set of neighborhoods that represent a lower-income, cross-pollination of South Africans that are of native South African, Afrikaans (Dutch), and British South African descent. This area is one of a few neighborhoods where South Africans of different ethnicities actually live together, and thus is an area of great promise for us as a missional community. We will work closely in partnership with a number of churches and non-profits located throughout the city, as well as with the large university student population that lives directly in that area.
During our Orientation in mid-February, we traveled down the street to the southern part of Pretoria North (our local city) and visited Huis Judea, a (primarily) Afrikaans ministry that is located in Vollmer, an impoverished, largely marginalized and forgotten neighborhood in the city (especially since the fall of apartheid in 1994). What is fascinating and equally heartbreaking about this neighborhood is that it is almost entirely composed of lower class Afrikaans citizens, a group that is rarely viewed as impoverished. Huis Judea is attempting to stem the tide of poverty and create a welcoming home in this neighborhood that promotes holistic care for its citizens.
I stumbled across some of the most beautiful children I have ever seen. In taking this second photo, a red ball came rolling into the picture at the exact right moment. I was stunned at the beauty of these innocent faces!