South Africa is a large and multiethnic nation that forms the southern section of the African continent. It shares borders with six nations: Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, and completely surrounds Lesotho. South Africa has been an African nation of relatively strong economic and political stability in its very recent past – despite its large geographical size and great number of ethnic groups. There are 11 official languages in South Africa, and they reflect the colonial history of the country including British and Dutch control, as well as the original inhabitants through various Bantu languages such as Northern Sotho and Swazi. Apartheid created tremendous pressures in South Africa throughout the 20th century, with enduring impacts visible on the people and land including brain drain, refugee influx and resource allocation issues.
Location: Southern Africa
Surface Area: 1.22 km2
Population: 54.3 million
Major Cities: Johannesburg (includes Ekurhuleni) 9.399 million; Cape Town (legislative capital) 3.66 million; Durban 2.901 million; Pretoria (capital) 2.059 million; Port Elizabeth 1.179 million; Vereeniging 1.155 million
Major Languages: siZulu (official) 22.7%, IsiXhosa (official) 16%, Afrikaans (official) 13.5%, English (official) 9.6%, Sepedi (official) 9.1%, Setswana (official) 8%, Sesotho (official) 7.6%, Xitsonga (official) 4.5%, siSwati (official) 2.5%, Tshivenda (official) 2.4%, isiNdebele (official) 2.1%, sign language 0.5%, other 1.6%
Colonial History: Under United Kingdom rule
Official Language: 11: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu
TEAM LEADER: Rev. Theuns Pauw
Theuns came onboard as AE South Africa Team Leader on 1st August 2017, with a wealth of ministry experience. He and his wife Charlene having been serving at Shofar Christian Church in Franschhoek for over a decade, and will be relocating to Pietermaritzburg to the AE South Africa office in July 2017. They have three young children, Christiaan, Esther and Reinhart.
A warm, capable person, Theuns is filled with a sense of purpose to see how God can do a “New Thing” at AE South Africa, while remaining faithful to the traditional mission. It is exciting to look ahead to see the things God has in store for AE SA under Theuns!
In South Africa the Foxfires Ministry is dynamic and far reaching. Each year a large number of young people apply to partake in the exciting work of spending a year in ministry to their peers, many of whom have never heard the Gospel before. The beauty of the Foxfire ministry is that a wide range of skills are acquired, to equip the young Foxfires to be strengthened to stand for Christ their whole lives. Each year, the team is selected, and then trained at the AE South Africa base in Pietermaritzburg. They are trained throughout January and February in bible handling and teaching, leading, counselling, and creative presentation styles. If possible, the South African Team will train alongside other Foxfires teams from Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, the DRC and Ethiopia. In 2015, there were 9 young people in the Foxfires team. In 2016, six Foxfires took part in the ministry. This year, in 2017, there are 5 very excited and passionate young adults who have trained and are undertaking ministry projects throughout South Africa and beyond. They have already reached over 1500 children and young people in schools, youth groups and more! Praise God.
Between 2014 and 2016, the AE South Africa Team participated in 23 missions! These missions were a combination of city wide missions and smaller focus missions. A total of 226,902 people were reached, with 8,079 rededicating their lives to Christ, and 12,681 becoming Christians!
In 2014, the focus mission for the year was to the University of Pretoria, and called ‘Fired Up’. Such was the success of the mission, to campus of over 50,000 students, that AE South Africa is determined to make university mission a focus going into the future. Other missions were to Oribi, Knysna, Waterberg and Cape Town.
The ‘Switched On’ mission of 2015 was to the city of Port Elizabeth in the south of South Africa. It was a highly effective event, and so successful that a city wide mission to Livingstone, Zambia was planned for 2016. Other smaller missions involved the Foxfires youth team, based in Pietermaritzburg, and numerous community outreaches.
In 2016, the mission to Livingstone, Zambia went ahead in September, and was a great success. A combination of open-air meetings, morning and evening rallies, and door-to-door preaching saw a great number of people turn to Christ. Stephen Lungu spoke powerfully to close the mission at an open air rally of more than 2,000 people.
In 2017, AE South Africa looks forward to participating in more Foxfire and inner city ministry, as well as supporting other AE missions throughout Africa.
- South Africa is currently experiencing a terrible water shortage crisis, with reports that Cape Town may run out of water by April. Please pray for the Lord to open the heavens and provide the much needed rain for the region, and for people to not lose hope.
- There are a number of university missions planned by AE South Africa in the coming months. Ask God that the Whatsup missions to Grahamstown, Stellenbosch and Cape Town will be planned effectively by the Team under Leader Theuns Pauw.
- Please also pray that the Foxfires youth evangelist programme will be fruitful in 2018, engaging with a great number of children and young people throughout the year.