Rural Mission Fields
Some 21 years ago I heard rumours that children were starving to death in Mozambique refugee camps up in the Giyani district in the North Eastern border area of South Africa. Rose of Sharon had been focussing its attention on the desperately poor squatter communities that had sprung up around the city limits of Johannesburg. Whenever we hear of children suffering, we have no peace and feel obliged to attempt, in God’s strength, to try to bring a measure of relief where possible. On investigating the rumours we discovered that they were true and prayerfully set about establishing long distance feeding schemes in an attempt to restore them to a reasonable physical condition.
Just as happened in the urban mission fields, word spread about the ministry and assistance we were providing and desperate pleas for aid began to filter through to us via the bush telegraph from other remote rural villages. We looked to the Lord for his provision of additional resources and for wisdom to know where to respond.
From those early years in the refugee camps, which were later closed down, our rural mission fields expanded to en
compass Ngobe, Siyandani, and Kakhala villages in the Giyani district; Bent Mutale, Tshikuyu and Dhovo villages in the Pafuri district; Dennilton in the erstwhile Kwa Ndebele; Izingolweni, Richard’s Bay, St. Lucia, Pongola and Jolzini in Kwa Zulu Natal, Sir Lowrey’s Village in the Cape and George, Knysna and Graaf Reinette in the Eastern Cape.
As we travelled vast distances from one area of ministry to another, we encountered large numbers of needy, hungry children and destitute, homeless old folks along the roadside. Soon our roadside ministry developed, where we now share the gospel with thousands of needy children and hundreds of destitute old folks. Because of their extreme, urgent needs, we provide assistance to many of these folks in the form of food, clothing, blankets, crisis relief funds and bibles always together with the gospel good news of salvation in Jesus.
Rose of Sharon’s ministry in the rural areas began in 1988 when we learned of the suffering of children in the impoverished rural villages in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. Working with some missionaries based there, we established feeding schemes over long distances, which helped alleviate the situation. Those missionaries left and we then continued alone. Clothing and other aid was/is also provided. This ministry expanded over the years to equal our urban ministry in extent. Churches were planted in certain poor communities while other existing poor churches were supported and nurtured. Rose of Sharon has been involved over the past five years in helping to fund the building of churches in five rural communities in Ngobe and Kakhala villages in the Giyani district and at Bent Mutale and Dhovo villages in the Pafuri district and in Dennilton, Mpumalanga. We continue to minister and provide aid resources to these and other places in the Kwa Zulu Natal, Cape and Eastern Cape Provinces.