South Africa: Pretoria church caters for physical and spiritual needs

South Africa: Pretoria church caters for physical and spiritual needs

Date: June 28, 2011
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As a church, Pretoria Central Baptist Church understands that a human’s needs are not just spiritual but physical. Jesus demonstrated this by both preaching and feeding the 5000 hungry people who had gathered to listen to His message of salvation.

Pretoria Central Baptist church is a multicultural church with around 27 nationalities represented. Each social group represents different unique needs. Among these are elderly who need special care; students; refugees; orphans; and the poor. Some of the poor come from the streets, knocking at the church gate to ask for food. Out of love and concern for the needy, the church tries to attend to them by giving them whatever small amount is available.

My name is Christine Vumisa and I am from Zambia. I became involved in care work at Pretoria Central Baptist Church because I have personally experienced the tragedy of HIV and AIDS. I have lost four brothers to sicknesses related to HIV and AIDS.

The church does not have a lot of resources to meet all the needs of the people. It does not receive any kind of funding from government or funding organisations. But dedicated members of the church have committed themselves to donate regularly to the various kinds of needs in the church.

People donate in four categories: food parcels, meals, donated clothes or money for those in critical financial need. I am responsible for preparing the food parcels. My responsibility is to draw a list of food stuffs required. People then choose the type of food they want to donate. When the food is donated it is put in a big grocery box. People are sensitised about this through the church bulletin and announcements. The list is placed on the table in the foyer for everyone to sign up.

The parcels are packed twice, every second and fourth week of the month. There are three of us involved with packing. We pack about 15 to 17 parcels a month. Whenever food parcels are ready for distribution it is my responsibility to inform the Pastor about it and they are then distributed to the vulnerable who have requested help.

The beneficiaries of these food parcels are some of the elderly in the church, refugees, unemployed, sick, orphans and homeless people. These parcels are given to the people on Sundays after Church service and during the week. Sometimes church elders deliver food parcels to those who had not come to church due to various problems. This is usually done during the routine visitation program. People receive food parcels by request and also by identifying the vulnerable in the church. Some people are shy they often do not make their needs known. So by identifying the needy in the church, every vulnerable person is given a chance to be helped by the church. But the street people (homeless and street kids) come directly to the church to ask for help.

Food parcels are given to approximately 20 to 30 people every month depending on the volume of food donated.

The church is also concerned about the welfare of the young people. The Women’s Department, for example, has various programmes that include mentorship and counselling for the youths. Each woman who belongs to the women’s fellowship has a mandate to mentor at least one or two girls. We talk about values and issues pertaining to HIV and AIDS.

I also look after the orphans left behind by my four dead brothers. Friends at church and other well wishers donate second-hand clothes that I give to other orphans in Zambia.

The challenges I face are mostly related to the orphan kids I help to care for in Zambia. The orphans live in remote areas where transport is a big problem. Many of these children do not attend school because it is too expensive.

This “I” Story is part of the Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service special series on care work.

7 thoughts on “South Africa: Pretoria church caters for physical and spiritual needs”

Evelyn says:

I am woman I m not working life for me is not good

Thomas Tembo says:

Am looking job am Thomas tembo from malawi am member of your church baptism my phone number 0027814019202

Tokoloho Patrick Lesia says:

Hi I’m Pastor Lesia I need help with food parcel donation at my church I have people who are really in need of help or please transfer me where you think I would get help 🙏

Maggie Nancy Selowa says:

i’m Maggie from Soshanguve Hope of Glory Ministry who really need donation of food parcel for needy people, chairs and table

Sibongile Maria Mavuso says:

Dear sir/madam
My name is Sibongile maria Mavuso the owner of one nation day care center in tjovitjo phase 1 drieziek 10 orange farm gauteng jhb south Africa I need u help with anything that you can help me and my children and the community with I have older people they come to me for help asking for food and I do give but is not enough please help me and God bless you and your family

Sibongile Maria Mavuso says:

I need help

Siphwe Mvelase says:

Morning,my name is Siphiwe from Pretoria,we are having a challenge, government put us in a flat during the time of covid 19 when it started and are more than 150 people staying.some are those who lost their jobs and others were from the street.government have been providing meals for us three time a day and the past three weeks they suddenly stop and people have starving.we kindly request for your assistance with regards even if it meals or food parcels.thank you in advance for your swift response and consideration.

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