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Throughout October and for part of November Phil Bowyer and Jill Duncan – Soul Action’s Youth work Coordinator – were driving a group of people around the city visiting projects / churches from the Soul Action Network, studying poverty and justice in the bible together, and exploring participative approaches to church, mission and development.
For our first session we visited Indlela who offer Life Skills, a Literacy Project, an abandoned babies home, counseling, and feed 5,000 children from an settlement of 80,000 people. We looked at God’s plan for creation in Genesis, how His image has become scratched by poverty, and some of the ways Jesus asks us to respond in Luke 4.
In week 2 we visited Umuzi Wethemba KwaJesu a place of hope where people living with the affects of HIV, Aids and TB are cared for and empowered. Umuzi runs a clinic, support groups, home-based care, Voluntary Counseling and Testing, and Life skills programmes in schools, farms and businesses. As a group we explored how Jesus’ approach to mission generally encourages participation from those He encounters.
On week 3 we spent the day at Seed of Hope, a community upliftment project providing AIDS education and testing, care for the terminally ill, after school programs, skills development, and other social initiatives. We considered how our view of mission influences our activity, how Jesus grew in Luke 2, and what we all need to live and grow holistically.
We visited Paran, an inner city church for refugees on week 4 and thought about early images of church – particularly Jesus’ teaching in Matt 5 – and how this compares to contemporary models of church.
For our final week together we visited LIV a purpose build village for 800 orphaned & vulnerable children. We looked back at the projects and churches we’d visited during the course, thought about good principles of development, and Jesus’ invite to follow Him everyday.