Signs of God’s new world
Rather than start something new – immediately – Soul Action began in 2007/08 by recording how God was already at work, visiting over 100 organisations throughout the municipality of eThekwini, an area covering 2,292 sq km with a popn. of 3.5 million. As well as developing an understanding of the main ISSUES facing almost 80,000 people and the ACTIVITIES of 22,000 staff and volunteers, Soul Action’s co-founders Phil and Rachel Bowyer heard people’s fears concerning duplication, frustration and isolation – these ‘gaps’ would lead to Soul Action’s first gathering in April 2008.
“So Christians can combat the oppressive structures of the powers of sin and death – which in our world cry out for God’s world of justice and peace – only by accounting for the hope that is in them (1 Pet 3:15) and by being agitators for God’s coming reign; they must erect, in the here and now and in the teeth of those structures, signs of God’s new world” (Bosch 2011:179).
Celebrate what God’s doing
As a result of first celebrating what God is doing and then responding to the gaps, Soul Action facilitates various types of ‘space’ where Christians who are passionate about integral mission can gather to network, train and work together to address cognitive, physical, spiritual, social and emotional poverty, realising people’s potential in a holistic way. Looking for signs of God and celebrating what He is doing remains foundational to everything Soul Action facilitates today.
During our audit, Soul Action was able to record how many people it takes to serve the poor and marginalised within the eThekwini Municipality.
To keep 135 initiatives going and growing requires the following levels of staffing and volunteers:
A total of 962 are employed by 135 initiatives serving the poor and marginalised across the eThekwini Municipality.
The number of full and part time volunteers is 1,412.
Therefore a total of 2,374 individuals, paid and unpaid, are serving a total of 77,850 people, which represents a ratio of 33 people to every 1 staff member / volunteer.
As part of our 2008 – 2009 audit Soul Action asked each person, project and church we met to state how many children, youth or adults their activities were impacting.
From the 135 initiatives profiled the following people / age groups were identified:
1. Zero to Six Year Olds
The majority of needs being addressed by people, projects and churches within the eThekwini Municipality were amongst 0 to 6 years – a total of 25,706 indviduals.
Adults were the second highest people age / group being impacted in eThekwini with a total of 25,539.
3. Six to 13 year old’s
A total of 14,692 six to 13 year olds are being impacted by the activities of eThekwini people, projects and churches.
In all, a grand total of 77,850 individuals, representing all ages, are being impacted by the activities of people, projects and churches from the eThekwini Municipality.
For details of eThekwini’s main issues:
For details of the main activities in eThekwini: