During summer 2019, I was able to participate, through UFM, in a Bible College Placement with an organisation called MusaweNkosi in South Africa.

The organisation was set up by Gavin and Elaine Charlton , UFM associates, and
works in two areas: Entoyeni and Nseleni. The word MusaweNkosi means ‘God’s grace’ in Zulu, thus, MusaweNkosi endeavours to practically show and to verbally share God’s grace within these communities.

During my time in South Africa God blessed me with several ministry opportunities; from practical work in a children’s home to spiritual teaching in a local church context. Additionally, I had the opportunity to lead a summer team from Ballymena Baptist Church, Northern Ireland. With the team, we were able to run three Holiday Bible clubs, engage with the rural community through various outreach activities and to encourage local congregations.

There have been many highlights during my time in South Africa, however, two shine forth. First, with the team from Ballymena Baptist, we had the privilege of serving elderly people food and bringing God’s word to them. This was an amazing experience and all of us shared the experience of Christ: to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45).

Secondly, from the 12th-16th August I had the privilege of lecturing rural pastors at a bible course that runs in connection with Empangeni Baptist church. This was an unexpected opportunity, yet, a worthwhile experience. The Holy Spirit empowered me to teach on the doctrine of Christ, specifically his person and works. I was given given many titles: ‘pastor’, ‘man of God’, and now ‘professor’…!

Overall my time in South Africa was amazing and I am thankful to God for all the people I met, relationships formed and the opportunities given. As I reflect upon my time, the words of Jesus cry out, “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37).

I would value your prayers for the continued work of MusaweNkosi, in particular I would ask that you pray that God would raise up servants who could come and partner with the work here. Additionally, pray that the local believers would hold fast to Christ and Christ alone!

Alex Stephenson is a student at the Irish Baptist College