“Serving the Community”
This is the key theme that runs through the purpose and work of this White River community church. It is enthusiastically described in conversation with the leadership team of dedicated people, who think deeply about how best to carry out their mission.
It might be surprising to outsiders that the above is a description of the NG Gemeente in White River. For those who benefit from their freely given care and support, as well as the church members, this is reality.
The spiritual home of a significant number of South Africans, the national NGK “brand” of churches is well-known across the country, though not always for the right reasons. Well we have been hugely impressed by their humility and dedicated intention to do the right thing. In this case these good intentions pave a road to the right place because they are turned into reality by good ideas and planning and then of course hard work supported by a generous church family. The church is know locally as an “Oase van Jesusliefde” – an oasis of Jesus love.
The list of activities, care programmes, charity work, courses and discussion groups and care groups, is impressive. The church provides food and support for those in material need on a regular basis. They help directly – and indirectly through funds, time and gifts – those who need special care, a place to stay or to learn. Along with their own projects, much of their work is through joint efforts with other organisations or though supporting existing teams.
The church networks with the following organisations which do great work: Step in Faith, which feeds 3000 AIDS orphans every day and Huis Bethlehem, a place of safety for children.
The church also has what they call the “koskas” which feeds more than 100 hungry families every Monday and they are helping re-establish a kindergarten in Mhsolozi.
They have the following support groups that anyone in the community can attend:
- Caritas helps people who have experienced trauma
- GriefShare is a grief recovery support group
- DivorceCare helps people who are going through a divorce
There is also a range of courses on offer, some for free and all are open to everyone. For example; Bluetooth Ouerskap is about parenting and there is also a small group bridge-building and community programme. More information about these can be found on the church’s website.
Of course, there are the usual fellowship services and a thriving youth meeting every Sunday at 17:00.
The team is humble in response to our questions about all of this good work and they give credit to the generosity of the people of White River. The team consists of Ds Jurgens de Jager, Ds Eddie Le Roux and Ds Nati Stander. Nati is a man who thinks a lot about community and how best to work together. He is interested in connecting rather than competing and in understanding the views of others.
The We Are White River team were blown away by the generosity and the good work that this church is doing in the community of White River and further afield. We left with the feeling we had met with good people with whom we look forward to exploring further the ideas discussed. This gemeente is definitely part of the WE in We Are White River.
Facebook: NG Gemeente Witrivier