DECATUR, Ga. — The South Africa Ministry Network of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will host a mission experience in July prior to the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa. The network is inviting Cooperative Baptists to participate in five days of mission engagement with its South African partners from July 15-21.
The South Africa Ministry Network was launched in 2009 by Second Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark., to partner in South Africa alongside CBF field personnel serving HIV/AIDS orphans and their caregivers. Now in its sixth year, the network has helped provide financial support for four partner-funded CBF field personnel in South Africa; provided funding for a volunteer housing block at Refilwe, a South African partner organization that provides a home for orphaned and neglected children; helped provide financial support for medical caregivers at the Refilwe Bophelo clinic, as well as the completion of several other ministry projects.
The network of seven CBF partner churches will lead participants in five days of hands-on mission and cultural immersion experiences. Network congregations taking part in the mission experience include: Second Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.; Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas; Gaston Oaks Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas; First Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tenn.; First Baptist Church, Wilmington, N.C.; Second Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn.; and First Baptist Church Chattanooga, Tenn.
Participants will arrive in Johannesburg July 15 and take part in an orientation session on July 16. From there, mission teams will disburse to three different ministry areas and take part in the following projects:
- Johannesburg — ministry with children through holiday clubs in three local Baptist congregations; light construction and manual labor at up to three local Baptist churches; volunteer opportunities with Door of Hope, a ministry which rescues and provides a temporary home for abandoned, abused and orphaned infants and children.
- Refilwe — ministry with the Refilewe Bophelo medical clinic; volunteer opportunities with the El Roi Baby House, a ministry which rescues and provides a temporary home for abandoned, abused and orphaned infants and children; ministry with at-risk children through a weekly Kids Club and after school program; light construction and manual labor as part of a community development project.
- Winterton — home care visits with medical and spiritual caregivers in rural Winterton; participation in a weekend youth retreat for at-risk children; ministry with children through holiday clubs in community ministry centers and a local congregation; light construction and manual labor projects with a partner church and community ministry partners.
Network organizer Stephen Cook, who serves as pastor of Second Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., emphasized that the five-day mission experience is about “forming together as Christ’s people.”
“The South Africa Ministry Network churches have seen firsthand the good that comes when congregations collaborate with one another, with our field personnel and with local ministry partners in-country,” Cook said. “I hope that churches and individuals interested in taking part this summer will be able to see and sense the impact this has on us all. Coming to South Africa for this experience promises to be much more than a trip. This is an opportunity to experience the power of the Spirit at work bringing people together.”
Following the mission experience, participants will attend the Baptist World Congress of the Baptist World Alliance from July 22-26. The cost for both the mission experience and World Congress is $900. This includes all in-country transportation and lodging for the full two weeks, as well as meals during the mission experience.
Trip participants will also be responsible for their roundtrip airfare and the World Congress registration fee of $250. Any individual or group that signs up to participate will be paired with one of the network’s partner churches. The network is available to help individuals or groups make air travel arrangements.
The deadline for registration for the South Africa Ministry Network mission experience and the Baptist World Congress is April 1. Individuals or church groups interested in participating should contact Stephen Cook at Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org or (901) 682-3395 for additional information and to register.
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support.The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.