In The Heart of the Refugee Crisis

You know there are many things I love about PI, but I think each trip I take I cherish the stories of how God is using PI students to reach the forgotten places of the world. Let me paint a picture for you of Sarah’s* journey.

Political unrest and severe drought have combined to create a dire situation for millions needing work in Africa. Currently, there is a mass exodus of people heading to Vredendal, South Africa, with the hope of finding work so they can send financial support back to their starving families. Sarah is a young, 18-year-old girl desperate to feed her 1-year-old son. She makes the painful decision to leave her baby with family in Zimbabwe to travel roughly 1,200 miles to find employment.

Political unrest and severe drought have combined to create a dire situation for millions needing work in Africa.

When she arrives in Vredendal, she is one in thousands competing for an insufficient pool of jobs. After searching unsuccessfully for a job, Sarah discovers the city she traveled to is also experiencing severe drought, and employment is more scarce than expected. The only place she can afford to rent is literally enough space to lay her head down in a tin shack shared with 6+ strangers in a farming village in Vredendal, South Africa. As unproductive weeks go by shame and guilt envelope Sarah, coupled with hunger, hopelessness sets in.

In the same village, the Lord is using our good friend Pastor Gary Makamba to minister to the refugees coming daily for relief. He works nonstop to minister to people experiencing the same hopelessness as Sarah. Seeing the massive need, Pastor Gary began to identify the emerging leaders to help in the struggle. He heard about our schools and started to bring these broken, hopeless people to be trained for ministry in his new church plant. Now all of his leaders have been taught in PI Schools and are powerfully equipped to reach the refugee farmers for Christ in massive numbers.

One of these leaders is a man named Baard. Baard is quick to smile and eager to tell anyone about Christ. His passion is the most contagious I’ve ever experienced. When Pastor Gary found him searching for work and needing hope, Baard excitedly grasped onto all Jesus has to offer and started training in the PI Schools. This last year, Baard went back to the farms he formerly worked to lead 35 people to Christ and counting.

Thanks to Pastor Gary’s vision to train emerging leaders to reach the world around them, Sarah has embraced our Lord and is now receiving healing in Pastor Gary’s church. This process of training leaders to take the good news into the world around them is not only reaching a farming village in the middle of nowhere, but also the nations.

Now all of his leaders have been taught in PI Schools and are powerfully equipped to reach the refugee farmers for Christ in massive numbers. 

How will the good news reach the multitude of farmers who are moving to Vredendal? Through men with a vision like Pastor Gary and emerging leaders like Baard! The work you and I do through Prepare International is hugely impactful. Your involvement in PI has never been more critical than it is now as the Lord expands our borders and takes us to new lands to spread the reality of the Kingdom. Thank you for all you do to support PI. I stand in awe at your impact around the world.

*Sarah’s name has been changed to protect her privacy

Tommy Hood and Baard Horniman from Vredenal, South Africa

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