A new initiative has been launched in Mandela Park to equip people to have a better understanding of the Bible and to train others for ministry.

HOPE TRAINING COURSE, based at Mandela Park Community Church in Khayelitsha, was launched on 9 Febru­ary.

Hope was born out of a vision to see young Christian leaders raised up for the Western Cape and beyond. In this, we are standing on the shoulders of several ministers in this region who have been and remain committed to training.

Hope is currently aimed at men and women who are in the 18–35 age group (although we currently have a 40-year-old onboard) and are thoroughly in­volved in serving in their local church or in a Christian organisation, often in a training role at some level.

We are very grateful to have 13 stu­dents, most of whom are apprentices, nine of whom are from CESA churches. It has been especially encouraging to see a couple of churches identifying and sending apprentices for the first time. Of the remaining four students, three are from Christian organisations based in Khayelitsha, and one is at­tached to a Cape Town student minis­try. We have intentionally set up Hope as an independent ministry in an at­tempt to train others from outside the denomination. We are praying, there­fore, for more and more students from Khayelitsha and the Cape Flats.

With GWC on our doorstep, the need is not for another Bible college, but for a resource that is ‘light on its feet’ in terms of cost, staffing and time commitment from students. Our aim is to provide accessible, affordable and practical training, which not only es­tablishes convictions about the gospel and Word-based ministry, but tools to train others in ministry. Hope has not been founded to replace training and mentoring in the local church, respon­sibilities which remain with the church or Christian organisation leader, but rather to motivate and resource.

The core of the course is concerned with passing on Bible-handling tools, how to interpret different Bible liter­ary genres, and orientating students in the Scriptural narrative via an OT Over­view. We also deal with applying Bible teaching and doctrines to our diverse context, as well as explicit ministry and leadership skills. Each week includes one very hands-on session where stu­dents lead a Bible study or give a Bible talk and receive feedback.

In all our training and fellowship, our prayer is that students will be equipped and inspired with a love for the Bible in such a way that they become passion­ately committed, in a sustainable way, to living it out in their own lives and to teaching it in their specific contexts.

The course is facilitated by Phumezo Masango (Mandela Park), Vuyani Sindo (Holy Trinity) and Chris de Witt (The Message), and assisted by JP Harper (St Paul’s Stellenbosch), with the invalu­able support of their local churches. We meet once a week on a Wednesday from 8.30–2.30pm.

If you are interested in finding out more please drop Chris an email on chrisdewitt@themessage.org.za or call on 072 086 3627.

If you can make it to Khayelitsha on a Wednesday during term time, we’d love you to come and spend a morning with us to experience Hope first hand.