By Sarah Careins
Developing the National Youth Ministries of South Africa.
The history of South Africa is filled with hatred and prejudice with the Apartheid in the 1990’s. Today’s youth did not experience the Apartheid. This is a new generation that is willing to forgive and see a chance in their nation. I believe this generation will bring the outpouring of the Spirit of God.
“FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS…”God has opened the doors wide to begin youth ministry in South Africa. The leadership of the national church has requested that I not just reach one province, but every province in South Africa. As a single young woman in the culture of South Africa, this is truly the favor of God.
THE HARVEST IS READY! The laborers are few! My heart is to make disciples. As we travel to every province, we are training leaders in youth ministry. Because youth are age 15-35, many of the leaders are “youth” themselves. This age group is more than capable of reaching others for Christ. (I’m in that age group too!) A missionary’s job is to raise up the nationals to carry on the work.
In America, many youth ministries have all the latest entertainment- games, media, and electronics. The one thing that is truly needed is the PRESENCE OF GOD! In South Africa, we don’t have to try to “entertain.” All we need is an encounter with God. We seek to know the Lord through prayer, worship and the Word of God. We also make our God known through servant-hood and evangelism.
With the crisis of HIV/AIDS, our passion is PURITY. Over, 1,000 people die every day in South Africa. Many of the youth have lost their parents to AIDS. The answer to this crisis is purity. When I speak about purity, it is often the first time these young people have ever heard, “…wait until your wedding day and then remain faithful to your spouse.”
I Timothy 4:12 says
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.
The youth can set an example to their nation. Disciples will make more disciples. These youth are the next pastors of South Africa. Someone needs to believe in them now so they can change their tomorrow.
Sarah Careins is an appointed Assemblies of God missionary to South Africa and an alumna from Global University’s Berean School of the Bible. Learn her story at globaluniversity.edu.