The Comrades Marathon (90km) is widely recognised as the world’s oldest and largest ultramarathon. It was first run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in 1921 to remember the comrades who died in World War 1.2021 is the Comrades Centenary but it cannot be run due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual run of varying distances will be run around the world on 13 June instead.
In the providence of God, as I look back over John Newby’s (‘Doc’ to his students who loved and him) incredibly important and meaningful life, I am reminded of a brief conversation I had with him as a student, some 25 years ago, wherein I suggested God had not called him to be a bishop because He had bigger ideas: The singular call to influence generations of future Bible teachers and bishops!
We often say that God is in control, but we lose sight of the fact that he doesn’t place at the top of his agenda that everyone should live comfortably and happily. That is how it is until God steps in. The pandemic has swept through the continent of Africa and cut short many dreams and hopes. Why is God so hard on us?
In recent years, I have seen and heard a constant criticism of Christianity by young black millennials within the South African context as being a white man’s religion. While one may not fully understand the motive behind this statement, on the surface it appears to be informed by two factors that unfortunately lack historical accuracy. The first being that Christianity only arrived in Africa in the 1600s, and the second that Africa has not had any contribution in shaping the Christian faith, and thus the Christian faith is foreign to this beautiful land.
Getting Ready for Africa’s harvest: Theological Education as a Tool for Gospel Transformation in Africa
You may have heard, or not, but there is a shift of Christianity’s nucleus from the north to the global south (that includes Africa). This shift started at the beginning of the 20th century. You may also have heard about, have read or will be reading the 2019 United Nations’ population report, projecting that by the year 2100 the population in Africa would have quadrupled. Taken together, these two factors reveal the need for the church in Africa to be prepared for a great harvest.
Thank you for your support of Explore through prayer, payments or partnership, helping us to provide the programme in more African countries each year. Even with COVID upon us, we had 964 students complete 1564 modules last year (2020). We also held graduations in three different locations for 38 students.
Our God is a sending God, a missionary God. And it is very important that we understand this – the Christian mission is based not simply on a few of our favourite verses like the great commission, it is based on the nature of God himself. And we must remember that it is not the church or mission organisations that send missionaries, it is God who sends his church into his world to bear witness to him. We need to grasp the full biblical basis for the Christian mission. We need a Biblical Theology of mission.
It’s almost Christmas! A very special time in the life of the Christian Church as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. A time when we are reminded that God sent his Son to save us. The Incarnation declares that the divine Jesus is truly human. Stop! Please think about that for a moment. Jesus is fully human! This truth gives us as humans a deep and solid sense of dignity. All humans, black and white, male and female, rich and poor are not only created in God’s image but we share this humanness with Jesus Himself. Wow! May God help us to treat each other with dignity, courtesy, respect and love.
Winds of change have been blowing unabated since late March through our simulated hallways of learning. Seemingly thrown into a very difficult situation by the nation-wide lock-down, GWC faculty turned their attention to online teaching. In the space of a week, each faculty member was conducting his or her module using a digital platform. The student body, half of which had remained in residence, faithfully took up the challenge of attending classes, conducting various exercises and tutorials and even writing open book exams in this new way.
On The [Virtual] Couch With GWC Alumni In The Field – Rev Musa Ntinga – Lead Pastor at Christ Central Soweto
We asked Rev Musa Ntinga, Lead Pastor at Christ Central Soweto in Gauteng, South Africa for his insights on ministering during the coronavirus pandemic, learning how studying at GWC equipped him for ministry, particularly during a global crisis.
In a Q&A with Andre Kruger, Lead Pastor at Emmanuel Church in Port Elizabeth, South Africa we learned how the Emmanuel church community and gospel ministry has adapted over the COVID-19 lockdown.
While I was at college I had an opportunity to examine Explore, the GWC correspondence course, and an interest was started in me. I had come across a wide variety of discipleship material but most of them seemed to be focused on a single aspect of ministry, such as leadership, worship or some other distinctive. The uniqueness of Explore is that its genius is the Bible.
The coronavirus struck Explore like a thunderstorm, and little did we know the impact it would have. All project plans for the year were cancelled, as these all involved travel and contact with potential facilitators.
We spoke to the GWC students to get to the heart of what it has been like to study, write exams, stay involved in ministry and not see their families over lockdown. Here is a selection of student insights into life and study during the corona pandemic.
In January, we were so pleased that 2020 was mapped out, with breakfasts, outreach and travel plans all ready to execute. Then, suddenly, we found ourselves in lockdown, with larger fundraising goals owing to the global economic meltdown and no way of realising our carefully prepared plans. How were we to get to know people without tea and coffee and dinner and the usual social norms?
For many years to come, 2020 will be remembered as the year of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, South African Christians, together with the rest of the country’s population and many others throughout the world, have been in lockdown. We have been separated from our families and our fellowship has been reduced to pixelated talking heads and distorted voices. While it might seem that there is not much to do except wait while the virus works its way through the population, there are at least three things that Christians might do in response to the pandemic.
Principal Matters – The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Things that change and things that stay the same
Klaus Schwab, who founded the World Economic Forum (WEF), has coined the phrase ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (4IR).
The Rev. Claude Barnardo’s working career spanned a period of fifty years and included Accounting, Bible training at the Bible Institute of South Africa (BISA) and church ministry. He retired in...
Christ Church Midrand got its first serious exposure to Explore in 2015. Our involvement was a by-product of an incredible work of God in Mozambique, where to date close to 30 churches have been...
Explore has set foot in Nigeria, thanks to the passion for the gospel of Rev. Samuel Chukwuemeka Okoli (JP). During a short visit to GWC as a research fellow, he looked through the Explore material...