By Andile Nxele
If one thought that churches only want to gain from their members, they may be making a mistake, as we have an example of a church that is actually giving out to the community. The Methodist Church in Gompo Circuit 340 is an example of such. When their Human Empowerment and Economic Development section, under the guidance of Reverend Xwazi sat, they came up with the idea of empowering their community by reaching out to struggling families.
“You can’t be teaching about John to a person with an empty stomach” He said. The executive of the church then started by identifying struggling families from their 5 outstations which stretch as far as Leaches Bay and Phumlani. The families were first given groceries. Later the strategy was changed, and a decision was reached to hand over 1500 seedlings of different vegetables to the communities. Reverend Xwazi made it clear that they do not give out to their church members only but also to non-members as well.
He feels that people should also take responsibility by looking after the vegetable seedlings they are given and this will stop them from relying on hand outs. This process does not end with the handing over of seedlings, because there is also a follow up by members of the YMG who ensure that the seedlings are actually planted and not sold by the recipients. Reverend Xwazi is proud of what the church is offering to the community.
“We are not a church with a mission, but a church in mission.” He said.
His church chose not to open when other churches were allowed to open. They remained closed but the officials from the church continue to do good work in their communities. He is happy that the church has moved from giving families groceries to supplying them with seedlings. He added that there is yet another project in the pipeline which may involve a once –a- month soup kitchen they are planning with the elders and the women section.
Gompo Circuit 340 also has a section known as “Education and Christian Development “ which is planning to work with the NTU News Education Corner in the near future by assisting the Grade 12 learners of the church.