We have the following initial aims with this new adventure into Southern Africa:
Firstly, Keith will use his church leadership skills and knowledge to assist the Emmanuel Assemblies with their church leaders' training needs, help plant churches and support the development of their outreach in any way possible. Emmanuel Assemblies are part of Elim Global and were commenced in the 1920's by an Elim Missionary, now having in the region of two hundred plus churches, mainly in rural areas. Currently, Emmanuel Assemblies don't have a central website. Keith will work closely with them developing their leadership training nationally, help to create a missions department to enable church planting and expansion into Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia and throughout South Africa.
Secondly, Barbie will use her skills and abilities in setting up medical clinics alongside local Emmanuel Assemblies to offer basic ante and post natal care, HIV screening, and breastfeeding support, working alongside regional doctors. In some of the poorest parts of South Africa there is very little support for expectant mothers. We will aim to open around eight clinics, operating on a monthly basis, in the north of South Africa giving advice, dispensing medicines (for which Barbie will be qualified) and offering support. We hope this will also provide an opportunity for the local Emmanuel Assembly to show love to their local community and for them to build more access points into the church.
Thirdly, we will aim to seek out the poorest and most vulnerable in the region to develop housing projects that will aim to take children out of poverty and place them back into full-time education. This is the most challenging aspect of the work as we seek to develop relationships with local authorities as well as communities. We are hoping to be able to build this ministry as an avenue for involvement for Christians in the UK to sponsor children through Elim Missions' "Be Loved," initiative.
Fourthly, the remit may well broaden once we have settled in, built relationships and discover new needs currently unknown to us.