Charles George, a local pastor, lives and works in the second largest township of South Africa. He and his wife Delecia pastor a church of about 250 members. They have been involved in the Delft community for more than 14 years. Through their leadership and mentoring, other pastors have engaged with them to minister to the homeless and needy of their community.
For many years their focus was on relief work, and there were few results. After meeting with Dr. Niel Stegmann, who introduced them to Gary Edmonds and Breakthrough Partners, their approach changed towards how they operated in the community. Dr. Stegmann introduced the CHE program and Delecia trained extensively with the CHE facilitators. Breakthrough Partners led a conference in one of the neighboring communities and a year later had a conference in their church in Delft. There were things that Gary said that caught Charles’ attention and, as he says,
“It started making sense in my whole being. Gary had a very strong approach to partnerships. I had been trying endlessly to get the church of Jesus Christ to work together but to no avail. After listening to so many excuses why pastors can’t come to the meetings I wanted to give up in getting the Church to partner for the benefit of the community. My wife kept on encouraging me and praying that God will make a way one day where the Church of Jesus will work together. So my approach changed. I first of all focus more on development than relief; secondly, I started partnering with believers in government, believers in business and believers in other institutions. I heard it so much but I just could not see it until Gary pointed it out to me. The church is not a building; it is people!!!!!!”
Charles George and his wife, Delecia
Through partnerships, they are making an impact in the community; thousands of people are blessed by what is taking place.
1. They partner with qualified Christian doctors
2. They partner with Christian business people
3. They partner with Christians in government.
4. They partner with the Christian group at the University of
As a result, once a month they take over the local day hospital, supplying qualified doctors, nurses, pharmacist and medical students to the community. They do door to door visitations reaching more the 500 homes using the medical approach to preach the gospel to the poor. They have Christian lawyers who volunteer their services on these days to assist with legal matters. This is also an opportunity to preach the gospel, even using the university’s sports faculty to play soccer with the youth and minister to them. They also feed 15,000 orphans and vulnerable children in the community daily. All these activities allow them to develop the mindset of the people, pointing them to God.
Through these partnerships they have found favor with different churches, businesses, the government and other institutions. They were given an empty, vandalized building on a lease basis from the government to be used as a training centre. Through these partnerships the building was restored in 35 days with volunteer labor from the community. 7000 people applied for the skills training course that is being offered, and twenty-four people have secured full-time employment as a result of this training centre that has only been in operation for three months.
God is indeed working through the leadership of Charles George as he partners with other churches, groups and the government to bring sustainable change to his community.
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