Gateway News reporter Neziswa Kanju spoke to evangelist Andy Mahlagaume about his vision to transform South Africa through Kingdom communities
On September 12 last year most of the people of Holfontein, an impoverished informal settlement near Secunda, came to Christ during a Gospel outreach — and that was just the beginning.
So says evangelist Andy Mahlagaume, the visionary of a project that aims to transform Holfontein into a prosperous Kingdom community which will be a model for what they aim to see replicated across South Africa and the world.
Andy, who founded Accendo Ministries in 2017, updated Gateway News on the community transformation campaign underway in Holfontein and said that this year they are continuing with a series of initiatives in Holfontein and extending the campaign to 10 communities in the struggling Govan Mbeki Municipality in Mpumalanga.
Their model begins with changing communities in a day through the saving power of Jesus Christ — and then discipling them through spiritual, social and economic transformation initiatives, he said.
Accendo Ministries, led by Andy and his sister Charmaine, are working closely with churches and other strategic partners, including Project SA, The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, and more, to build on the miraculous transformation that took place in Holfontein on September 12.
With an eye on reaching further afield he said they are also launching an adopt-a-community campaign to empower others to become Kingdom community pioneers.
He said the idea of adopt-a-community is to challenge believers elsewhere to take a step in bringing sustainable transformation in their communities.
“We will provide training, expertise, support and also a team of experts in various fields as per the need of that community to assist in seeing sustainable transformation. Those who want to get involved and feel an urgency in their heart to take a step, can send us an email to email@example.com then we will get into contact with them,” he said.
In Holfontein work has started on training community leaders through a programme that focuses on transforming minds and removing a dependency mindset [see video clip below].
“It will challenge the leaders to start thinking out of the box on how they can solve socio-economic problems in their community. Before you can transform the ground level it has to start at the top. For everything rises and falls in the hands of leadership.
“We thank God for giving us wisdom and showing us the leaders to select that shall steer this community forward. We are building something sustainable in this community. The Kingdom of God shall manifest,” said Andy.
He said the next phase of the programme in Holfontein will include a community visioning event, which will involve different stakeholders and surrounding private companies and mines. The event will address how companies can play a role in employing most of the people in the community and the type of skills development they will need in order to be employed.
Entrepreneurship programmes will also be launched during the event to support current and prospective small businesses in the community and to seek support and investment from companies.
Once businesses start to run, and most of the people are employed, a community banking system will be launched to start financing community development.
Turning to their plans for brining spiritual, social and economic transformation to Govan Mbeki Municiplaity communities, he said 75.8% of the target population is not saved and the municipality is currently under administration due to misuse of funds.
“The need to evangelise and to promote ethical values is imperative for the transformation of this municipality. In order for us to see change, we need everyone on the ground. The project will be focused at empowering and commissioning the generation to share the Gospel to the lost and use their God-given gifts to bring social and economic transformation with the aim of winning the whole municipality to God in one day,” he said.
He said the work in the municipality will be done through two projects — Commission2Go and Evolve2030.
Commision2Go is a catalytic stadium gathering event scheduled for September 3 which is aimed at empowering a generation to live a Christ-like life and to commission them to win souls in their communities with the aim of winning all the communities to Jesus in one day.
The Evolve2030 project is aimed at bringing social and economic transformation in these communities through capacity development training, social events, providing solutions and implementing them to eradicate poverty and build sustainable Kingdom communities over the next 10 years.
He said more information on these projects will be shared online soon. Meanwhile, anybody interested in being part of them should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org