A growing partnership between a Durban church and a church in the rural community of Tugela off the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal took another big step forward on Saturday as they held their second, consecutive, annual winter outreach in Tugela.
Durban-based Harvest Time Family Church and Ekklesia Christian Fellowship in Tugela worked side by side to reach out to underprivileged people in the community by providing them with basic necessities which so many of us take for granted.
Founder and senior pastor of Harvest Time, Prophet Josh Soobramoney said: “Our aim was firstly to do it in winter for the people and to provide them with warm clothes, blankets and meals that could help them.
“We also distributed toys and party packs to the children. It gives us great joy to see the smiles on the faces of the kids” he said.
The event was envisioned to contribute holistically into the lives of the people of Tugela.
The day kicked off with a morning service to minister to the people spiritually, followed by an outreach programme aimed at meeting physical needs.
The place was abuzz with enthusiastic adults and excited children who eagerly lined up in designated areas to receive their share of the spoils. It was a moment to revere.
A total of 300 people were fed a meal, and 250 blankets, clothes, toys and party packs were distributed.
The collaboration is a step towards a greater vision to partner in the development of educational, health and lifestyle facilities in the impoverished rural area.
Humanitarian and senior pastor at Ekklesia Christian Fellowship, Garon Govender said: “Sometimes rural areas are not the focus areas. They can be forgotten in terms of funding, jobs and education – people are generally overlooked.
“For some it may be a struggle to buy bread and for Harvest Time to reach out to the community shows there is a care for the people and where the seed is sown is important” he said.
After speaking with Govender, it was clear that the plight of the people in this community was more than just the lack of basic resources. Most of the children are orphans, fending for themselves with little or no chance of an education as they struggle to survive from day to day.
One of the ways in which the church is uplifting the community is through skills development. Community members are taught to plant and grow their own vegetables as a viable and sustainable source of food.
“In days to come our vision is to see the community of Tugela empowered and established and their lifestyles upgraded and to see that all in need of medical attention and education receive it as quickly as possible” said Soobramoney.
Govender said the partnership with a church that has a more influential base opens up opportunities. He also stated that it’s not all just about receiving but about having a relationship to give back as well. He pointed out that as a community they also had so much to give and that there’ was a wealth of knowledge. There must be an exchange, he said.
“The impact it [the outreach] had been was relevant to the people and was a good testimony. The impact on their lives was very important,” said Govender.
“One lady in my church had her child receive a teddy-bear at last year’s outreach. Her child had not gotten a teddy-bear before and now the child sleeps with the teddy-bear everyday .
“The church has to impact social change. We also become the light of Christ through the church,” he said.