After looking for a larger facility for the past two years, nearly everything is now in place for the purchase of a much better facility for the Durban Advanced Learning Centre. Only the final 7% of the purchase price must be received from South African donors. Mukhanyo is grateful for the 78% given by Word & Deed, and for the rest of the money raised with the help of a matching donation from a South African donor. The move will still take a few months to finalize due to various formalities, including the normal delays by local authorities.
The new campus will be beneficial for several reasons: It has more offices, ample space for the library and lecture rooms, and access to transportation and shopping facilities nearby. The centre should be able to accommodate an increase in students for at least the next ten years.
Two recent disasters have proved that now, more than ever, the Durban region needs quality biblical education—thus the importance of training ministers, especially in times of disasters, to provide spiritual leadership and faithful instruction.
By God’s grace, the centre was able to open and continue functioning through difficult times in the past 2.5 years with only some minor setbacks and delays. Dr. Brian DeVries, Mukhanyo’s principal, remains optimistic that the centre’s progress will continue with steady growth each year.
In July 2021, there was widespread politically inspired unrest around Durban and the surrounding region. Hundreds of people were killed, thousands of shops were ransacked, and many local businesses and other properties were destroyed. Most people have become poorer as a result.
While still recovering from this disaster, the region was hit in April 2022 by rainfall on an unprecedented scale. Many roads, bridges, the port and other infrastructure were damaged. An estimated 600 school buildings were damaged and approximately 13,000 houses and shacks were damaged or destroyed. The provision of water and electricity was interrupted, and the death toll is more than 400 people. Once again Mukhanyo’s campus was only marginally affected: some leaks in the centre and no water or power for only a few days, according to campus manager Rev. Antonio Coppola. A few students couldn’t reach the centre due to damaged roads but have since returned unharmed. The floods took place during the Easter break, so classes were not running at the time.
Through this all, Mukhanyo’s vision remains the same: To equip pastors and other Christians with biblical knowledge and the ability to minister in local churches and communities across Africa. The Durban campus is built on the Rock, our Lord Jesus Christ, and we seek to assist many faithful men and women to build their ministries on this Rock. It is this solid foundation that will withstand all challenges, both present and future.
Rob Van der Kooy works at Mukhanyo Theological College in South Africa.