South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Sub-Saharian Africa. Yet, in the midst of much apparent well-being, South Africa is a land of stark contrasts. Extreme wealth exists alongside extreme poverty. While the rich seem to be getting richer, the poor seem unable to shake loose the shackles of their poverty. One of the things that ominously threatens to destroy South Africa’s relative stability is HIV/AIDS. Word & Deed strives to provide the physical and spiritual aid by supporting Nakekela, a clinic for HIV/AIDS patients, and Mukhanyo, a theological college that develops materials for distance learning.
- Christian Day Schools,Theological Training
Mukhanyo Material Development for Distance Learning
Word & Deed is partnering with Mukhanyo Theological College as they develop material for the Mukhanyo Distance Learning Program and conduct church based training. The program is designed to increase the availability of high quality, Reformed Bible teaching with contextual application in Africa. This is being done by developing DVD distance training courses and making them available to those who do not live within travelling distance of the college. There are three important parts to the Mukhanyo Distance Learning Program in providing a stable learning platform: DVD courses, group learning, and local tutoring. Currently, there are over 40 distance groups now using the materials provided through Mukhanyo.
- Medical Care
Nakekela HIV/AIDS Clinic and Home-Based Care Team
Nakekela is a clinic for HIV/AIDS patients in KwaMhlanga, South Africa, an area where the HIV/AIDS infection rate is over 50%, and there are more funeral parlors than any other type of commercial business. There are 20 beds in the clinic and a staff of nurses and doctors. Staff members visit and assess not only potential patients but also follow up with those who have already been discharged. The purpose of the clinic is to treat HIV/AIDS patients and to alleviate the horrible symptoms that accompany the disease, while bringing the Word of God to the afflicted. Over its years of operation, the Nakekela staff have seen how God has used the clinic to diminish the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS – school children now readily come to them for information on the disease for school projects. News about the quality of care, the compassionate attitude of the staff and the spiritual aspect of rehabilitation at Nakekela has spread so that many would rather care for their sick family members and wait until a bed is open at Nakekela than to send them to the local hospital. A key element of Nakekela’s ministry is home based care. There are currently eight home based care workers (two teams of four). The HBC Team made numerous public appearances to educate the KwaMhlanga community about HIV/AIDS, they referred patients to Nakekela, and they hosted a Bible study in the community.