Country Profile: South Africa
Welcome to South Africa!
Howzit. Thobela. Molo. Sawubona. Riperile. !hoi ca. Dumela. Avuwani. With 11 official languages and many different cultures, South Africa is aptly named the rainbow nation. Its diversity is not just reflected in its various people groups, but also in nature (South Africa is the third most bio-diverse country in the world) and in the socioeconomic status of its people ranging from the richest of the rich to the poorest of the poor.
Although South Africa is a country of opportunity and huge potential, the social and developmental needs are vast. Some of the challenges facing the country include a high crime rate, a population ravaged by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, many immigrants from across Africa flooding the borders in search of a better future, and the struggle with the peaceful integration of cultures in a post-apartheid era.
OM in South Africa
OM has been working in South Africa since 1986. Initially the focus has been on mobilising the church and training missionaries to go into the world, but in recent years the work of OM has become even more diverse as we respond to the needs in South Africa. Today there are between 400-500 missionaries represented by OM South Africa, either working locally or in a foreign country.
OM South Africa, in relationship with churches, disciples and sends workers to see lives and communities transformed locally and among the nations.
We are primarily focused on the following:
Relating with churches
We aim to serve and mobilise churches to become involved in the work of the great commission. We do this through building relationships, missions awareness and providing resources, with a great passion and commitment to the previously disadvantaged black African churches (Emerging Missions Movements). We are willing to embrace any opportunity and employ pioneering initiatives, like sports ministry (through our SportLink team), to achieve this aim.
We are passionate about people and we love to see them grow and mature in the Lord. Through our Missions Discipleship Training (MDT) every year, we disciple and equip a diverse group of more than 100 participants from around the world. We provide quality training that challenges individuals to a deeper relationship with Christ, and helps them to be prepared for effective ministry in the missions field.
Sending the workers
We have a dedicated team providing support services and administrative functions necessary to get missionaries to the field and help them stay focused on their ministry without worrying about administrative tasks. South African workers are serving long-term in Middle East, Europe, Asia and South America, and every year there is a large group joining OM Ships and other programmes and outreaches.
Transforming lives and communities
We are gripped by the task of bringing the whole Gospel to the whole world.
In South Africa we are anguished by the ravages of HIV and AIDS and the hopelessness that it brings. Our AIDSHope team, based in Mamelodi (within a township community), reaches out to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. We bring a message of hope through a daily after-school programme for vulnerable youth, training and community projects.
We also see the unique opportunities of reaching out to the least-reached and marginalized in South Africa, and our one- and two- year Global Action Teams aim to work with these groups leading them to Jesus.
Our Global Challenge team provides opportunities for individuals and churches to become involved in short-term outreaches across the globe and in South Africa. TeenStreet is another opportunity we offer to help teenagers and youth workers to connect with God and become involved in the hurting world around them.
How can you join us?
You can become involved by praying, giving and going.
South Africa Statistics:
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 20.9%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 5,700,000
black African 79%
Zion Christian 11.1%
Pentecostal/ Charismatic 8.2%
Dutch Reformed 6.7%
other Christian 36%
Unemployment rate: 24%
- Population below poverty line: 50%