“My first [Transform] outreach was in Kosovo. After Kosovo, I went to Albania. After that I went to Sicily. Then I went to France,” recalled Esther Banzi (South Africa), part of the Transform leadership team. Part of OM since 2003, Esther has served with the OM Ships Ministry, OM South Africa and, for the last three years, in partnership with AidsLink International.
“Transform is a time I move out of my normal routine and do something different; and I find it’s a time where God wants to use me in any way, with any gift, and just get out of the office and focus on the ministry He has given me,” she said.
When Esther was asked to join the leadership team in 2014, she wasn’t sure if it was a good fit. As she prayed about the opportunity, however, she realised she could bring value to the team. “I like to connect with people; I like to work with people, and I felt that God wanted me to be part of that,” she explained. “There’s a reason God wants me to be here.”
In addition to her contributions at the conference, Esther saw herself as a liaison for recruiting people from the Global South, especially South Africa, to come to Transform. “Africa is not even a receiving field anymore—it’s a sending field. There’s a call: [African believers] need to see the need to go somewhere else. Transform gives them more opportunities to be able to do that.”
"South African churches are often unaware of needs beyond their own context," Esther explained. “Transform gives them an…idea that there’s more needs outside of South Africa. There’s more than the boundaries of the church you are in.”
In 2017, she invited her pastors, Chris and Judy Smith of Yada Ministries, to Transform. They not only attended the conference but taught two of the workshops offered during the week. “It’s been a great blessing for me to have my church involved in what I’m doing,” Esther said.