‘Breakthrough’ Generation ‘Breaks Out’
More than 100 IYF Delegates
Move from Talk To Action
by Melissa Seid –
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA-
More than 100 young Salvationist men and women from 19 countries converged on the city of Johannesburg, South Africa as part of a week-long international mission and evangelistic effort.
This first-ever project, called Break Out Mission, was made up of a portion of the delegates and faculty from the just-completed International Youth Forum as well as local youth from South Africa who were excited to serve and evangelize in a country with a long and bitter political history.
“The purpose of the mission really reflects the heart of the forum,” said Phil Wall, territorial mission team leader for the United Kingdom. “We felt there was a need for a mission while we had youth assembled for the forum from all over the world. It was an opportunity to motivate and inspire their devotion to God and encourage young leaders in the Army.”
Headed by Wall, the post-forum mission had been in planning for 18 months at IHQ with the help of officers serving in South Africa and with the assistance of local leaders.
Before hitting the field, the Break Out team spent two and half days in training and preparation for their missions. The participants were divided into four smaller teams to focus evangelism and service in different areas in and around Johannesburg, including Eldorado Park, South Rand and Soweto.
The Eldorado Park team, including Westerners Joy Balauro and John Desplancke, distributed food to the elderly, organized a youth night program, and shared in prayer walking, where they walked in the streets and prayed for people house by house. Team members also planned and led an evangelistic service in a squatter camp, held in a small, tin-walled building packed with 75 people.
“It’s amazing how people can praise the Lord in those conditions,” said Balauro of Hanapepe, Hawaii, referring to the living conditions in squatter camps. “These people live without plumbing and some without electricity, yet they are content and have a passion for the Lord.” Eldorado’s kids’ clubs were successful in drawing 180 children the first day and 220 children the second day.
The Johannesburg city team, including Captain Nancy Davis and Melissa Seid, was divided into three groups, enabling some team members to concentrate their ministry on the Army-operated Srathyre Girls’ Home and Firlands Children Home. The team also conducted evangelism surveys, open air services, door-to-door ministry and spent an afternoon at Ethembeni, a hospital for abandoned and HIV positive babies operated by the Army.
The South Rand mission team, including Cari Hogan, Susan Horton and Ben Logston, split into smaller groups to focus on particular ministries. Many ministered through door-to-door evangelism, hospital visitations, and youth celebrations. Cari staffed an evangelism stall stationed in the street, and Susan served as the team’s worship leader, providing ministry through music to both teammates and the community in South Rand.
The Soweto Township team, including Aimee Gains, Ken Lyons and Regina Shull, worked out of the Peart Corps and saw the explosive growth of their kids clubs over the week with a combined attendance of 900 children. In addition to working in squatter camps, the Soweto team participated in hospital visitation and ministered at a home for children with AIDS. Led by Russell Rook, assistant territorial mission team leader for the United Kingdom, the 24 members of the Soweto team ministered in one of the most notorious and crime ridden areas South Africa.