Bringing Christ to the Xhosa

During the apartheid era, most westernized countries imposed sanctions on South Africa. As a result, no missionaries were going to any part of South Africa, including the Republic of Transkei. In addition, South African Christians were not interested in reaching the Xhosa people of this neighboring republic. Of the five million Xhosa in the Transkei, 85% of them were unreached. And there were, unfortunately, only five missionaries in this remote region of Africa.

When God was calling us to missions, we read Romans 15:20. Paul says, “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” Whereas 90% of missionaries are reaching the “reached,” we aspired to go to “where Christ was not known.” We wanted to help people no one else wanted to reach.

When we heard about the needs in this remote part of the Africa, we, along with our five children (now six), made a decision to commit the next 40 years of our lives reaching the unreached among the Xhosa tribe in the Republic of the Transkei.

Now, more than three decades later, the Lord has used us to reached tens of thousands of Xhosa villagers through our work. We have been blessed to see hundreds of Xhosa-speaking churches planted, and tens of thousands of Xhosa people discover Jesus. In 2000, the Lord used us to establish a Xhosa Bible school, Gatyana Bible College, which continues to train and equip Christian leaders in southern Africa. We are currently discipling over a hundred Xhosa leaders who are in great need of structured theological training. In addition, the Lord has used us to establish an HIV/AIDS hospital, which currently serves over 78,000 each year. We also built and now operate Grace Children’s Centers and shelters for children whose parents either are dying or have died from AIDS.

The mission’s primary focus is to bring the Gospel to the tens of thousands of unreached Xhosa villages. These remote tribal villagers have never had the opportunity to respond to Jesus because no one has brought the Gospel to them. Unfortunately, the established white South African churches have chosen to ignore the now eight million Xhosa of the Transkei. Currently, we are the only full-time missionaries working among the Xhosa.