Sipho and Phillipa


“Sipho” is the Xhosa word for “gift,” and he is genuinely a gift from the Lord. A Xhosa from the Pondo tribe, Sipho was raised in Ngqeleni, a remote Pondo village in the north, where he met Phillipa in high school. They both claim it was love at first sight, but because of their solid Christian values, they waited two years before they expressed their feelings for each other. After high school, Sipho went to work at the white-owned factories for a couple of years in order to earn enough money to pay labola (the traditional dowry) to Phillipa’s family. Once they received traditional approval from their respective families, they soon got married. They have been married for 15 years.

After their first two children (they now have four), they both felt a strong call to the ministry, and together, they became full-time students at our Gatyana Bible College. After their graduation, the Lord used them to plant several Xhosa churches in the Transkei. Since 2004, they have been closely affiliated with Gatyana Bible College and our church-planting ministries.

In 2014, Sipho began to serve as the dean and headmaster of Gatyana Bible College while they continued to plant churches in the unreached Xhosa villages. We are honored to have Sipho and Phillipa as part of the team to equip and disciple Xhosa leaders in the Transkei.