The Ministry House is in its fourth year of operation, and in 2014 one of our board members moved to South Africa to run it. The house operates as a safe place for the 72 African youth by serving as a family home, particularly valuable for those experiencing challenges or abuse in their own homes. Here, students receive life skills training such as cooking, gardening and computer skills, a great amount of tutoring for school, and assistance with university applications. These youth are cared for, have regular devotions, receive spiritual guidance and counsel, and are accountable to each other and the house as a unit. Local networks with Christian individuals and businesses have led to employment for one of our gap year students. Our students also participate in community service opportunities in schools, churches and various villages. In 2014 we conducted an intensive 6-week long math camp for 11 of our students to improve their eligibility for university. Six students attended university in 2014 with 18 more preparing applications. This house serves as a foundational model for our future base in Uganda.
This house has also hosted international volunteers. In 2014, the house hosted a 9-person American team that worked with our students to run Vacation Bible School camps in local villages for over 600 children. We also hosted an international team that conducted music camps for our students as well as three long-term volunteers and five short-term volunteers throughout the year.
Leadership camps, operated annually, have been an additional way to challenge the youth to rely on one another, identify their individual strengths and weaknesses, and develop team-building skills. Skills learned in such camps can be used to help them learn how to face and overcome many of the difficult challenges they face in life. In 2014 we took 15 of our youth on a 3-day boot camp in the bush.
Gap Year Program
We also run a Gap Year program out of the house that works with 5-7 students who have finished high school and are in transition to university or the workforce. We focus on challenging them in the areas of academics, leadership development, and spiritual development.
We have partnered with AWANA International to establish children’s ministry programs in rural churches while providing our youth with leadership opportunities. Please see our AWANA page to learn more.