For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

— 1 Peter 3:18

We pray for all those preparing or are thinking whether to go to the various countries to serve full-time in missions. Speak to them, encourage them, provide for them, and help them perservere, Lord. Make your presence felt, and your will be known.

Lord, you know the situation within the church in South Africa. We ask for your help, that good partnership opportunities with local churches will be birthed.

Thank you for the faithfulness of the volunteers in our midst. We pray for more volunteers to come forward so that an effective high-impact volunteer network may be set up around South Africa.

Lord, we thank you for the diversity of the multi-cultural South African church. We pray that this may be used to extend your kingdom as the church partners with mission agencies.

Lord, we pray for the effective mobilization of the South African church so that new South African members may be sent out each year.

Country Profile

South Africa, the southernmost country in Africa, is home to about 56 million people. South Africa is a multi-ethnic society, comprising a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. About 80% of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages. Its economy is the second largest in Africa, after Nigeria. It is the most industrialized country in Africa, and is part of the G20, the only African member of the group.

South Africa experienced GDP growth rates of 2.8% on average in the past two decades. Agriculture, mining and manufacturing were the main drivers of growth. However, in recent years, economic growth has been challenging, with weak consumer and investor sentiments and low wage growth. Unemployment is high (27.7%) and more than half of South Africans live in poverty.

There is an estimated 2 million Chinese living in Africa, of which well over 350,000 live in South Africa. Irregular immigration and poor record keeping make it hard to obtain accurate data. There are three distinct groups of Chinese in South Africa — the Chinese South Africans (or “local” Chinese), the Taiwanese, and new Mainland Chinese migrants. Generally, those who were born in or migrated to South Africa before 2000 tend to be fairly well integrated into South African society, while most of those who arrived after the year 2000 are less so.

Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with over 80% of the population professing to be Christians. All the Christian denominations are well represented, but research suggests that the Pentecostal churches are growing at a rate of 800 000 members per year. About 15% of South Africans do not have any religious affiliations, while the next largest group is the Muslims (about 1.5%). Whilst the church in South Africa has traditionally had a strong cross-cultural missions focus, the emerging black church tends to be more inward looking. Being one of the poorer sending nations, with a weak exchange rate, missionaries from South Africa often struggle to raise sufficient support needed to serve cross-culturally. There is also still great inequality within South African society, coupled with extreme poverty. Many churches, when faced with the choice of investing money to uplift local communities, or send and support cross-cultural missionaries, choose the former.

OMF South Africa was discontinued in 2006 after more than 60 years of service. In 2013, the South African members met for a consultation in Singapore, where it was agreed that the time was right to reintroduce an OMF center in South Africa. In May 2015, OMF Southern Africa was re-established, with a new format and with a new vision. Its main focus is to partner with the church in South Africa, in order to help nurture a vision for missions. OMF Southern Africa sees missions as the church’s responsibility and thus sees its role as being an enabler and equipper of missions, helping churches to “do” missions well, from identifying and vetting new missionaries, through to sending, supporting and caring for them when they return on Home Assignment.

OMF South Africa Map

Population

  • Total: 56 million
    • Black: 79.4%
    • White: 9.2%
    • Coloured: 8.8%
    • Asian: 2.6%

Religions

  • Christian: 62%
  • Irreligious: 15%
  • Zion Christians: 11%
  • Catholic: 7%
  • Islam: 1.5%
  • Hindu: 1%
  • Other: 2.5%
  • (from Wikipedia)

Lord, thank you for your work in and through your church in South Africa. We pray that you would use your people here to spread your gospel to all of East Asia’s peoples. Please continue to grow the church’s vision in missions sending. Lord, we thank you for the diversity of the multi-cultural South African church. We pray that this may be used to extend your kingdom through partnerships with the church.

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