URCSA Northern Synod and RCA Partnership

Facilitating HIV/AIDS awareness programs in their respective congregations amongst both youth as well as senior members. 

The partnership between URCSA Northern Synod and Reformed Church of America which was constituted in 2009 is progressing as per the proposal submitted by URCSA Northern Synod to RCA in 2009. Trained Senior Youth members of 4 Congregations namely Letaba, Namakgale, Rivoni and Kgapane, are actively involved in facilitating HIV/AIDS awareness programs in their respective congregations amongst both youth as well as senior members.

URCSA Northern Synod and RCA Regional Synod of Canada (RSC) partnership

urcsa-northern-synod-and-rca-regional-synod-of-canada-rsc-partnership This partnership is progressing as per the proposal submitted by URC Northern Synod to RSC in April 2010. The local URC Namakgale in Phalaborwa finalized building plans to renovate the drop-in centre at Mashishimale. The congregation decided with the approval of RSC, to do the renovation themselves. Estimated quotes for the renovations amounts to R280 000 but will be substantially reduced with the Church Council and congregation deciding to do these renovations themselves and in so doing creating job opportunities for local the community and congregation members.

Follow-up ecumenical delegation Visiting South Africa on Multi Cultural Ministries in SA

This two-person delegation visited SA in April 2011 and consisted of Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis who is the Senior Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church in New York City.  She leads a growing multicultural congregation in the city of New York. Jaqui was accompanied by her husband the Rev. John Janka who is a retired United Methodist Superintendent and Conference Minister who began his ministry in a predominately African American city.  A conference was held in Cape Town arranged by Carl Swart and talks held in Pretoria. They shared their experiences of their 2010 visit. The hope expressed from the Reformed Church family to the delegation was to enhance this partnership which was welcomed by the delegation.

Kgautswane / Mophalema Water and URC Northern Synod

This project focuses on the refurbishment of the existing water infrastructure in Kgautswane and Mophalema areas and is done between the URC Ohrigstad – URCSA Northern Synod, Second Table Ministries and the Sekhukhune District Municipality. This project is currently being implemented and seeks to refurbish the existing dilapidated water reticulation system’s pipe-works, and storage facilities, replacing old rundown diesel pumps with low maintenance effective and efficient electrical pumps – providing temporary employment to some residents of Kgautswane. Financial support from Second Table Ministries (STM) is not forthcoming anymore but STM still has a keen interest in the project. This project is currently employing three local Kgautswane people. The planned completion date of this project is the first week of November 2011
This project stands to improve; the quality of the water resource; and water infrastructure; providing access to the Mophalema/Kgautswane communities to the much needed water resource thus improving the quality of life of more than 6 000 people in Kgautswane and neighboring villages.

1st Reformed Church of Schenectady (FRS) New York partnership with Tapologo

This partnership between Tapologo Hospice in Rustenburg and FRS is still strong and a delegation is possibly visiting Rustenburg in October 2011. Joe Doolittle is at present the major liaison for this partnership in progress between the local URC churches and Tapologo Karlien park URC is still continuing with their outreaches to Tapologo.

Rev Johann Bosman has completed a sabbatical on the RCA Creeds and Confessions and focused on the Belhar. He visited Rustenburg some time past is building a relationship with a local school (the name still to be confirmed). Joe indicated that Johan’s involvement in Rustenburg might be good a re-energizer for what is ongoing in Rustenburg.Joe Doolittle plans to visit South Africa in 2012, probably in early summer.  Bishop Dowling from Tapologo will be in the US in April.

Evaton Noord and Maranatha URC’s partnering with Southern Africa AIDS Collaboration (SAHAC)

Evaton Noord and Maranatha URC congregations in Sebokeng’s relationship is growing with SAHAC. The two churches have already been engaging with local schools there Maranatha URC already launched the “Courage Brand” of SAHAC at at least one High School in Sebokeng with close relation and support of SAHAC. This project is regarded as a pilot project. URC Maranatha established a committee to liaise with the local school participating school. 1 Youth member of URC Maranatha attended a youth leadership camp in July 2011.

Christ Memorial Church’s (CMC) partnering in the Free State

Rephidisitswe Community Shelter – This is an emerging project in Botshabelo, Free State for abandoned and vulnerable children that will provide residential care in addition to Day Care for OVC’s.  Anna Mara /Paulinah Masiu are the key SA contacts and Christ Memorial Church is the major NA contact. With the financial assistance from CMC, a building and property was purchased. CMC put up 80% of the funds needed. This Centre is to be registered in the name of Calvary URCSA Botsabelo. A MoU and Constitution of the Centre still needs to be finalized in cooperation with NKGA and DRC who are also involved.
Lebone Educare Centre – This is an OVC day care centre project in Botshabelo, Free State.  Paulinah Masiu is the key SA contact.  Paul Scholten from Christ Memorial Church is the major NA contact who on an annual basis would bring visitors from North America to Lebone to do work around Lebone for at least one week.
Botshabelo West Community Centre – This is a developing project of the DRC family of churches to address issues of poverty and HIV through community empowerment in Botshabelo West.  Andries Hoffman is the key SA contact and Christ Memorial Church is the major NA contact.

United Protestant Church of Belgium (UPCB) funding for Home Based Health Care (HBHC)

The UPCB again committed funds for 2011 in support of Home Based Health Care (HBHC) in the Reformed Family of Churches. A proposal for continued HBHC funding for 2012 will be submitted. 13 HBHC projects were supported in 2010 and the same number were supported with the funds received for 2011. Through this funding and average 246 Volunteers and Caregivers were supported; and an average 2500 people benefiting directly mpacting the lives of more than 5000 people.
A Belgium delegation visited SA in August 2011 they were welcomed at the Mamelodi Dienssentrum and visited HBHC projects in Sebokeng, Mosselbay and Paarl. The feedback received from all projects visited as well as the Belgian delegates were very positive.

Investments for Africa

A recommendation was made that IFA close down its own program and seek a partnership with a new Kingdom Investment Company presently being formed. This proposal was according to the Board not fitting IFA’s mandate and was not accepted.

Talks with Africa Works (AW) were done to investigate possible cooperation. AW officially commenced in 2007 in Mozambique and Zambia as a Christian based non-profitable organizations. After successful pilot projects in Mozambique under World Relief, Africa Works became part of the exit strategy for World Relief Southern Africa programs, involving agri-business, micro-finance and small to medium enterprise (SME) development. AW also intends to expand into Malawi following a similar process as in Mozambique and Zambia and is currently exploring options of expanding into Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa.

IFA decided to cooperate with AW and to transfer some of its funds to AW with increments based on AW’s performance with the funds. This however, still needs to be concluded.

Shell SA for Developing Entrepreneurs projects


The diaconal Liaison in his private capacity facilitates an Entrepreneurial skills development program for Shell SA. in the past year Maranatha and Evaton Noord benefited from this program because of the engagement in economic development projects. Since October 2010 x8 trainings were completed training an average of 200 business people either already in business or wanting to start their enterprises.

Global Fund Project


The National Religious Association for Social Development [NRASD] is one of the primary recipients of funds from the Global Fund. NRASD signed a contract with Council for Church Social Services [CCSS] as Sub-Sub Recipient to the Global Fund funds from NRASD. CCSS engaged in signed contracts with regional Church Social Services as Sub- Sub- Sub Recipients to the funds that channels and apply funds to projects at grassroots [church] level including congregation members.

This project is implemented in the following regions:

Mpumalanga, Free State, Gauteng, North West, Highveld, Northern Synod [Phalaborwa –Limpopo]. Organizations involved are HospiVision and PEN. This project ensures implementation to be inclusive of the DRC Family of Churches.

Project Staff
Project Manager :   Willie Van Der Merwe
Project Coordinator :  Efraim Oppelt
Financial Assistan t :   Gerhard Potgieter
Limpopo Provincial officer :   Efraim Oppelt
Global Fund targets
Global Fund Targets achieved in 2011 are:
Targets to be reached in 2012:
Care Givers trained and deployed to date:
Care Givers to be deployed in 2012:
Coastal Provinces:
As negotiated with NRASD, KZN and Western Cape Provinces will also come on board as from October 2011.

Evaton Noord / Maranatha and Aliwal North URC’s partnering with Second Table Ministries (STM)

URC Maranatha has started a Funeral Parlor as an economic development initiative to be joined by Evaton Noord. Two weeks of entrepreneurial skills development training was facilitated by Efraim in August and October 2011 at URC Maranatha. STM is in liaison with Maranatha regarding assistance Maranatha with their sewing project. Funds for this project were already forthcoming from STM for purchasing machines.
Maranatha have now acquired the land to start the Klipkop centre/church through assistance from STM, but have some difficulties to overcome in clearing the title, getting the utilities to the site gathering the needed funds, and then completing the construction. Hope is expressed and plans made for the local DRC congregations to to come into this partnership. North Point Congregation in Seattle also entered in a partnership with URC Maranatha. Rev Mike Mbeta from URC Maranatha visited STM in June 2011 to strengthen this relationship. He was accompanied by his wife and Rev Bradley Stoffels from Aliwal North. STM also supports a building- and a feeding project at URC Aliwal North
Heilbron URCSA – This may be a new project for church development.  Rev Swart Boysen is the SA contact and STM is the primary NA contact.  CMC also has history with the Heilbron church.