Children’s Hunger Fund is thrilled to bring you this news – we have now launched the South Africa Mercy Network! This is our seventh Mercy Network in sub-Sahara Africa, and promises not to be the last. We are excited to bring you this update from our team.
Over a year ago, and fueled by a donor’s generosity, Children’s Hunger Fund began a two- year initiative to expand our work of the existing five Mercy Networks in Africa. Kenya was added earlier this year as the sixth and now South Africa is active as the seventh!
A CHF Mercy Network is a collection of churches in a country or city that have partnered with Children’s Hunger Fund and with each other to distribute the food provided by CHF through the Relational Mercy Ministry model. This is a model to meet the needs of suffering children through home delivery of food, with the goal of local church volunteers establishing a relationship with the family in need. This relationship is the key to seeing the gospel work in the lives of the families, who are suffering greatly.
South Africa is home to over 50 million people, with a little over half of them living in cities. Their recent history saw an end to apartheid, a system of racial segregation. While great strides have been made, there is still inequality. This, coupled with high unemployment, about 50% of the population struggles at some level of poverty, while 20% would be considered to live in extreme poverty.*
The Mercy Network in South Africa is uniquely positioned in their existing relationship with a seminary to readily connect with other established churches and church plants throughout the country. This means that the MN is already poised for growth.
The churches have completed the Rethink Mercy Equipping, and are ready to start delivering food. Even on the very practical side, these churches are primed for success. For example, it’s important that our partners are able to receive the sea containers of food that we send from the U.S. and, most importantly, get them through their own customs process. This is never an easy task, but our new partners on the ground already are trained and have experience in this.
Please pray for the pastors and volunteers as they begin to visit and deliver food to the hurting in their own neighborhoods throughout South Africa.
Ministry Development Director, Africa