I have had the pleasure to meet many Africans over the last three years. Preaching in village churches and visiting their communities has always been a highlight during my trips to the often called dark continent.
Pictured to the left is the Khanysani Alliance Church in the village of the same name. It is located in the rural area of Mpumalanga Province in South Africa.
Attending the services of this church was a pure joy. The same has been true at many African churches that I have seen over these few years. But this one held a special place in my heart. It is their leader.
Pastor David Manzini is a spiritual leader that I highly esteem. It is not because of his flashy car or his fine dress. It is not because of his seminary training or credentials. It is not because he has been the catalyst for starting three churches in the surrounding villages. It has to do with his humble spirit and servant’s attitude. I found myself attracted to David and his tender heart.
Then to visit his worship center and meet his people was even more than I dreamed. I did not expect all that I saw and heard. Music that was deafening because of the booming hearts of the people. They sang and danced with delight. Prayers that were reaching to the very throne of grace.
But what got me were the little children. They were so inviting with their eyes. When I walked into a classroom where teachers were feeding village orphans I was deeply touched. David said that many of them had lost both parents to Aids. This would be there only meal of the day. The smile on their face did not reflect any of the struggles each of them faced.
Stepping outside he pointed out the water tank provided by the church. Older Children were filling cups with the fresh water. This was very important because there is no running water in the village.
My heart had not been prepared for the beauty of this little village church. Every aspect of the day reflected the attitude and leadership of the Pastor.
Take a look around at your life, family, church and work. What do you reflect? What is reflected by those you lead?
I believe Peter is talking of his wife when he says, instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1)
Cathy and Danny Sartin
(1) The Holy Bible: New International Version. Electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. 1 Peter 3:4
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Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.