Timothy Makhanya is the Pastor of Hawane Christian Life Centre. He is also a father to our children who live in the Hawane Children’s Homes. His duties have recently expanded to, in addition to his current roles, assist with mentoring our Community Pastors in their calling as ICBC Pastors. He actively looks to identify new communities or areas that are in need of church plants. He is married to Chazile and together they are a wonderful example – to our children, to the church and to the community of a couple who are submitted to God in their personal relationship with Him and in their marriage.
He had this to say about In-Community-By-Community church plants:
“An ICBC is in the community, run by the community pastor with the community members, taking care of the needs that are within the community. It is a church planted right in the rural areas where there is a need for a church.
It is where people from a church community visit their neighbours, helping everyone that is in the community and bringing transformation through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This helps people do more than just come together on a Sunday but rather to actively connect with people in the community throughout the week.
There is a Swazi phrase that says: you can only do as much in a community as what you are a part of that community. Living in the community means you know the problems that exist there. The involvement of the congregation is vital because they have history in their community. Communities in Swaziland have known each other for many years. So it means they can easily have the relationship with people to visit and bring the gospel.
A story that has been to so dear to my heart of where we saw the community coming together to serve is when we lost a twin sister of one of the children in our church youth group. The family could not afford to bury their daughter and had no-one to help them, so we come alongside them with their neighbours, who were also part of our church, to help to prepare for the funeral. We helped to get a tent and to provide what was needed for the funeral. The community saw the synergy of all the people in the church coming together to help a family in dire need. Working together to serve the community helps us bring light into the community by serving in situations where people are in desperate need.
Another story of transformation in this community is when there was an old lady who was identified by one our church members, as needing help. Her house was falling down; so as a church we took time to come alongside her to help build a simple stick and mud house for her. After building the stick and mud house and completing it, the lady and her 2 children started coming to church for the first time. The people from the church who were her neighbours continued to help the family, even after her house was built. Through this act of kindness the lady and her children are now actively involved in the church and are helping other people in the community who are in need.
People from outside of Swaziland can get involved by praying for the ministry and for the pastors in the community while we do our work, because we are in the battlefield. There is nothing you can do without God, so when we pray and ask God, He will help us to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into those communities.
You can also come alongside by supporting the child sponsorship program we have, to sponsor orphans or underprivileged children to be able to attend the preschool and help with funds for feeding them.
In addition there are opportunities to partner with us by helping with starting a new ICBC church plant by coming to help with the initial construction or to help to fund the start-up of the sustainability project.
My part in this is to be constantly in prayer and actively involved in visiting the communities that are in the situation of needing help. Our approach is to go to communities that are poverty stricken and in need of an ICBC in order to bring transformation in that community. My role is to be actively involved in identifying and starting new ICBC’s. I will be the person on the ground who will find a man of God who has a good reputation in a community and in an area that we feel has a need for an ICBC. We will then partner with him to help fulfil the vision to plant 60 ICBC’s churches throughout Swaziland. These have to be done with the people from the community and with the church members from that community.”