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South African Partnership
20 Years

Our relationship with our sister church in Newcastle, South Africa is still going strong after 20 years. Through this relationship SSPC continues to support scholarships for students of the New Castle congregation.

In August 2016, we welcomed, Dumisani James Khoza (DJ), Jabu Joyce Ntuli (JJ) and Thandeka Ayanda Madondo to visit with our congregation for 13 days.  We learned from their visit that planning has begun on a community center building to serve the people in the area around our sister church.

Our twenty-year celebration concluded with the visitation to South Africa by Dr. Michael and Nancy Gawlas in February of 2017.
 

Gawlas' in S. Africa

Jansons with familyIn 1993, moved by the struggles of Black South Africans trying to navigate post-Apartheid life, the Session of SSPC initiated a partnership with the Newcastle congregation of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of South Africa.  This congregation is located in the township of Madadeni, a few hours south east of Johannesburg.  The purpose of the partnership is to strenghten one another's ministry and disicpleship by walking hand-in-hand in our faith journey.

In 1995 Rev. Cleopas Ngbane, pastor of Uniting Presbyterian Church of South Africa, Newcastle Congregation and Elder Gugu Mabaso visited SSPC to discuss a possible partnership. With the support of members like Margaret Wentz, Bill Morgan, Gil Longwell and interim minister Rev. Roger Shoup, the covenant document was written and the South Africa Partnership was formally established.

Hbg visit (2)Since this first trip, there have been many cultural exchanges with our sister congregation.  Trips of 2-3 delegates take place every 2-3 years, in both directions.  We stay in the homes of church members and experience the culture of a community half way around the world.  The most recent trips were in 2017, when Nancy and Mike Gawlas traveled to South Africa and helped the Newcastle Congregation establish a Medical Ministry.  In 2019, Vusi, Mbuyseli and Fikele came to visit our congregation and enjoyed home stays in 4 of our members’ homes.  In the same year, Karen and Stefan Karkuff and BJ Lopez traveled to Newcastle to help in their soup kitchen, teach wellness awareness and art projects to the children. 

Health screeningOver the years, the partnership has resulted in a container project of 45,000 pounds of goods assembled and shipped to South Africa, HIV/AIDS education, a Vision Care Clinic, a food distribution program, "Dress a Child" program, soup kitchen, the Embabane Outstation, and more. When we cannot be together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we communicate effectively with them through conference phone calls and emails.

20 Years

Our relationship with our sister church in Newcastle, South Africa is still going strong after 20 years. Through this relationship SSPC continues to support scholarships for students of the New Castle congregation.

In August 2016, we welcomed, Dumisani James Khoza (DJ), Jabu Joyce Ntuli (JJ) and Thandeka Ayanda Madondo to visit with our congregation for 13 days.  We learned from their visit that planning has begun on a community center building to serve the people in the area around our sister church.

Our twenty-year celebration concluded with the visitation to South Africa by Dr. Michael and Nancy Gawlas in February of 2017.
 

Gawlas' in S. Africa

S Africa banner pic