At the end of another great year, this is a good opportunity to look back and see how our Lord has blessed Mukhanyo for over 28 years.
The years were full of activity, ups and downs, but more importantly, years in which our Almighty Father in heaven made it possible to not only survive but to grow the ministry above all expectations. Just read the following.
In March 1994 the Mukhanyo Board of Control met officially for the first time and decided that the Bible school should start with Rev. Flip Buys as principal. Lectures started in July of that year at the Reformed Church Thembulethu, not far from KwaMhlanga where Mukhanyo’s main campus is today.
There were five students, a few wooden huts to accommodate them, a library and an office. Initial finances came from the Christian Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (CGKN) and local donations. There was not yet a fixed curriculum, accreditation or funds for future plans, but through the years our Lord made innumerable things possible.
At first, the number of students increased slowly. A large site was bought in KwaMhlanga, the Bible school ministry was named Mukhanyo Theological College, a large building was erected with a hall for 250 people, offices, kitchen, library, etc. In 1998 there were nine new students making a total of 27 students. In 2001, a double floor dormitory for 36 students was added.
Through the years the facilities were extended to what it is now. Mukhanyo started local ministry initiatives that served for many years in the greater KwaMhlanga region under the umbrella organisation called Masibambisane Community Development Corporation (MCDC). In 2010, Mukhanyo was instrumental in establishing of a Christian primary school, the Musawenkosi Christian Academy (MCA) on Mukhanyo’s KwaMhlanga premises.
By God’s grace, Mukhanyo kept growing in the second and third decades, not only in the number of students served but also in the number of lecturers, programmes and national reach. After 16 fruitful years of labour, Rev. Flip Buys stepped down as principal and Rev. Brian deVries took over. We thank the Lord for the wonderful beginning that made many further developments possible.
In 2009 the first distance Bible study group was established with 12 students. In 2010, the teacher’s training programme, as well as the Johannesburg satellite learning centre, came about. In 2012, there were 22 distance groups; today there are more than 85!
Today, after nearly two years of a pandemic and many restrictions, Mukhanyo has well over a thousand students, most of them part-time, and a complete range of qualifications, from the unaccredited Focus programme to several accredited higher certificates and degrees, including the Bachelor Honours in Theology which started several years ago, and the Masters in Theology of the Puritan Reformed Seminary in America. There are now three campuses (KwaMhlanga, Johannesburg, and Pretoria) and two advanced learning centres (Rustenburg and Durban). The ministry continues with a dedicated staff of more than 65 full-time and part-time people, about half of them being lecturers.
Yes, there were hard and difficult times in which the Lord tested Mukhanyo. Funds came when hope was running out. Accreditation from the authorities came at the last possible moment. But time and again it has been proven: Never think small of our almighty Father in heaven! He makes possible what his children think impossible.