After four years of weekly studies, thirty isiZulu-speaking students completed the Zulu-language version of the Focus programme and had their own graduation ceremony at KwaMhlanga on Thursday, 15 September.
The Focus programme is not formally accredited, but is a practical and very accessible training course to equip Christians to play an influential role in their churches.
Over the years, Mukhanyo has been blessed with a large donor base consisting of hundreds of churches and thousands of individuals in South Africa, North America and Europe. But are these donors satisfied with Mukhanyo’s performance?
With over a thousand students, five regional campuses/centres, and more than a hundred distance learning support centres, it is absolutely essential that Mukhanyo has strong ICT strategy, structures and systems. Robust systems are also needed to support hoped-for growth in the next five to ten years. If everything goes according to plan, a significantly upgraded system will start to be functional in January.
Several months ago, five regional coordinators were appointed to further promote the expansion and development of distance learning centres. Next year, Mukhanyo plans to appoint five more coordinators in others regions.
These coordinators serve to advance the training and developing of local tutors, manage regional marketing and networking, promote quality control, and guide the establishment of additional centres. Mukhanyo is thankful for the regional coordinator team:
Rev. Paul Mahlangu is quiet and peaceful when you see and talk with him. But when lecturing, preaching or mentoring, Rev. Mahlangu changes into a passionate enthusiastic speaker driven by the Word of God.
Rev. Mahlangu is a lecturer at Mukhanyo’s KwaMhlanga campus, this year teaching Biblical Worldview. On Sundays, he preaches at an independent church which he is busy planting in KwaMhlanga, where he has lived most of his life. During the week, he also mentors about 45 students at five distance groups in and around KwaMhlanga.
In four years, the number of Mukhanyo’s Distance Learning Support Centres has doubled to 101. This year, four centres started in Kenya and seven in South Africa. Even faster growth is expected with the recent appointment of five regional distance coordinators.
The Kenyan centres in Bumala, Bumamu, Busia and Kisumu were established by Rev. Eric Mutumbi, in partnership with the North American funders Word & Deed. All of them are using Mukhanyo’s Focus programme. The facilitators/tutors are pastors who have recently been trained, enabling them to manage and lead the groups.
Does sticking nuts to a tree make it a nut tree? Or does tying lemons to its branches make it a lemon tree? In the same way, practising good moral habits doesn’t make one a Christian. It has to come from within – from the heart of a person who can truly testify that he belongs to Christ and becomes a new creation.
This is how lecturer Jacques Malan of Mukhanyo started the teaching on Saturday 20 August at a seminar held at the KwaMhlanga campus. This seminar was the second entitled: Christian Character. It was based on one of the modules of Mukhanyo’s FOCUS programme. The second speaker was Rev. Paul Mahlangu, also a Mukhanyo lecturer.
Farewell and Welcome
Dr Gerrit Heino who served on Mukhanyo’s team for nearly six years, has now retired and plans to return to the Netherlands. He was sent to Mukhanyo by the Dutch Gereformeerde Zendings Bond as well as his church and Driestar Christian University for Teacher Education. His term was supposed to be for four years but was extended to six, during which time he developed study guides for four Christian Teacher modules.
Over and above authoring these modules, Gerrit also lectured in theology at the diploma and degree levels, served at the Pretoria Campus, and was the programme manager of Mukhanyo’s School of Education. Back home with his wife, Gerrit hopes to remain involved with some of Mukhanyo’s education programmes, inducing the development of more education modules.
Within South Africa, there is a great majority who claim to be Christian, but very few understand what this means. Therefore, in the past few years, Mukhanyo has intensified its campaign to help more people learn what it means to be a Christian and understand more about the Bible.
Mukhanyo has spread its wings by opening several new campuses and full-time study centres, now five in total, as well as over a hundred Distance Learning Support Centres. With more than 1 000 students at present, Mukhanyo now has the capacity through its facilities and programmes to accommodate far more students in locations across Southern Africa.