Acquired… Despite Disasters
We are almost there. The purchase of a much better facility for the Durban Advanced Learning Centre is being finalised, despite two regional disasters in the past year. But the move to the heart of Pinetown will still take a few months to finalise due to various formalities, including the normal delays by local authorities.
After looking for a larger facility for the past two years, and after two disasters in the Durban metropolitan area, nearly everything is now organised. Only the final 7% of the purchase price must still be received from South African donors. Mukhanyo is grateful for the 78% given by international donors, and for the rest of the money raised with the help of a generous matching funds donation from a South African donor.
Do you want to donate towards the rest of the purchase cost? You can now give online at https://www.mukhanyo.ac.za/donate.html.
The new campus building has more offices, ample space for the library and classrooms, with transport and shopping facilities nearby. The centre should be sufficient for at least the next ten years, even with the expected accelerated growth in the number of students. Mukhanyo’s name is now being established in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.
The two recent disasters have proved that now, more than ever, the Durban region needs quality biblical education. Thus the importance of training ministers, especially in times of disaster, to provide spiritual leadership and faithful instruction.
By God’s grace, the centre was able to open and continue functioning through difficult times in the past two and a half years, with only some minor setbacks and delays. Dr Brian DeVries, Mukhanyo’s principal, remains optimistic that the centre’s progress will continue with steady growth each year.
In July last year, there was widespread politically-inspired unrest around Durban and the surrounding region, home to four million people. Hundreds of people were killed, thousands of shops were ransacked, and many local businesses and other properties were destroyed. Most people have become poorer as a result.
While still recovering from this disaster, the region was hit in April this year by rainfall on an unprecedented scale. Roads, bridges, the port, and other infrastructure were damaged. Containers drifted away and blocked roads. An estimated 600 school buildings were damaged and approximately 13 000 houses and shacks were damaged or destroyed. The provision of water and electricity was interrupted. Tragically, the death toll is over 400 and the total damage is expected to run into the tens of billions.
Once again, Mukhanyo’s campus was only marginally affected: some leaks in the (old) centre and no water or power for only a few days, according to the campus manager Rev. Antonio Coppola. A few students couldn’t reach the centre due to damaged roads but have since returned unharmed. The floods took place during the Easter break, so classes were not running at the time, but have now resumed.
But the region was again shaken by the second disaster. Many of Mukhanyo’s lecturers and students are serving communities that are experiencing much greater suffering as a result. There are so many needs, both short-term and longer-term.
Through this all, Mukhanyo’s vision remains the same: to equip pastors and other Christians with biblical knowledge and the ability to minister in local churches and communities across Africa. The Durban campus is built on the Rock, our Lord Jesus Christ, and we seek to assist many faithful men and women to build their ministries on this Rock. It is this solid foundation that will withstand all challenges, both present and future.