Ric and Luz Zapata


Returning Home
In Cambridge, South Africa

story
August 8, 2017
ITeams
ITeams

Cambridge is located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and is a community suffering from extreme levels of poverty, unemployment and inadequate education. A large percentage of its 30,000 residents live in shacks.

Through partnership with Grace Community Baptist Church, led by Pastor Vuyo Mkonwana, we are seeing the transforming power of Jesus at work. By empowering the local leadership to carry out its vision for the community, multiple ministries are positively impacting the community.

Pastor Mknowana is a key member of this community, and his own story demonstrates the power of following the ways of Jesus. Through his vision and leadership, we see the transforming power of Jesus in people whose circumstances were once like his.

A Young Man's Story

Vuyo Mknowana and his two sisters were raised by their mother in a shack in Cambridge. By his own admission, he was far from Jesus and simply wanted to get out of his community. He desired to attend the nearby school , but his only choice to afford transportation and supply costs was to begin gambling. He was lost and desperate for a new, “better” life.

It was in the midst of his pain that Vuyo first encountered Jesus. Vuyo was immediately captivated by His love and chose to follow Jesus. He decided to stop his gambling, but in doing so, he found himself without means to earn money, attend school, or even help out at home. Yet Vuyo persevered and bravely pursued his high school diploma at an adult evening school. He worked with a local ministry and eventually attended seminary. Upon graduation, he lived out his calling as a pastor and returned to Cambridge, the very place he had once longed to leave. 

Home Again

As the pastor of Grace Community Church in Cambridge, Vuyo believes his example will inspire the youth of Cambridge to dream and reach further than they ever thought possible. His story is just one tangible demonstration of the possibilities and the hope found in Jesus Christ. We look forward to seeing this happen over and over again in the lives of people in Cambridge.