John Ngombe: Reaching the Community

John Ngombe: Reaching the Community

John Ngombe is a lay pastor at the Nelspruit Church of the Nazarene in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. That church was started in March 2004 by John| his wife, Betty| and three other families including then missionaries Daniel and Annette Jones. Ezra Maziya, superintendent of the Sunrise District, assisted. The first Sunday there were around 15 people in attendance. Now, the church averages over 70 each Sunday.

They meet in a classroom provided to them by a primary school. The school principal was so pleased to see children attending church that the school's governing body gave them a classroom, free of charge, for use on Sundays, and Wednesday evenings. Each Sunday afternoon the youth have a service at this location as well.

In June 2008, special services were held for three weeks in a tent at the front of the school gates. During that time 48 children and youth gave their lives to Christ. On Sunday, October 5, 2008, as the Church of the Nazarene celebrated its Centennial, 27 of these young people were baptized. One-on-one relationships, home visits, and sports activities for youth all have led to growth in the church.

Most of the children in the area come from poverty-stricken homes. Many have parents working seasonal jobs on citrus plantations. As a means of connecting with the broader community, the church provides holiday outreach. For example, during the Christmas season they provide a community meal and send meal parcels to homes. Similar compassionate outreach occurs on other special days.

In addition to pastoring the church, John is communications manager for a transportation company. When asked how he manages two jobs, he responds, 'I have come to the decision to ask who comes first. God is number one, family is number two, and my communications job is number three. However, I find myself working long hours |because my job has a lot of responsibilities and the church takes 24 hours a day, too.'

'My directors at work recognize me as a pastor'a person of God. They allow me to open meetings with Scripture reading and prayer every time the resident pastor is not there. We have clinics in the workplace to help employees with physical and spiritual health issues.'

In addition to his local church role, John is the Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International director for the Sunrise District, is secretary of the district advisory board, and was also elected to the denomination's General Board.

Note: Pastor John Ngombe passed away February 13, 2013, after battling cancer.

Holiness Today, May/June 2011