The words of this African proverb convey the wisdom, and advantage, of unity. Pursuing our goals together brings both a greater impact, and a more lasting one. For years, however, it has seemed as though most of the time in Bhekulwandle, people “go alone.” Churches and organizations, political groups and traditional Zulu authorities, and even many families struggle to be heard or change their circumstances, but rarely together with others.
Not long ago one of Bhekulwandle’s Indunas (a greatly respected, wizened man who is the local Zulu Chief’s representative) made an impassioned appeal to the churches of the community. He recalled the extreme violence that swept through the area in the early 1990’s, a time when people felt so threatened by political rivalries that families feared to sleep in their homes at night. “In those days, the churches prayed for peace, and God brought peace to the community and the country,” the Induna explained. “Today, as I look at Bhekulwandle, I see orphans, poverty, drugs and crime. But I think surely if God helped us then, he will help us now. Please tell your churches to
come together and pray.”
The pastors have begun holding community-wide prayer meetings every few months, and have formed a pastor’s committee. We were thrilled when they asked us to host regular pastors’ meetings at our facility and we shared that we have been praying for this kind of vision and unity for years!
Last month, we gathered the English and Afrikaans pastors of Amanzimtoti together with five Zulu pastors from Bhekulwandle, to share what God is doing and express our belief that God is drawing an amazingly diverse group of people together in order to transform our communities. As our meeting concluded, one ‘Toti pastor asked if they could gather around the Bhekulwandle church leaders to pray for them. During that powerful moment of unity, those wise words returned to me: If you want to go far, go together.