Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. -Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)
Name(s): Burgstahler Family
Host Country: South Africa
The Burgstahler family resides in Cape Town, South Africa. They were mentored in ministry by a South African pastor and his family. Although they first had their sights on Durban and the Zulu people in the eastern part of the country, they sensed God leading them to settle in the Cape Town area on the southwest coast. There, they have been learning the Afrikaans and isiXhosa languages, and becoming familiar with the unique cultures found especially in the Western Cape Province.
South Africa is marked by hundreds of years of systematic oppression of “non-white” people-groups. The skin-color-based Apartheid, or “apartness” government system was brought to an end only in 1994. While some think it is high-time to “get over” the past, it is unfortunately clearly evident that the structures and mindsets of racial and cultural divisions, and the consequential damage, still dramatically influence daily life and relationships today. The long 20+ years prove to be very short with respect to progress in this arena, especially in the Western Cape area.
The Burgstahlers are positioned where they are of the minority both racially and culturally. Here, they find abundant opportunities to reach past these boundaries which still sharply divide people, to invest themselves in intentional discipleship of followers of Jesus Christ, and to practice being “instruments of peace” to help facilitate “racial reconciliation” through Christ.