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 (Stephen, Gayle & son, Micah; daughter, Charis is residing in the U.S.) relocated to Cape Town, South Africa in November of 2014. Previously, they were mentored by a South African pastor and his family since 1988. Although they first had their sights on Durban and the Zulu people in the eastern part of South Africa, they recognized God providing for them to settle in the Cape Town area on the southwest coast. There, they have been familiarizing themselves 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 forget about the past, it is unfortunately clearly evident that the structures and mindsets of racial and cultural oppression, and the consequent damage, still dramatically influence daily life and relationships today. 25+ years prove to be very short with respect to progress in this arena.
The Burgstahlers are positioned where they are of the minority both racially and culturally. Here, they find abundant opportunities to reach past the boundaries which still sharply divide people. Their current opportunities for ministry are especially centered around three disadvantaged communities: the Afrikaans-speaking townships of Broadlands Park and Groendal/Mooiwater and the huge, primarily isiXhosa township of Khayelitsha. They are involved in regular teaching, preaching, Bible-exploration and counseling. These provide avenues to invest themselves in intentional discipleship of followers of Jesus Christ, and to practice being instruments of peace, helping to facilitate “racial reconciliation,” which is truly accomplished first by growing relationships of people with Jesus Christ!
In day-to-day life, the Burgstahlers also often encounter spiritually hungry people from all over the continent of Africa and abroad, and have countless opportunities to speak the truth of the gospel to many, as well as distribute Bibles in several languages.