Geanne Van Maanen felt called to serve the Lord in South Africa during her last year at university in the Netherlands.
“The plan was to be there for a year, but it turned out to be longer than planned and after five years, my church advised me to find an organisation with a bigger network, which is how I ended up joining SIM UK in March,” she explains.
Geanne works and lives at the Melusi Christian Community, situated in Dundee, in the heart of Kwazulu-Natal.
Its motto is: ‘Serving Christ, serving others’ with the aim of giving practical help to families living in nearby squatter settlements and seeing communities transformed by the gospel.
Geanne supports local church activities and community projects, including the Food4Work programme, where every day, unemployed men and women travel to Melusi to work in the large vegetable garden or community kitchen.
They receive their wages at the end of the day in the form of a food parcel, and as well as being able to provide for their families, they are able to hear the gospel.
“Every morning, we start the day with a short devotion, a song and a time of prayer,” says Geanne.
The impact of showing God’s love is evident and none more so, than when Melusi held its first baptism service after the end of the Covid lockdown.
“Four people were baptised – each with their own unique story and powerful testimony – and it was so special to see how God is changing lives,” recalls Geanne.
Geanne was also able to resume her children’s ministry, which includes organising three kids’ clubs a week and a bi-monthly teenage Bible study programme.
“I was so glad to see our kids and teenagers again and realise how important it is to teach the truth and share the real story of Jesus as the living hope – especially for the teenagers who feel they have no prospects for the future,” she says.
And although there is still much uncertainty, Geanne says she feels blessed in her life and ministry: “I love to be outdoors and to be active and although we know things might change again, we trust that God is leading and guiding us.
“It’s such an encouragement to know he answers prayers and is working in the hearts and lives of people here.”
By Kerry Allan
- Give thanks for Geanne’s faithfulness.
- For God to call more workers and especially South Africans, to join the team.
- That Zulu people will be set free from ancestral worship and that Jesus will become a reality in their lives.