Umthombo Wempilo Project Update: Celebrating 10 years of a beautiful but tough ministry
- by Amy Touzell
- March 24, 2023
Umthombo Wempilo is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year!
In August, REACH SA Presiding Bishop Glenn Lyons and Pastor Godfrey of Christ Church Hillbrow, Johannesburg will lead a thanksgiving service to celebrate the huge milestone of this beautiful but tough ministry.
We thank God for the compassion and leadership of Bubbly, who has been involved with the project since it all began in a small office at Christ Church Hillbrow, packing gift bags to go on outreach in 2013. Bubbly and her faithful team have gone on to support hundreds of women and their children with essential care packages, emergency accommodation, skills-based workshops, support groups, prayer and counselling over the past 10 years, providing hope and opportunities to leave the sex industry.
In the last quarter of 2022 alone, Umthombo Wempilo provided support to 85 walk-ins, distributed 54 food parcels to families in need, and had 30 woman attend their end-of-year women’s fellowship event.
They have also assisted four women to leave sex work, return to their home countries and reunite with their families in 2022. Many others left brothels and sex-work and have started small businesses, gone on to further their studies or have found other jobs, with the support of Bubbly and her team.
One of these women was Zanele*. Since being referred to Umthombo, Zanele has moved out of the brothel, reunited with her daughter and started working as a cleaner in a local school. She continues to attend a Bible study group at Umthombo and is growing in her knowledge of God.
Umthombo Wempilo means ‘Well of Life’. We praise God for the growth and longevity of this life-giving work.
Pray for Umthombo Wempilo:
- Praise God for the work of Umthombo Wempilo over the past 10 years.
- Give thanks for the continued prayers and generosity of Anglican Aid supporters who have played a crucial part in Umthombo Wempilo’s journey to reach such a big milestone in 2023.
- Pray for Ans and the team of Australian supporters as they prepare to travel to South Africa in August for the 10-year anniversary celebrations.
- Thank God for the four ladies who have recently left sex work and reunited with their families.
- Ask for God’s protection over the ladies Umthombo Wempilo are working with, especially with the rise of crime and kidnapping in SA.
- Pray for the Umthombo Wempilo staff as they resume Bible studies and visit women in brothels.
- Give thanks for the compassion and dedication of the Umthombo Wempilo staff. Pray that they will remain steadfast and strong in the Lord, amidst all that life brings and that they will seek the Lord’s wisdom, leadership, and guidance in all that they do.
*Name changed for privacy and safety