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Game for the World and Youth in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa

February 15, 2013

Rev Luxolo Mantini serves five churches and heads up the youth coordinators for the 12 districts of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA).  As the Connexional Youth Coordinator, he is responsible for youth ministry in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Namibia.

Alan and I drove out to meet with him in Kwa Thema, an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. Kwa Thema is near the city of Springs, where Alan’s mother once lived and where we visited regularly when we lived in Johannesburg over 20 years ago. The drive out brought back many memories, though the area has grown tremendously since we lived in South Africa.

Having met three of his youth coordinators on our trip from Cape  Town to Johannesburg, I was eager to meet Rev Mantini.  His youth coordinators seem to have a great sense of fun and bring it to their ministry. Rev Mantini also has a twinkle in his eye and made us feel welcome immediately in his home.

Rev Mantini says there is enormous work to be done with youth ministry in Southern Africa. He believes the only way we can change the tide of HIV/AIDS devastation in Southern Africa is to reach its youth. The Kwa Thema area has been hard hit by unemployment caused by mines closing down. Unemployed miners have sought comfort in drinking and then having had unprotected sex, have become infected with HIV. “Most of the people I bury had AIDS. It’s rare to have families brave enough to say it’s AIDS, most of the time they say it’s TB or meningitis. People don’t want to talk about it”, says Rev Mantini.

He believes that Game for the World will help people feel safe to talk about HIV and to learn about ways in which their attitudes and beliefs about HIV can shape their future and the quality of their lives.

We were honored to be invited by Rev Mantini to hold a workshop on Game for the World at a  conference for all the MCSA youth ministry people.  The Game received great feedback from those attending the session.

Shown below are Rev Mantini and his church.

 

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