The Agapé Gemeente Church of the Nazarene in Rustenburg, South Africa, has always been a church with a community focus.
In 2008, when the church was meeting in a temporary facility while raising money for a permanent worship center, the church believed God was leading them to invest in ministry to youth and children. The church postponed building and began plans for their first Jeugfees
(Youthfest), as an off-shoot of their annual Kinderfees
This year, both Kinderfees and Jeugfees were held at Laerskool Vastrap, a local primary school.
"We're a community-based church, so we choose not to have the Kinderfees and Jeugfees at church facilities," Pastor de Koker said.
From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., more than 1,000 children ages 5-11 came for games, music, food, fun, and most importantly, the Word of the Lord. Each day, 150 volunteers instructed and entertained the kids. The 15th annual Kinderfees was funded entirely by community donations, and children were led daily to the Word in large group settings, as well as small group activities. By the end of the week-long Kinderfees, 127 children came to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Jeugfees activities began not long after the children's activities ended. From 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., more than 1,000 youth and 50 volunteers participated in dress-up activities and an Altar Band worship time. The 12 to 20-year-olds were presented with the theme "One Life," and many made the life-changing decision to follow Christ as Lord.
--Church of the Nazarene Africa Region