Tell us a little about yourself.
I think I’m a simple woman with a complex calling. I’m the wife of an amazing man and church planter, Sihle, and mother to Hlelo (4), Umi (2), and Aza (3 months). I’m also a part-time brand manager for a fintech start-up and a designer focusing on preserving African design through my minimalist fine art paintings.
How did you become a Christian?
I grew up in a Christian home, but during my time as an au pair in America, I was alone and far from my family. It left me no choice but to confront this Jesus I’d heard about as a child and even claimed to adore with my whole heart. But I lacked an accurate understanding of who he was in action.
Fast forward to when Sihle, a friend at the time, would tirelessly unpack the gospel with me whenever we met. Then one night, I heard a preacher in Pretoria preach a fire sermon, pleading that we repent of our sins and turn to Jesus, who wanted to save us from ourselves. That evening I prayed in my room and knew without a doubt that I was God’s beloved—and I still am.
Did you expect to be in ministry with your husband? How did church planting come about for your family?
After my conversion, I knew I wanted to be active in sharing my faith with people through how I live and work. So when Sihle wrapped up his seminary studies and God called him to lead a church in Durban, it didn’t phase me. I embraced that I would become a pastor’s wife, although I didn’t, and still don’t, sense the call to full-time ministry as he is. After my conversion, I knew I wanted to be active in sharing my faith with people through how I live and work. Click To Tweet
Our understanding of this community drew us to plant in the east of Johannesburg. We grew up here. We know this is a typical city where people come to flourish, and we longed to be part of God’s plan to redeem and renew all of life in Joburg and our nation at large.
What are the most challenging aspects of being a pastor’s wife?
One of the most challenging things for me has been juxtaposing the preparation for this role versus its reality. I’ve been incredibly blessed to have been discipled by a pastor’s wife who didn’t have ministry on her radar, which presented a unique struggle. I was privy to witnessing God’s hand at work in helping her deal with real heart issues around the complexities of the role of a wife in general, leadership, and overcoming the need to be financially in control of her life as finances can be unstable in ministry, etc.
This front-row seat gave me the vocabulary to think through what this role could look like for me. My approach has been to be more active in supporting my husband’s leadership behind the scenes and being faithful in participating in church and community life. My approach has been to be more active in supporting my husband’s leadership behind the scenes and being faithful in participating in church and community life. Click To Tweet
What most excites you and gives you joy in ministry?
The people. It’s the people who make ministry joyful and challenging all at once. I’ve grown to cherish the wisdom of the African church in choosing to address the pastor and his wife as úbab’umfundisi and umam’umfundisi’ (for Zulu speakers). These are somewhat parental ways of addressing the pastor and his wife, which also gives an inkling of what kind of role we play in the church. We teach, nurture, care for, and guide the same way parents would for their children—we do this for God’s people. We teach, nurture, care for, and guide the same way parents would for their children—we do this for God’s people. Click To Tweet
How has Acts 29 supported you/your family?
Before joining the Acts 29 family, I distinctly remember feeling misunderstood by the church. I wanted to be a normal church member, but there seemed to be no room for that.
Through open dialogue with my Acts 29 coach, Confidence Mokgatle, I continued to develop the vocabulary around my feelings. I was now a leader by osmosis, as it were, and I thought I could no longer just be human. I learned that I needed to understand my longing for a gospel reality on this side of heaven, that this was shattered by sin but pieced together by faith in Jesus. Only then could I come alongside others who have the same longing.
I’m thankful this coaching space was provided for us as pastors’ wives. It has been such a game-changer.
How can the Acts 29 community pray for you, your family, and your church?
Please pray for continued steadfast love for Christ in me, my family, and my community. Pray that we may receive renewal through faith in Jesus Christ, embody renewal through worship and community, and extend renewal to our neighbors and our beloved city.