Passing on the baton

OM International | South Africa

Over the course of their 11 years leading AIDS Hope, God has taken Nico and Alma Leonard on an incredible journey full of miracles, answered prayers and unexplainable joy in the midst of challenges as they worked to restore hope and dignity in people whose lives are affected by HIV and AIDS.

Moving to Mamelodi, a township east of Pretoria, South Africa, in October 2009 in order to expand the work of AIDS Hope, Nico and Alma opened Meetse a Bophelo centre, meaning “fountain of life” in Tswana.

The centre offers a variety of ministries; from SportsLink to afterschool homework help, feeding programmes to skills training. The Leonard’s became part of the community in a way that they never expected and were blessed with relationships beyond their dreams.

God established the centre as a beacon of hope in a community faced with poverty, high drug use, sickness, broken families, teen pregnancy, HIV and AIDS and despair. From the start, the Leonard’s had it in their hearts to establish the centre and ministry in Mamelodi and then hand it over to a local couple to take further and deeper with their understanding of the native language and culture. 

In 2014 this couple was identified and have been walking alongside the Leonard’s ever since; joining OM, completing Missions Discipleship Training (MDT) and then joining the ministry as leaders. With great peace in their hearts that their time in Mamelodi had come to an end, Nico and Alma officially handed over leadership of Meetse a Bophelo to John and Lerato Manganyi on October 28, 2016. 

John and Lerato are both passionate people that have a heart to serve the local community, equip and mobilise the church and disciple others. They are well loved and accepted not only by the Meetse a Bophelo team, but by the surrounding community as well. Servant leaders with an exciting vision for God’s work in Mamelodi, the Manganyi’s are enthusiastic and ready to take on this new role with great joy and anticipation. Nico and Alma will continue serving as the directors of AIDS Hope but will no longer be leading the ministries in Mamelodi. 

While changes will naturally come in this time of transition, AIDS Hope will continue to reach out to those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, showing them the love of Christ. 

Please pray for the transition between leaders to go smoothly; pray for the Manganyi’s as they seek God’s vision for Meetse a Bophelo and for the Leonard’s as they discover God’s next steps for their family. Praise God for the work He has done through Meetse a Bophelo and the many lives that have been touched through the ministry.

Published: Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Credit: OM International
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