Youth Conference 2024 Kwasizabantu

Youth Conference June 2024

The June 2024 Youth Conference was held from 19 – 25 June 2024 at KwaSizabantu Mission. Those who couldn't join us in person could tune in via Radio Khwezi, or via video or audio streaming on the website. Apart from Zulu and English, the services are also available in German, French and Sesotho.

Notes from the Registration Team
It was a wonderful experience to meet children from across South Africa as they arrived to register. The fruits of CYPSA and the mission's ministry to schools and communities were evident in the many new children who came as a result of the outreaches. We registered just over 6450 children from outside the mission.

Transporting over 6000 people to the Conference
9 buses together with other vehicles made over 100 trips fetching young people and returning them home from areas throughout KwaZulu Natal, the Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape. It was the most people we have ever needed to transport, and we thank the Lord that this was possible without any accidents and for providing all the diesel required.

A gospel message that changes lives

To try and condense 50 years of God’s mercies and wonderful deeds into one week is an impossibility. Yet the words of each speaker, the songs of every choir, the messages of each preacher, the testimony of dozens of the young people proclaimed His wonderful acts and told of His mighty works. Many years have past since the first Youth Conference, but the powerful gospel of Christ was once again able to pierce hearts, convicting of sin and leading to repentance. The power of the gospel is all-encompassing – it addresses the challenges of drug addiction, moral decay, social disintegration and is even able to train us in to become citizens of our country who honour their neighbour, work diligently to feed the nation and make a valuable contribution to the communities from which we come.

How thrilled we were to see the stories Reverend Stegen so often told the young people over the many years come to life in film format! The message of Fred Charrington, Mahoyi, The Slave Girl and others struck home, resulting in renewed consecration and commitment. What’s even more exciting was that they were produced right here at KwaSizabantu.

Cooking for thousands, from the Team at the Pots

We look back, somewhat with a sigh of relief, but much more with a huge sense of awe at what the Lord did and enabled our little team to do this youth week. God was at work, not only in the auditorium, but just as much in our little kitchen of 10 x 350L steam pots. We know it was by God’s grace alone – He brought each child and we had the honour to cook for them.

The cooking team consisted of a team of old and young, black and white, veteran and novice cooks – all energized by the privilege of partnering with the Lord in what He is doing. To get a sense of how we ran around: all in all we worked through 8 tons of rice, 3 tons mealie meal, 3 tons of beans and 360 litres of maas. An average of 850 loaves of bread were collected from the mission’s bakery daily, and a total of 60 buckets of ‘homemade’ jam accompanied the bread! The children were delighted at the treats we were able to add – 2 pallets of Choice Assorted biscuits, 14 000 lollipops, 5000 bananas and 7000 oranges, to name a few items that appeared on the week’s menu.

Mama Sishange, one of our veteran cooks and a much-loved member of the team, expressed what we all felt: “We thank the Lord, oh how we thank the Lord for His goodness, help and strength. We do this work for Him with joy, and we thank Him for His greatness. What an honour to work for Him, how we thank Him!”

Thankful Thoughts regarding the June 2024 Conference

The 2024 June youth conference celebrating 50 years was truly a great blessing. It was such a joy to see the number of children who attended. We are so thankful for the many children that gave their lives to the Lord at the last service and pray that He would carry on working in their lives. Imagine what a bright future we could have in South Africa if all these children who gave their lives to the Lord would stay true to Him!

1974 – 2024: Reflections from someone who attended the first Youth Conference

50 years is a long time. It is impossible to summarise the impact of the many years of youth ministry which started in 1974. As children at the time, we were trained in the ways of godliness and our characters were molded by God’s word and His holy standards. We learned to love the Lord Jesus, His work and His people. The authenticity of Rev Stegen’s life and teaching, as well as the coaching of Ms Dube, have stood the test of time because 50 years later, the children of 1974 are still in the Lord’s work in 2024.

On Sunday, 23 June, we thanked and honoured our God for His faithfulness to the generations of young people who have been helped at KwaSizabantu Mission. It was a memorable event. Who cannot trust a God who has carried us for 50 years?

Children giving their lives to the Lord Jesus

The Lord was gracious during the Youth Conference, and worked in a marvellous way. Children came to us crying, regretting the lives they had been living, making right that they were disobedient to their parents. Many children were affected by bad dreams and sleepless nights, with evil spirits keeping them awake at night telling them to leave this place, as they were burning. As the children confessed their sins, the voices stopped and they related how they were now able to sleep peacefully. The Lord worked by His grace, with many children saying they were here for the first time but want to come again.

(By one of the counsellors who spent many hours counselling the young people)

Over 10 000 people attend the Thanksgiving Service for 50 Years of Youth Conferences Thanksgiving Services at KwaSizabantu Mission

Sports Day hosted by the Youth of KwaSizabantu Mission
Our hearts are filled with thankfulness to the Lord Jesus for making the Sports day a great success, especially on this 50th anniversary since Rev. Stegen started playing soccer with the children in the 1974 Youth Conference. We are very grateful to all the youth of the mission and from the various mission branches, the co-workers and the older people for their help. Siyabonga kakhulu, uNkulunkulu anibusise (Thank you very much, may the Lord bless you).

Youth of KwaSizabantu Mission help during the Conference

Being an usher during the services allows you to get to know the children and interact with them but what brought a big smile to my face this time was seeing the familiar faces of girls that were here at the previous conferences that came back this year.

Both helpers and children enjoyed the Sports Day immensely. No line was too long for the children to queue in to get to their games. Even the “Mamas” came to ask for games tickets and they enjoyed it just as much as the children, if not even more! When going around and asking the children what their favourite game was, musical chairs and the jumping castle came out as the top 2 favourite.

The final soccer match of the day (Silverstream vs Weenen) drew a very large crowd of spectators and a very happy Weenen team left the field victorious. Even though it was late and dark many little eager boys stayed behind to help us clean up the pavilion.

It was a joy for us as young people to help and be part of God’s work in this way and to serve the children in this way. Everyone worked together enjoying themselves, the young people eager to clean up and singing away while washing dishes. For that we want to thank God for His grace and help.

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