Compassionate Care for Orphans and Vulnerable children in South Africa.
How and why the ministry started
Bethesda Outreach Ministries was born out of a desire to show compassion to children in Africa who had been orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS. The desire resulted in a survey trip being made to Africa in May of 2000 by a group from Evangelical Baptist Missions (EBM).
South Africa was chosen as the place in which to build a children’s village, and property was purchased north of Pretoria in Hammanskraal. In October of 2000, Bethesda Outreach Ministries became a South African company, incorporated under Section 21. In January and February of 2003, Bethesda obtained status as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and our first houseparent couple moved onto the property and began caring for children. Currently, there are six Bethesda families caring for orphan children within the children’s village.
Due to some zoning issues, a different piece of property was purchased in June of 2003 on which to build the Bethesda Children’s Village. Bethesda’s Orphan Care Development Ministry was begun in 2004, with the purpose of providing teaching, training resources, and education support to those in the surrounding churches and communities who wish to gain expertise in caring for orphans within their area.
In January 2005, Bethesda’s Jabulane Christian Academy began operating on the property and now accommodates over 250 students from Grade R (Kindergarten) through Grade 7. Our school is open to the community as well as providing quality education to our own Bethesda children.
In August, 2011, Bethesda Outreach Ministry International, Inc opened an office in Indiana, USA, and became an official 501c3 tax-exempt, non-profit company.
We are confident that Bethesda Outreach Ministry is in God’s sovereign and all-powerful hands. The vital work here continues to move ahead as God provides the necessary financial and human resources. Our goal is to continue to impact the lives of the children that God has brought to the Bethesda Village, but we hope to have a greater impact on the local community in reaching even more orphaned and vulnerable children in the future.
Mobilising the local church and its members for the glory of God by:
- Providing a gospel focused, family centred and church driven orphaned and vulnerable child care ministry and resource centre
- Reaching out to the church to raise awareness, stimulate compassion and encourage obedience in the care of the fatherless
The local church and its members meeting the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children, that they may become disciples of Christ.
- God’s Word & Prayer
We believe the Word of God and prayer are essential to this ministry.
- Local Church
We believe that God designed and works through the local church. Bethesda staff will demonstrate growing faith through active participation in the local church.
We believe righteousness must be exercised in all areas of life.
We believe in God’s design of the family and parents have responsibility to train and nurture children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
We believe in partnership with like-minded individuals, churches and organizations.
We believe in doing the best we can do with the resources available to us.
THE BETHESDA BOARD is made up of servant minded people with experience in many different areas. One thing they all have in common is a passion for orphan care and outreach. We are so grateful for the godly leadership of our Bethesda Board!
If you are interested in having a representative present Bethesda at your church, organization or business, please contact us.
Rudi van Jaarsveld
Executive Director of Bethesda Outreach
Rudi is the Executive Director of Bethesda Outreach since November, 2019. He began working at Bethesda in 2010 in the finance department and is now overseeing all areas of Bethesda. He and his wife, Michelle have 2 children.
BOMSA & BOMI Member
Don Whipple has served on our board for many years and has even more years as a senior pastor. He also served as an interim Executive Director for a while and is a great encouragement to the board, as well as the Bethesda staff and families. He and his wife, Sue have several children and grandchildren.
Charles de Kiewit
BOMSA Director and Chairman of BOMSA Board
Charles de Kiewit is the senior pastor at Central Baptist Church in Pretoria, South Africa. Pastor Charles joined the board in March, 2004 and has been a great encouragement to many of our staff and families over the years. He and his late wife, Carol, are parents to four adult children.
BOMI Chairman, BOMSA Member
Darrel Huff is married to Andrea and they have three adult children, one daughter and two sons. He works as an ophthalmologist who primarily does cataract surgeries. He joined the Bethesda board in 2011.
BOMSA Director & BOMI Member
Ian Stuart joined the Bethesda Board in 2017 and has been named as a Director on the board. He and his wife, Antoinette work side by side as Ian serves as the Pastor for the Scottburgh Baptist Church in Kwa-zulu, Natal. Ian and Antoinette have one son.
BOMSA Director & Vice Chairman
Josh Reasoner serves at Calvary Church of Valparasio, Indiana as the Pastor of Family Ministries. He joined the Bethesda Board in October, 2011 and he and his wife, Christy have three children.
Ronald Kalifungwa is the senior pastor of Lusaka Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. Pastor Kalifungwa serves as a member and director of Bethesda Outreach and joined the Bethesda board in March, 2004. He and his wife, Sarah have three children.
BOMSA Director (treasurer) and BOMI Member
Janet Cooper has been a long-time friend to Bethesda Outreach and assists in setting up some entrepreneurial projects as well as encouraging our children in their future plans. She currently works at Investec Bank in Procurement, responsible for Third Party Management. She joined the Bethesda board in 2016.
BOMSA Member (Secretary) & BOMI Member
Mikel Berger is the Chief Technology Officer with a company called Little Engine Ventures in Indiana. He and his wife, Jessica have two children. They have always been passionate about missions and in 2016, he became a valuable addition to the Bethesda board.
BOMI Vice Chairman, BOMSA Member
Don Stoffel joined the Bethesda board in 2016 but he and his wife, Fran, have been coming to Bethesda for several months each year for many years to assist in ministries such as maintenance, child care and teaching. Don and Fran are also involved in another non-profit called Every Child that cares for vulnerable children. Don is currently retired but always busy!
Matshepo Matoane has been a member of the Bethesda Board since Oct 2020. She is passionate about working with vulnerable communities. Matshepo is a registered clinical psychologist and is currently the Dean of the School of Applied Human Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Shann de Smidt
Shann de Smidt is married to Neil, a farmer at heart. They have six grandchildren who keep seven parents very busy! Shann was the principal of a private Christian school based in Pretoria but has now officially retired. Although retired, she continues to serve in various consulting capacities with ACSI, Jabulane Christian Academy and the Bethesda board.
Michele Geurink has been a part of the Bethesda board since 2023 but has been a long-time friend of Bethesda Outreach. She was part of the original staff that helped to start and form Bethesda in 2000-2001. Currently, she is self-employed but has had positions at Glen Haven Retirement Village, along with her many years at Bethesda Outreach as Operations Manager and Child Care Manager. She has a passion for helping orphans and vulnerable children and continues to serve as God gives opportunity.
Meet Our Families
Our houseparents are a vital part of Bethesda’s mission in providing models of functioning Christian families. Pray for them as you read their stories.
Jack and Maria Msiza joined the Bethesda family as houseparents in January 2009. Jack is the maintenance supervisor and Maria keeps very busy with their many children. Jack and Maria are faithfully teaching their family what it looks like to love God and serve Him with all of their heart.
George and Florah Sithole became part of the Bethesda ministry in June 2009. In addition to his role as father to 9 children, George also serves as the grounds supervisor. Florah is very busy mothering the many children in their home. We are thankful for their faithfulness in teaching the knowledge of God and showing His love to each of their children.
Elias and Mamitjie Matjeni were Bethesda’s first houseparents and started working with us in 2003. The Matjeni family now functions as a satellite home and are located in a nearby town. Elias has retired from the Department of Education and continues to pastor a local church. Mamitjie is a teacher in our school in addition to caring for the 4 children in their home. We appreciate their faithfulness and strong dedication to teaching their children the wisdom and knowledge of God.
Vusi and Rachel Dlamini joined the Bethesda family in 2023 along with their three children. Vusi and Rachel have proved themselves to be humble servants who are ministering to their new, large family as unto the Lord. They are providing good leadership, care and love to the children who are in their home. We are thankful to have them join the Bethesda family and look forward to how God will use them in the lives of the children in their care.
Dzeles Siwele joined Bethesda as a full time housemom in January of 2022 when we opened the new Temporary Safe Care Home for babies. She had worked as a relief houseparent prior to that as well. She joins us along with her daughter and has been such a wonderful asset to overseeing the Baby home. She is very busy with up to six little ones all under the age of 2 and helps to oversee additional care workers who help provide loving care to these babies.
Jones and Lenah Phago joined Bethesda as houseparents in 2003. In addition to being a father, Jones works in maintenance and is a pastor of a local church. Lenah is a faithful mother to the children in their home. They have moved off the Bethesda property to continue their work as parents from their community home. The Phago’s are working to model Christ’s love and grace to their family.
Statement of Faith
Read our entire statement of faith here.
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