PUB RESTORED INTO A CHURCH - Salem Danville, Pretoria, South Africa


Salem Danville's first service was under a carport on the 1st of March 2009 with 6 people. We started because the people of Danville spoke a need of a Biblical, relevant and alive church.

In December of 2009 we took over an old pub in Danville and renovated it into our church - a miracle done by God! Today we minister to about 100 people, 30 teenagers and 60 children.
Danville is a poor area in Pretoria West, South Africa - unique in a sense that there is poor people of all cultures and races.

Our vision - to bring His Peace and restoration to the people of Danville. To show them that your circumstances do not dictate God's love for you. Jesus loves all, no matter who you are, what you've done, or how much money you have!

Share the joy of ministering to the poor with us in this blog!

Kobus & Anina Homan (Pastors Salem Danville)

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pastoring For The Poor: Behind a smile...

Pastoring For The Poor: Behind a smile...: "Do you know someone that always smiles? And I don’t mean a forced friendliness, a sincere smile that comes from a sincere heart! We have a ..."

Behind a smile...

Do you know someone that always smiles? And I don’t mean a forced friendliness, a sincere smile that comes from a sincere heart!

We have a family like that in our church. Innocence, his wife and 5 children. Each one of them, always smiles. I remembered thinking that they surely must have something to smile about…

Last night we had our second celebration dinner, where we aim to know people a bit better.

What I know about Innocence and his family is that they are political refugees from a Northern African state. He was involved in politics but had to flee for his life because he did not agree with the genocide going on in his land.

Last night he gave me some more details… and I struggled to keep back the tears!

He told me, how more than once, he and his family had to flee flying bullets. How he had to tell his children:  “Keep your head low if you don’t want to die!”

One time, they could not flee and he had to hide his children between corpses and told them: “If you move, you die!”

Another time a man was shot and fell on one of his daughters. He told her to lay still under this bleeding corpse until he would come back for her… after six hours he lifted the body off her - terrified, full of the dead man’s blood, but alive.

At times each one of them could only eat two spoons of rice and two spoons of water. Safely in South Africa, when they could eat more, their children still only ate two spoons of food. He had to teach them that they can actually eat more!

It took me some time to process all of this information. Trying to understand that behind the smile there is so much trauma and pain. So why the smile…?

Because behind the smile, there is a family of 7 people, that lives safely in a small room in Danville, sharing communal bathroom and kitchen. Who struggles to pay the rent of R1800.00 and do peace jobs to get food on the table.

But his whole family survived, he did not lose his wife or one of his 5 children….what is there not to smile about?


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smoking or non-smoking?

Today I have been thinking back about the two years God has been using and blessing us in Danville.

Some other pastors can’t imagine working in the area we are working and sometimes even pity us. The truth is, when you are where God wants you to be – it is a joy! The people of Danville are our family in Christ!

But true to a broken and hurting community – there is allot of alcohol and drug abuse. A few of these incidents left us with a smile on our faces.

One of these incidents happened about a year ago. One of our brothers lost his wife and gave up on life, lost everything and stayed on the streets of Danville. His survival against the cold – using drugs. So many times he would come to church… how can we state it…. very happy… and it was not because of the joy of the Lord!

So one day he came to church and said to my husband: “Pastor, I have found some partitions!” My husband asked him for what he wanted to use the partitions. “Well, off course to divide the church…” My husband just frowned.” Pastor, for the smoking and non-smoking parts…”

Again my imagination took over… our ushers asking people on a Sunday: “Smoking or non-smoking?”

I value this brother, in spite of his addiction. He placed a smile on my face, and he is the reason we are in Danville. To bring Hope to those who lost hope!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A borrowed axe

Have you ever borrowed something from someone, and then something happened to that borrowed item?

In 2 Kings 6 I have founded an interesting story:
1 The company of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to live.”
   And he said, “Go.”
 3 Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?”
   “I will,” Elisha replied. 4 And he went with them.
   They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. 5 As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh, my lord,” he cried out, “it was borrowed!”

This made me think of an incident that happened years ago in our own life. We only had one small car and someone crashed into the back of our car – totally written off. And, off course without a car, you are pretty stranded.

So a very good friend gave us her car to borrow until the insurance could be settled and we could get another car.

So with the borrowed car me and my husband were driving just a few days after the accident. We slowly approached a red robot, but before we got there it changed to green and Kobus started to accelerate. When we got to the robot, a lady from the opposite side turned right in front of us, smashing the front of the car to pieces…

I was in total unbelief. “How can this happen?” “Didn’t you see us?” “The robot was green for us!” “THIS IS NOT OUR CAR!!”

After I could pull myself together, I had to phone my friend, informing her that we have made an accident with her car. She first thought I made a joke, and actually told me it’s a very good prank. How unlikely that you would have two accidents, in just a few days!

But it was true; we just smashed up, a friend’s car!

Luckily, our friend had a very compassionate heart and understood the situation. At the end, we placed the whole situation in God’s hands and He helped us so that her car could be fixed and we got another car.

You see, God is interested in every detail of our lives, even the stuff we borrow!

The prophet was worried about the axe that fell in the water that was borrowed, and even something as small as this was important to God. Verse 6 -7 says:

 6 The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. 7 “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

God wants to help you with each and every situation in your life, whether it is big or small. Make Him part of the smallest detail of your life, and He will even sort out the borrowed stuff!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Pastor, you look like a Tomboy!

Fulltime ministry has allot of challenges. And to minister in a place, that is different from your normal paradigm of church… well, I think you just need a whole lot of grace!

I like my hair short, and usually it grows so fast. So this time I told my hairdresser: “Please cut it a bit shorter, I don’t want to cut hair every four weeks!” The bit shorter went a bit too far…

So with very short hair, I went to church Sunday! Most people just looked at their pastor and smiled. One of our teenagers looked at me and asked: “Why did you cut your hair?” “Well, I cut it every month…” I said. His reply: “Pastor, you look like a Tomboy!” He walked away and left me with a smile on my face, all that I could think was "Thank you Lord my identity is in You!"

Matthew 5:48 in the Message says:
48"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."

If I were still basing my identity in how I look and on people and what they think of me, I would have been very upset. But I choose to live out of my God-created identity. Knowing I am His child, created good enough, loved and accepted…. Even if I look like a Tomboy!

In what do you base your identity?


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saved by an earthquake

Isn’t it strange that sometimes you read a familiar passage in the Bible that you have been reading many times… and then for the first time, you read a truth that you’ve never seen before?  Last night I’ve been reading about Paul and Silas…

 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” (Acts 16 NIV)

After been beaten and thrown into jail – round at about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing like some of us don’t even pray in good times…

But the significant part – “…and the other prisoners were listening to them.”

Other’s will always be looking and listening how you handle life if you say you are a Christian, especially through the tough and difficult times – you see, we are supposed to be handing life differently if God is on our side!

Then even more significant – God’s response to praying and praising in difficult times – an earthquake, freeing them from prison… but, not only Paul and Silas were freed… each and every prisoner that listened to them, was freed!

Isn’t that just amazing – when you pray and praise in difficult times – it can even influence those who listen to you!

What do you do in difficult times?  If you choose to praise Him, in spite of you circumstances, you might also free the people listening to you!


(This day is written in loving memory of Jean-Pierre Homan (29/07/1990 - 26/05/2011) - my brother and sister in law's son. And to you Barney and Jenny - who is still praising in difficult times as parents losing a son - may many be freed from their prisons, because you are praising!)

Jean-Pierre Homan

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Miracle

I suppose some people are skeptic about God because they do not see or experience any miracles.

To see miracles I believe you have to move in the realm of the impossible! This is the incredible privilege we have in Danville, to see God perform miracles - when He does things that supersedes human ability.

Yesterday I told you about our celebration service. There was about 30 adults - that was without all the teenagers and the children.

Kobus barbequed all the meat at home - about 25 pieces of T-bone. When we walked into the church, my first thought: "I hope there is enough meat". When we dished up I divided some of the meat for the children, but did not count... "Oooh, God, let there be enough for each one....!"

The children got first and then all the adults stood in a row for a succulent piece of meat... and do believe me, those who know, my husband knows how to barbeque a T-bone to perfection!

At the end, I counted the last 3 people in the row.... I counted the pieces of meat left.... 1, 2, 3 .....7! For the 3 people in the row and the 4 ladies dishing up! "WOW!" I thought, “exactly enough.”

I just smiled, and I experienced God winking at me.... O Lord, You still perform miracles!

That evening I read 2 Kings 4:42-44 (just in case I thought it was coincidence and not a miracle from Him)

 42 A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.
 43 “How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.
   But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the LORD says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” 44 Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.

There were actually left-over salads and pudding... but the meat... just enough!

God wants you to experience miracles - start trusting Him for the impossible, because this is the only place where miracles can be seen!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why I decided to blog

For so long, it has been on my heart to blog. I know this will bring meaning to my life, irrespective if this ever reach someone else. I submitted this to my Father and He just smiled.

I love Him with all my heart and I am passionate about His Word! There is nothing that can fulfill more than His Words.

My next passion is the poor of this world - to reach them with the love of my Father and make them rich in spirit.

In this blog I will share my daily walk with God as my time permits as well as our journey as the pastors of Salem Danville - a small church that me and my husband started 2 years ago in Danville, Pretoria West in South Africa. God literally pushed us into this ministry during a very deep desert. But today we know this is our passion and our calling.

Last night we had a celebration meal with 30 people of our church - a T-bone for each, a luxury for most of the people. This is our heart, to spoil them once in a while - to show them the heart of Father, not only on a spiritual level, but also on a physical level. For the next few weeks on a Wednesday, we are going to invite the next 30 people to a celebration like this, until we celebrated with all in our church. About 100 adults, 30 teenagers and 60 children.

I thank God for supplying us with the funds to really give a celebration meal with quality food!

Ultimately, we are all poor - and pastoring for the poor is for all who know they are poor in spirit, and only His presence will make us rich!