Worldwide and/or South Africa

Relational Children’s Ministry course participants learning more about bonding and group work. This course is fully online, but there is a compulsory practical week students have to attend.

Worldwide there is a huge and growing demand for the services offered by Petra Institute to the Body of Christ, which means that our strategy of advocacyempowerment and multiplication works! We praise the Lord for every opportunity He creates to equip and send out more people.

We recently received an email with an open-hearted, serious question to Petra Institute: “Why are there so many overseas projects being done at the expense of our own country? Is it not time for us to start quenching our own country’s spiritual thirst?”

To answer the question, I looked at what we have done in South Africa over the last three months. I would like to share it with you, because if one reader is asking this, many others are probably asking the same question.

In order to better understand our way of working and its impact, I would like to mention the following:

  • We do not work directly with children – We empower community, church and mission leaders who have a calling to work with children so that they can take ownership of the children within their reach, do the work effectively, and to equip others with the same skills to equip yet others. We therefore work according to a multiplication model where more and more people are equipped and a growing number of children are constantly being reached. This is only the first level of training that is usually reflected in our communication. Every person who has received training and works with children once a week reaches approximately 30 children (conservatively calculated). Many of them have several groups of children that they reach each week, with much larger groups. Meanwhile, they constantly train others who train others and serve children as well. Do you see the picture? It is a movement that is spreading ever wider and further!
  • There are currently only 22 lecturers who are employed full-time at Petra Institute, of which only two live and work abroad. The other 20 lecturers work in South Africa and abroad. These people all work as volunteers at the Institute. However, we work in partnerships and networks where we have many co-workers that work with us, making it possible to do so much more.
  • Most of our funds are spent in South Africa. The training abroad is mostly funded by partner organisations.
  • Courses usually last between three and ten days. In other cases, it is ongoing training that meet weekly.



  • Hex River Valley – Walking with Wounded Families course
  • Fish Hoek, Cape Town – Handling of trauma within a healing community
  • Jeffrey’s Bay – Family camp for Karoo farm workers
  • Elarduspark, Pretoria – After-school caregivers receiving weekly training
  • Balfour – Walking with Wounded Children course
  • White River – Practical week: Relational Children’s Ministry online course (second year group)
  • De Doorns – Help Children Grow Spiritually course
  • Port Elizabeth – Walking with Wounded Children course
  • Kimberley – Walking with Wounded Children course
  • Hazyview – Walking with Wounded Children course
  • De Doorns – Walking with Wounded Children course
  • Pretoria – Practical week: Relational Children’s Ministry online course (first year group)
  • Ceres – Help Children Grow Spiritually course
  • Salvokop, Pretoria – a course equipping families in building relationships, setting of boundaries and listening skills
  • Die Moot, Pretoria – Equipping of children’s workers and Sunday school teachers
  • De Doorns – Children’s camp
  • De Doorns – Walking with Wounded Children course
  • Nelspruit – Walking with Wounded Children course – training for teachers involved at schools in Mpumalanga province
  • Rustenburg – Planning of children’s festivals
  • Pretoria – Children’s Ministry Network of Pretoria meeting
  • Bloemfontein – Grade 9 learners equipped to assist with holiday programme
  • Bloemfontein – Holiday programme for children
  • De Doorns – Walking with Wounded Children course
  • De Doorns – Family course
  • Modimolle – Walking with Wounded Children course
  • Pretoria and Rustenburg – Children’s festivals at four mega congregations

In addition to the above, the same group of lecturers are also involved at South African tertiary institutions where they submit papers, assist with strategic plans on how to make children’s ministry training a part of training for ministers as well as writing academic articles – all aimed at focusing more on children and children’s ministry within theological training. Petra Institute is also involved in international networks (which also function within South Africa).

We would like to do much more in South Africa, but our number of employees and funds are limited. The institute is a faith-based organisation that relies on voluntary contributions from individuals and congregations. Our staff work as volunteers and are responsible for their own living expenses.

However, we must also look through the eyes of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world– after all, He called us to spread the Gospel to the ends of the world. Our calling (to equip the Body of Christ for children’s ministry) must be fulfilled also where the Body is under extreme pressure – in war-torn countries, countries where Christians are prosecuted, where natural disasters occur.  This we do, so that the children who are reached today with the values ​​and principles of the Word, will be the leaders of tomorrow, and can make decisions according to Biblical values ​​and make Christ visible where they live and work. South Africa is blessed with a mainly Christian population. The challenge is that anyone who calls himself or herself a follower of Christ, ought to live Christ-like where he or she is being a disciple-maker.  Organisations such as Petra Institute can focus on areas where Christ is not known and where the need is really the greatest.


The Management of Petra Institute has decided to close Petra Mountain Retreat & Conference Centre as it does not form part of our calling, namely the empowerment of the Body of Christ for Children’s Ministry, and also did not bring in the wanted profit to support our ministry. It consumed much time and energy from staff who were not directly involved in the centre. A decision on the utilisation of the facilities has not yet been taken. Different options will be considered, for example, to rent it to a ministry of similar value. Please pray with us for clear guidance from the Lord.

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