• Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Johannesburg, Africa
  • onthatile.sa@gmail.com
In Newsletter

Official Languages in South Africa


Dear Friends,

There are eleven (yes, 11!) official languages in South Africa–and many more that are spoken!  And just with our current staff, we have 5 different home languages represented.

Will you pray with us as we seek to help our staff better understand the Bible in their home language?  We are working to help our staff grow spiritually through a ladies bible study led by a South African woman from our church.  Also, one of the students in our church university ministry speaks the same language as our gardener, so we’ve connected them to meet regularly and study God’s word.  This task is a challenge, but one we feel strongly about.  Please pray for us to find more strong Christian individuals who speak the same home language as our dear staff that we can connect with the purpose of furthering the gospel.

What is a home language?  This term refers to the language that a person grew up speaking as a child at home, often the language they learned from their parents.

But everyone on your staff can communicate in English–why does home language matter?  Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone and thought they understood you only to find out that they had absolutely no idea what you were talking about.  Check out this video to understand what we mean (and for a good laugh!).  When you have a different cultural background than someone else, there will always be a certain level of confusion in your conversation–we have been in South Africa for over 5 year now and still experience this.

How does this impact your ministry? On a daily basis, this brings challenges with basic communication.  A word spoken that is understood differently brings frustration.  But even more than daily tasks, we want our staff to hear and understand the gospel and grow spiritually.  When someone hears the gospel in their home language, it can be more easily and clearly understood.  We desire for all of our staff to have opportunities to clearly hear the gospel presented to them in their home language–that they might trust Christ, repent of their sins, turn to Him for salvation, and grow in Christ-likeness.

We love you all and appreciate your prayers!  Please let us know how we can be praying for you.

Love in Christ, 

Joel, Rachel, Alli, Peyton, Grant, Brynn, Z, L, K, K, and the Onthatile Staff 🙂