The Genadendal Moment

A historic moment in Church and Missions.

285 years ago, in 1737 Moravian missionary Georg Schmidt arrived in the Cape. By 1742, he baptised his first Kho/San convert in Genadendal.  That began a journey of friction and conflict with the Colonial Reformed clergy who held that it was against official policy in the Dutch-occupied Dutch of Good hope to baptise the Khoe. Soon after, Schmidt had to leave and return to Germany, never to return.
This a sad chapter in the history of Christian Missions in South Africa, where the Christian unity had to give way to Colonial policy and practice. Thankfully, the Moravian church in South Africa continued to thrive, thanks to a Khoe woman named Verhettege, who kept the small Moravian church started by Georg Schmidt alive. Her efforts continued for 50 years after until the next group of Moravian missionaries could return.

In September of 2023, thanks to the facilitation of SACLi Reconcile, the Moravian church and the Dutch Reformed church went on a three-day Pilgrimage at Genadendal to make things right and embrace their Khoe brothers and sisters as one with them in Christ. This was a beautiful moment of confessions, forgiveness and Reconciliation. It also offered a moment to to launch Prayer campaign for every country in Africa who had similar missions history where colonialism and missions went together.

A documentary was put together to record this momentous event.


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