AGTS professor of community psychology, Dr. Johan H. Mostert, will lead an AGTS family and the Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU, Waxahachie, Texas) soccer team to his home country of South Africa (May 28–June 18).
Dr. Mostert has been leading students to South Africa for seven years. Mostert explained, “I want to expose students to South African culture, let them to rejoice with us at the miracle of our democracy since 1994 and weep with us at the terrible impact of AIDS on the people, and give them hands-on experience ministering to people living with HIV/AIDS."
This year’s trip was initiated by the SAGU soccer team. They had been inspired by Miguel Guerreiro, son of AGTS director of enrollment Dr. Mario Guerreiro, who joined Mostert for this same journey the year before with a team from AGTS. They saw the Soccer World Cup in South Africa as a wonderful opportunity to use soccer as a point of contact to engage the youth of South Africa.
Miguel's sister, Natalia (AGTS M.A. 2010, AGTS admissions coordinator), was on the same trip last year. "South Africa changed my life." said Natalia. "The experiences I encountered while working with AIDS orphans were beyond any of my expectations. When you read that up to one in four South Africans are infected with AIDS, it’s just text. It’s not until you are kneeling at the bedside of a dying soul that the statistics become real. Now we know."
The enthusiasm of the Guerreiro siblings has not only infected the SAGU team but inspired their father to return to his childhood roots. "Dr. Mario Guerreiro was a young boy when his family was forced to flee neighboring Mozambique in that country’s civil war," said Mostert. " I will accompany Dr. Guerreiro and his wife, Holly, for a two day visit to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique to revisit the neighborhoods that still carry the scars of war, to look for his childhood home, his church and former school."
Left to right: Miguel, Mario, Natalia (M.A. 2010) and Holly (M.A. 2009) Guerreiro
The team will minister in several communities, churches and hospitals, deliver food packages to home-bound AIDS victims, care for babies in AIDS hospices and conduct pre-game ministry before a World Cup soccer match.
Read an article in the AGTS Rapport magazine about a previous trip to South Africa.
Miguel plans to keep a daily video diary for those who wish to follow them on their journey. It will be posted here as the videos are made available.