Ruth flies out in second mission to South Africa

RuthBarker1Web2009: After eight months working with two Christian charities in South Africa, Ruth Barker, from Wymondham loved it so much that today (September 17) she is flying back for at least another two years. Here Ruth, who goes to Gateway Vineyard church in Norwich, writes about her experiences and why she is going back to Durban.

In September last year, I applied to go to Durban, South Africa to be an intern with two Christian charities, Scripture Union and Soul Survivor/Soul Action. I was accepted but needed to raise £4000 by Christmas to go.

Thanks to many generous donations and me saving money from my full-time job I managed to raise the funds I needed and in January I headed off to Durban to begin the eight months abroad.
I had the most amazing time and learnt a lot about a different culture and about myself, so much so that on September 17 I am flying back to Durban. I'm not sure how long I will be away for. As long as I'm happy and I feel its where God wants me then I will stay in Durban.
RuthBarker2webDuring my time working for Scripture Union I went to two secondary schools (Overport Secondary and Ridge Park College) and one primary school (Spingfield Model) where I was a small team leader working with a around eight children per class teaching lifeskills.
In addition to this I did two camps with Overport Secondary School children, a holiday club where I had around 30 children and three leaders to supervise and a beauty camp for girls from Ridge Park College.
My time for Soul Survivor/Soul Action was meeting all the projects involved in the Soul in the City event which was scheduled in July. My role involved building relationships with the projects, helping eight specific projects on a more one to one basis and to get the paperwork needed for the July event onto a database.
In July we received 350 mainly young people from the UK and some from other countries in Durban and for two weeks they worked alongside the 25 projects involved in Soul in the City. The young people worked in local communities and did anything from building and practical work to holiday clubs and chatting to locals. My job during the two weeks was to visit all of the projects at least once and troubleshoot any problems.
I also took part in outreaches with two Christian rap groups who are now close friends. These were usually in a township called Newlands East. We would have a contact within the township and on a specific evening turn up at their house, plug into their electricity and then the guys would perform songs, somebody would give a word and there would be testimonies.
Ruth BarkerThese evenings were some of the best nights I had in Durban. People in Newlands East are so friendly and welcoming. We would have children in their pyjamas, dancing and singing along to the music and often many people gave their lives to Jesus.
My church in Durban also did a blanket and food outreach in the city centre one evening in June. We gave out bryani (a traditional Indian dish), fruit, drinks and blankets to the people living on the streets.
We would give out the food and blankets and then pray and chat to them. We met one group in the city and a lady had a baby which she was sleeping rough with, heartbreaking.
Obviously it was very hard to see the poverty that exists in Durban. I visited many areas where people had no running water or electricity and their homes consisted of tiny brick walls, tin roofs and plastic sheeting.
The divide between rich and poor over there is massive and it’s hard to fully comprehend all we have when they have so little. There is so much to be done over there and my heart truly belongs to Africa after this life changing experience.
I was very blessed to meet some lovely people while I was there and gained many friends. I would definitely say Durban has become my second home… which is why I will be returning to Durban on September 17.
I will be volunteering for my church in Durban, called Heartlands. I am going to be helping out part-time to do some admin/secretarial work for the church and will also be my pastor’s PA. In the afternoon’s I hope to either do local community work with my church or volunteer in a local project with children.
If you would like to support Ruth in her work, please contact her at

Click here to read our previous article about Ruth

Pictured above is Ruth Barker teaching the lifeskills programme to girls at Ridge Park College and girls from Ridge Park College who were taken on beauty camp.

., 17/09/2009

Terence Gallant (Guest) 17/09/2009 18:57
This is great news that you are able to go to Durban, Ruth to help in the spread of the Gospel amongst all sorts of people in South Africa, but especially the poor and needy. Soul Survivor is doing such a work in all places. This all reminds me of my own granddaughter who must be about your age. She is a fully qualified nurse and at present is giving her time to working for Mercy Ship in Benin. The Lord bless you richly
Terence Gallant
Trisha Harvey (Guest) 08/01/2010 18:00
Hi Ruth
Our prayers are with you and the work the Lord has brought you into. Please send WBC a regular update on your situation, so we can hold you in our prayers.
God bless you.
Trisha Harvey WBC
Ruth Barker (Guest) 21/01/2010 18:02
Hi Terence and Trish, I didn't even realise that you could comment and I could comment back! Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers. It's been a rollercoaster ride since coming back to Durban in September. I've moved house several times and was also subjected to an armed robbery in October. I am fine though just material items taken. Things have settled though and I am loving being here and doing God's work. I have recently started helping some people from church with feeding local street children in central Durban on Saturday mornings. We are currently developing a programme to not only feed them but teach them lifeskills and about God as well playing games and getting to know them. God has protected, guided and provided for me so much and the people here in my church and in general have been amazing. Trish, I think Rob gets my prayer requests and should have put something about me in your newsletter recently. Please keep praying for my protection while I am here and that I am able to do more and more with the children to help them. God bless, Ruth

Network Norwich and Norfolk > Regional News > South Norfolk > Ruth flies out for second mission to South Africa

Do you appreciate our service and stories?

The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.

To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.

We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.

Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.

Click here to fill out a standing order form and to add an extra 25% for free via Gift Aid

Click below to donate instantly via a credit or debit card or Paypal

Site Search

 Norfolk services........ 


Twitter-button  facebookbutton

South Norfolk churches directory


Sign up for our
free e-newsletter

Send us your latest local news and events