Having realised that we were living in a broken society as evidenced by broken families, damaged people and unethical organisations and institutions, New Gates began operations in Eswatini with the sole mandate of bringing transformation to communities throughout the country.
In a bid to deal with the root issues of this brokenness, we sought to transform the church first by equipping church leaders to become healthy leaders who establish and build healthy churches.
Why the church first? The church is the custodian of establishing moral values within the community and in our pursuit of establishing a Kingdom Culture and preparing Eswatini for tomorrow, we sought to empower the church first.
We believe that the healing and prosperity of a nation is directly related to the right way of living or the right standing (righteousness) of its leaders and people. Healthy churches win souls and the discipleship of the souls won is crucial for our mission because discipleship fosters righteousness in a nation.
Our initial work was aimed at bringing awareness of the values of stewardship, transparency, order and accountability in the church. Our partnership with the Eswatini Conference of Churches gave us access to over 2000 churches in Eswatini.
After introducing and bringing awareness of the importance of embracing values of stewardship, transparency and accountability we wanted churches to live out those values. We then delivered church administration and leadership classes, which provided churches with tools and systems that helped them in becoming accountable stewards. In the same season, we were determined to help churches get in their hands tools that would further help them empower their congregations to evangelise and disciple people within their spheres of influence through a values-based curriculum.
Through our partnership with EQUIP Leadership, we hosted three Salt & Light Conferences for Pastors and Church Leaders. Jason Hirsch and Scott Larsen who were Associate Trainers for the program came together all the way from the USA in 2018 to introduce and empower the leaders. In 2019 Jason Hirsch came back and we ran the conferences in two different locations.
This marked our multiplication phase of promoting values in communities around the country through the following curricula, Salt & Light (for church leaders), Beyond Success (for communities) and iChoose (for teens). Put together we promoted 28 values in Eswatini.
In 2020 we faced a huge blow due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All our in-person interventions were interrupted. Our strategic partner, the church, could not meet, and the Pastors needed our help. The more the church could not meet, the more Pastors could not reach out, encourage, care and minister to their communities. We knew we had to do something, or else it would have been difficult to repair the damage that was being stirred in families and communities after the pandemic had passed. We ran six emergency Technology for Pastors workshops to equip Pastors to use technology during that time.
Knowing that this wasn’t enough, we hosted the 2020 Salt & Light Conference virtually and encouraged facilitators of our values-based curricula to continue transforming people using technology. On our end, we introduced WhatsApp Podclasses, ZOOM classes and video curricula to promote values for encouragement and relationship building, such as Hope, Connection, Forgiveness, Listening and the Beyond Success catalogue of values.
We couldn’t have managed to reach as many people during the pandemic had it not been for a generous donation of equipment from our friends Jason Hirsch, and Scott Larsen and the support from EQUIP Leadership.
From mid-2021 we started building a team of leaders who could go to different communities and organisations to facilitate the several values-based programs that we had. As things started opening up, we resumed our in-person interventions, going as far as launching programs for rural communities, Staff Empowerment Talks in organizations, roundtable programs at libraries for those in the cities and reaching further into other communities through Youth Ministries.