The Fazenda da Esperança (Farm of Hope) has recently inaugurated two community centres in South Africa’s Western Cape and North West provinces to assist people from any religion or belief to recover from destructive behaviors such as alcoholism and drug addiction.
Sunday, May 21 saw the inauguration of Fazenda da Esperança in Phokeng, Rustenburg Diocese. Addressing the community of Phokeng St Joseph Mission, Bishop Robert Mphiwe said the work of the lay missionaries of Fazenda da Esperança “is a ministry of healing,” and a “community of happiness that welcomes everybody” in need of healing.
Bishop Mphiwe explained to the community that Fazenda da Esperança is not a “drug rehabilitation center,” that it is a therapeutic community that has come “to invite those that are suffering under this form of oppression (drugs and alcoholism) to come to live with them, to come and experience the love of Christ by living with them in the community.”
He further said, “They are our brothers and sisters in the faith, people who choose to follow Christ through a life of service….So, this is a community of happiness that welcomes everybody.”
Established in Brazil in the 1980s, Fazenda da Esperança welcomes people between the ages of 18 and 59 who freely wish to recover from drugs, alcohol, and many other types of addictions. In South Africa, the Fazenda da Esperança is present in Bethlehem Diocese, Cape Town Archdiocese, and Rustenburg Diocese.
In his address during the inauguration of the Fazenda da Esperança at St Joseph’s Mission, Bishop Mphiwe described the lay missionaries as “a community of the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, men who live according to the values of the gospel.”
He continued, “And they say, you are invited to come in, to come and experience the power of Jesus that is able to release any of us, especially those who find themselves imprisoned by drug or alcohol abuse. So this is not a drug rehabilitation in the way that you know. And that is why we are very clear in this program that before they welcome anybody, they must have gone through a detox center and only after they are clean, then they are invited to come and live with this community here because it is only by being part of the community, living with the community, sharing the life of the community, that one begins to experience the hidden power of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Mphiwe reminded the Community of Rustenburg Diocese that Fazenda da Esperança “is not a profit-making community, It is a community that is here to serve the Lord.”
“So, I ask that in this diocese, let us support this presence of the Fazenda in our community…They are here to share their own experience of healing with us. There’s nothing to gain but to heal their own brothers and sisters in the Lord. Let us be close to them. Let us support the initiatives that are going to start here,” said Bishop Mphiwe.
He added, “And let us also spread the good news about the presence of such a community here. And as I say to you, it is a community of the church. It is not a rehab center. It is a community of the church that wants to give people an experience of healing through sharing in the life of Fazenda that is rooted in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”