12 June 2008

my hero and my hope - i miss pastor willie

I miss Willie Dengler.

There is no more incredible human being on this planet. Flawed, yes. Incredible, definitely. His love for the poor, selflessness, and absolute fearless pursuit of hope and salvation for all make him the man I most admire.

Pastor Willie is my South African pastor. He is also the only man I've ever known who turned a home invasion into a opportunity to spread the love of Christ - and eventually had one of the men who was burglarizing his home serving as one of the elders of his church. I've seen him embrace the most ruthless murderers and I've seen him chase down dangerous criminals - with no intention of "bringing them to justice", but simply to tell them that they are loved and cared for and welcome in his church.

Willie has a small, poor church in inner-city Johannesburg, which he's been the pastor of for 35 years. He is the entire pastoral staff. He runs a feeding program for squatter children. He runs a prison ministry that has over 12,000 men and women doing a discipleship program behind bars. He oversees orphanages in Kenya and a Mission House in South Africa. He has a wife, lots of kids, and an entire community that really would cease to function without him.

Pastor Willie is my hero, my hope, and one of my truest friends. I wish everyone could know him. I wish everyone could see Jesus so clearly.

Grace Point Church in San Antonio has made giving to Pastor Willie's ministry in South Africa possible through their online giving platform. Tax deductible, no admin fees...just our dollars feeding AIDS orphans and providing hope and comfort to the sick and incarcerated. If you know Willie (or wish you did) and would like to give towards the work there, follow these instructions:

1. Click Here to go to the Online Giving site...
2. Fill in the form, selecting "OTHER" when you are directing your funds and specifying "PASTOR WILLIE DENGLER/SOUTH AFRICA" in the appropriate box.
3. Complete the forms and submit.

Thanks. Pray for Willie, for Africa, and that these few dollars might fill a whole lot of empty bellies.

Kyle

42 comments:

  1. I LOVE WILLIE!!!! And I love you for bring attention to his ministry, his heart and how to give to his organization. Keep up the great work! :) Shannon

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kyle I really appreciate what you said about Pastor Willie or Uncle Willie as most seem to call him (regardless of the fact that some of them are 80 years old!!)I am going to South Africa and Kenya at the end of June for about 15 days and will give Willie a hug for you and Stef. As I wrote to you before I worked for Willie almost 20 years ago and I have never met a man with a heart for the Lord and the lost like him.I will be using the donation spot on your church's website for sure!Someone seriously needs to write a book about his life and ministry! Take care.Steve Brown PS I am using my wife's posting name!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Googled Willie Dengler tonight after seeing him about a month ago on Christian-TV (he's been in the back of my mind since then). He was being interviewed on the "College of Biblical Studies" program on TV. As all of you describe, his Christ-like spirit emanated right out of the TV! He was amazing. I felt like I wanted to be a little kid again and crawl in his lap and let him tell me Bible stories! I just loved the guy right away!

    I was looking for his website tonight, and found it on page 2 of google search results but google has a warning that his site may "harm your computer." Which of course I don't believe for a second Willie has anything to do with that. Do you think someone is hacking his website?

    Here's the link/google results:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22Willie+Dengler%22+South+Africa&start=10&sa=N
    --------------

    World Hope Ministries - Opportunities
    This site may harm your computer.
    Jul 8, 2007 ... Join us in ministry to South Africa's northernmost province. The team will assist Pastor Willie Dengler in ministry to rural communities in ...
    worldhopeministries.org/index.php?option=com_ content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=33 - Similar pages


    World Hope Ministries - Mission Fields
    This site may harm your computer.
    World Hope has ministered in South Africa since 1996. World Hope has offices in Johannesburg where Willie Dengler serves as President of World Hope Africa. ...
    worldhopeministries.org/index.php?option=com_ content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=32 - Similar pages
    More results from worldhopeministries.org »
    -----------------

    If you click on the "More results from worldshopeministries.org" it provides 2 more pages of nothing but links to Willie's site yet EVERY ONE OF THEM has the google warning attached to it! See here:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=+site:worldhopeministries.org+%22Willie+Dengler%22+South+Africa

    --------------------

    Google has a page telling website owners what they can do about this warning here, saying that often third parties will do these terrible things to innocent websites, and how website owners can solve the problem:

    http://www.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=45449&topic=360&hl=en&sa=X&oi=malwarewarninglink&resnum=3&ct=help

    ------------------

    If anybody has direct contact w/Pastor Willie, they might want to tell him about this. What a terrible thing... somebody messing w/the website of a man who does so much for people. Please warn Willie about what the google results are saying. Thanks.
    /bg

    ----------------

    ReplyDelete
  4. those aren't really his websites... they belong to a ministry that he partners with. willie doesn't have a website. but you can email him directly...

    mbcchurch@icon.co.za

    tell him how you ran across him on tv. it would make his day, i'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey there, wow, thanks, that was a super fast reply! ;-) And glad to hear those links are not pastor Willie's. I kinda figured he might be way too busy of a guy to have to bother with websites.

    And thanks for the direct email. Much appreciated!
    Blessings/bg

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