Peter is the Associate International Director at Operation Mobilisation (OM). The role of this organisation is to mobilise people to share the knowledge of Jesus and His love with every generation in every nation. He’s been a part of OM for 30-years, of which he served as the South African National Director for 14-years. He works with a large team of 5200 global representatives, made up from 115 different countries. In addition to his current work, Peter chairs the Global Leadership Council of the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission, representing 600 million Christians. He also serves as an advisor to the Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI). In South Africa, he also is one of the leaders of the South African Christian Leadership Initiative (SACLI), a broad-based group which seeks to amplify the voices of Christian leaders and to help others become the leaders they need to be.
What are some of the opportunities you had while growing up?
“I grew up during the apartheid years without many opportunities to assist me in my journey through life. My family was poor, but these circumstances didn’t get me down. They helped me build resilience and become a better person. At school, I made tough decisions about my studies in order to move forward. And because of these experiences, I have become grateful. I am thankful for my experiences as they have taught me to appreciate ‘community’ and to always see the light in the darkest of times.”
Can you describe your experience with, and work for, in Harmonie?
“My first-ever experience at in Harmonie was the turning of the soil. It was a celebration. I’ve always dedicated time to being part of this heart-warming experience and have committed to this journey with Hanneli. The desire to come alongside in Harmonie is born out a strong relationship with Hanneli and the team.” He continues, “for me, when I think of in Harmonie, I think of four P’s.” It’s about purpose. “The purpose of in Harmonie is that it was born out of a vision and obedience to what God wanted.
“It’s about a place, a beautiful place, nestled in an amazing area. This setting allows people to be restored in a peaceful way. It’s about people. Apart from its beauty, in Harmonie has the unique ability to draw people together from different cultures, generations, genders and theological beliefs.”
“It’s about programmes. The programmes offered are very relevant to the South African context as well as to global Christians. The leaders truly care about you and your needs and they continue to strive towards building a community out of those who participate in the programmes. When you create a safe haven where people can share their story, you will be able to grow together without judgment.”
How do you think a person moves from a state of disharmony to harmony?
“I believe that it starts with you and your relationship with God. If you know who you are and what you stand for, no one else can define you.” He continues, “what matters is what God says about you. If you have a strong sense of self-awareness, identity and confidence in your abilities, you will succeed in everything you do.” To add to that, Peter encourages people to start accepting others for who they are, and love others as you would love yourself. “We are all a unit, and it’s important to practice these values if you hope to see a change. “You will never just grow by yourself, but rather together in a community.”
How does SACLI engage in this process of change?
“At SACLI, we run courses for everyone. These help people to understand who they are and inspire honest and robust conversations with others. We create a space that opens the doors to these conversations, as we want everyone to connect in an environment that allows them to be themselves.” He continues, “people need to open themselves up to listening to, and understanding, other peoples’ journeys. If you do things together, you can build trustworthy relationships with people around you.”
How do you see the way forward for yourself and South Africa?
Peter says that he is hopeful. “Things can get better, but it comes down to us – the people of God. We need to work together to build the nation. Do not give up. Continue to play your part in the bigger picture. It is the contributions we make as individuals that drive communities to do good on a bigger scale. We should be pushing and trying everything we can to build this country together.”
What are your words of encouragement for those in need of hope?
Peter truly believes that there is hope in South Africa, and you should let your little light shine. “It’s time we roll up our sleeves and choose to be a victor rather than a victim of what is happening around us. Take charge of your light and stop blaming others for what you do not have. Let’s not give up.” He continues, “things are happening all around us. If you stop and listen to the great things that God is doing, you will discover that He is moving us from a place of disharmony to in harmony”.