Philile Bhengu is the TWR Women of Hope Regional Coordinator for Southern and Eastern Africa. Before her current position, she coordinated TWR Women of Hope in KZN (in South Africa). Her role is to support the TWR Women of Hope ministry in a number of countries. We recently asked Philile to share with us a little bit about who she is and what her role looks like in TWR Women of Hope.
How have you grown (or what have you learned) since starting in this position?
My present job has opened my eyes widely to how women are suffering globally. I feel that the hope that we have is strengthened by Bible scriptures that highlight women of old who persevered through sufferings, putting their trust in God.
What are some of the issues that women in your region of the world face, and how does TWR Women of Hope help?
Oppression, exploitation, abuse, rejection, humiliation, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, domestic violence and polygamy are some of the issues that women have to deal with on a daily basis. Also, forced or early marriages are prevalent in some African countries. But, through TWR Women of Hope radio programs, we provide healing and hope to those women. We do this by creating awareness about these issues whilst sharing our time, talents, and gifts with them. TWR Women of Hope’s aim is to see women set free from all sorts of bondages.
Do you have a story that you can share about what God is doing in people’s hearts?
God is so amazing! When we speak hope to people, some realize the importance of committing their lives to God. They also receive spiritual upliftment through TWR Women of Hope programs and are challenged to come closer to God while others feel led to serve with TWR Women of Hope.
During the recent Easter weekend, I created an awareness about TWR Women of Hope in one of the churches in KZN (kwaZulu Natal), South Africa. Since then we have already received listener testimonies from women in that church about the hardships they endured. One such testimony is that of a married woman who suffers domestic violence. One night she woke up while her husband was trying to kill her. She testifies that she is still in that marriage and believes that God will work all things together for her good and His glory.
How has Jesus brought hope into your own life?
After my father passed away 35 years ago, my widowed mother raised me and my siblings. She perservered a polygamous marriage. The day after my father’s funeral, I had to start school barefooted. We could not afford shoes. During wintertime, my aunt bought me ill-fitting shoes, which were sold by my mother in exchange of something else. She also had to sell my late father’s cows in order to buy a house for us. We were grateful to have a house even though it was not a proper structure. The 1987 floods washed it away and we had to stay at my grandmother’s house until the rains stopped, allowing us to rebuild.
During my high school years, I committed my life to Jesus after hearing the gospel being preached. My life began to change and I could see the difference in my family. My attitude to all those around me started to change.
What is one thing that you wish to share with our readers?
My desire is that the gracious Lord helps me fulfill all the good works that I was born to achieve. The book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 says everything has its own season under the sun, and God made them. Likewise, in my life I have passed through various seasons. Some did not bring good, but God allowed me to experience those trials for the benefit of others who will go through similar difficulties in life.
Thank you for reading Philile's interview and please pray for her and the ministry in Southern Africa. You also can read previous leadership spotlight articles from South Asia, South Korea, and Cambodia. We plan to do more interviews throughout the year, so let us know what kinds of questions you would ask our national TWR Women of Hope coordinators.
Also, would you please share this article with a friend who has a heart for women in Africa?