WHAT IS A COMMUNITY CHAPLAIN?
Although chaplaincy in its ideals is at least as old as Christianity itself, the term "chaplain" has its origins in the legend of St. Martin's cloak. It is said that St. Martin, who was a fourth century Roman soldier, was met with a beggar while on the road to the city of Amiens. He was moved with compassion for the beggar's scantily dressed state, and proceeded to cut his own cloak in half and give one of the pieces to the beggar. That night he had a dream in which Jesus was wearing half of his cloak.
We find the "manual" for chaplaincy in Matthew 25:35-45, where Jesus says: "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me."
By this scripture and the legend of St. Martin, we can see that a chaplain isn't necessarily a person who stands on a pulpit and preaches, with a title and position perhaps akin to an assistant pastor. Instead, a chaplain is a person with a compassionate heart with a willingness to serve others.
It is therefore necessary for us to understand that chaplaincy, and SAFReC as an organisation, is not a platform for self-elevation and title seeking, but for service as called for by Jesus Christ.
It is with this in mind that SAFReC aims to recruit, train, and position ordinary men and women to serve in communities across South Africa.