In His time on this earth, Jesus gave us a model for discipleship. At EMI, discipleship is a core value and we see this lived out in the Fellowship Programme.
EMI Fellowships launched in 2019 with an aim to focus on two elements of fellows’ development: growing as a design professional, and growing as a follower of Jesus.
These two elements of growth are observable in the experiences of four fellows at EMI South Africa (ZA)—particularly how they have been discipled and disciple others.
EMI ZA team Fellows are a unique and diverse group, representing 4 nationalities, 4 heart languages, and 3 professional disciplines.
The team welcomed its first fellow in August 2020—Henco Posthumus, a local Architect. In his time as a fellow, Henco has grown in leadership through taking on greater responsibility and guiding interns collaboratively in their work:
“I've had to see projects through to construction. That's been a real challenge, but also a good learning curve.
“I've been in close relationship with some of the interns, delving into the spiritual realities we faced on a day to day basis.
“Discipling is not just mentoring in a professional capacity; as a family we love to invite each other to walk and work together.”
EMI wants Fellows to learn the importance of Mission. One way they build on their identity as followers of Christ on mission is through placements with a second EMI team. In August, Henco and his wife, Bianca, will embark on an exciting adventure together to join an EMI team in Asia.
Hedina Angom’s EMI story started in 2018 with EMI Uganda. In 2021, Hedina joined the South Africa team for four months before graduating from the Fellowship programme.
God shaped Hedina during her time in Cape Town, particularly as she discovered her passion and capacity to disciple and lead others. Hedina has since rejoined the EMI Uganda team as she considers pursuing further studies in engineering.
Antonio Rafael from Angola studied and worked in Cape Town. He describes his shift in focus and perspective as an EMI ZA civil engineering fellow:
“When I did my freelancing work, it was more financially driven. Whereas now it's more to do with who am I working with and why am I doing what am I doing.
“When you're designing, you can say ‘Lord, this is not just me doing this thing, this is You using me to further Your Kingdom through these skills that you allowed me to acquire’...
“It's been the most different, humbling, and joyful experience.”
Having a desire to integrate faith and work, but not knowing quite how to, the Fellowship programme at EMI is a chance to learn on the job every day.
Ellery Walker, Master Planning fellow from the USA and mobilised to South Africa, speaks to this:
“I have been pushed to tackle design challenges and look at things from new perspectives. I get to work with a diverse set of design professionals, which allows us to look at the whole design process.
“God is the ultimate creator and the ultimate designer and when we work in the design field, we get to give glimpses of the work that he does.”
During their 2-3 years in the programme, fellows connect with others in the same cohort working at other EMI offices across the globe.
This is an exciting learning opportunity to gain different perspectives, and ultimately see the beauty of diversity in God’s Kingdom. Everyone is serving one purpose. Antonio says,
“I've always wanted to be in an environment like this. I grew up around lots of missionary kids from all over the world… EMI is the grown-up version.
“You get people from different backgrounds, people with different languages, different habits, different cultures, and just being able to navigate that and learn as much as you can has been very interesting.”
We want diverse EMI teams that reflect their environments and contexts. We celebrate our unity as one family through our common faith in Jesus.
EMI's fellows are developing their mission and professional skills with Jesus as the model.
This is discipleship in action at EMI, and we are excited to see where He calls us.