God gave a group of people a vision. It was a vision of the Church of Jesus Christ renewed and empowered with grace and love, for the transformation of the world. They pictured a South Africa that had been rebuilt after years of separation and racism, as well as alienation and lostness from the global community. The year was 1990, the year that Nelson Mandela was released from imprisonment. The stage was set for transformation of our land, from a political and social perspective. The Church, who had for a long time lagged behind in terms of transformation, now needed a vehicle to jettison in into the new era. For a long time while we had been opposing the structure of the day, but now needed to find a new role.
The need for maturing and developing Christian leaders was becoming evident. In finding a new role, new leadership development tools were necessary. It was into this scenario that a small group of Methodist Ministers returned from a visit to the USA, with resources and materials. One of their experiences during their trip was a Walk to Emmaus weekend.
Son Valley Retreat Centre was a divided on as the venue, and much needed repairs were initiated and developed. In September 1990 a group of 55 Americans and one Australian came out for that first set of Walks. We were immersed in God's love flowing through them. With 28 men and 42 lady pilgrims, we started walk #1 and #2. We formed the Son Valley Emmaus Community. We could build well from there because of the good foundations that were laid for us. Walk #3 and #4 commenced and these were the only Walks in Africa at t he time, and God was doing a new thing. The time had then come for the next communities to be started.
From the Son Valley Emmaus Community more Communities were launched in the years that followed.