Who we

PEN dreams of Igniting change, Healing communities and Nurturing togetherness.

In the early 90’s the Dutch Reformed church Pretoria had a fast changing community. The political environment led to big demographic changes. In that climate, PEN was registered as a Sec 21 (not for profit) company in 1992.

With a dedicated and committed team, PEN dreams of Igniting change, Healing communities and Nurturing togetherness. 175 full time staff-members, committed to the people who live and work in the city, builds loving relationships with the community which includes children, teens, elderly, parents, students, homeless people, sex workers, drug addicts and every person that cross our path.

PEN is a proud level 2 BBBEE contributor and have a black beneficiary base of 87.5%. Should you need any further information, please visit our downloads page.

At Pen we

Every staff member builds loving relationships with the community, which includes children, teens, elderly, parents, students,
homeless people, sex workers, drug addicts and every other person.
Together we learn from our community.
We share God’s love and God’s word with each other.

Wilhelm van Niekerk

We cannot be church in the city in the same way we are church in rural areas. We are, every day, designing ways to be church and to do church in the city.

Luke 19:41 indicates that Jesus weeps for Jerusalem because He loves its people and his heart aches for them. We as a church, is called to love our city in the same way. But not only to love it, but to be part of working towards transforming it. This process begins with transforming ourselves, our families, our communities and in the process, our cities. God has called us to construct: communities of believers or faith communities; business enterprises; social enterprises; cultures; civilizations .… spaces where the Kingdom of God is real in new ways!

At PEN I have discovered that everyone comes with a lot of knowledge and ideas. We learn lessons and design grand plans. Some of them worked out well! Then we start feeling proud and want to hold on to our successes. But in the city and in God’s Kingdom, I had to learn that things work differently. I learned the concept of “Open source Wisdom”. To me, this means that the more we give, the more God gives back; the more we share our experiences, resources and lessons learned, the more fulfilled we become; the more we inspire people to give more of themselves, the more blessed and enriched everyone becomes.

Journey with us, our extended family, to help transform our city: Pretoria.
To God all the Glory

DR. Marinda van Niekerk

PEN is facing a huge drop in financial support from our donors as well. We need your support now, more than ever before. We need your prayer and your personal involvement to fight the giants of violence, sickness, bad education an spiritual darkness.

As an organization, we thank God for all of you every day. I pray for God’s grace and blessings in your personal lives and in your work. I not only pray for God’s Grace in your life but that you may find grace for others. Especially the people that cause you fear and anger. In PEN we will be listening to hear the City Rhythms that will bring about stories of hope, of love and of Grace.

We will continue to learn what it means to be church; how to love each other like Jesus loves us.
We will continue to become parents who care, brothers and sisters who see each other’s weaknesses and still get involved. We will continue to tell the story of a God who took the fall for our mistakes.

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God our Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, for ever and ever.

Francois Smit

Senior Pastor
It is always difficult to measure the depth of a person’s spirituality. I can’t even do it for myself. Usually I have a fairly good idea of where I am, but it is seldom possible to put it into measurables. If someone asks me, I revert to terms that tell something of the distance that I experience in my relationship with God and other people. “I experience intimacy,” or “I feel as if God is far away,” or “I feel disconnected from the people around me.” Usually I am able to bring it in connection with my devotional life. If my spiritual disciplines are bad and my quiet times become fewer and fewer, I usually know that my spiritual life is inadequate to sustain my life and that I am heading in the wrong direction. Speaking of wrong direction, the clarity of my own sense of purpose in life directly corresponds with my spiritual wellbeing.

To try and ascertain the spiritual life of an organisation is far more complicated, but I can use the same general markers that I used with regards to my own spirituality. Our Year Theme for 2014, From Roots to Froots (fruits), challenged PEN to take seriously their spiritual life as the one true measure of success in ministry. We can be busy doing all sorts of nice things like clothing people, driving kids to school, giving out medicine, preaching, teaching, helping, but if we haven’t grown in our spiritual lives, and if we haven’t been able to draw people closer to the loving arms of God, and helped them to become loving human beings themselves, we have largely failed. So, how did we do in 2014? As the complexities and problems of our country’s situation deepens, I sense a certain loss of purpose.

At PEN we value partnership and involvement where it supports our vision to truly ignite change, heal communities and nurture togetherness.

125 Steve Biko Road, Sunnyside, 0002

012 323 6688


Name : PEN
Account : 0020 263 385
Branch Code : 623005