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Jonathan De Beer is a full time missionary for Ratio Christi. He is piloting the College Prep arm of Ratio Christi in South Africa and also serves as Chapter Director at University of KwaZulu Natal alongside Reitze Rodseth.
Jonathan was the pastor at Pietermaritzburg North Baptist Church for four years and also has some experience in overseas missions as he spent nearly three years in China serving the Lord there.
Jonathan holds a BTH in Theology and is currently busy with a masters in Christian Apologetics through Southern Evangelical Seminary.
Jonathan is married to Deidre and has three children, Caleb, Keziah, and Jake.
Testimony: My testimony starts where a lot of people’s start. I was raised going to church, my parents were diligent in taking my brothers and I every Sunday. I gave my heart to Jesus a lot when I was small, but there never seemed to be any connection to Christianity outside a Sunday morning service. Throughout high school I just plodded along with the whole Christian thing, having major highs and then major lows based on different experiences.
When I left high school my friend and I started going to a church where the pastor taught on how Christianity affects every aspect of our lives. This changed my whole perspective on Christianity and changed my life. From there I started going on short term outreaches which led me to study theology.
An opportunity came up to go to China and my wife and I ended up going for three years helping an organisation that assisted with aid work into North Korea. It was a truly amazing experience to serve the Lord completely outside my comfort zone. After returning to South Africa I got a job as the senior pastor of a small baptist church in Pietermaritzburg.
It was during this time I got exposed to apologetics and started to realize more and more that even as a pastor I hadn’t spent time learning why I believe what I believe. I remember thinking that if I had known a little apologetics and about things like worldviews going to China my conversations would have been really different. I realized the importance for giving a reason for the hope that we have to anyone who would ask us. A friend of mine told me about the core module course that RZIM offered which I took and it was brilliant. Around this time I was introduced to Ratio Christi and we hosted some events at the church I was pastoring. I was so taken by the work that they were doing that I wanted to get more and more involved and also wanted to study further.
I joined Ratio Christi full time as a missionary in the middle of 2018, helping pilot the work amongst high schools in South Africa. I’m passionate about training and equipping young people in standing up for the truth of Christianity.
I was sitting having coffee with someone a little while ago who had just graduated from university. He was brought up in the church but after studying science, he started asking questions about how science fits in with what the Bible teaches. He said that no one in the church wanted to engage with him on this. Eventually he decided that what was being taught in church didn’t fit with the science he was learning and so he walked away from Christianity. Towards the end of our time together I’ll never forget what he said to me. He said, “From an outsiders point of view if you want to keep this generation or reach out to this generation, apologetics is key to doing that.”
I think he is right, which is why I am so grateful to be apart of this important work.