‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.’Psalm 116:15 NASB
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of HeartCry missionary pastor Sandi Sonteya. Sandi has been planting a church in an area of Cape Town, South Africa near Mario Maneville and was under Mario’s oversight. One of the remarkable features of Sandi’s ministry was his work among Somali immigrants. He saw some come to Christ despite certain exile from their family and the risk of death.
Sandi battled high blood pressure and suffered a minor stroke in July of last year. One of our posts in December highlighted his encouraging recovery. But early last week, Sandi suffered a major stroke, and after some days in ICU, I received the sad news on Sunday morning that Sandi had gone to be with his Lord.
‘We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.’John 9:4
As Pastor Mario put it to me, Sandi embodied Jesus’ words in John 9, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” Due to his health problems, Sandi knew that his time might be short. He made the most of the time given him in evangelizing the lost, discipling believers, and training men to carry on the shepherding of the flock under his care. As is true with many of our HeartCry missionaries, whenever I read Sandi’s reports and testimonies, I wanted to be a better Christian – to work harder and run faster in my service to Christ.
Please pray for Sandi’s wife and 2 young children as they work through their grief and adjust to life without him. Pray for Sandi’s church as they do the same. And pray for the men who must now rise up, assume leadership, and care for the flock of God in Cape Town.
S.R. previously served as Africa Coordinator in 2008. He and his brother, and their families served for almost three years as missionaries to the Lozi people of Western Zambia. Upon returning to the States, S.R. joined a church-planting work in West Virginia. S.R. and his family now live in Christiansburg, VA.More By S.R.