Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Palpable fear...

Louise and I did another introductory presentation for the Disciple-Making program last night, this time in a suburb called Gugulethu.

The name is a contraction of igugu lethu, which is Xhosa for our pride. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gugulethu) It was established in the 1960's to deal with overcrowding in Langa, the only other area black people were allowed to live at the time.

Today, Gugulethu and the surrounding area is ruled by local gangs and crime is rampant. (See: https://www.crimestatssa.com/precinct.php?id=1067) Murder, rape, beatings, theft, even cannibalism in one case. People live in fear. I can't remember when last I was in an area where fear was almost tangible...palpable. You could see it, smell it, feel it...

One of our priests who serves in the neighbouring suburb of Mannenberg told us that he was returning home two weeks earlier with a few colleagues in his car when he saw a group of young men in the road ahead. He decided to turn left to avoid them and as he did, one young man pulled out a gun and started firing...only nothing happened. Either the gun was not loaded, or the shots were fired over the vehicle - either way, they managed to get away without being shot. Nevertheless, they are all struggling to overcome the traumatic experience.

Sirens were blaring during the presentation...apparently, this is normal. When we left, a young man went out with us and made sure we got away safely. Driving past the local police station, we saw crowds of people standing outside waiting to get in. What kind of life is this?

Please join us in praying for the gang members in particular. Pray that the Holy Spirit would convict them of their wickedness and turn them to Jesus. Pray that our Lord will raise up new leaders...new authority figures in the lives of the young people there. Pray for our brothers and sisters who seek to reach out to those who promote fear and those paralysed by fear.

Pray...please...

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