South Africa made international headline news this week which I am sure you are aware. This time it wasn’t with regard to Bono, Oprah, Nelson Mandela or even the pandemic of HIV/AIDS that plagues this country and the continent. This time coverage is replete with the sordid methods of some of its very own and it is happening in our own backyard. Brutal uprisings from groups of xenophobic black South Africans have left 42 dead and estimates of more than 25,000 refugees from surrounding African countries homeless and very afraid.
What erupted on May 12 in the township of Alexandra (area portrayed in the movie, The Power of One) has spread to numerous poor communities around Johannesburg that have become home to many foreigners from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, etc.
It is in many of these type communities and it’s constituents that we focus ministry efforts. As a result, we have been in contact with all our leaders and churches in the communities assuring their safety and offering any assistance possible. The latter keeps us awake at nights pondering, while we lay safe and snug in our warm beds, how we can be of help to those we know and have ministered to in these areas that are now hiding out in fields at night (with temps in the low 40’s) for fear that they will become victims of these heinous crimes.
Recently there was a stand off in Kya Sands squatter camp, a community we are deeply involved with. Fortunately the police arrived in time to divert another tragic episode. Our Pastor in the community called with a need for blankets as many of his congregates were taking refuge in his church and in the surrounding fields. We purchased 400 blankets the next day allocating most to this community.
As missionaries so close in proximity and heart to this tragedy we ask for your prayers not on our behalf but for the very ones we were sent here to minister to. Here are some ways you can agree with us for this situation and the African people:
Pray that the uprisings would come to a halt and the perpetrators brought to justice.
Pray for the safety of those being targeted; the African foreigners.
Pray for wisdom for our government on how to stop further crimes and aid the thousands left homeless.
Pray that the assistance needed for all the refugees and those left homeless would be made available.
Pray that people would not be seized by fear, foremost for those living in these communities but also for the fortunate on the outskirts of this situation. May this be an opportunity to tangibly show Christ’s love, mercy, and healing to the African people not retreat in fear!
Currently we have a group from Monroe, Washington here ministering with us. For much of the trip the team was ministering in a rural area 4 hours southeast of Johannesburg. They are back in the city and we have rearranged their schedule to avoid any areas posing potential conflict. The team is going forth in boldness and are seeing powerful ministry take place! People’s hearts are tender, open and they are ready for some hope. Continue to pray for this group, for their safety but also that the timeliness of their trip here would yield great fruit!
We are so grateful to be surrounded by a community of intercessors. The glimpses of vehement hostility you are seeing on CNN for us have become an opportunity close to home and dear to our hearts! Esther resonates in the depths of our being as we believe that we are called to this Nation and these people for times such as this!
Thank you for being a part of our team and joining with us through prayer for the precious African people! We love you!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Unfortunately this will not be a funny, light, happy post yet it is a reality happening on our door step and to those we care deeply about! I've attached some pictures and a recent prayer report sent to a network of friends, family, churches, and supporters regarding the uprisings taking place on our homefront. Please view, read and most importantly PRAY! Thank you!
Posted by michelle at 10:40 PM