“I will give them singleness of heart and action so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.” Jeremiah 32:39
Pastor Thuks invited us to do a health screening on a group of men gathered for crime prevention efforts on a Saturday, February 27. His church recently lost its lease of space at a local school. Church members bought a used tent and 100 plastic chairs for a total of about $1,100. A local man named D. allowed them to place the tent on his property to hold church gatherings in.
D. is a leader of men in the neighborhood branch of a political movement. We were told that some of the former cadres of this movement had subsequently come to Christ and were becoming active in churches. The area men from this movement gathered on this Saturday morning to clear out a nearby area of brush where rapes and murders had recently occurred in this impoverished, crime-ridden area. One of the leaders of the men later told Anita that the men were upset to find the body of a newborn infant in the brush, which police were called to investigate.
After the men cleared the brush, they paraded through the neighbourhood. Afterwards, they sang in Zulu and danced with the machetes that they had just used to clear the brush. These men in their 30 and 40s demonstrated their determination to rid the area of crime. About thirty men came to the church tent afterwards to watch our HIV video in Zulu and have screening done for blood pressure, blood sugar and HIV. The men were gracious and appreciative. Many could not easily attend a clinic to be tested during the week because they were working. We found that over half of them were HIV positive. We stressed the importance of following up for care at area government clinics. After being tested, some of them sang songs of the South African struggle era together and drank beer. The church members took their addresses and planned to visit them in their homes in coming weeks. They invited them to join in worship and prayer meetings.
Here is a hard-working, energetic people being destroyed from within by violence and disease and looking for hope, health and security. We felt blessed that we could be here to give these men some information that grants some of them a chance for decades of additional life if they get treatment. Please pray that through the church’s ministry these men will find themselves at home in the kingdom of Christ under the Lordship of Jesus. We continue to pray that God raises up men to be leaders and role models for the next generation. Please pray also against the violent attacks which terrorize people and that the efforts to fight crime are blessed.
Yours in Christ,