This past week has been an interesting one for us. It seems like the crime and violence you read/hear about in the news here is coming a little closer to home now.
Four families that we are friends with have had robberies or attempted robberies to their homes in the last WEEK. One of those families has had attempted break ins 3 times in the last 3 weeks.
Also, it is all over the news that foreigners are under attack in South Africa. As Americans, we are not the target this time. They seem to be focusing on Zimbabweans, Mozambiquians, and others from poorer African nations who have jumped the border and who are illegally residing in Johannesburg. These immigrants are very smart and many have started successful businesses or have taken good jobs in the city since they are willing to work for lower wages than the locals and also many of them are better educated and are more qualified for better jobs than the average black person here. No one is really sure why it has accelerated at this time, but the inconclusive Zim elections has increased tension in Southern Africa and many Zim people have fled here to South Africa for safety reasons. There has been a lot of violence in Zim lately too.
I am not sure if this link will work, but Yahoo! featured a story with accurate details the other day. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080519/ap_on_re_af/south_africa_immigrant_attacks;_ylt=AmiHGSKb_xyRgYjvAWCsEH296Q8F
Dan's friend Matt who is a paramedic contacted all the Life Group leaders last Wednesday and put a group together to go down to the Alexandra Police Station to give assistance. They had around 1000 displaced people sleeping at the station hoping for protection. The ladies and kids were sleeping in a conference room and the guys were sleeping out under the stars in the gated parking lot. Many didn't have blankets and it is getting COLD here at night as our season is autumn moving towards winter.
Matt and Dan set up a makeshift clinic and the others from our church sorted donations and ministered to people through dishing up meals or praying for people. We were just learning about making God practical and real to people out on the streets at the Youth Camp and God provided this opportunity almost immediately.
I am definitely learning to trust God in new ways.
Please continue to pray for our health and safety as we minister here. God is good!