God, gangs and the Gospel

Every day news bulletins blast out tragic statistics of gang violence in our country – and specifically in the Cape Flats where the gangs run amok. Incidents of rape, drug abuse and murder are rife amongst the poorest of the poor; weekly a grieving mother has to bury a son who landed on the wrong side of a turf war.
Families are desperate, the police are paralysed and the church is overwhelmed with attending to the immediate problems of the people, that they simply cannot offer a viable solution to the gang problem. For those who have “escaped” the Flats and moved on to a better life…the thought of going back is inconceivable.

A hopeless community
Despite allocating a budget of R20 million toward tackling the gang problem, the City of Cape Town has been unable to curb the violence this year. Faithful and honest members of the police force find themselves outnumbered (there is only 1 policeman for every 3 239 citizens in the Cape Flats) and several have died in retaliation attacks by gang bosses. The community has lost hope.

Enough is enough!! It’s time for Peace to come to the Cape Flats. What the politicians can’t do and what the police can’t do – Jesus Christ can do. The folks living on the Cape Flats desperately want peace.  

Jesus is the only hope!
Jesus Christ is the Prince of peace! And He is the hope of glory. It’s time to set the captives free (those in bondage to intimidation and crime). For those of us fortunate to live in safe areas, where we do not lie awake listening to gunshots…we have an obligation to care for our neighbours. We cannot bury our heads in the sand.

All Christians are commissioned to bring hope, faith and courage to the lost and hurting by sharing the Gospel to those crying out for help. No one is to be forgotten. Jesus died for every single person; He redeemed mankind from the curse and bondage of evil. Everyone deserves an opportunity to hear the Gospel, which is the only lasting change-agent for peace.
So now it is time to ensure that every
citizen in the Cape Flats has this chance to hear the Good News. It is reprehensible that in a democratic country, one has to live a miserable fear-filled life with no hope.

It’s time to share the gospel
Freedom to preach the Gospel is an entrenched Constitutional right in South Africa – so come on Christians – let’s rise to this great opportunity and demonstrate love to the poor, lost, lonely and bondage bound. The Cape Flats cannot be redeemed from the rot of sin and violence unless there is a value shift, unless lives are changed by the Living God. Either we believe God can stop the decimation and transform the ganglands, or we don’t. Now is the time to act on our faith!

JOY! Magazine is committed to do whatever it can to lift this veil of despair and bring the good news of Jesus Christ – and we are calling on you, our readers, to partner with us.

Our plan of action
Firstly we are calling intercessors and Christians from all over SA to help us. We need every faith-filled Christian reading this article to pray in agreement with us that Christ will be invited to bring peace and rule over the Cape Flats. We have compiled a prayer (left) and request that you to place your hand over the map and pray this prayer in agreement with us for the entire month of December.
Once you have, please email or write to me: erin@joymag.co.za or Po Box 2990, Somerset West, 7129, as I want to record every commitment to encourage the folks in the Flats and to motivate our evangelists. I would also request that you take this article and map to your church and request they stand with us also. 
We all need to arise and stand together; this is a major battle and has been raging for years but we know the Word of God is like a double-edged sword and it will slice through strongholds and cut right to the bone. We want to pray and celebrate victory together. When we unite and pray in one accord, the Lord says He commands His blessing.

Bibles for every home
Secondly JOY! Magazine will distribute a Bible entitled “Unleashing a new weapon over the Cape Flats”. We are planning to distribute these free to every household with whom we share the Gospel. Included in this Bible will be a prayer of salvation, a list of 24 hour prayer lines in Cape Town and a list of helpful emergency numbers (drug rehabs, pregnancy crisis centres, shelters etc). We will also include a list of churches and ministries in the area that are committed to discipling the new converts and offering counselling and prayer.

Reaching every home
Thirdly, we have partnered with Christ for All Nations (Reinhard Bonnke’s ministry) who are passionate about evangelism and revival.
CFAN will be providing 50 trained Soul Winners to help with door to door witnessing and the Bible drop. These Soul Winners will be allocated streets and will go two by two, door to door. They will ensure that every single house is visited. If they are not welcome in a home, they will politely dust their feet and move on to the next one.
These Bibles will not be randomly handed out, but will only be given after the Gospel has been shared. Every household will have the opportunity to hear the GOOD NEWS and will be prayed for. We believe that as God’s Word and sincere Christian love is shared house by house, street by street, suburb by suburb, people will be saved and Jesus Christ will bring His protection and peace. 

Please pray faithfully!
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father,  the Son and of the Holy ­Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt 28:19.

Dear Heavenly Father,
We come to you in the mighty Name of Jesus,
the Lord of lords and King of kings,
at Whose Name every knee must bow.

We come against every stronghold, deception, lie, falsehood, trap, incorrect thinking and behaviour pattern, keeping people in bondage. We proclaim Your Word in James 4:7 which says, “Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

We pray for the people living in the Cape Flats who are oppressed by crime, poverty and the forces of evil. Lord we know that you have defeated satan and redeemed mankind from the curse. We pray that as the JOY! and CFAN soul-winners go out to witness, that many would receive the Gospel and submit to Your authority. May whole families come to salvation! 

Father protect the innocent from harm; please give courage and wisdom to the honest policemen and women working to stop crime.

In Matthew 12:29 and Mark. 3:27, Jesus called the demonic presence a “strong man.” Therefore we bind the strong man over this area, eliminating the source, root, and spirit that is causing all evil activity (strongholds).
We renounce any sin that has controlled these people and close the door in any area where the enemy has gained entry.
We pray Lord for the violence to end and for the forces of darkness to be pushed back as Christians pray and put on the armour of God (Eph 6). Lord expose the deeds of the wicked, and convict them of their sin. We pray that the gangsters would repent of their wicked ways.
We release the weapon of prayer!

Lord thank You that we can ask these things in faith, knowing that You hear us and answer our prayers according to Your will.