Violence erupts in South Africa. Umthombo Wempilo, GWC, REACH SA ask for your prayers
- by Hannah Grant
- July 15, 2021
Yesterday Anglican Aid received urgent requests for prayer from our Christian project partners in South Africa who have links with the Sydney Diocese. Their communities are living in tremendous fear as violence escalates across the country and the death toll continues to rise following the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.
This is how Steve Rockwell, from George Whitefield College in Cape Town, described the unimaginable situation to us:
“Imagine 10,000 people storming your local Westfield and totally destroying it, stripping everything off every shelf of every shop and then setting the whole thing on fire. But even as I type that … it’s still not the same. It’s very hard to understand and appreciate the desperation of the situation in this country.
Fifty years of apartheid and twenty-five years of corrupt democratic leadership, combine that with COVID deaths and over a year’s worth of constant lockdowns and infrastructure failures and near 50% unemployment – all of it has left the country on its knees.
People are desperate, and this is the outcome. Zuma’s imprisonment was merely a spark on a veritable forest of dry tinder that has been systemically prepared for ignition over decades, generations even.”
Yesterday, we also received this concerning message from Bubbly, project manager of Umthombo Wempilo, a ministry of Christ Church Hillbrow that helps women escape sex work:
“Due to the fact that former president Zuma was jailed last week, riots have broken out in different parts of Gauteng. In Hillbrow shops are being looted – food trucks are torched and shopping malls are vandalised. It’s not safe to be on the roads at all, so Umthombo is closed for the time being.
We are getting many calls by women asking for food – these are hard times as South Africa is also in level 4 lockdown due to many Covid cases.”
Please join us in prayer for the church and people of South Africa during this crisis
Both Umthombo Wempilo and George Whitefield College have begged us to pray, and we also have prayer points from Bishop Glenn Lyons of REACH South Africa to share with you.
- That the Lord will show his hand of mercy and quell violence and criminal acts.
- That South Africa’s leaders will exercise wise leadership both in speech and action as they try to quell factions and build unity.
- That the country’s leaders may respond rightly and justly in curbing violence and protecting the citizens of South Africa.
- For the resolution of many underlying frustrations that are fueling protest including the ongoing COVID crisis, unemployment, racism, gender violence, violent crime and political factions.
- For Christians in political and community leadership roles to use their influence to encourage peaceful actions and protection of lives and property.
- For the safety of ministry workers, church members and church properties in areas of violence and upheaval.
- That the Lord may give Anglican Aid’s project partners in South Africa the courage and wisdom to act rightly as his united people in these days of great trial.
- For wisdom and discernment for the staff at Umthombo Wempilo, and protection for the women they care for.
- For God’s people to visibly demonstrate true reconciliation, unity and peace that is found in Christ and seen in the ‘every tongue, tribe and nation’ family of God.
- For God to work through this crisis to draw people to himself.
Header image from Reuters
Find out more about Anglican Aid’s project partners in South Africa:
Counselling, therapy, respite camps, and sharing Jesus’ love with disabled children and their carers