“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
My family and I arrived back home to a cold, rainy, wintery Cape Town, South Africa, after uneventful flights of 18 hours from the USA. It is quite amazing how Anya, 5 years old, managed to get through airline security with two very striking pink carry-on bags and a “Pillow Pet”, when only one bag is allowed.
Some interesting things have happened in South Africa since we left:
- Police brutalityThe husband of a Member of Parliament was the victim of a brutal assault by police officers in the area in which we live. Mr. Robinson was pulled off the road, dragged out of his car, and hit in the face by police officers; they also broke his glasses. The police apparently shouted, “We are going to kill all you #!%*?^@ whites” before driving off.The reason behind this awful crime: Apparently they wanted to pass him on the road but with no shoulder to pull off, he could not comply, so they assaulted him.
Wrongful arrests of gun owners
A supporter of our ministry had to help a 59-year-old friend—also a retired police officer and legally registered gunsmith—appear in court on charges of possession of massive quantities of “illegal” firearms. Worse, Herbert Johnson was forced to get up out of his hospital bed where he’d undergone surgery on his back just a day earlier.
His house/business was searched while he was in the hospital undergoing surgery. He was found not guilty and is now suing the police for wrongful arrest.
Also, a Johannesburg resident was arrested by police at his home. His crime – defending himself with a firearm!
Four assailants were at the crime scene. Once inside the home, one of the intruders attacked the homeowner with a metal pipe. The victim used his firearm to defend his life, shooting the violent criminal in the lower body. Yet, when the police arrived they arrested the victim and confiscated his firearm.
- Chaos in the courtsAs the above instances demonstrate, our justice system is rife with injustice, engulfing not only many of the street officers but also extending all the way up to the judiciary.A recent court case in which gun owners won a legal battle against the police’s Central Firearms Register was overturned by a new judge. The parties arrived back in court for the police to explain how they had implemented what the court previously ordered. Strange indeed!
- Street ‘justice’Clearly, crime is totally out of control. Communities are opting for what they believe to be, the only choice available to them when law and order decay with corruption—they’re taking the law into their own hands.Recently, two men were alleged to have broken into a house and murdered an occupant. The two men were necklaced by the community in the Eastern Cape.
Necklacing is forcing a rubber tyre soaked with petrol (gas) around a person’s chest and arms—then lighting it. This treatment, endorsed by Winnie Mandela, to instill fear in blacks around South Africa, carries strong spiritual and psychological connotations. Africans who worship their ancestors believe that if they die in such a fire, they lose their souls.
Xenophobic violence has raised its head again and thousands of foreigners have had to flee their homes in fear of South African mobs murdering them.
One can go on and on about our rape rate—the highest in the world. One could talk endlessly about our murder rate—the second highest in the world. One could delve into our land issues, defamatory and profane expressions by youth leaders, etc.
The bottom line is that South Africa needs the Gospel preached without compromise; and discipleship of our people. Please pray for our ministry as we seek to make Jesus Christ known; that His Kingdom come and His will be done in Africa, and the life-changing power that is possible only through Christ transforms the hearts of Africans.
Since our return the phone has not stopped ringing for Roberta, 14. Amazing how home-schooled children struggle with socialization problems!
Toby, our cat, was very happy to see the family home as were other family members.
Sonja and I celebrated 16 years of marital bliss on 24 June.
Little Anya confessed that she wished she was old enough to get married, though I’m not sure that many of our African friends can afford the “lobola”, or bride price, for her.
Jason (10) and John-Marc (8) are back on their bicycles and their unfit father is trying to keep up.
We celebrated Ouma’s (Sonja’s mother) 85th birthday on 29 June.
We are busy with ministry outreaches into local underdeveloped living areas, which include Sonja’s soup making skills being utilized and me preaching. Our church community group will, Lord willing, add a room onto a home (tin shack of 100 square feet) of a couple who have tuberculosis and are too weak to tackle a building project. A separate room for their children—who do not suffer from TB at this point—is needed to prevent them from contracting TB from their parents. Your prayers in this effort are greatly appreciated and will surely provide peace of mind to some suffering parents and the hope for better health to their children.
Unfortunately our only vehicle is in for major engine repairs; we hope this disruption does not last 6 weeks like last time, after we returned from driving to Central Africa. We are back to borrowing vehicles from kind friends and family.
Frontline Fellowship’s Great Commission Course is in full swing with participants from around the world. I’ll be joining in, when possible, with outreaches and mountain hikes (in winter).
We miss our friends in the USA – oh yes, and also the central air.
Thank you for your prayers and support,