When we were preparing to move here to South Africa, we talked about the problem of crime in the country. I wanted to work it through in my heart so that I was prepared for whatever we would face. If God was calling us here, I wanted to live in peace, not fear. I believe that everyone who follows Jesus should live where they live because they are called to be there. I believe we're all called "full time." Sadly, a lot of Jesus followers don't know that, or live that way. The sad result is they don't live like they are called, with a sense of destiny and passion. And of course, they don't have grace for what they do and where they live because they are doing it on their terms, not God's. I was determined to prepare my heart for our new location.
We talked about the fact that we would probably face a robbery or something worse someday. Unfortunately, it is all too common-place. It's rare to talk to anyone who hasn't been effected by crime in some way. Well, the anticipation is over. We've faced our first......and second experiences.
One of the crates containing some of the things we shipped over was broken into while in the locked customs warehouse, and boxes of our things were stolen. Very sad after making it half way around the world!
We also had a man attempt to break into the house where we were living with our friend. We were very suddenly woken up at 3 a.m. one night when a burglar was prying open a window and broke the glass on the window. Fortunately no one was hurt, and he ran away. After dealing with the police, etc. we were all awake for the rest of the night.....and slept lightly for many nights afterwards.
During the same few weeks, there was a shoot out at a grocery store nearby when some men tried to hold up an armored car picking up cash from the store. A coffee shop was held up the next night. A friend who had also just moved here had quite a few valuable items stolen by a workman in her home. It was not only a financial loss, but each piece was a symbol of a special time, season, place, event. Very sad for her!
Two guys on one of the visiting outreach teams were robbed at knife point and threatened one evening. They weren't hurt, but it was a frightening experience.
I'm sure all our guardian angels work overtime watching out for us here!!
The poorer people in the townships suffer even more. They face crime and risk to their lives daily. They live with the threat of danger and violence constantly.
It would be easy to become "accepting" of this problem - to see it as just a part of life here. I've instead been feeling the need to rally prayer support that the "stronghold" of this crime spirit would be broken and contained. And that faith for the country to be changed would invade the hearts of believers. I know we can't do that alone. We need hundreds, thousands! to do that. Would you join us in praying for this?
"One shall put a thousand to flight, and two put ten thousand to flight....." Deut. 32:30
By Sally McClung