Greetings in the Name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
As you know from previous updates, the Lord has given us an open door to preach to gangsters, drug dealers, prostitutes, and drug addicts. For the past year we have been preaching the gospel to the most violent criminal elements in our community. By God’s grace, we even have a standing arrangement to preach once a month at one of the notorious drug dens in Bellville South. There have been many well-meaning social interventions to get gangsters and drug addicts rehabilitated in our area, but we are convinced that the bold, fearless preaching of the Gospel is the only solution to the maladies we face in our communities.
We have decided to go to the drug dens and homes of the drug dealers themselves to confront them with the gospel. Some of these have even visited our Sunday services. We had a service at a drug den last Wednesday, where we once again preached the gospel and called gangsters and drug dealers to repentance. It seems like the more we preach the gospel the more the violence in our area escalates... not against us, but against those whom we seek to reach with the gospel.
In the months of November and December 2015, 7 people were shot dead in Bellville South and several wounded... most, if not all, of whom we have shared the gospel with in this year. May the Lord make us a fragrance of life leading to life. In November the killings started... a girl walking home killed by a stray bullet.
The most recent one to be shot dead (Shilton ‘Chillie’ Barron) was one of the guys that made a profession of faith, but went back to drugs. He was not a member of a gang, but frequented the drug dens. He was buried today and Quinton (Mario’s brother) attended the funeral. Many in Shilton’s family are connected to gangs and we fear that retaliation for his death will bring more violence and death to our communities. Most of the killings are gang related and instigated by gangsters that were recently released from prison.
Last Thursday my nephew was held at gunpoint. Thanks to God's grace, one of the drug dealers whom we've ministered to recognized him and told the gunman that my nephew wasn't the man they were looking for, otherwise they would have shot him. Violence is escalating at an alarming rate. We are planning on doing some street preaching next week in the area where the gangs are. By God's grace, after preaching, we are going to confront these gangsters in their homes. We urgently need your prayers.
Please pray for:
• The violence and senseless killings to end
• For our protection as we preach on the streets and in the drug dens
• Wisdom and zeal as we confront these gangsters and drug dealers in their homes with the gospel
• For the protection of our families
• For an increased burden for the lost and the glory of God to be manifested in the lives of these violent sinners
• Greater ministry opportunities among those who lost loved ones during this time
Oh that the Lord would grant us a harvest among these lost sinners!
Someone told me yesterday that we should be careful and not rush foolishly into these situations. What if one of us was killed? This might be your concern too. We share your concern and we are certainly not looking to get shot… BUT we cannot allow concern for safety to keep us from sharing the gospel with those for whom Christ died. Jesus said, “…other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice” (John 10:16). We simply cannot allow ourselves to sit on the side and watch these gangsters die without Christ and go to hell. Should God allow us to be killed, we will simply be caught up to glory… not so these guys!
May God grant us enough time to reach as many as we can with His Gospel. We are privileged to be part of His mission in calling His elect to faith. Like Paul Washer said, “I am immortal until God says my time is up.” We are not worthy of such a precious ministry, but He who called us is faithful to keep us.
Thank you for your commitment to pray for us.