This week I am with Quinton and Mario Maneville in Bellville South, an area of Cape Town, South Africa known for gang activity and crime. The story that Quinton shares below gives a good taste of the context in which he and Mario minister. I hope it helps you to pray for them.
‘Juju’ (not his real name) is a gangster and one of the guys responsible for shootings in our area. He also loves to gamble and normally does so in the middle of the street, forcing cars to go around them. One day as I was passing by, I asked them to ‘do their thing’ on the sidewalk or somewhere else. Some of the guys apologized for inconveniencing drivers, but ‘Juju’ refused to move and became very disrespectful. His friends pleaded with him to let it go and move aside, but he refused. I took a good look at him and went home praying.
A few days later I passed by there again, and there they were again in the street as normal. I warned them that they were terrorizing the community and God would deal with them. When I saw ‘Juju’ I told him, ‘Young man in the red shirt, I prayed for you. I brought you before the Lord!’ ‘Juju’ became outraged, asking how I could do such a thing. ‘He cursed me!’ he told his friends, with eyes full of fury and fear.
All of that happened a year ago. Last week some of the brothers and I decided to go out and share the gospel with the guys hanging out on the corners. As we greeted one group, I noticed that one of them was extremely hostile. Not recognizing ‘Juju,’ I asked him what was wrong. He replied, ‘You know what you did! Don’t act like you don’t! You said you brought me before the Lord, and a few days after that I was shot!’ Oh my! I had some explaining to do!
I gave him the gospel, explaining the consequences of sin and the grace of God. We had a long talk, and at the end he invited me to come to his house so he could hear more. It is always amazing how God weaves our stories to establish a relationship and create an opportunity for the gospel – praise be to the Lord! Please keep ‘Juju’ in your prayers.