Dean had a very illuminating afternoon in Chris Nissen Park today. He met with a man called Michael who wanted to talk about the witness of some Christians within the community. Many residents in CNP receive monthly grants from the Govt' due to their age or disability, however most of those who receive these grants have borrowed against the next month's payment in the Shebeens. They can buy their groceries and alcohol in the shebeens but they have to 'sign' for them and leave their ID cards and grant papers with the Shebeen owner. Then on grant day (today) the owner drives them to the Town Hall to cash their grants whereupon he takes the money from them as soon as they are paid. When they 'sign' for goods at the Shebeen they pay on average 50% more for their goods than if they paid cash. Many of the Christians in CNP are trapped in this cycle as are many other people within the community and it only serves to reinforce their poverty. Michael's concern is that if the Christians haven't got their own houses in order they are not well placed to go out and preach the gospel to others.
Please pray for the Christians in CNP who are locked into this cycle of poverty, that they might be effective witnesses to God's grace.
Pray also for the Shebeens, the community would like to see them closed down (the Shebeens all trade illegally) and this would be good to pray for.
Dean had his first Afrikaans lesson and was encouraged that it shouldn't be as difficult as Swahili or Shona. Afrikaans only has three tenses (past present an future and no noun classes!) and you pronounce every letter. He has basic greetings now which is a real help. Please pray for his language learning, Dean is not a linguist and has struggled with this in the past.
Feel free to drop us an email, we'd like to hear from you some time.
D, P & J