Last night I spoke to my friend Alfred, a Zimbo' living in a local township, as I wanted to check he was OK and to offer him & his wife accommodation if they needed it. Alfred told me that he'd managed to get his four kids to safety out of the township but he and Pauline were staying. He had arranged a house swap with a friend in the community (a South African national) in the hope that his house would not be attacked. One has to admire the bravery of Alfred's friend! I made Alfred promise that if he got into trouble he'd call me and I would go and pick him up. Alfred used to be a part of my men's bible study in CNP until his work commitments prevented him from attending.
This morning I received a text message saying: "We thank God for this day. Mobs were walking up & down the street but God was on our side. Praise God for His Love." We really do praise God for keeping Alfred and his family safe. Please join us in praying for Alfred's safety but also for an end to this senseless racist violence.
I went into Chris Nissen last night to take some food to one of our friends who had absolutely nothing in the house and whilst there I was chatting with a few of the guys about the impact this racist violence is having on them and their community. The folks in CNP are confident the violence won't be seen there, but the eight Nigerians who were living in the community were forced out by the residents of CNP. These Nigerians were friends and neighbours with CNP folks, but were suddenly treated with utter contempt and disregard. We love CNP and the folk in the community, but we're disgusted by their actions in this!
As I was driving away from CNP last night I was amazed at the continuing stream of pick-ups and lorries loaded with peoples possessions as they flee the violence. People have been fleeing Nomzamo all day and night but they are also starting to flee the other townships in the area.
Meanwhile local churches are responding magnificently with one of the biggest local churches opening its brand new (never yet been used) building to house refugees from the violence. Other churches are putting teams together to serve the displaced and to pray with them.