City transformation is their goal
Last weekend a fired-up church outreach team went to Edenvale Hospital “to go love and pray for people” and got to pray and talk to almost every patient — about 150 people — during the two hour visiting time.
“We started going through the different wards and saw God perform the impossible. People gave their lives to Jesus — we had the opportunity to pray for Hindus and Muslims,” said Duan van Schalkwyk, the team leader and youth pastor at LRC Church in Edenvale.
The 16-member team prayed in pairs as they went from bed to bed.
“The first lady we prayed for had diabetes and had discolouration in her toes because of that. She was there to get surgery for her feet. As we started praying for her there was a Muslim family in the corner watching us.
“After we prayed for the lady with diabetes, she felt a whole lot better and her toes started getting colour back — they went from black to normal. The Muslim family that was watching us saw this, and when we got to them they didn’t hesitate to ask us to pray for them.
“We also went to the ICU to pray for people there and it was amazing how open the people were for us to pray for them. One of the ladies in the ICU had a very bad case of TB. After prayer this lady could breath normally and was very thankful,” Van Schalkwyk said.
“There was also a guy that couldn’t stop shaking — we are not sure what was wrong with him as he was not able to talk. But as we started praying for him, he stopped completely with the shakes and was able to move normally again.
God rocked people’s hearts
“We saw a lot of people healed from pain, and God rocked people’s hearts. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are excited to see God’s kingdom advance in that place,” he said.
“Next week we will be heading into the Edenvale CBD to preach the gospel,” he added.
Explaining his road to serving at LRC Church and heading up the church’s very active street outreach programme, Van Schalkwyk said that although he grew up in a Christian home in Polokwane he started smoking dagga in Grade 10 and went from bad to worse.
Halfway through his first year of studying his body “started collapsing” due to a weekend drug binge. At the end of the weekend he decided to stop using drugs and the following weekend “I was in church to give my life to Jesus and that is where everything changed a 180 degrees”.
About eight months later, feeling he had reached a place where he was not able to grow any more, he cried out to God “to give me more, because I knew there was more”.
Soon thereafter he got baptised in the Holy Spirit and began leading youth outreaches at a Johannesburg church. They saw God miraculously heal many people and saw many people coming to Christ.
After moving to the East Rand he got involved in LRC Church where he later became the youth pastor.
Uplifting whole communities
“Next year January we are kicking off community projects where we aim to uplift whole communities. Our heart is for God’s kingdom to come in families, schools and whole areas — not necessarily to get the church full but to bring Christ to those in need.
“The aim is to feed the poor, paint over graffiti walls, make it look nice wherever we can, get involved at hospitals, etc. We are also aiming at maintaining parks if necessary. At the moment we are busy contacting ward councillors of those areas to see where and with what we can help.
“Our aim, at the end of the day, is for the home groups in those areas from our church — even other churches — to take ownership of their neighborhood and so see our city transformed,” he said.