About 100 prayer warriors walked through the streets of Helenvale Port Elizabeth yesterday morning in a campaign to combat crime and poverty in the area which has become known as the city’s worst violent crime hotspot.
Before the prayers split into small groups and walked the streets of Helenvale, they were addressed by several church leaders and by South African Police Services Major General Dawie Rabie. The prayer teams were reminded that the mission was to take back the streets for Jesus in prayer and not one-on-one evangelism. But when the prayers regrouped after prayer walking through the suburb for two hours the consensus was that despite the drug and alcohol abuse and gang violence that was rife in the area there was clear evidence that people were hungry for the Gospel. Several prayer teams reported how residents of the area had spontaneously approached them and asked to be introduced to Jesus. As a result a number of people made first-time commitmments to Jesus. The prayer intitiative will be followed by more outreaches in this area and in other crime hotspots. Anybody interested in joining future outreaches can contact Helenvale Upliftment Forum Pastor Tyrone Strydom at 082 691 6533.
Recently Rabie, who is the Mount Road Cluster Commander, said that he had previouly called on churches to help fight a crime wave in 2009. At the start of the exercise there had been an average of three to five shootings in a 24 hours period in the troubled areas. Nine months later there were none.
The pictures on this page capture some of the events of yesterday’s prayer day. The video clip below shows a Helenvale youngster performing a rap song known as “Genoeg is Genoeg” (“Enough is Enough”). This rap has become a theme song for the This rap has become a theme song for resistance to the gangsterism, violence and poverty that has made Helenvale notorious. The song was penned by a Northern Areas teenager and made popular among local children when police and church leaders took him to perform the rap at all the schools in Helenvale.
Video clip: Prayer marchers singing as they return from their mission