“The lord has spoken to me about the responsibility we as the church of God have to honour and respect those in authority (Rom 13:1-5; 1 Pet 2: 13-17; Titus 3:1). From the start, the Lord has made it clear that the Police must be my focus in this project,” said Hennie Barnard, 27, co-founder of Adopt-a-Cop SA.
Adopt-a-Cop aims to raise dedicated prayer warriors who will pray for the South African Police Service on a daily basis – and ultimately to assign individual officers to a family or individual who will pray for their specific needs.
Needs of police
Barnard said that in 2009 he started his professional career as a junior civil engineer and also began his honours degree on a part time basis. He had limited time to focus on the vision God had placed on his heart but he did speak to various institutes, churches and people as he sought to understand the needs of the police and how the church could help to meet those needs.
“I started to build a close relationship with Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria. I also had support from Doxa Deo church (Brooklyn campus). We had several events in 2009-2011, where we served the Brooklyn Police Station with pizza, and soda drinks to show our gratitude for protecting us and keeping our community safe. On these occasions, we also read scripture and prayed with the police. Doxa Deo Brooklyn also added the Brooklyn Police Station to their Christmas wish list and reached out to them in the hectic festive season where a lot of support and prayers were needed,” he said.
After getting married and moving to Polokwane in 2012 he began to build relations with Polokwane police and he shared the vision of Adopt-a-Cop SA with Dr Maria Mudimele, the chaplain responsible for the Polokwane cluster as well as Chief Chaplain of Greater Polokwane, Rev Sello Mabe.
“They were very excited and gave their support to this ministry,” said Barnard.
He said the chaplains introduced him to Rev John Mokoena, secretary of the Polokwane Interdenominational Organising Committee (PIOC). He joined the PIOC and shared Adopt-a-Cop SA vision with all of its churches and congregations, gaining their active support.
Currently there are eight Police stations in four of the nine provinces that are covered in daily prayer.
Commenting on the impact of the ministry to date he said: “Not as good as, we would like, but given the fact that not much marketing has been done yet, we are excited to see where the Lord is takig this ministry in the next 6 months.”
Barnard said people could get involved by visiting the website, liking the facebook page, and making a public commitment to start praying for the South African Police every day.
“If you do not see an Adopt-a-Cop coordinator in your city, please pray about becoming a coordinator and managing it. It is not that hard! We will show you how and help you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, ” he said.