On Sunday, 23 November 2014, the fifth Annual Appreciation Day Service for the South African Police Service was held at Victory Ministries International in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This partnership between VMI and SAPS was established at the “Enough is Enough” campaign against gangsterism and crime in Helenvale, PE in 2010.
The service was held to thank the men and women in blue for their selfless work and dedication in protecting and serving the communities. The service was opened with a walk-in by Pastor Jerome Liberty of VMI followed by the senior officers from The South African Police Services (SAPS).
Guest speaker, Lt Gen CC Binta, of the SAPS said: “The church has a very important role to play in the society to deal with societal matters, ladies and gentlemen, crime is a societal matter, and it is a social ill that has to be dealt with by all role-players and [in] partnership within the communities. Fighting crime cannot be left with the SA Police Service alone; crime happens within the community where people are living.” She encouraged everyone to engage in the campaign to turn back crime and reclaim our neighbourhoods and streets.
Pastor WC Maree from the SAPS said that South Africa was known to be a religious country. According to a survey more than 70% adhere to Christianity. Yet the statistics of crime say otherwise, for if we belong to Jesus we will not steal, kill or rape. If the church will do what God has called it to do, the Police will be out of a job. He said that it was not expected of the Church to do the police’s work, but asked for support in the fight against crime.
Lt Gen Binta said it was indeed a great honour for the SAPS in the Eastern Cape to be invited by VMI of Port Elizabeth on this special day, whereby the Church recognises the work done by the SAPS. She thanked Pastor Liberty and the VMI congregation for the wonderful thought of inviting the police to a church service which is dedicated to policemen and women. “You are indeed making us feel very special today,” she concluded.
Liberty told the congregation and guests that if there were no law and order, there would always be chaos. He thanked the SAPS for sacrificing their lives to protect the country’s citizens. Liberty quoted Luke 11:21-23, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”
He urged everyone not to buy stolen goods or harbour criminals. “What people don’t understand is that for one stolen good you allow into your home, more than a hundred of goods leave the house because good and evil cannot reside in the same house,” he said.
Liberty thanked the SAPS for the partnership with the church and prayed a blessing over them.