It’s a movement that spread like wildfire, especially during the lockdown, when the needs of South Africans were highlighted like never before. The Dare to Love movement started in Pretoria but is currently active in various neighbourhoods, towns and provinces in the country, and even internationally in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Daryl Hardy, one of the founders of the movement, recently shared his testimony on a Zoom watch party. “Dare to love is not a non-profit organisation, we do not own a bank account, no-one owns it. We just want to inspire communities to serve each other and become the hands and feet of Jesus. Anyone can join us, or start their movement in their neighbourhood.”
Before the lockdown, the group came together at various locations in Pretoria, early on Saturday mornings, and then went out to serve in different communities. Sometimes volunteers went out and cleaned the streets of the inner city, other times they took to the streets, to love and share the Gospel with homeless people. Various other initiatives were born like the Gardens Of Life project in which volunteers teach communities to grow their own food with the little that they have. “Dare To Love firmly believe in equipping others so they can help themselves. By teaching them how to grow ‘Gardens For Life’ we give them the tools and knowledge to grow their own vegetable gardens.”
Then the lockdown happened and the need to serve those in need rose to another level. “During the lockdown the need for help was so great we went out seven days a week to distribute food to the most vulnerable groups in our communities,” Hardy says. It is also during the lockdown that Hardy and the volunteers visited most of the hospitals in Pretoria, honouring the frontline workers with cheerful applause and a small gift, to show their appreciation. Another campaign was borne – called #Servolution and #True heroes serve.
Dare to Love volunteers visited the Kalafong Provincial Tertiary Hospital, among others. The hospital is on the western outskirts of Pretoria in the suburb of Atteridgeville. “We saw a lot of very tired, drained and heavy-hearted nurses that day, but by the grace of God we could bring a little light and love to them by giving each one a ‘Serving Hero’ badge and a Bible and we also prayed for some sick patients,” a Facebook page entry read on the day of the visit.
Hardy is excited to see the transformation of his city. “About 12 years ago I was arguing with the Lord, sharing my anger and frustration on what was happening in our country. That night He answered back – ‘Is my blood not good enough for you?’, and I suddenly understood what being a Christian is all about. That encounter with the Lord changed my life. I started a men’s group. We studied the Word and prayed, but I realised, we can pray and study the Word – but we’re not applying it. We realised we have to go out there, and show our love for Jesus by growing our faith in the streets. From this idea, the Power Hour was born.”
Hardy and his friends went out into the streets to look for the most destitute and lost people they could find, ministering to them, putting their faith into action. From there the movement grew, and evolved into Dare to Love. “Dare to Love is a challenge to everyone out there, to put their faith to the test.” He says that over the years they’ve seen and experienced incredible things. “Faith, hope, love are ‘doing words’.” He believes that in serving others, you will find your own identity in Christ.
“If you go out there and serve, God will meet you in the streets, and show you what your ideal purpose in His Kingdom is.” He encourages everyone to get involved. “You don’t have to have money, there are numerous problems out there, just focus on one, and start by addressing it with a simple and practical solution. For every challenge there are various opportunities to serve.”
He says that we can complain about the government and why they do not fulfil their mandated duties, but we have a responsibility to also confront the selfishness in our own hearts. “If we bring justice, righteousness, and change to the streets, the Lord will provide the rest, but we have to be willing to overcome our own selfishness.”
He urges everyone to get involved. “You don’t have to join us — start your own movement. Love your neighbour, call a street braai, plant some trees in your street, start recycling by sorting your plastics in a separate bag. It makes it so much easier for those who collect it and those searching through the garbage and it makes a difference.”
“We are a fatherless society – mentor someone else out there,” says Hardy. “There are so many ways to serve, just pick one, and start your own #Servolution!”