Church leaders in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth today outlined a plan of action to take down spiritual strongholds of crime in the city’s number one violent crime hotspot, Helenvale.
The plan includes a prayer march on Saturday March 5 through all the streets of Helenvale by 1 000 prayer warriors drawn from churches throughout the city. Helenvale Upliftment Forum (HUF) spokesman Pastor Tyrone Strydom said that the marchers would be spread through some 50 streets in the area. They would anoint every street with oil and would pray for the people living in each street. At the same time church leaders and police representatives, including General Dawie Rabie who initiated the current chuch police partnership against crime, would adress the community from a stage erected in the area. Uniformed police would be present on the day, both in a safety and security capacity and as participants in the prayer activities.
In the run-up to the event, Christians in the city who wish to identify with the Helenvale initiative, are asked to fast and pray on Thursdays, focusing on the vision of bringing down the powers of darkness over Helenvale and uplifting the community there.
The HUF also urged Christians from throughout Port Elizabeth to commit themselves to participating in the prayer march on March 5 and to attend an important pre-march briefing meeting in the Gelvandale Community Hall at 7pm on Thursday March 3. HUF steering committee member Joan Keeling said there would be a short training session on prayer marching.
All prayer marchers will also be asked to pay R40 for a special T-shirt to be worn during the march. The front of the T-shirt will feature the HUF logo and the words “Prayer Warrior” and the back will display the campaign slogan “Want ek kan”, which means “Because I can”.
On March 14 and 15, participants in Fire Trails, a national Christian campaign that will involve 400 cities and towns in South Africa during March and April, will pray in Helenvale.
During the HUF meeting this morning speakers also highlighted the need for churches to be actively involved in campaigns to uplift the quality of life in the impoverished Helenvale community. SA Police Services Chaplain Alain Waljee said police stations in the area welcomed requests from churches to work together with them in campaigns aimed at uplifting people and therby reducing crime. He said that Victory Ministries International (VMI), under the leadership of Pastor Jerome Liberty, had already responded to this invitation by launching its Helenvale Peace Initiative which was primarily aimed at reaching school children in Helenvale. The Helenvale Peace Initiative is staging a big talent show in Helenvale today, with big prizes for winners and with a message that kids could aspire to much greater goals than becoming gangsters.