Zuma visit was turning point
Prayer power is producing results in a battle to take a Gauteng town back from ruthless druglords, says a pastor at the frontline of the struggle.
A turning point in the battle for Eldorado Park, south of Johannesburg was reached when President Jacob Zuma visited the town after reading a letter from a grandmother who appealed to him to close down drug dens (‘lolli lounges’) which were destroying the lives of local children. It was most certainly ‘because of the power of prayer’ that the letter reached Zuma’s desk, said Pastor Mello du Plessis of the Pentecostal Protestant Church (PPC) in Eldorado Park.
Since Zuma’s visit to the town on May 14, the MEC for Social Development, Nande Mayathula-Khoza, attended a stadium prayer rally on May 25, where she signed a partnership agreement with the community. A week later, on June 2, Gauteng Premier, Nomvula Mokonyane, participated in a prayer walk in the town, where she proclaimed: “We will defeat this demon” and announced that police had closed down 26 ‘lolli lounges’ and apprehended 41 vehicles used for transporting drugs.
The Eldorado prayer war against the grip of the drug lords whose reign has resulted in children becoming drug addicts and prostitutes, was precipitated by a vision which Du Plessis had 10 months ago in which he realised that unless he took action there would be no change.
On February 21 the battle to ‘take back Eldos’ began in earnest when the PPC church was packed with local pastors and Christian leaders who agreed to organise prayer walks based on logistics and spiritual mapping of the town.
“Our real problem was to deal with spiritual strongholds affecting the area,” said Du Plessis. The battle plan involved exact steps and processes aimed at achieving a physical presence of God’s people as warriors against the real enemy, he said.
On April 27 churches in the area joined in a prayer walk in which they marched against territorial spirits and made war against the spiritual strong man in the vicinity of each church.
“On the first walk we agreed to move in an anti-clockwise direction to represent the reversal of curses over the area,” Du Plessis explained.
During the second walk, on May 11, each church took back ownership of its immediate location as a step of faith for real change.
“When they walked out that second time, the route wound clockwise as the people of God spoke truth and life and pronounced what should happen,” said Du Plessis.
On Saturday, May 25, 5 000 people made history through the grace of God by congregating at Eldos Stadium for a united prayer meeting against drugs and substance abuse, said an emotional Du Plessis. When the Christian community of Eldorado Park “took back their town” and marched down the main road, people ran out of their houses to join them, he said.
In the latest event, on Sunday, June 2, about 200 Christians set out from the stadium, led by Premier Mokonyane, who thanked them for their stand against drugs.
Iol news reports that scores of community members as well as four MECs joined Mokonyane in a march around the area. The marchers prayed at drug hotspots and outside the Eldorado Park Police Station.
Mokonyane said it was important for the community to pray for the police and she spoke out against corrupt police officials. She also warned drug dealers in the area that their days were over. At the end of the prayer march, at the Eldorado Sports Centre, she spoke about police successes in the area since Zuma’s visit.