The Community Upliftment Forum (CUF) is holding an anti-crime prayer walk in Helenvale on Tuesday (June 7) following a recent spate of gang-related shootings in the Port Elizabeth Northern Areas suburb.
Prayers will meet at the parking area of the Gelvandale Police Station in Gail Road, Gelvandale at 9am on Tuesday, said CUF spokesperson Pastor Joan Keeling. She said all were welcome to attend the prayer walk, which would end not later than 10.30am. Prayers should wear walking shoes.
She said police would direct the prayer walkers to crime hotspots in Helenvale, which has had 12 gang-related shootings since May 11. On Monday, May 30, Jerozelle de Kock, 19, was killed after she was struck by a stray bullet as she was walking to a church youth meeting.
Police are currently conducting an intensive joint operation to combat crime in the area. However, SA Police Services Mount Road Cluster Commander, General Dawie Rabie, has repeatedly said that the prayer support of Christians is a key weapon in the battle against crime.
Following a prayer walk in Helenvale in early March there was a sharp reduction in violent crime in the area until the recent upsurge in shooting incidents. And after a prayer walk in Kleinskool, another Northern Areas suburb, a number of gangsters made decisions to start following Jesus.
Keeling said that if it rained hard on Tuesday the prayer would take place inside the Gelvandale Police Station. She urged Christians in Nelson Mandela Bay to support the anti-crime initiative, either by joining the prayer march or by linking with them through church prayer networks.
“I have asked various church prayer chains to join us in praying against violence and loss of lives in crime areas, and for the protection of police who are working in these areas. Any prayer groups that would like to link up with our network should contact me and provide their co-ordinators’ contact details.” Keeling can be contacted at 084 766 2270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.