“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.” 1 Timothy 4:7
“You are wasting my time! Get out of here and go ask the question to somebody outside. If you don’t ask the question, don’t bother coming back!”
We will not accept the fact that young men will not carry out instructions, if they claim to be serious about the things of the Lord. Living in a squatter camp (locally called a “township”), in a shack and being poor is no excuse for being lazy or unconcerned about the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Our group’s name is Soldiers for Christ (SFC)! These twelve young men want to make a difference. They want to live out the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their personal lives, in their homes, schools and work places; and in their squatter camp.
So where does one start with a bunch of rough kids, whose third language is English, who live in shacks, with dirt roads, little drainage, no electricity, surrounded daily by crime, and too often have little food on the table?
We start with God’s Word of course!
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20
The African traditional religion these young men have been born into, and brought up to know, teaches that you need to slaughter a goat when you have sinned, as if you don’t “always” sin – the goat’s blood will apparently cleanse you of unrighteousness. Sprinkling holy water in your hut keeps the evil spirits away and a piece of plastic on a limb can bring healing.
If we don’t teach God’s Law, His Word, they will never know His standards; or understand that they have sinned because “…sin is Lawlessness.” And if you haven’t sinned, why would you need a saviour?
The Law shows us our need of a saviour. Jesus Christ paid our penalty – His blood, not a goat’s blood, cleanses us from all sin – past, present and future! Putting our faith in Him, and not our ancestors, is what will save us!
One young man underwent massive family pressure due to leaving his ancestral worship. But he would not back down. He was discovered by my colleague as a 12-year-old head of a household. He was brought up in the Christian faith and today is a ministry and community leader.
His mother told the family that years ago, when she was unable to financially support her two sons, none of the family helped her, so she left her boys to fend for themselves. The Christians helped, supported and provided for the brothers, and so now the family must accept that they are following their Christian God.
Our faith is not the local “evanjellyfish” type. Some of these young men are just a few weeks old as Christians. So, they are sent out immediately to start Gospel conversations to tell others about the Gospel of the Kingdom. Yes, they will make mistakes. Yes, they will mess up and yes, it is difficult!
We’ve taken part in a shopping mall outreach where some of our group got to interact with shoppers and hand out tracts and balloons with Bible verses for children. Those “soldiers” who said they would come but did not arrive for the outreach were disciplined by their peers.
We have also undergone training by self-defense guru Gerald Bailey of Suarez International, who kindly gave freely of his time to help our young men. Gerald’s training will be put into good use at our upcoming Gospel crusade in the Stone Hill squatter camp when international Gospel preacher, Ron Kronz, visits us on his tri-nation preaching tour to Africa.
Church leaders are very excited about the coming Gospel outreach. Unity is a top priority for the local churches.
Men beating women is quite normal in the township. The Soldiers for Christ intend to put a stop to this by prayer and action, even physically threatening the perpetrators.
The township dwellers firmly believe that the police only help and support the criminals and so there is little to no trust of the authorities. Law and order in South Africa has become a joke and people believe they have to see to their own personal and community safety.
The community is known for having beaten youngsters starting gangs, caught and beaten armed thugs who attacked their local store, dismantled the shack of an unrepentant rapist and kicked him out of their township so he may never return. Needless to say, many of the community leaders are Chrsitians!
Some outsiders have apparently referred to Stone Hill as “the Christian township!”
SFC members are on duty at our Gospel outreach services each Sunday evening. The ill-discipline, obviously tolerated in state schools, is a nuisance of the past. Jabbering, laughing and jesting during the preaching of God’s Word has come to an end. Drunkards, and those wishing to interrupt the sermon, are kindly walked away so that listeners may hear the Word.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
Please pray with us! Jesus Christ is building His Church in Stone Hill! May His Will be done in Stone Hill, as it is in Heaven!
Charl van Wyk