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CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO CHAOS IN SOUTH AFRICA

In South Africa looters have been running riot across the country, burning down shops, malls, and vehicles with impunity. And while all this is going on, there are huge numbers being affected by the COVID pandemic and inability to even get medical attention. Ben Campbell head of the Australasian arm of the ministry, African Enterprise, which has teams on the ground in South Africa right in the heart of where the riots are occurring reports on the situation in South Africa. Ben says there are gunshots at night, and broken glass and rubbish strewn all over the road. There are cars and trucks burning. “It’s certainly a scene of devastation”, says Ben. “The underlying issue exacerbated by the COVID situation is this economic disparity. Around 40% of COVID deaths in Africa are occurring in South Africa.

Ben says he is also hearing of criminal elements destroying products, shops and stealing. People don’t have much, so they just take everything they can. With a significant population living below the poverty line, is an incentive to get involved. “Of course when supermarkets can’t be restocked and people can’t get to hospital for treatment of injuries, that just exacerbates it all,” continues Ben. “But for every person that is doing the wrong thing, there are multiple people who are doing the right thing. Organised groups of people have been protecting their suburbs, and they wait for the police to turn up and offer some form of protection. In some places the actual pipeline distribution centres themselves are destroyed. So it’s likely that there’s going to be food insecurities for many months ahead.”

Ben says that the situation in South Africa is an extension of the COVID crisis, with people being locked down and living from hand to mouth to sell products and buy food for that day. They end up in awful situations, crowding around charitable groups to get food, which in turn leads to a worsening spread of the virus. The current focus of African Enterprise is to carefully and strategically distribute food along with the good news of Jesus. “It’s a sign of Christ’s love for his people. It’s an outworking of the love of the church for people in need,” says Ben. “That’s our goal. Through good works and the gospel message to bring hope to those in South Africa. We are also praying for the government and those in authority so that Christians can live a holy and peaceful life. I think that’s number one for Africa.”

Source: Vision Christian Media