Dear Friends, Partners and Supporters of The Message Trust South Africa,
We are now several weeks into our lockdown in South Africa. I feel it’s important to give you an update on how we, at The Message South Africa, are adjusting to the Covid-19 crisis, as we would value your continued prayers.
As I communicated previously, our first priority was the care of our staff. We have been committed to supporting our team and retaining their employment throughout this period, including those working within Gangstar Café (although our social business has had to close temporarily). We can’t wait for when we can open our doors again, return to prisons and schools, and be actively involved in outreach to young people. However, although these things are on hold, there is plenty that we are doing to help raise up urban heroes in spite of the challenges of Covid-19.
I am excited to share with you some of the key activities that we have continued during this time:
- We are providing critical care and support in three of Cape Town’s toughest communities: Nyanga, Parkwood and Gugulethu. This is a particularly difficult time for many families who were already living on the breadline. We are now working hand in hand with churches in these communities to enable them to support vulnerable young people and their families. This includes distributing critical necessities, supporting children with their home-schooling, and providing practical help to church leaders.
- Our Academy has continued and we have six students who are now engaging in the material via distance learning as they continue to receive training in youth and creative ministry.
- Our Oaks home, providing accommodation and discipleship to ex-offenders, continues to provide care and support to our residents. The Oaks team are also helping with some of the relief efforts for vulnerable communities by helping pack and distribute food parcels.
- Shaun Pretorius continues to lead our Advance evangelist network.He has been able to facilitate groups and training online. Many of our Advance group members are finding creative ways to reach out to their friends and families with the gospel during this time.
- We have also launched a book to support those who are confused, grieving, or losing hope during this time. It’s called Facing the Future We Didn’t Choose and is available at no cost from http://message.org.za/product/facing-the-future-we-didnt-choose/
- Finally, we are taking hands with other ministries to find effective ways to support young people and youth leaders at this time. We have an extensive network of churches across Cape Town and beyond. We are working hard to support them as they face these unprecedented times, which are also providing unprecedented opportunities to share the message of hope.
Our mandate is to raise up generations of urban heroes. Our team is fully committed to working with the least, last and lost, being catalysts of transformation even during these difficult days.
Please continue to pray for us. We also ask that you continue to support us financially even in these tough times as we, in turn, support young people in very vulnerable situations. Please feel free to reach out to me if you require any further information.
We are also praying for you and trust that God will be your refuge and strength, an ever present help during these difficult times (Psalm 46:1).
Yours in Christ,
On behalf of The Message SA Team.