I remember my first day in South Africa; I took a step off the plane, felt the hot air against my skin and took a deep breath in. I had visited South Africa twice before and felt led to join the already incredible team spearheading the work of The Message Trust in Cape Town. My purpose of joining the team in South Africa was to develop an international project called Respect ME. Respect ME is a schools based programme used to equip and encourage young people to make good decisions in the area of self-esteem and sex education. Since I started developing this programme, I have had many opportunities to interact and deliver Respect ME to people from schools, youth groups, children’s homes, NGO’s, and even in prison!
I love that Cape Town is a powerful hub of mission with so many different nationalities, denominations and people that are fused together by a deep desire to see the city transformed. There are so many incredible organisations and groups of people that are fighting for a beautiful, powerful, and peaceful South Africa. I love the culture, diversity and the amount of people that are fighting for this country. Fighting for community. Fighting for peace. There is a beautiful verse in the book of Habakkuk (1:5) that says “look at the nations, watch and be amazed, for I am doing a work in your day that you would not believe even if you were told.” For me this sums up the work doing in South Africa, so many different, incredible people doing amazing work for the kingdom of God.
The Message Trust’s new Reintegration Programme held a ‘Speak Out’ event on the 8th of December, where several of the young men in the programme presented eye-opening and challenging speeches.
When these guys first entered the programme in September, a majority of them were unable to write a speech. They struggled to express themselves, write grammatically, and find the confidence to speak in front of even a handful of people. With the help from some of our team members, they learned the ins-and-outs of public speaking. Afterwards, they were given the opportunity to write their own speeches to be presented to the community.
The speeches delivered at Speak Out were a testament to how the Reintegration Programme has quickly grown these men and given them the confidence to speak out. Their stories were challenging as we heard about the struggles of violence, gangsterism, crime, and the impact of having such a fatherless nation.
These young men (and so many others) have powerful stories to share and it’s time that we, as a nation, start listening. We are excited for more Speak Out events to happen in the future. Don’t miss out on the next one – the impact of their words is something no person should go without experiencing!
The break every chain event was held in Khayelitsha by Urban Heroes of the Message in partnership with Radio Tygerberg. The urban hero is a guy who was once a problem, and now he is a solution in his community, family and work.
The much anticipated event finally arrived in the community of Khayelitsha, with the people coming in their numbers to fill the auditorium. Radio Tygerberg was there……..The Message SA was there………and so too were our urban heroes, all eagerly waiting for the event to start.
The event commenced with prayer and an overview of the purpose of the event and how it came about.
Following on from this, an urban hero took the stage to present the first speech; the second speaker then gave his story, and both these urban heroes moved the audience to tears. The Message’s Kinetic IV also performed a song for our audience, which was a real blessing to the people.
The families were really touched by the whole event; in particular, one woman was so moved by the testimonies that she couldn’t contain her sobbing, and left the auditorium where she needed to be comforted by one of the pastors.
What made her to cry like that was when the group of urban heroes asked the people for forgiveness for any crimes that might have been committed against them. This affected everyone, to the point that the different pastors took turns praying for the victims of crimes and those who are in abusive relationships. They prayed for us and for those in prison.
This was one event that I believe shook the people to such an extent that they left with renewed hope ignited in their hearts for the good of Khayelitsha.
Chains really broke down and the walls of darkness and separation fell as God took control of the stage and released his people. Parents were asked to come to the front for prayer, and the host of people who responded was testimony to these people being broken and looking for solutions.