A FEW years ago they would have sent terrified residents running for cover as they roamed the streets, but yesterday a group of former drug dealers and reformed gangsters brought some hope to Port Elizabeth’s northern areas.
Accompanied by pastors – and armed with prayer – the rehabilitated men took to the streets of Helenvale to spread the word about Teen Challenge, which aids troubled youth.
At a house close to the Gelvandale High School, Nelly Jacobs asked the group to pray for her son, Quinton, who was in prison. In another street, a group of young men reluctantly stopped their soccer game to listen to them, but were soon mesmerised.
They sat at group member Ricardo Heilbron’s feet, listening attentively.
"I used to sell drugs and use drugs. I went around shooting people. For years, I was a member of the 28s gang and spent time in prison,” Heilbron told them. "It is never too late for change. If you accept God in your life, he can transform you and your life will forever change for the better.”
Teen Challenge will be visiting Chatty and Booysen Park high schools today.