JEREMIAH 29:7 (Today's New International Version) says "Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
The church in South Africa has become ineffective and her voice has grown silent. During the apartheid years the church was vocal and active in her stance in opposing what was a system of oppression.
It became silent after 1994 out of deference to the new political leaders of the country, most of whom had their formation in missionary schools, and who displayed integrity and high moral values. However, with the passage of time, new leaders have come to the fore who do not seem to have the same moral attitude and mindset.
For many greed and power seem more important than the people they are meant to serve, especially the poorest of the poor. In spite of well articulated intentions, these intentions are often not played out in practice.
God has been speaking to the leaders of the churches in the metro, as well as civic organisations, calling them to hear the cries of the people, and to seek peace and prosperity in all the communities that they serve.
In some areas of the metro, people are divided and are resorting to violence on one another out of frustration out of the lack of service delivery. This is the result of disunity in the political leadership of the metro. The leaders of the churches have tried to initiate contact to find out why the threat of redeployment and instability in the metro has not been addressed.
We have been frustrated by the lack of a working solution to this request. We appreciate that the president did come to the metro and that there are people from the national government who have tried to bring a solution on the ground.
For that we are very grateful, but there is still no working solution in place. We seek to acquaint ourselves with the facts and hope to do all that we can to promote lasting peace and harmony in the metro. In response to this situation, a series of prayer and fact-finding meetings have taken place and are set to take in the "hot spots" identified in the metro. It is our intention to visit every area in the metro, but we are starting with the immediate need within these "hot spots".
We would call on the affected communities to join us in prayer for the metro in this troubled time, and to work with us towards peace and prosperity for all. Meetings have already taken place in Motherwell and Uitenhage.
The following is a schedule of meetings taking place:
- Chatty: Monday October 1 at 4pm;
- KwaZakhele Ward 19: Tuesday October 2 at 4pm; and
- Walmer Gqebera: Wednesday October 3 at 4pm.
Luke 4:18-19 (Today's New International Version) says "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."
Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Pastor Neville Goldman and Rev Danie Mouton, media spokesmen on behalf of church leaders in the metro and civic society organisations