Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Power of Prayer

Well, our outreach is done. I leave the country on Wednesday, and our team is getting in some last minute shopping and lion-petting before we go. It’s been amazing, and here’s another testimony:
Just as last week’s all-night “Urban Campout” with the Salvation Army yielded much fruit, this past Friday was amazing as well. Around 50 people from the Salvation Army, YWAM, and Exodus Cry came together on the streets of a neighborhood in Jo’burg. We started worshipping and praying around our campfires at 11pm, and prayer walks started around 12:30. Groups of about 12 at a time walked through the neighborhood praying and talking to those on the streets. I went with a team of YWAM Argentina folks around 1am. After walking a few blocks from the base we spotted a girl standing in the shadows in front of a house. As we approached, she turned around and walked inside the gate. As I gestured to say hello to her, I found that she wasn’t alone- she was standing behind her pimp. I left my hello, and we kept walking. As the team behind us stopped to talk more with them, we stood on the sidewalk and prayed for what to do next. One of our girls didn’t feel safe on the dark street we were standing on, and as we were praying and discerning what we should do next, a girl came out of the dark, crossed the street, and said hi. She seemed to be under the influence of what we later found was drugs. She stood before us in her mini skirt while we were shivering with our coats, gloves and scarves. We talked with her for a while, putting together her story. She is 32 years old, and has two children that were taken from her a while ago. She’s been here on the streets for about 10 years, and at the time was living with a Nigerian down the street who was supplying her drugs. As the conversation went on, we asked if she wanted to be here and liked selling herself, and her answer to both was no. While under a street light, she showed me the bruises on her thighs which she got from the pimp down the street. Charles, the man in our team, was persistent in telling Nadia that there is a way out. Eventually, breakthrough happened, and the reality of leaving the business hit her. She finally said that she was ready to leave, and she wanted to go to the Safe House. She wept as our people went to fetch the vehicle that would take her away to safety. Life came into her eyes as she began dreaming again. Her biggest dream was seeing her children again. She also got excited at the idea of getting a job, getting off drugs, and seeing her mother again. During the 45-minute ride to the Safe House, we prayed for her, affirmed her dreams, and I got to chat with her woman-to-woman. During our conversation, she reached into her dress and gave me her drug pipe. She was done.
Her favorite color is pink. Her favorite song is a South African song that I can’t pronounce and she was too shy to sing.
We arrived at the Safe House at 3am, and left Nadia and her rose, covered in prayer and love.
A testimony about prayer: When asked why she decided to leave tonight instead of the many other nights she’s been given the same opportunity, she said, “I don’t know, something just felt different in my heart tonight.” Her heart had changed. She could feel it changing as she spoke, she knew something was different. We told her that was God speaking to her heart, and she smiled a beautiful smile. She knew that God was with her. Just that morning in prayer, we had prayed for God to go before us and prepare hearts. We prayed for changed lives. This woman was ready, and her life was changed.

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Adventures in Hillbrow

Wow. I’ve had a CRAZY week. We arrived in Hillbrow four days ago after two days on the road from Cape Town. Missing Cape Town already, but I’ll get back there someday…
Hillbrow, Day 1: We attended training with an organization called MES (mes.org.za) that focuses on reaching the people of Hillbrow, and joined them in the afternoon for outreach. We set up in a busy marketplace and participated in a public art activity that attracted quite a large crowd. About 8 people came to accept Christ that day, hallelujah! That night, we joined with the Salvation Army to do an all-night worship and prayer night called the Urban Campout in a “dodgy” neighborhood in Jo’burg known for brothels and drug trafficking. We watched Ghana tragicly lose to Uruguay (so sad…), then hit the streets from 11pm till 4:30 in the morning. We prayed and worshipped a lot, but the part of the night that sticks out to me most was the prayer walk. A large group of us circled the neighborhood, praying for the area and keeping our eyes out for any prostitutes or other people the Lord would highlight to us. God set up many divine appointments for us that night. Highlights: many of our team members talked with a certain prostitute that really burdened our hearts. We saw her throughout the night, encouraging her when we could and praying for her freedom. We got news that the next morning, her and a friend both called the Salvation Army to be taken to a Safe House, where they are now. Two more women out of the hands of their pimps, AMEN!!! Also, at about 2 am, God led us to a convenience store in the neighborhood where we discovered a man sitting on a crate, half-conscious. He had been shot in the arm, thrown out of his vehicle, and his car hijacked. He had been sitting in that store for quite some time and nobody had bothered to help him. We were able to call the ambulance for him and keep him awake and as comfortable as possible until the medics arrived 40 minutes later. While waiting, several men came in that spoke words of condemnation over him, telling him he should just die- one man even offered to finish the job himself, but our men quickly ushered him out of the store. We were also able to talk with him yesterday, and he was released from the hospital, expected to fully recover. I’m so thankful we were able to be there that night, I’m sure that his story would have had a much different outcome…
Because of the switch in ministry covering, we moved our lodging to a (much safer, cozier) Christian retreat center outside Jo’burg, and are currently re-routing our plans for the last week. Yesterday, the 4th was somewhat of a Sabbath for us- we were given extra-long devotional time and a nice Independence Day braai (barbecue). The alone and quiet time was much needed, especially out on these beautiful premises. The cow smell reminds me of home! ☺
Today turned out to be a very interesting day. We spent 4 hours in worship and intercession this morning. This afternoon we walked the streets of Hillbrow, praying for the neighborhoods and asking him for specific places and areas to intercede for. Last time God led us to pray for a brothel, it was shut down (google the Arabesque Club raid), so today we were expectant. During our walk, Our team of 6 strolled into this building called “Entertainment Centre”. Before we knew it, we had just received free admission into the most well-known strip club in the city, and were ushered upstairs to be shown how the entire business works. Two men and a woman from our team went into the bar to pray and talk to a few (mostly clothed) girls while the other 3 of us girls ventured into the area where the “show” was going on. We spent some time talking to many of the girls and got a lot of insight into how the industry works and how this particular club was set up. It was incredible how much favor we got; we were able to talk to any of the girls freely, we spent much time talking with the manager who invited our team back any time for free admission (which doesn’t happen anywhere!). The 11-story strip club has each level featuring its own “show” room, bar, and several rooms for rent. The manager bragged that this was the only club in the world to receive free advertising in Playboy, indicating how highly-esteemed they are globally. This could be the club that changes the sex industry, not just in Jo’burg or South Africa, but in the world!!! Our team is seeking wisdom on how to handle this shocking open-door opportunity. So PLEASE, lots of prayer for wisdom and guidance in this. Pray that these open doors would stay open as long as it takes for breakthrough. Pray for our discernment and safety. Pray that the abortion clinic located on the first floor of this building would be shut down.
I can’t believe how quickly this trip has gone by, but there’s still so much work to do!