Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the tag “manenberg”

168 Hours of Prayer

Children writing messages on a poster in the Fusion prayer room in Manenberg

From Sun, 5 August until Sun, 12 August, the Fusion team from The Warehouse hosted a 24/7 prayer room in Manenberg to cover the community in prayer. Here, Jonathan Jansen from Fusion gives some feedback from this week.

Mary*, a mother of three children spent hours (day and night) crying out to God for the community of Manenberg. The beauty of this story is that normally she is house-bound due to an abusive husband and yet during the prayer week, while he was away with work, she was released to cry out to her Father in a place of refuge and belonging in the prayer room. Her and her kids joined Fusion for community times of worship, meals and night duty.

Kids get creative in the prayer room

The week of prayer in Manenberg took place at the beginning of August – it was not in reaction to the gang war that was raging at the time, but it did coincide with it. What a backdrop for prayer! The time exceeded our expectations of God and what He asks of us. The week was about more than “just” prayer, but about family, about loving our neighbour and about providing a peaceful space to engage with God.

We watched as former drug users, hurting church members and people from all over Cape Town continued to show up, day by day, and weep over the beautiful community of Manenberg.  Amidst our tears and pain, we found peace, we were healed, we were forgiven, friendships were formed, religion was dismantled, rules were broken, guns stopped shooting and God was with his people.

“If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)

God wants to be with us.

– To find out more about Fusion’s work, click here. For more photos from the Manenberg Fusion 24/7 Prayer Room, click here.

Photo of the month

“This photo was taken in late December 2010, in the heart of Manenberg, Cape Town.  It was taken from a series of stills that were shot as part of a documentary made by the Fusion Project, run through an NGO called The Warehouse.  That day we met people on the street and we went into people’s homes, chatting to them about the biggest struggles they face as a community; how gangsterism and drugs affect their lives and what they would like to see change.  It was an emotional roller coaster ranging from the seemingly happy children kicking torn up old soccer balls around the streets to the despair on a mothers face as she described the pain of losing two sons and a husband to the combined effects of gangs and drug abuse.  Manenberg is a suburb that is desperate for change, desperate for help and desperate for God.” – Nick Key, 27, photographer and film maker

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Moving into Manenberg

By Sam Rawson

Pete and Jonathan at The Warehouse

Moving into a community that is notorious for its high levels of crime, gangsterism and substance abuse is a challenge few people are willing to take on. But in May 2010, after a year of doing community work in the area, Pete Portal, a 26-year-old from London, made a three-bedroomed house in Manenberg his permanent home – and a 19-year-old recovering heroin addict his digs mate.

If you’re from Cape Town, your jaw is likely hitting the floor. The area, created by the apartheid government as part of the Group Areas Act, has had a difficult time shrugging off its reputation as the gangland of the Western Cape.

And you don’t have to look far for evidence. Gang slogans and symbols are graphically spray-painted onto walls throughout the area, forming a constant reminder of the dangerous powers at play. So what would inspire someone not originally from the community to move into this area?

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