24 August 2021
Dear Church Family
An urgent matter requiring prayer is brought to your attention by our brother Mario, pastor of Reformed Faith Mission.
They have for some time been discipling a new convert, who came out of a notoriously dangerous gang. This new convert (call him ‘James’) has been growing eagerly in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. However, the gang in question has a well-established tradition/culture of killing either the one who leaves, or a member of their family. Blood must be shed, is the reasoning. If they cannot get to the ex-member (to kill him), they will increasingly target the family to draw him out.
This has already started with James’ family, who have faced incrementally more dangerous attacks in recent weeks. A clear warning message is being sent to James. And James knows that if he does not go back to face their ‘judgement’, some member of his family will soon be killed in his place. As I understand it, there is little that the can be done by law enforcement, given that any gang member might target any family member at any time. They can’t lock up the whole gang indefinitely; nor protect all the extended family indefinitely. Sadly, this situation is not unique in our city.
Thus James is resolved to go and present himself to his former gang this Friday (27th August) at 10am, to ask them to spare both him and his family. This is the only way (humanly speaking) to stop the inevitable murder of someone he loves. Needless to say the ‘chance’ of his own death at their hands is high.
After much prayer and fasting amongst the church and leaders of RFM, Mario has decided to go with James on Friday morning, to join in his dangerous appeal. Please will you pray this week, and especially this Friday at 10am, for the attempt to meet & reason with the leaders of the gang. We know that God is sovereign, and ‘chance’ does not dictate the outcome. Yet we also know that we have a responsibility to appeal for their safety, and ask that God would turn the hearts of the wicked away from their planned & practiced evil.
When James heard how many people in RFM were praying for him, he sent the following message (below). It is a testimony to how great a work of grace has been wrought in his heart, that James can face Friday while writing as follows:
“I am so so greatful for everyones prayers, care and concern. I really do find comfort in knowing that God is in control and that He works everything for the good even if it means dying for the sake and name of Jesus, atleast I will die for the Truth and not some lie that I was prepared to die for, for so many years. I have peace, I am saved by the Grace of God, so that’s already more than enough. Should God deliver me from this situation would it be a bonus, coz He has done more than enough for me. God’s will be done and Jesus be Glorified in all this.”
Yours in Christ
Martin, Winton, Shane & Andrew