For the first time, pastors from various churches and denominations have joined forces to host mass open air prayer meetings and services across Mitchell’s Plain.
Pastor Ashley Potts, deputy chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Policing Forum and an organiser of the prayer group says they created the platform as a result of volatility in the area and were inspired by the recent Its Time event held by Angus Buchan at the Swartklip Sports Complex.
With the belief that prayer is the avenue to create hope for communities who are lost, the group of pastors who were involved in the Its Time event have vowed to continue their work in bringing change to communities gripped by socio-economic problems.
“This is the combined effort of pastors in Mitchell’s Plain. They had collectively visited the area and were asked by residents to help do something about all the killings,” says Potts.
“We then went back and did an open air prayer service and that was the birth of the initiative. From there we were invited to another street and area and so it has been going on ever since,” says Potts.
Last week, the group of pastors held two services in Wendy Crescent, Hyde Park and Lantana Street, Lentegeur where recent shootings have taken place. They have also called meetings in Malva, Kardou and Olive streets thus far, since the initiative started three weeks ago.
“The church, historically, is mandated to go and preach the good news and bring messages of hope and unity among churches is now causing God to be brought back into the community. As pastors, we believe that the presence of God needs to be in the community to bring a stop to these problems and unity is allowing that to take place now. Ordinarily, pastors work on their own, in their own churches, but this is something, happening in Mitchell’s Plain that brings them together and breaks the mould of your church, my church and the separation. It is our church,” says Potts.
The attendence and feedback has been great thus far, says Potts.
Pastor Owen Hendricks spearheads the initiative.