Displaying items by tag: South Africa
There are some Christian deaf leaders and deaf believers in South Africa who now have scripture published in sign language by Door International. That gives them a perfect opportunity to move into training local leaders in how to evangelise, disciple, and plant churches. Published sign-language scriptures and deaf leaders are rare. Deaf people are one of the world’s largest unreached people groups. Less than 2% of the world’s 70 million deaf people have access to the Gospel. Using a new technique, Door is teaching deaf leaders from Angola and South Africa how to reach their people for Christ. The programme ‘2×2’ is based on Christ’s mission approach in Luke 10. Between now and June four leaders are going into the field to live, work, observe, and serve alongside existing two-by-two teams to gain some of the tools they need and then return to their country and continue the process.
Floods in and around Durban had caused 306 deaths by 13th April. President Cyril Ramaphosa described the floods as a calamity, saying, ‘Bridges and roads have collapsed. People have died. This is a catastrophe of enormous proportions.’ The search for missing persons is ongoing. The police force deployed 300 extra officers to the region, the air force sent planes to help with rescue operations. Days of driving rain smashed houses and ravaged infrastructure; landslides forced suspended train services. Highways flooded so that only traffic lights tops poked out. Torrents tore bridges apart, submerged cars and collapsed houses. A fuel tanker floated at sea after being swept off the road. Over 6,000 homes are damaged. TV footage showed people stealing from shipping containers during the flooding. Southern parts of the country are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis – suffering recurrent and worsening torrential rains and flooding.
The South Africa Council of Churches (SACC) has launched a national indaba (conference with indigenous tribes) to engage interested parties to find solutions to tensions over foreigners living and working in South Africa. Bishop Mpumlwana said they must create ‘a national process towards a stable national environment where the growing lawlessness over non-South Africans can be addressed before it spills into a broader decline of the rule of law, through “justifiable” acts of public frustration.’ He said that deep poverty gnawing at the lives of the economically excluded majority of South Africans is behind murmurings that ‘non-South Africans are stealing our jobs’ and sporadic acts of brutal violence against foreigners. ‘It is a manifestation of the failure of democratic South Africa to achieve the promise of the post-apartheid South Africa. The failure to achieve this causes a mentality that grips poor communities without hope’. he added.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s funeral was on 1 January. He was a driving force behind ending racial segregation and discrimination in an era when South Africa taught the world what courage and reconciliation could achieve. The contrast between those times of sacrifice, justice and glory, and today's corrupt political realities are stark. Deep economic frustration, high unemployment and inequality is governed by the African National Congress (ANC), which is at open war with itself and full of corruption. The day after Tutu’s funeral a fire severely ravaged much of the houses of parliament, causing ‘significant damage’ to the new assembly wing, including the National Assembly chamber where lawmakers sit. While firefighters were still working on ‘hotspots’ further flames erupted, threatening to cause the entire structure to collapse. We can pray that as men rebuild the houses of parliament, God will raise up and anoint political and community leaders to repair the damage done by mismanagement and corruption.
Tatjana Schoenmaker set a new record in the women’s 200-metre breaststroke, and she is using her success to point others to God. After breaking another record in the preliminary rounds for the 100-metre breaststroke, she ended up claiming the silver medal. In all her competitions in Tokyo, Tatjana has worn under her green South Africa swim cap another cap proclaiming her faith with a blue Jesus fish and the phrase ‘Soli Deo Gloria,’ meaning ‘Glory to God alone,’ printed on the side of it. She has used her platform to discuss her Christian faith before the Olympics began in an Instagram post, ‘Father God, may Your will be done, may Your peace fill us up, may we praise You no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by Your strength to give our all and may we forever be in awe of Your goodness!’ she wrote. ‘Thank You for bringing us to this very moment.’
Many believe that what we see in South Africa is the physical manifestation of what is happening in the spiritual realm. A spiritual battle is raging across South Africa, and it is manifested through riots, arson, gang violence, taxi violence, farm murders, etc. When confronted with recent scenes we must guard our hearts and minds against looking at it purely from a physical perspective. Mr Zuma’s imprisonment represents the progress made in the fight against corruption within the country. Amid the many challenges SA faces, it is easy to lose sight of the good, and positive things that are happening. In 3 ½ years SA has seen the evidence of corruption and specifically ‘state capture’ being brought to light. This would never have happened, had it not been for a mighty movement by God’s Spirit, in conjunction with many prayers. The devil would not be happy about it and is heating up the battle to ‘turn the tide’.
The following is from a report made with the help of seven pastors and a bishop in South Africa: ‘Please pray against a spirit of violence and disruption threatening the country’s peace and stability following the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma last week. The root of the ongoing situation is criminal rather than political. KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng provinces are hotspots of riots and looting sprees, and it may spread to other regions. 45 people have died and 757+ arrested in 5 days. Forces fire rubber bullets and live ammunition to deter Johannesburg looters, Durban has unrest and shootings. Shops, businesses, schools and farms are looted and destroyed. Road traffic is attacked and they are on the crest of a third Covid wave. It is believed that this is a backlash to a lot of evil and corruption being exposed over the past year as well as Kingdom breakthroughs. Pray for South Africa to step into her prophetic destiny, with peace on every street.’
In South Africa a woman is killed every four hours: ‘Our bodies are crime scenes’. Ornate advertising posters of men accused or convicted of murdering women cover the walls of Argentina’s capital. The word FEMICIDA -woman killer- screams out in large black letters under each name. The posters, and thousands of protesters outside Argentina’s Supreme Court in February, reveal the rage over rampant levels of violence against women. In Turkey’s cities last year thousands rallied, demanding the government does not withdraw from a landmark treaty to prevent and combat violence against women. Globally, trends of female journalists being threatened with physical violence, rape, kidnapping. and other abuses are rising. In Spain’s strawberry fields, migrant women face abuse from bosses who routinely sexually harass and exploit them, when they are attempting to support themselves and their families back home. Also see
South Africa’s pandemic infections seem to have reached a ceiling. However, with the fifth highest total in the world, no one is celebrating. The government had months to prepare, but there is a critical shortage of beds, staff and equipment. There are allegations of corruption by public officials ordering coronavirus-related supplies. As chaos and uncertainty swirled around official responses to the virus, a group of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians living and working in Lenasia decided to construct their own response as thousands of locals fell ill. Aboobaker Sayed started a community healthcare system in the middle of the raging pandemic with a community-run ambulance service; he secured advanced medical equipment and oxygen concentrators, and has turned ordinary bedrooms into critical care beds. He said, ‘We make plans, but God has another plan and He is the best of planners, so we leave it to Him’.
Global case counts of COVID-19 quietly clicked past 1 million 2nd April afternoon on the Johns Hopkins tracking map, revealing the disease’s startling speed and reach since it emerged 4 months ago.
The pandemic is afflicting countries unevenly as the US muffed its early response, while China acted with strong-armed efficiency, and many others are yet to be tested.
The US: Though the novel coronavirus has emerged in all 50 states, the media focus has zeroed in on New York, which has more than 92,000 cases. That will likely change in the coming days as new hotspots emerge, according to Scientific American.
The American South is at special risk with high numbers of cases per capita. Albany, Georgia has 13 per 10,000 people, for example. And, as Bloomberg News points out, the region already has some of the poorest health indicators in the country (4 of 5 states with highest diabetes rates) and a lack of health care access that includes shuttered rural hospitals. Of the 239 coronavirus deaths in New Orleans, “40% had diabetes, 25% were obese and 21% had heart problems,” Bloomberg reports.
Africa: WHO has announced that new COVID-19 cases are being reported in Africa at a dramatically accelerating pace as the number topped this week, according to The Citizen (Tanzania). Another worrying sign: Cases are beginning to emerge outside capitals and other large cities. The coronavirus has been detected across South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Senegal.
Also: Very few of the more than 300 clinical trials that are underway to seek a COVID-19 treatment are in Africa, Nature reports. The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative is part of the new COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition seeking to remedy this.
South Africa: Though the country has the most cases (1,462) on the continent, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize are being lauded for leading an effective and efficient battle against COVID-19, according to the BBC. However, the response also has included rounding up 1,000 homeless men and forcing them into a sports stadium in Pretoria, CNN International reports.
Ecuador: Officials in Guayaquil report more than 400 deaths in recent days as morgues have been overwhelmed and some bodies have been wrapped in plastic and left on street. UPI
Indonesia: The 170 COVID-19 deaths reported in recent weeks have surpassed nearly 2 decades of bird flu deaths. The Jakarta Post
North Korea: Assertions that the country is coronavirus-free has been viewed skeptically. The Guardian
Reporting from Johns Hopkins University: https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2020-04/1-million
Further data on Europe and the world: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases
BBC news article about the 18 countries who don’t have Covid-19 at the time of writing: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52120439
Pray: Lord God, the One who has Almighty power, we agree according to your promise in Matthew 18:18-20 that this virus will be stopped in its tracks. That the medical researchers will get a download from Heaven on how to quickly develop a vaccine to counteract COVID-19 and a cure for those who have become infected.
We also agree in prayer, asking that the Body of Christ worldwide will rise up in love and boldness, trusting in your blood to cover and protect us and throwing off fear, so that we can be available to serve, bless, and bear witness to those around us who are terrified and depressed at being infected.
Let us seize this unprecedented opportunity to make you known to those without hope in Christ!
Thank you for your promise that surely, you will be with us "always, even to the very end of the age” so that we can carry on with the mission you have given us for our world (Matthew 28:20).
Join in Online Prayers:
Additional Prayer Resources for Coronavirus
A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON COVID-19 By Dr Ruth Valerio and Gideon Heugh (Tear Fund)
A coronavirus prayer from Pete Greig
19 Things to Do in response to Coronavirus
Prophecy Today UK’s Responses to Coronavirus
PrayerCast Video and Prayer Briefing
Operation World's Covid-19 Prayers for the Nations and Prayer Calendar