Lessons from suffering…

My wife Trish and I have been living in the inner-city slum of Hillbrow, South Africa, for just over a year. We moved from a six-bedroom home in a gated-security community in Midrand, a suburb of Johannesburg. We left the suburbs and moved to Hillbrow for a number of reasons, including our wanting to allow our lives to...

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Towards shalom in my neighbourhood…

Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. (Ecc 4:1, ESV) The above quote has been key for my us in our journey as we have recognized that it is both...

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Charity has to lead to justice…

Charity that does not lead to justice and transformation is just like a band aid on a festering wound. It looks like something good is being done, but underneath things are getting worse. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the...

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Oh God help us see with your eyes…

Most of the church in Johannesburg’s suburbs lives oblivious to the horrific suffering of the 57% of South Africans who live in extreme poverty. The only encounters most have with the poor are through wound-up-windows at traffic lights in air-conditioned cars, through one-sided exploitative employment relationships or through...

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Dehumanised, victimized and traumatized…

I’m really grateful that Trish is back from hospital and that this ordeal is over with for now. We chose to follow this route so that we could understand what so many of our friends who have no other choice face. It was really a traumatic experience utilizing the government healthcare facilities at the Charlotte Maxeke...

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