Meet a Resident of Port Elizabeth: George*
George* gave his life to Christ four years ago. Before that, his identity – his family – was the gang he belonged to. George is Coloured**; his exact lineage is unknown but is probably a mixture of Asian and European settlers. The crime rate is high in George’s neighborhood in Port Elizabeth. Most of his friends turn to a life in gangs because there are no jobs.
Now he’s trying to leave that world behind. He attends church to learn more about following Jesus. Standing on a street corner, he proudly tells other gang members how his life has changed – that he now trusts Jesus to take care of him.
*name changed for security reasons
**Coloured refers to a defined people group unique to southern Africa
Share George’s story with others — download the Port Elizabeth prayer guide.
Meet a Resident of Port Elizabeth: Wayne Barros
The northern areas of Port Elizabeth are known for gangs, unemployment and poverty. Homes and cars are riddled with bullet holes. And it’s here that Wayne Barros calls home.
Barros faithfully travels through the gang infested neighborhoods in his beat-up van, yelling hello to friends. The church he pastors, Schauderville Baptist Church, is one of the few safe havens for teens. Residents never know when a fight will break out in the streets or shops. The teens meet at church to hang out and learn about Jesus.
The pastor also counsels young people at local schools and sometimes organizes pick-up soccer tournaments. He hopes that by sharing Christ with the teens it will show them there are are other options besides gangs.
“I feel it’s important to do this work,” Barros says, “because the more we can reach them spiritually we can save a household, we can save a group … all they need is love and a bit of care.”