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Sponsored libraries to the Diepsloot township, South Africa

Simon Bennet

Diepsloot Township lies to the northeast of the city of Johannesburg. As an informal settlement, it has grown hugely in the last few years as men and women from the rural areas and from Malawi and Zimbabwe come to seek work in affluent Johannesburg. The majority of the inhabitants live in shacks – single room dwellings made out of rough corrugated sheets. The township is famous for its shabeens, drinking houses where alcohol is freely available to all irrespective of age. Traditional healers (witch doctors) also proliferate. Crime levels and rates of domestic physical and sexual abuse are very high.

Into this township are born many precious children and we are privileged to volunteer at two High Schools in the area: Diepsloot Combined and Iterele Zendere. In addition to assisting at weekly assemblies, we also hold weekly counseling sessions and an after school meeting.

Each week we approach one class. We offer those who are facing any difficulties the opportunity to come for counseling in our camper vehicle which is parked on the playing field. Many students take the opportunity to share their struggles and difficulties with us. We are free to listen and encourage and pray with and for them. Perhaps this is the first time many have heard the Gospel and it’s a privilege to share the love of Jesus with them as they pray for Him to come into their hearts and for the infilling power and grace of His Holy Spirit.

After school we hold an SCM, a Student Christian Meeting, for all who want to come. We have amazing praise and worship times and Bible studies. After the meeting we open our library which was kindly donated to the school by Activated Ministries.

This library of Christian magazines and books has made a huge difference in the lives of the learners. We discovered that many students have an insatiable appetite for reading these materials. In our counseling times we also encouraged them to borrow books for their families, many of whom are under severe stress from their difficult living conditions.

In 6 months we have lent out over 269 books and magazines which means that on average each book or magazine has been lent out at least once. The majority of the students are very faithful to return their books. These libraries mean that young people are able to take the presence of Jesus in His word back to their families and homes and grow spiritually, aiding them a great deal in overcoming their issues and problems. We look forward to carrying on this work next year and are ever grateful for Activated Ministries’ assistance.