Churches must step up

Johann Kikillus, Ocean View

This morning, Thursday August 16, at 9.30am, I was at another shooting scene of a young man.

At the scene were obviously some very traumatised people.

During the 30 minutes that I was there, I received calls from three other people requiring assistance and then went back to the care centre to
find several people waiting for assistance as well.

By noon, I had to attend to someone in Fish Hoek as well as Kommetjie and phone someone in Noordhoek.

All these cases involved people in various degrees of trauma and desperation.

The point I am making is that, with the huge increase in abuse and violence across the far south, it has become virtually impossible for our small organisation to assist everyone.

Most of the people who come to us do so because they are unable to afford “professional” services.

I estimate that we assist well over a thousand people a year at Ocean View Care Centre alone.

Something needs to change, and I wish to make the following proposal – that churches in each community take responsibility for that particular community’s social problems.

For example, on any given day, we work with victims and perpetrators of abuse and violence, with addicts, with traumatised people, with child abuse, rape, sexual abuse, truancy and rebellious teenagers.

The Bible states clearly in James 1: 27 that we are to look after widows and orphans in distress. I wish to suggest that means all people in distress.

So, practically speaking, in each community in the far south will be a church where people go to when they need help. People from all walks of life and religious beliefs must feel free to go there.

In some communities like Ocean View where it is not safe to walk around, there should be churches in every area. These churches will be open seven days a week and assist those who come there.

They will be trained up in the basic methods and protocols of helping people. This will include training in the Child Act and Domestic Violence Act as well as trauma debriefing.

No budget is required for this as there are already enough buildings and congregants who can volunteer their time and resources. Those churches who are more resourced can assist those who do not have.

Ideally we need churches from Fish Hoek, Noordhoek, Kommetjie, Masiphumelele, Scarborough, Glencairn and Simon’s Town to assist with this.

In Ocean View, we need churches from Lapland, Atlantic Heights, Hungry Hills, Ghost Town, Mountain View and near the schools.

I welcome all interested pastors to email me at johann@soteriaministries.org.za.