For 7 years I have been loving on the people of TDK Shelter in Durban. It’s a raw, dirty, volatile, disease ridden, roach and rat infested environment, filled with profoundly broken lives. the worst of the worst, the lowest of the low fill the cubicles and sleep on the bunks. Packed in like drug crazed sardines.
Mothers, fathers, children, uncle, aunts, grandparents. Old, young. Black, white, Indian, coloured. Drug addicts, prostitutes, little children. A huge unpredictable, dysfunctional extended family. All with a common goal… to get through today.
Selling their bodies, hustling, selling drugs, begging on the corner, robbing others. Whatever it takes to get to tomorrow. Living in constant survival mode. Get just enough money to get just enough heroin to keep detox pains at bay. Get just enough money to get a loaf of bread to feed their children. Get just enough money to pay their nightly rent so that they do not have to sleep on the street.
Get just enough.
But “just enough” is not enough. It never is. There is always the next need. There is always the next fix. There is always tomorrows empty belly. Just enough is just NOT enough.
Yesterday I took a team of students from Bethel, Redding to the homeless shelter. They had zero agenda other than to love with the love of Christ. To love extravagantly. To love un-conditionally. To speak love, to be love in this place where love doesn’t exist. For most of the students this was the first time that they had been into this kind of environment. And where fear could have taken over, loved reigned instead. As they loved my people, as they loved God’s beloved; transformation took place. Healing came, hardness displaced, darkness banished.
The addicts put down their pipes and syringes in order to receive prayer. The girls put off going to “work” in order to hear about the love of God. The children used these new strangers that were so full of joy and light as jungle gyms.
For two hours survival mode was put on hold and the place was filled with the love of a saviour who came to die for these very people. For two hours I didn’t feel like I was in it alone. I was surrounded with people with like minds. People who loved my people the way that I have loved them over the past 7 years. People who loved my people the way that He has loved has loved them always.
” I will give a new name to those who are not My people; I’ll call them “My people,”
and to the one who has not been loved, I’ll rename her “beloved.” Romans 9:25