Bringing HOPE

This past Wednesday at our venue in Mitchell’s Plain I decided to gather the 10 year old boys for a meeting. I wanted to get feedback on what they want to do during our program. We started talking about soccer and then the conversation moved to favourite things to watch e.g. movies. I suggested Rio and got blank stares …they came back with Real Steel and Transformers. Coincidentally my favourites too ,then to my surprise the little boy sitting next to me said his favourite movie was porn I asked again just to make sure what I had heard and porn came out again.

I could smell a strong smoke smell as he spoke to me so I asked if he had been smoking. The boy on his left shouted out that he smokes hoka puip (Hubbly bubbly) and the tobacco gets mixed with dagga (marijuana) and rocks (crack). Then all the boys shouted out that he was part of a notorious gang. We spoke about drugs a little and then we headed out to go play.

A half hour later I was called to a fight between two boys only to find my little friend in the altercation I asked him why he was fighting and he just looked down and would not look at me. I took him aside and spoke to him and explained why fighting with your team mates is no good and asked if he enjoyed playing soccer. He looked up and said yes, and then I felt inspired to give him more and asked if he would like to be team captain. I could see the sparkle in his eye as he nodded his head in excitement.

I told him to go call the team manager (local leader in charge of the boy’s mid-week) so that we can make it official. Frank and I spoke to him and told him about his responsibilities. We told him that we pray as a team to Jesus before and after the game I asked if he knew Jesus he said no so I asked if he would like to know him and he said yes. We all prayed and asked Jesus to be his saviour and protector. He got up and all the other boys started clapping you could see how this encouraged him. I look forward to seeing him next week. The local leader has taken responsibility to check in on him when the gang is out and about.

Paul White
Mitchell’s Plain Project Leader