This passion shows its self in various ways in my life, but I think the strongest part of this passion is the love and compassion that I have for street children and the homeless.
For the past 3 years I have been spending time in a homeless shelter in the Point area of Durban town center. To say that this area is "ghetto" would be an understatement. Its CRAZY! and I LOVE IT! I feel more at home on Pickering street than I do anywhere else.
The area is ran by Nigerian drug lords and the 27 gang. The streets are packed with dealers, hookers and street kids, and you know what? These are my kind of people. I know that God has placed me on the planet to love these people with an unconditional love. To be consistent, to be Him to them.
To show them a love that no one else has ever shown them, a love that heals and restores. A love that empowers and makes a difference.
I spend my time loving the prostitutes and snuggling their babies. Praying for them, giving them my clothes and buying them bread and giving them condoms.
The street children have no parents to love and guide them and so they turn to the dealers for safety and security. They are used as drug mules and sex workers. Most of them are addicted to glue as the sensation of sniffing the substance takes away the hunger pains. When I am not with these people, these children, my heart aches for them. I am scared that the next time I go there some one will have passed away or has been taken by the police. Sadly many times I have received a phone call to tell me that one of my much loved girls has passed away or has been murdered by a "client".
Today the COP17 Climate Summit began in Durban. This is great, people from all over the world getting together to talk about how we can stop global warming and all that crazy stuff. What is not great about this global attention is that the Metro Police of Durban are on a mass "clean-up".
When I say clean up I don't mean that they are going around with big garbage trucks and taking all the rubbish and making the city pretty for the world media.
Oh no forget the rubbish, instead lets clean-up the street children and the homeless!! Yep that's right, the police are driving around the city in their riot vans and kidnapping the kids off the streets and taking them out of the city and dumping them by the side of the road and leaving them to fend for themselves.
This happens every time there is any kind of world media coverage in our city. The World Cup, international surf comps, world summits. The children are herded up like cattle for the slaughter and NO ONE is doing anything to stop it. There are organizations who work in the city trying so hard to make life better for these kids, people like myself who are using their own time and resources to try and protect these children. We are shouting about it. Trying to get the attention of those who can stop this from happening but it is falling on deaf ears.
The Chief of police, the city management, the mayor, these are the people who are making these decisions and when they are confronted about this situation they deny it all.
The paper quoted the city's metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi saying all begging streetchildren and adults would be rounded up because they mugged tourists.