Into Influence

(by Eugéne Rens)

And so we had just ended one of our productions at a large safe-house in Hanover Park, Cape Town. The area is home turf to some of South Africa’s longest established organised crime organisations (also known as gangs). We were blissfully unaware of an eight-year-old girl who was sitting that audience. What’s more, we didn’t have a clue that the influence this eight-year-old girl would have on this very community, would have eternal consequence.

This little girl went on to convince her father, who was an elder of a church in Hanover Park, to invite us to do a production at their evening community gathering of Jesus followers. We were asked however, by a few people who had our best interest at heart, to reconsider this particular appointment as Hanover Park was once again experiencing a spike in gang violence – strangers should never venture out there, especially at night…we went anyway.

They laughed. They cried. They met in smaller groups and discussed what they had just experienced. (As an aside, have you not wondered that, if the Word of God is alive, why it is that we don’t engage with the realities of this Word of Life in smaller groups during our Church gatherings? Why it is that we miss out on so much of this effervescent Life by confining ourselves to being so pedestrian in pews?). So, as we were packing up our gear, we noticed something special, something holy. Smaller pockets of people were huddled together all over the hall bathed in prayer, confession, repentance and joy.

We never met that eight-year-old girl again but as we stood in awed respect on the outskirts of that hall, we witnessed the heartbeat of the Kingdom of God in a little hall in Hanover Park as it was in Heaven. And so we share the views of Werner Von Braun in that we have learnt to use the word ‘impossible’ with the greatest caution. Is anything too hard for the Lord? Jeremiah 32:27