“I am sending you like sheep amongst the wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matt 10:16)
Preparing for any battle will take many months or even years of preparation. And so, it has been for the young Foxfires team who have visited some of the most crime-ridden areas of South Africa to give some of the youngest, most innocent children hope of a better life in Christ.
These young children in primary school are already targets for gang members to become runners for the numerous and incredibly dangerous gangs that exist in the community. In a school system whose ratio of students to teachers is so low (sometimes 70:1), degrees of discipline vary widely, and the Foxfires have many considerations as they prepare to outreach to the young school communities through drama, dance and personal testimonies
Local primary students attend Foxfires outreach service
Senior Foxfires member Bongani explained the impact that the Foxfires have been having over the past two weeks. “It’s been exciting to see the eyes of the children, because it’s likely that no one has seen this type of performance before”, he said. “ Mostly they have only seen secular songs and ‘crumping’, and this is the first time they have heard a gospel song, with accompanying dance and drama.”
Even though the Foxfires were performing before younger members of the school community (the high school had exam preparation), other kids and teachers came out from classes to watch. “Even people outside the school came to watch and listen through the school gates. It’s something that people in Mitchell’s Plain were not used to hearing.
One of the eight-strong members of the Foxfires team Mpumi mentioned how the ministry breaks through some of the false perceptions of living a Christian life. “There is a mentality that if you are a Christian you can’t dance, and you just have to read the Bible”, she said. “We break through the stereotypes on how a young person can live for God. They can have joy and fun in their life and listen to positive music, and that Christianity is also a faith-based lifestyle that serves God.”
The Foxfires have been confronted by the extent to which the young community is exposed to alcohol and drugs, and how life’s bitterness turns some young children into bullies. This is an important part of their message to have a values-based foundation and make wise choices for life.
In terms of their own growth, a fellow member of the team Luyanda talks about the divine commissioning before God to dedicate at least a year of their life after school for evangelistic activities. “Sometimes I don’t feel like I have done enough, but both support team members and the schools have been incredibly supportive”, she said. “We have been consistently called back to schools to reach other generations, which we will do if possible. The various evangelists, pastors and volunteers involved in the mission also minister to us, and we are really blessed when we hear from very powerful preachers like Andrew Palau. Even though we may have our own personal battles back home, God sustains us”, she said.
Three Foxfires team members in front of the Foxfires bus
The outreach in this very divided and dangerous part of Africa has moved the young evangelists right out of their comfort zone. They are having a huge impact on vulnerable young communities, and people of different faith upbringing. One of the Muslim teachers remarked that she has never seen the kids so attentive before at school.
Please pray for the support and sustainability of this crucial outreach program in Africa.