For South Africans the year 2018 started out with great enthusiasm and anticipation for a so called “new dawn”. With the first half of the year behind us, indeed, there are many positive developments that give South Africans a reason to be hopeful. However, the continued negative impact of inequality, poverty, abuse of especially women and children, joblessness, inadequate housing and poor service delivery still cast a big, dark shadow over people’s hopes.
As president of the AFM of SA I would like to use the opportunity to remind all of us, but especially those in positions of leadership that, as believers we are prisoners of hope (Zecharia 9:12). We are aware that many disenfranchised fellow South Africans are taking their legitimate grievances to the streets, sometimes, unfortunately, with many unintended consequences. There are also the emotive public meetings dealing with the issue of taking land without compensation.
We encourage our leaders to exercise caution and not join the hype and jump on the bandwagons of false media reports and to always make sure that we use verified information from credible sources with regards to what is really happening on all relevant topics.
Amid the uncertainty many voices are speaking in many forums. Some of the messages that are being conveyed regrettably further fan the flames of violence, hate and division. As spiritual leaders we have to remind ourselves that we are agents of hope. We are purveyors of the good news. We believe in the power of prayer. We are the builders of reconciliation and cohesion. No matter how dark the days may become – our message has to give people hope. Because hope starts with me, us.
Pastor MG Mahlobo
President – AFM of SA