The following is a letter from Major Lindsay Rowe, a Canadian serving in the Republic of South Africa:
Dear Family & Friends:
I'm sending this recent THQ bulletin to you regarding Zimbabwe. Please continue to remember us in your prayers as we continue to trust God for whatever the future holds for us.
We also solicit your prayers for refugees and foreign immigrants in South Africa. Recent outbreaks of violent attacks against foreigners in the townships surrounding Johannesburg and Cape Town have resulted in forty-five deaths and more than 30,000 displaced refugees being forced from their burning homes and brutally assaulted. We are very concerned about the future of these victims of xenophobia.
The Salvation Army is very busy providing food, clothing, accommodation and counselling. Many of our volunteers are themselves refugees and must be very careful. We are not targets of this xenophobia so are not personally at risk. It is a black on black phenomenon unfortunately and is the result of a combination of social issues that include but is not restricted to xenophobia, poverty, unemployment, and government mismanagement of the refugee problem.
Incoming refugees have little choice but to head to the informal settlements where they can erect a shack and live economically. Unfortunately the townships are already bulging with South Africans desperately trying to eke out an existence on a day to day basis. The influx of refugees is the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back."
Please pray for us and our people as we minister to these dear people who came to South Africa to escape violence and poverty in their home land and are now headed back home bruised, bleeding, and broken in spirit. Pray that God will soften the hearts of those who are engineering the violence for their own benefit and pray that the general populace will come to their sense and refuse to be incited to join in the violence. Pray that they will recognize the image of God in these their brothers and sisters and stop the violence.
This Sunday will be a day of prayer for refugees and foreign immigrants in all churches in South Africa, please join us in prayer.