Forgiveness in Action
South Africa has a reputation as a country of violence. Life seems not to be valued in a country where murders are common.
South Africa needs to be transformed and Metro Kids Africa has for the last 9 years been determined to show children and young people there is a different way to live.
Sidewalk, the children’s after school programme, which Metro Kids operates each week, reaches thousands of children in Cape Town. One child who attended from the age of 10 is Tsepho. Tsepho was a normal boy who faithfully attended the Sidewalk site in his area each week. He came from a poor community where HIV is normal and violence feared.
As he grew into a young man of 15, Tsepho became one of the leaders in training. He was quiet but faithful, always polite, helpful and very kind to the young children. He was popular with his peers.
Metro Kids Africa had a camp for the young leaders at the end of 2011. Tsepho went on this and loved it. Quietly enjoying pleasures he had not experienced before. A shower, good food, canoeing, archery and many fun games plus listening to teaching about living a life for Christ. He listened intently to all the sessions and none of us knew, what an impact this was having on Tsepho.
Tsepho came home from camp, said hello to his mom, then went straight out in the street, with his fellow friends from camp, happily chatting about the fun they had all just enjoyed. A gang of boys came to see Tsepho’s cousin and trouble started. Tsepho went to the boys and asked them to stop. How life can be changed in an instant. With no warning, one of the boys took a knife from his pocket and stabbed Tsepho. As help was being called, Tsepho lay on the ground praying God would spare his life. He lived till the next day. Metro Kids Africa staff went to see Tsepho’s family the day after Tsepho died. There were many tears from us all but his mom said she had to tell us something. Sitting in a small home with Tsepho’s grieving family, his mom proudly told us Tsepho’s last words.
He said what a great time he had had on camp and how he had learnt about forgiveness. He wanted his mom to know he had forgiven the boy who had so cruelly stabbed him and robbed him of his life. These were Tsepho’s final words.
What a lesson a young man of 15 from a poor, uneducated background has taught us all. His words I hope will reach many people and be a reminder of how to walk in forgiveness.
South Africa needs transformation of hearts. It needs God’s love to turn the violence into peace. Pray with us that many lives will be touched and this country will practice the forgiveness Tsepho showed.
In memory of Tsepho, Metro Kids founded the Tsepho Memorial Fund. Donations received into this fund will go directly to the Junior Leaders who like Tsepho are all teenagers who are leaders in training. All are from disadvantaged backgrounds but are trying to make a positive impact in their own communities.
To donate to this fund click here