Apartheid affected us all

Written , Apartheid , Repentance

I am a white middle-aged woman who grew up during apartheid. I grew up in a country that was not free – apartheid affected us all. White South Africans could vote, but there were other ways in which we were affected – we could not freely associate with who we wanted to and we were all indoctrinated and imprisoned in our minds by this evil system.

I grew up in a broken country and in a broken home – my parents got divorced when I was fourteen. Years later when my own marriage fell apart, I became utterly broken. In the midst of all this, in 1997 I became a Christian. My whole life changed. My relationship with my father, which was in ruins, was restored. God also restored my marriage.

In 1997 my biggest disappointment was the loveless-ness of the church as a whole. I live in a rural community on a timber farm close to Mkhondo in the south eastern part of Mpumalanga. At that stage the different denominations in our town did not have very much to do with one another, in fact there was a lot of division. The division was not only between black and white – but also between white people of different cultures and denominations and black people of different cultures and denominations.

At the beginning of 1999 my husband and I attended the Alpha Course that was presented by the local Anglican priest. He opened it up to all denominations and cultures of our town. I realised that this is what God intended – for His children to be one in Him and to truly love one another as we love Him.

After the Alpha course I started an interdenominational prayer group for women. We started as four women from three different churches, meeting every Monday afternoon to pray Jesus’ prayer in John 17, over our town and community.

God took us over the colour line – today our prayer team consists of black and white intercessors praying together. We started repenting and God opened many doors for us. In 2003 the white church leaders of our town repented to the black church leaders of our town for the sins of apartheid. In 2008, we repented for the sins of apartheid in the Mpumalanga government, and in 2017 we repented in the Parliament of South Africa. We have stayed in many townships and towns in the country – washing one another’s feet and repenting. Different ministries have been born out of our prayers and to date, we have taken the message of God’s healing and freedom to over 8000 rural school children.

To me, the greatest freedom is still when I see how people change after forgiving those who have sinned against them.

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