Schools, Prisons & Hospitals
In Pietermaritzburg, HNO’s Schools, Prisons and Hospital Outreach Program co-ordinated by Andy Munro, involves one employee and four volunteers. The outreach includes life-skills training and motivational speaking in schools and clinics between Pietermaritzburg and Bulwer; as well as visitation and service of five prisons between Pietermaritzburg and Ixopo. We run one vehicle and have a tight budget with three regular financial supporters as well as some once off donors. It is a real privilege to carry the Word of God daily and to show the Way to Life!
Schools and clinics: Xolani Gwala
Since Hlanganani Ngothando Organisation started, schools and clinics ministry we have seen people giving their lives to Jesus. Weekly at the clinics we are seeing more than three hundred people. We go to at least four clinics weekly to do morning devotions. With our booklets we are able to reach thousands of people every week as we also distribute to youth and churches around KZN. The response is so positive and we are giving Glory to our Lord Jesus Christ for giving us this opportunity to spread His Good News.
We take assembly prayers at five schools every week and the Lord is doing wonders with the youth as we know in our days schools have become violent places. The schools where we are working show very positive responses. In some, during break time, the students are holding prayers and the teachers are so pleased with the behaviour of the students! So we give Glory to Almighty God. We also meet with youth in the community during weekends where we conduct prayers with them and do sport to keep them busy so that they would not be involved in drugs and alcohol and negative behaviour.
Xolani Gwala and Andy Munro
Prison ministry is a broad and deep ministry and it involves so many people inside as well as in the community. We are serving five prisons in KZN and we are able to see more than two hundred inmates every week and we are doing courses that are accredited by Correctional Service. The program is called Choose to Change and we have managed to reach more than three thousand inmates since we started the program five years ago and the response has led some of the inmates to reconcile with their families and communities. One of the main aims of our program is to reconcile the inmates with their families and we had almost 23 reconciliations that were successful so far this year (July 2016).
Summary of approach to rehabilitation in Choose Life Course (Based on Integrated Choice Theory)
When faced with offenders in prison I know that I need to appeal to the basic value of self interest in order to get started. I use stories of successful rehabilitated ex-prisoners to raise the possibility of hope in the group! At first this hope comes from the Holy Spirit in me as the motivating leader! Later the prisoners are able to accept the offer of the Holy Spirit to live in them and many do!
This means His Hope remains in them. This hope needs to be linked to something that they can take responsibility for, to do themselves, and that is to build relationships by cooperating and helping those people whom they need in their lives. These connections form the foundation for their future! In these relationships it is important to make positive choices and not to react before thinking what effect these actions or words might have on their relationship base. By taking responsibility for their total behaviour (thoughts, words, actions) and using Caring Habits instead of Deadly habits they get to start feeling in control of themselves and this motivates them to more effort and thus success! It is important that we do not to underestimate the difficulties which will be met outside as disappointment can easily lead to wrong actions and possible return to prison. (The recidivism rate is near 9 out of ten).
How is the course presented?
The course takes three consecutive mornings of about 2 hours duration. It is presented in English and Zulu and inmates are provided with a manual. At the conclusion they are presented with a certificate of attendance which states that they have been taught the following skills: Escaping “victim” thinking, avoiding reactions in anger or fear; Accepting responsibility for oneself; Avoiding controlling behaviour; processing information before making decisions; Positive thinking; Relationship building. This certificate can be taken to their parole hearing where they would be expected to show that they have learned not to be a threat to society!
Every week Margaret visits as many patients as possible in Greys Hospital offering prayer and counselling. She strikes up friendships with long term patients sometimes supplying bibles and daily reading booklets, including “The way to Life” in Zulu and “Choose Life” manuals and a variety of Zulu leaflets from the Mission Press and English ones from elsewhere.
Peter Irons and Sphelele Nxele
Peter Irons and Sphelele Nxele continue with their work in schools and communities in KZN The school visits have largely given way to the filming of monthly teaching videos in Zulu. Filmed and edited by Peter and narrated by Sphelele these have been distributed far and wide. The DVD’s are finding their way as far as Swaziland [they speak a very similar Nguni language to Zulu], Northern Zululand and Northern KZN.
So far 9 serials or chapters have been produced [roughly 25 minutes each] ranging from “Christmas” [uKhisimusi]” to “Stealing” [Ntsontsha]” and are being very well received. Our dear friend Tom burns the discs for us which is a great help.
We try to single out a “mother” who has a TV and DVD player in her home and give her a set to play to the kids in her immediate community. However it has found great appeal amongst older Zulu audiences as well.
The DVD’s are available from firstname.lastname@example.org and they are free although a small donation would be gratefully received.