May 27, 2008


Ron Martin, Director
South Africa JMM Office

Today was a busy day as we began working full speed to respond to the xenophobic attacks happening in Cape Town, South Africa. Since Saturday, more than 20,000 foreign nationals have been forced to flee their homes due to ethnic violence. All over the city people have been arriving at various make-shift refugee camps in dump trucks, busses, tractor trailers, and any means possible to escape the violence which has erupted in our country.

After distributing blankets, bedding, plastic sheeting, and other necessities, we loaded our vehicles and made our way to a makeshift refugee camp situated in Ocean View (about 20 miles south of the city). As we drove towards the gate with our supplies we came upon crowds of fearful and desperate people lining both sides of the road waiting to get inside. Once we got through the gates it was encouraging to see that the camp was mostly being run by church volunteers who had taken time off from their regular jobs to look after these refugees.

We unloaded and distributed the much needed items to the appreciation of the workers. Later we found out that they had run out of what little supplies that they had started with. Praise God that through JMM we were able to meet a need during this time of crisis in Cape Town.