Strange Silence about the Cause of the Fires
A mission team from Frontline Fellowship drove up to Knysna after the fires to help in any way we could. It was strange to notice that no one we met in the centre of town was speaking about the fires. No-one, not even firemen, were willing to comment on whether they believe the fires were started by arsonists. We saw some of the owners whose houses had burnt down walking amongst the rubble, trying to salvage the remains of any surviving possessions.
Love in Action
A lot of people were helping to sort out the warehouses full of clothes and food that have been donated to the victims of the fire. It is encouraging to see Christians standing together and helping generously in times like this. We had the opportunity to help at some of the distribution points.
The people who lost their homes where nowhere to be found. We expected to see massive tents put up to temporarily house people. We were relieved to hear that they had all found a place to stay. Many are staying with relatives, some people made available their caravans and holiday homes to those who had lost their homes.
Besides all the relief aid that came in abundance, fire fighters from all over South Africa were deployed to help put out the fires.We were too late to see the actual fires or help put them out, but we met some fire fighters who came all the way from Thabazimbi.
Looting and Theft
Sadly there have been cases of people who were not affected by the fires at all, who came and took donations. We should pray that God will give those dealing with the distribution of the donations wisdom in how they handle the distribution and who should get priority in receiving aid.
Many things can be written about the sinfulness of many people in Knysna, and their open rebellion against God. A spate of fires in December 2016 were proven to be caused by arsonists. There has been looting of houses and businesses, stealing of relief aid and even hijacking of vehicles bringing relief to Kynsna. What do we learn from the Bible when disasters have happened and how we should respond? God is a righteous judge and He will not let the wicked go unpunished. But today He is still offering the free gift of Salvation to everyone that will believe in the one and only Saviour Jesus Christ and He is commanding everyone to repent.
“And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’” Luke 13: 2-5
The eternal fires of hell will be much more terrible than the fires of Knysna, that only burnt for a few days. We must flee from God’s wrath to come.
“You will be punished by the Lord of Hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire.” Isaiah 29:6
Pray for Knysna
Please pray for good weather and gentle wind so that last few smouldering fires can be put out and that no new fires will be started. Pray for churches to preach the Word of God faithfully. The so-called prosperity gospel has caused a spiritual decline in many churches. Surely these lies must have been challenged by these fires! Pray that people will go back to the Bible and will study it. Pray that they will see that the Bible is not about “your best life now” but it’s about God’s Redemption plan for mankind. Pray that the unconverted people in the Church will either get converted or that they will leave and stop undermining the church. Pray that people’s hearts may be regenerated by the Holy Spirit and that people may come to a true saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We as Christians can take courage that God does not change. The fires were devastating to Knysna, yet God is speaking to us through this disaster. May many repent and return to God and His Word.
“'Now, therefore,' says the Lord, 'Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.' So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness and He relents from doing harm.” Joel 2:12-13
Abrie Lourens and Francis Momberg
Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689 4481