At seventeen, Dowayne had to leave his familys home in Manenberg, a part of Cape Town, South Africa, because of his stealing and addiction to heroin. He didnt go far, building a shack of corrugated metal in his mothers backyard, which soon became known as the Casino, a place to use drugs. When he was nineteen, however, Dowayne came to saving faith in Jesus. His journey off drugs was long and exhausting, but he got clean with Gods help and with the support of friends who are believers in Jesus. And ten years after Dowayne built the Casino, he and others turned the hut into a house church. What was once a dark and foreboding place now is a place of worship and prayer.
The leaders of this church look to Jeremiah 33 for how God can bring healing and restoration to people and places, as Hes done with Dowayne and the former Casino. The prophet Jeremiah spoke to Gods people in captivity, saying that although the city would not be spared, yet God would heal His people and would rebuild them, cleansing them from their sin (Jeremiah 33:78). Then the city would bring Him joy, renown, and honor (v. 9).
When were tempted to despair over the sin that brings heartbreak and brokenness, lets continue to pray that God will bring healing and hope, even as Hes done in a backyard in Manenberg.