Cape Town: A water crisis

Cape Town, South Africa is a place where God’s and man’s creations meet in a spectacular way. Oceans surround the city, and a majestic mountain creates the perfect photo backdrop. But in the last few years, the green mountains have turned brown as the city’s fresh water supply has dropped.

Since 2015 Cape Town and its surrounding area have experienced the worst drought in over a century. As rainfall decreased, dam levels slowly started falling. The demand for water increased significantly as the population grew from 2.4 million in 1995 to an estimated 4.3 million in 2018.

Earlier this year the government began urging residents to live on less than 50 liters of water per day (the average washing machine uses four times that amount per cycle). This is in an effort to avoid the dreaded “Day Zero,” when all water supply will be cut off and the 4+ million residents will have to queue for water at 200 water points across the area.

What has been amazing to me is how residents have responded to the crisis. I wondered if it would cause riots and violence; but so far there has been an amazing comradery in our city as we seek practical ways to conserve water. People keep buckets in their showers to catch water to reuse when flushing toilets. Everyone is working together to avoid Day Zero.

In March approximately 130,000 people gathered in an area called Mitchells Plain to pray for revival and rain. As everyone prayed, rain started falling and continued to fall throughout the week. Although it was a light rain, even large news agencies reported about this miracle.

If Day Zero comes, I do not know how a city of this size will respond. Will people help each other or trample each other? I hope we will not find out! I pray that despite grave weather predictions, God will continue to send rain to fill our dams. However, my biggest prayer is that he will fill the empty spiritual dams in people’s lives, that people will seek God in this crisis and that Cape Town will turn to God, who is capable of doing much more than we can ask or imagine.

In the fall of 2015, Louis and Yolandi attended the City to City International Intensive in NYC. They planted Pro Deo Church in Cape Town in February 2017. Please join them in praying that God will send rain, that he will use Pro Deo Church to demonstrate his love and that many people will come to know him through this crisis.

This article was originally published in the City to City Snapshot.

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The grace of God in volunteering as a family
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A gentle interruption for everyday work
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