New Life Gang Project 1983


Gang wars and murders in Worcester lamed the communities with fear. Cape Town Scorpions and Born Free Kids ruled and reigned our town. The community cried out for help. Mothers were on their knees, pleading with God to bring deliverance. God heard their plea and worked in hearts of people to bring about change, through the New Life Gang project.

Instrumental in the New Life Gang project were Juan Kariem, Ma Kariem, Charles Villiers, Francis Mampa(MamaScorpion), and Erena van de Venter. They were all from different spheres of life, who God brought together to launch the New Life Gang Project. Behind the scenes were committed friends who regularly prayed, asking God for guidance, provision, protection and breakthrough.

As we ventured deeper into the gang world of Worcester, we got to know the gangsters personally and we walked with them individually and in groups. We watched videos, had a braai every now and then, played soccer and had game evenings, painted murals, showed movies on the outside walls of the community apartments, and went on excursions. We experienced many gang fights, many gangsters died, we received threats, and we often wondered if our mission was in vain. Yet God continually encouraged us to keep on and to persevere.

After four years of uninterrupted walking with the gangsters, the gangs made peace - without ever calling for a peace accord, but through relationship-building. They became friends with their enemies, and their turfs became none exsistant.