By Sihle Mooi – Executive Director Rays of Hope 

As we prepare to celebrate the miracle of Christ’s birth at Christmas, we reflect on the lengths that God went to in order to be reconciled to an estranged humanity.

Scripture tells us, ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor 5:19)

As those who have been reconciled to God through Christ, we have in turn been given a ministry of reconciliation, to be bridge-builders not only between God and man, but also between estranged peoples.

The ministry of Rays of Hope is like the Grayston Avenue bridge connecting Sandton and Alex, a bridge between ‘the pot of gold’, Sandton, and ‘the pot of tin’, Alex. These two communities are the perfect symbols of the disparities and divisions in our country: divisions between suburbs and townships, rich and poor, black and white. Divisions which experts tell us are simply unsustainable; a ticking time bomb.

Rays of Hope, as that bridge, has been partnering with the community of Alex to create lasting change for 26 years. We run nine programmes in three focus areas: orphaned and vulnerable children, education and work readiness. Our work directly impacts 2 660 members of the Alex community.

We would love you, the community of Johannesburg, to join us in this ministry of reconciliation and building bridges, throughout the year.

As Christmas approaches, we are excited to be participating in the Santa Shoe Box project.This is an initiative where members of the public place gifts of toiletries, stationery, clothing, sweets and a toy in shoe boxes, which are dropped off at Rays of Hope and distributed to all the children in our children’s programmes, as well as our partners in Alex: Alex Kidz Clinic, Takalani Day Care, Dinoko Day Care, Mercy House and Ikusasa Lisakhanya Reading Club.

This Christmas, let’s build bridges and be reconciled to one another, reaching out in love!