South Africa pastor draws from gang experience to minister in community

Johannesburg, South Afric
When Pastor Lloyd Solomons counsels and ministers to the youth in his church, he knows exactly what they're going through.
In this neighborhood of Johannesburg, South Africa, youth gangs are prevalent, and many youth get caught up in drug use, drug sales, violence, and other aberrant behaviors. Solomons used to be one of them.
Solomons was born into a non-Christian household. He never knew his father, and his mother died when he was 8, so he moved in with his grandmother, along with seven other siblings. His grandmother was strained in caring for so many children, so he felt a lack of love and support in his home life.
The gang culture presented an alternative family, where all the members look out for and support one another, defending each other and providing for each member’s needs. It also created a sense of identity for Solomons.
"It came with a price because we got involved in criminal activities and imprisonment and drugs," he said. "You knew through those kind of experiences that your life has no direction and sense of purpose."

For the rest of the story, see Engage magazine
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