23 February 2018
YOUNG, MESSED UP AND ON THE GAME
We live in a dynamic and diverse place. The people of Papatoetoe have joined together to celebrate their 150 years, there have been street parades and functions held by many different clubs and groups where both new and old Papatoeians have worked together. It is a community well representative of New Zealand.
So I was disappointed to learn this week that the street workers, a new batch, are again plying their trade at Hunters corner. The worst feature of this, is that of the 41 there last Saturday night, seventeen were under age transvestites.
What is wrong with our society that children are being encouraged to be on the streets by the adults who exploit them? We cannot blame governments or agencies for this. There is something deeply wrong with human hearts and ethics that there is a demand, right here in our patch, which gives rise to the trade in teenagers for sexual gratification. Along with these youngsters come known criminals and they cause immense distress to the local residents and shopkeepers with the noise, debris and threatening behaviour.
The Local Board is working hard on improving lighting and making the areas open so we have a safe neighbourhood - and we do live in a safe neighbourhood. At the church, our fences have obviously made a difference as we have not had to pick up the items that were there every Sunday morning, a few years ago.
We do not fence off our front door for we are here for all people - if you see any underage street workers, DO something for them. Immediately phone 111 or 3010101 and report underage street workers and they will receive the initial help they need. They are at risk, physically, mentally and spiritually, from the drug dealers, their clients and those who exploit them for money. Some have been brought here far away from their homes by those who seek to use them..
Also let us pray for our neighbourhood - the people around us - all of them and especially these young people - that they come to know the real love of God in their lives. . And that we recognise God at work in our lives and where we are being prompted to act as a congregation here in Papatoetoe.
May God protect you from harm, Christ give you peace and the Spirit stir us into life.
Rev. Margaret Anne Low
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