As everyone else is doing so I must put down my thoughts about these riots. I think everyone has looked at it from their stand point - especially these comments in the various papers about the causes, each paper giving a different reason depending on their political sociological background but this article here on youtube seems to say it all so much better than I can.
I started work in the youth service and what I have found is that we so often say "yes you have no hope" whereas this article, but two ex-gangsters who are now Christians who are actually teaching hope. And this is what we so need to do as youth workers. We can say there is a hope, there is a way to change your world, all is not lost. But instead we hand out free condoms so they can have sex without even the responsibility of buying the condoms!
What the young man who first speaks in this news-clip is repeated in a book I've just finished called "The Blood of Lambs" of a PLO terrorist who finds God. And its not that anyone gives either of these people the flat gospel message but in both cases Christians love on them. They give them the unconditional love that they have received from God. With that love these people went on to wanting to know more. And with the PLO guy had an amazing powerful encounter with God which changed him, with the ex London gangster a much more gentle meeting with God that has changed his life.
For me what has come out of this is that we need to be giving our young people more unconditional love but also more hope that they can do something for their worlds. Instead of giving free condoms we should be looking at their gifts and talents, what they can and cannot do, what their dreams are and how we can help them to help themselves make this come to pass.
Faith, Hope and Love - but the greatest of these is Love