Joy in Johannesburg
FIVE LOAVES, TWO FISH and thousands of people… we all know the story. When the Almighty God sets out to do something through our Lord Jesus Christ, there is nothing that can stand in His way.
In South Africa – on the second largest continent, membership of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is just starting to grow but at a very rapid pace. With only a few hands to help in the work, it’s the faith and love in their heart that overcomes all the obstacles.
It’s one of the youngest Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) Ecclesiastical Districts in the world, where the missionary prospects, guests and bible students often outnumber the members of the Church in the respective local congregations and group worship services hosting them. Just 24 hours after the dedication of their new house of worship in Johannesburg, members from across Africa, united in introducing the true Church to even more people.
From the time Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo last visited the region in 2014, the INC has since flourished throughout the continent. The house of worship in Johannesburg is the second chapel dedicated by the INC in all of Africa, but the first in Johannesburg and in the Gauteng province.
Purchased in 2015, about 2.2 million ZAR (160K USD) worth of renovations went into beautifying the 937 square-meter property and its surrounding area situated at 141 Johannesburg Street. It is one of 28 local congregations and group worship services in Africa, eight of which are in South Africa. Another house of worship will be dedicated in Cape Town later this week.
Members of the Church in the local congregation of Johannesburg are not that numerous but on August 21, 2016 about 20,000 food parcels were distributed to the Tembisha Township at the Ivory Park Sports Stadium –and this is nothing short of a miracle.
“Going back to what Jesus [had] done, when [He] fed 5,000 people, you, through your Church, Church Of Christ, has fed [thousands] of people. And as an event organizer, I am saying, on behalf of the community, on behalf of the people of South Africa, we are grateful, we appreciate, and words seem to be inadequate, and I ran out of words, I don’t know what to say …Thank you.” said Lesedi Mapheto, one of the organizers of the event.
Many came because of their need. Among the first to receive their parcels were the elderly and a nearby home for abandoned disabled children.
Maize meal, cookies, coffee, sugar, rice, samp & beans, baked beans, canned fish, chakalakah relish–some of the things included in the care package that will bridge hunger for a time. But the Church Administration’s desire is to equip the population of South Africa with a much more invaluable resource, that leads to an everlasting life. Two days later, attendees of the event were also present at a bible study that followed the outreach.
Guest, Megdelina Nkosi reflects on the day, “What I loved about today is that I am thankful we came to know this Church. Your Church is great, and this is the first time I see a Church this great, the Church of Christ. May God help it grow, and as well as to bring it here.”