[notice]ALF JAMES interviews people at the Sacred Assembly — a historic gathering of 50 000 Christians at the FNB Stadium, Soweto, on Saturday (November 19 2016). See also https://gatewaynews.co.za/presence-and-power-of-the-lord-evident-at-sacred-assembly/[/notice].
Being a member of the body that made up the Sacred Assembly, which humbled itself in repentance before the Lord was an extraordinary experience in unity.
Being united in the worship and praise of the Lord with thousands of fellow believers filled one with humility and immense gratitude.
Despite the solemn purpose of the occasion, with all gathered in reverential fear of God anticipating His purpose to be established in our hearts and determined to turn back from the world’s ways to His ways, one could feel the joy in the stadium, which was reflected in people’s reasons for being there.
After joking that they came for the food, Andrew and Mary-Ann Heydenrych said they had come to pray for the country and to pray for revival.
“If we don’t intercede for the country, who will?” asked Andrew.
“Something has to change. The Christian community is not being proactive enough outside of the Church. It has come to the point that we need such an event to get us together to make an impact on the country,” he added.
God as the solution
Dr Bheki Masondo was excited to congregate with other South Africans seeking God as a solution to the problems in our country and families.
“We believe that all systems have failed to work — only God is the solution. God sees us as one and He promises us in His word that when we turn to Him and confess our sins, because we have gone astray, He will hear from heaven and heal our land, our institutions, our families, and us as individuals.”
Jerry and Alex Mathole said they had come to the Sacred Assembly to pray and fellowship with fellow believers.
“As Christians we have a responsibility to be faithful, not only in our Churches, but in our society. Attending the Sacred Assembly is our way of saying that South Africa belongs to all of its people and all of us have a duty to intercede for the country,” said Alex.
Standing for the nation
Busani Mcingolwane, who is visiting South Africa from Zimbabwe doing missionary work, said he was attending the Sacred Assembly to stand for the nation of South Africa and to be a part of the story of change.
“I believe God hears the prayers of the sincere. The Bible says, if my people who are called by my name repent and turn away from their wicked ways and seek the face of God, He will bring healing. I believe God will do it today.
“We came here together representing the rainbow nation, some dark skinned some light skinned and everything between, but we are all united,” said Busani.
Bianca Botma, who was part of the same team as Busani, said she was very excited to pray as a nation.
“We are very privileged to be here as a team of prayer warriors. It is wonderful to be part of such a big crowd of Christians who have come together to pray and humble themselves before God.”
Benchmark in eternity
Michele Pulford, from Limpopo Province, also part of Busani and Bianca’s team, said she truly believes the day represented a benchmark in eternity.
“God has said that South Africa is the gate to bring His revival into Africa. Heaven is rejoicing with us about this event.”
James Coetzee, from Verwoedpark in Alberton, said he was attending the Sacred Assembly to seek the Lord and repent under Angus Buchan’s guidance.
“We respect the government, because God put them in place, but we have come here to intercede and repent on behalf of the country, which is no longer walking in God’s ways.
“However, whether we are here at the Sacred Assembly or at home we need to stand in the gap for our country — pray for rain and that our leaders will follow the Word of God,” said Coetzee.
Praying that SA would return to God
Tiaans and Tania Volskenk also said they were at the meeting to pray for the country to return to the Lord’s ways, and to gain inspiration to live closer to God themselves.
“We thought we would like to join together with people to pray for the country in the expectation that God will change things in South Africa.
“We believe that if the people of South Africa will humble themselves and pray then God will heal our land,” said Tania.
Didi Sibandze, from Kempton Park, said he was attending the Sacred Assembly, because God said, if His people humble themselves and pray, He will heal our nation.
“South Africa needs healing in many ways; from economically, for more jobs, to less crime and for people to come to Christ,” explained Sibandze.
Reverend Anthony Mokhele, attended the assembly together with his son with the purpose of giving support to the call for repentance and to pray for Christians.
“Without praying to God we will achieve nothing. Prayer opens gates for both Christians and non-believers to live in peace.
“I am looking forward to pray together with fellow Christians as one body today, so that God can bless our country and open the windows of heaven,” said Reverend Mokhele.
After the Sacred Assembly, the most prevalent impressions from people leaving were:
- of gratitude for being children of God and being directed back into His ways;
- of a desire to be closer to God, to be one with God;
- of an aspiration for extreme faith that is the substance of our hope to be the powerful mighty men and women that God created us to be; and
- of a commitment to do His will, empowered by the strength of His purpose and authority of His blessing.
Jackie Damon felt blessed by the Sacred Assembly.
“I feel like I can take on the world again and go forward. I am going back to my family to tell them what I have learned: that we are one body and race is immaterial.”
She said that the message that the Word of God is alive was heartening.
Angela Ramafemo felt spiritually uplifted.
“Now, I realise that I must take what I have learned and apply it, because without works faith is dead.”
Louis de Jager had no doubt that the call to repent was a necessary one.
“I have been inspired today and I believe that I will become far more tolerant.”
Call to repent much needed
Joseph Ehrensdorfer agreed that the call to repent was needed. He was overwhelmed by the experience of praying in union with so many people: “It has given me new energy and hope that we are on the right path”.
Julian Killian said Uncle Angus’ message that we should use the Bible as our guide and standard hit home.
“We have taken the Bible out of our schools to our detriment. We should use it as the rule book for our country.”
Nice Beka said the Sacred Assembly was an experience far above her expectations.
“The message that moved me most was that the Word of God should be read in Parliament before the start of each session. Praise God for that word.
“I am feeling so grateful to be able to take the message that I heard today back home to my children. I learned that we must trust God and read the Bible; if we live like that God will honour us.”