ZUMA GETS BAPTISED…..
On Sunday 19 October 2008, there was yet another baptism at Mariannhill!! Twenty-nine year old Thulani has been consistently present at Mariannhill ecclesia since the start of the year – he is the best attending member, as he actually lives in the ecclesial hall as caretaker!! :o) Thulani’s enthusiasm for the things of God has been so wonderful to see and we were overjoyed to be part of his special day.
The baptism was held just prior to the memorial meeting in the house of Phinda and Sylvester, as the building work on the ecclesial hall has already begun. It was a joyous occasion and, as 30 people jostled in the over-crowded bathroom around the bath holding our new brother, the sound of the song “Never turning back” had never been sung with better acoustics! Thulani emerged from has baptism wearing Good News of the Kingdom of God t-shirt and beaming from ear to ear!
Brother Ben Dailey gave an exhortation on love in the context of the parable of the Good Samaritan and focussed us on the love of God and Jesus towards all of us. No-one could hide the laughter when Thulani’s first memorial meeting nearly took a turn to disaster in a hilarious mistake where Brother Thulani was asked to give thanks for the emblems instead of Brother Dumisani! Luckily everyone realised and the error was hastily rectified….that would have definitely been throwing poor Thulani in the deep end!
Sister Precious lead the congregation in a few more songs of praise to conclude our meeting, which was then followed by a time of fellowship over an ecclesial lunch courtesy of Sylvester, who still holds the title of one of the most fabulous cooks ever!
Sunday was also a big day for another reason – the long-awaited Mariannhill vs Lamontville soccer match was to be held! The Kingdom Youth for Christ course which teaches the gospel through soccer has been running at Lamontville for the past 5 weeks and this crew of about 20 young boys were keen to show their skills against the Mariannhill team made up of our youth and their friends. Team Mariannhill’s initial reaction that the Lamontville crew was “so much younger than them” was quickly forgotten, as Lamontville pulled ahead, 2-1!
On the sidelines, the rest of the Lamontville team and the Mariannhill girls tried to out-do each other in volume, enthusiasm and dance moves as they urged their team on! It was great to see that two BEC contacts who live near Durban, Terrance and Paul (who are considering baptism) came along to witness Thulani’s commitment and also actively participated in the soccer game. Even members of the local community who live around the field came out to watch…and as always, there were the resident goats and a bull munching on the grass – plenty of spectators!
At half-time, the score was 2-1 and both teams had urgent gatherings on either side of the Mariannhill field. When the ref (Brother David White) blew the whistle, it was on again! We all paused for a moment for Brother Phinda, who fell and injured his arm – he hobbled to the sidelines, disappointed that he could not finish the game.
The excitement increased with Lamontville scoring again and then leading 4-2. However, team Mariannhill, lead by our new Brother Thulani, were not to be outdone! After two goals scored in about two minutes, the game ended in a draw, 4-4.
There were handshakes all round before an exhausted Lamontville team left for home, looking forward to a return game to be played at their home ground. There were even suggestions of getting a trophy arranged, but we are a little scared this might induce some loss of life – there was certainly no lack of team spirit displayed!
What a great day all round – Thulani joining the wonderful “team” of God….and an awesome afternoon of team sports with our brothers, sisters and friends.