Congregation rejoice over building

2015-10-07 06:00
THE walls of the Evangelising United Church in Phuthanang ­has continued to collapse since it was built in 2010.

THE walls of the Evangelising United Church in Phuthanang ­has continued to collapse since it was built in 2010.

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IT used to be with a heavy heart that people passed by the Evangelising United Church in Phuthanang, with the building’s walls having collapsed and the congregation keeping the elements at bay by putting canvas and tent material around the structure.

That is now a thing of the past, as the building is being completely rebuilt and will be officially opened on Sunday (11/10).

This is thanks to the intervention of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, that donated roofing material to the church as part of its Mandela Day initiative this year.

The motivated church members started working overtime to make the opening day a reality.

A good samaritan, Collin Joel, who also runs a construction company, volunteered his services by giving expert advice on re-structuring the building.

According to Rev. Dennis Thole, the church was established after it had broken away from its mother church due to church politics in 2010.

The Evangelising United Church was established by Bishop John Matlabe and Thole on 30 May 2010.

“We held church services in the backyard of a house of one of our members, Berina Ntshanyana, in Phomolong and then God blessed us with a church site in Phutanang. We built a shack on that site, where we have been holding our services,” says Thole.

“In the year 2008 we started to build the foundation and the super structure, but unfortunately in the same year the walls of the building collapsed. God gave us the strength to start over again and we rebuilt the walls with the little each member could give.

“The walls collapsed two more times and ever since then we have struggled. We applied for sponsorships from different places, with no luck. The building of the church came to a standstill, because most of the congregation are pensioners and unemployed youth.”

Through it all the church leaders and the congregation kept praying and stayed hopeful that everything would work out in the end.

According to Thole, their prayers were answered early this year when the department, led by MEC Norman Shushu, sponsored the roof of the church.

“That gave us strength to start raising funds to rebuild the walls, and on 18 July, Mandela Day, Shushu and his department handed over all the material for the roof. We are happy to say that on 11 October we will officially be opening the church. That way we will be thanking our sponsors by showing our commitment.”

The church will on Sunday also host its annual conference, which representatives of other churches will attend.

Thole further revealed that, in an effort to prove their preparedness to serve the community, they would continue to nurture the relationship that they had established with the department.

That will be done through continuing to feed the needy in the food garden that was established in the church yard.

“We will maintain this garden and continue to identify the vulnerable to ensure they benefit from the food in this garden.”

The department, through its spokesperson, Ali Diteme, said that they had felt the need to assist after seeing the bad state that the structure was in.

“We are really proud of the congregation for showing such commitment and hard work in their church,” Diteme said.

“They have shown a spirit of hard work even in the vegetable garden.”

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