Bishops pray for Mandela

2013-06-14 12:23

Bishops representing congregations from all over South Africa have gathered outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria to pray for former president Nelson Mandela.

The clerics from the All-Africa Bishops Conference, led by Bishop Abraham Sibiya from the Pretoria-based Christ Centred Church, met at the doorstep of the hospital and were expected to be met by members of Madiba’s family and pray for his speedy recovery today.

Sibiya urged South Africans and people all over the world to join hands in prayer for Madiba and his family.

“We wanted to respond to the call of President Jacob Zuma that the nation must uplift uTata uMandela in our prayers. So we have just come to hold hands as leaders of the church from Tshwane, North West and Mpumalanga.

“There are pastors from a number of provinces because some of them are from far away. The main aim of us praying is one that God heals uTata uMadiba and that he will have a speedy recovery,” said Sibiya, adding that they did not have permission to be inside the hospital and that they also did not want to “crowd” the family and the hospital ward where he is recovering.

Sibiya described Mandela, who is being treated for a recurring lung infection, as the embodiment of reconciliation around the world.

“He is a world icon. He is a world statesman. He is an epitome of reconciliation. He is a very good example of how the whole world should respond to the crises that are facing us in different ways.

“We’re all facing troubles in different ways and uTata uNelson Mandela taught us that we can put our differences aside and our hostilities behind and join together and hold hands and pray together,” said Sibiya.

Their message to all South Africans was to pray for Madiba.

The clerics’ arrival came just minutes after some of Madiba’s grandchildren, including Tukwini and Kweku, arrived this morning to visit their grandfather, who has spent six nights in hospital.

“Let us believe together for the speedy recovery of Nelson Mandela. Let us all hold hands all over the world and call upon God to heal him.

“We are absolutely, deeply concerned about his health and we pray that God will make him strong and that his family may be strengthened at this difficult time,” said Sibiya.

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