Mandela 'deserves to be healed and to be with his family'

2013-06-16 15:44

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Former President Nelson Mandela had a special church sermon dedicated to him from the church he once attended as a nine-year-old.

The Mqhekezweni Methodist Mission near Qunu is situated exactly next-door to the Mqhekezweni Great Place where Madiba grew up under the guardian of the late AbaThembu regent king, Jongintaba Mtirara.

Today, the Reverend Vuyani Manciya, who ministers at the Mqhekezweni Mission where Madiba also passed Grade 8, said the God’s Word was with Madiba and at his hospital bedside.

He said as a congregation they were particularly concerned with Madiba’s health as the elderly statesman spent his ninth day in hospital today where he is being treated for a recurring lung infection.

“We are praying for the good health of this great legend. I pray to God for his speedy recovery, please God have mercy on our father and the father of this nation,” Manciya said, as he invited the small congregation to join him in prayer.

He said Madiba had attended church in Mqhekezweni when he was growing up there.

Madiba lived in Mqhekezweni, 35 kilometres from Qunu, from the age of nine until he was 25 years-old.

The church building is still the same one Mandela attended as a young boy. The structure was built in 1898, according to Manciya, who has ministered there since 2005.

Manciya said they always put Madiba in their prayers but saw the need to dedicate today’s sermon to him because he was now in hospital and needed more prayers to recover than ever before.

He said Madiba was a servant who loved his nation and was prepared to die for his people.

“He is a man of God and the pride of our nation. Let’s pray for this man and talk to God and say Lord here is a man who loved his people and now is lying in hospital, and say please Lord, touch him with your healing powers,” he prayed.

Pleading to God to show mercy on Madiba, Manciya said the struggle icon did not deserve to die.

“He deserves to be healed and to be with us and to be with his family. Lord, touch your servant [Madiba]. We pray for his speedy recovery because we know there is nothing impossible to you. Please God listen to our prayers for Tata Mandela.”

He said he also prayed for God to give hope to the Mandela family during this difficult time.

Manciya last saw Madiba in Qunu last year when he had visited him.

“He is such a warm and kind person. His love and the ability to reach out at people in all levels is what make him special. He always brings about positive change to people. We are so lucky to have known him as part of this church,” he said.

Meanwhile Madiba’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, hosted a soccer and netball tournament for the youth of Mvezo, Mqanduli Dutywa and Mthatha at the Mvezo Sports ground.

Mvezo is a village overlooking the Mbashe River and is the birthplace of Madiba.

Mandla, who did not comment on his grandfather’s health, said through organising the tournament he sought to honour the youth of 1976. The tournament saw 32 teams across the various towns participate.

“We are saying to our young people here that through sports they can lead positive and productive lives, free from substance abuse and alcohol. We are commemorating and celebrating youth month,” Mandla said.

He said the winners of the tournament will be presented with trophies and medals together with kits of their choice.

“We want this to be a big tournament for the poverty stricken villages of these areas, where football and netball scouts can come and identify talent here,” Mandla said.

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