Covid-19 strengthened our faith – ACDP’s Meshoe, Swart

Kenneth Meshoe
Kenneth Meshoe

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) president Reverend Kenneth Meshoe and ACDP MP Steve Swart are grateful to God for sparing their lives after they tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus, which has rapidly killed more than 104 000 people globally.

They both suspect that they contracted the virus during a prayer conference in Bloemfontein, which was attended by foreign guests who may have had the virus.

The conference has been flagged as the origin of the spread of most infections in the Free State.

Read: Bloemfontein church gathering: 67 more people test positive for Covid-19

This is despite that the foreign guests, who came from Israel and the US, showed no symptoms and were screened at airports.

Speaking to City Press while still under quarantine, Meshoe said he tested positive for the virus despite not having symptoms, which include coughing and headaches.

He will be retested during the course of the week and may come out of quarantine. None of his family members has contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, Swart said his wife, Louise, and their daughter, Siobhan, had contracted the virus. They have all since fully recovered, after following medical instructions and constantly praying.

Meshoe said: “In spite of the news, I was healthy and did not have any of the symptoms. Until today, I have not had any symptoms that are associated with the virus. I have no headaches, coughing or sore throat. I spoke to my immediate family [about the test results]. They were happy that I did not have symptoms and they trusted God that I will not have any.”

The quarantine has increased Meshoe’s intimacy with God and has grown his faith.

“I have more time to pray and to read the Word of God, which is the source of my faith. I believe His promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me.”

About quarantine, Meshoe said: “You are separated from your loved ones and you are much more careful to follow the rules and guidelines that have been given about personal hygiene. I’ll be coming out of quarantine in the next few days. I’m following the guidelines.”

Kenneth Meshoe

Before he and Swart could go for tests, one of the TV stations erroneously reported that they had been infected with the virus.

“I was told by people who saw the TV news report that made the allegation. I was at home when I received the call. I was shocked and wondered how that could have happened because at that time I was not aware that there were people who had been infected at the conference I attended,” said Meshoe.

Swart went for a test on March 25 and received the results the following day. He is grateful to God that although thousands of people have died owing to Covid-19, he and his family have fully recovered.

Sharing his experience, Swart said: “My wife, Louise, and I started to experience flu-like symptoms – coughing, sneezing and high temperatures – on Saturday, March 14, which progressively got worse, with sore bodies and the loss of taste and smell.

“We suspected that it was a coronavirus as we had just returned from a prayer conference in Bloemfontein, attended by foreign guests. My daughter also contracted the virus. She picked it up from us at home, despite us trying to isolate her as far as possible.”

Swart and his family were in self-isolation from March 14, and they spent a lot of time in prayer and Bible study.

“We self-isolated ourselves at home from March 14 and after I tested positive for the virus we were contacted on a daily basis by doctors from the provincial health department, who did an excellent job of monitoring our health. We also monitored ourselves very closely.

“Thankfully, we were able to keep the infection away from our lungs. Vicks is very good for clearing nasal passages. We were extremely tired as our bodies fought the virus and had to rest a lot.

“Health authorities told us to monitor our health and continue to self-medicate, and instructed that if our medical condition deteriorated we should be tested and get further medical assistance,” said Swart.

To self-medicate, they took Vitamin C, zinc and paracetamol.

They both suspect that they contracted the virus during a prayer conference in Bloemfontein, which was attended by foreign guests who may have had the virus.

“We have adhered to the lockdown provisions [and the] doctors have given us the all-clear. We are now fully recovered, on day 27 after our first symptoms, although I have not been retested. We are still monitoring our health.

“We are deeply grateful for God’s healing touch on our lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the sick and those who have lost their loved ones,” said Swart.

Without knowing that he had been infected with the virus, Swart spoke in Parliament on March 13, encouraging the nation to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from the virus.

“I also encouraged the nation that, in addition to these precautionary steps, we as believers need to emulate Jesus, who taught us to love and care for one another. I emphasised that we should not allow fear and panic to prevail in these circumstances,” recalled Swart.

“Little did I know that I would need to walk the talk from the very next day, but I am grateful that we were spiritually prepared. On Sunday, March 15, my wife sensed the Lord saying that we had coronavirus, but that He would carry us through and heal us of this sickness.”

The family’s concern was Louise, as she has had lung issues in the past, therefore they felt that it was important to monitor their health closely.

Swart mentioned that he and his wife’s faith grew deeper as they were in self-isolation.

“My wife is a strong believer and she trusted the Lord for our complete healing. Although I knew we would be fine, there were times, particularly when my wife or daughter started coughing, that I was concerned as we knew of the complications if the virus got into our lungs.”

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