Church in a bus builds strong relationships - passengers

Novumile Mabengu leading the hymn before prayers in the bus.        Photo: NCEBA DLADLA
Novumile Mabengu leading the hymn before prayers in the bus. Photo: NCEBA DLADLA

Port Elizabeth - Residents of PE have found a new way of worshipping. They call for Divine intervention each time they board a bus to and from their places of work, every weekday.

A Mount Pleasant Bus to Missionvale around 5pm is a case in point. Passengers sing church hymns and at times read scriptures and start preaching.

“We realised a long time ago that we have this longing for God so we started by just singing our different church hymns,” said Nobuntu Marwanqana (53) of Ezinyoka.

Marwanqana, a member of Penuel Fellowship Church, said their main aim was to find the lost, as the Biblical Sending of the Disciples was to the world, and not to the church.

Members, the majority of whom were women, as men were still reluctant, she said, took turns sharing with others the scripture that was preached in their church denominations at the weekend.

Marwanqana admitted, however, that not everybody was keen to sing or join in the fun of the church in the bus. Those who preferred to be silent or doing their own things, she said, were given their space.

“But we, who do it, have found and built solid friendships in this bus through this church,” said Novumile Mabengu (42) a mother of three children from KwaZakhele.

“I used to take a Lorraine bus but started boarding this bus in 2013 and I don’t regret it. We look after one another here and take care of every member’s personal problems, like during times of bereavement, parties or taking children to circumcision schools. We also give donations,” said Mabengu, adding that they visit one another during events and introduce themselves before giving their financial support.

This church in a bus has been good to single mother Nombulelo Xate (60) of KwaZakhele too. Xate’s brother and mother died two years in succession.

“They did not only support me to bury my brother (in 2013) and mother in 2014, they travelled with me to Dimbaza near King William’s Town to bury my mother. I thank God for I’ve found real brothers and sisters,” said Xate who also sells sweets in the bus.

“The church in the bus also supports my thriving business. We don’t sleep without food at home because of this support,” said Xate proudly, adding that as a result she has made it a point to give free sweets to the commuters every December before Christmas.

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