Joburg receptionist saddened by looting starts viral clean-up movement

When a young Johannesburg woman posted a message on Facebook offering to help clean up looted stores, she had no idea that her act of kindness would spark a movement that would gather tens of thousands of volunteers within a few days.

Emelda Masango, 25, of Crown Mines, said she was at home over the weekend after the retail company where she works as a receptionist elected to close for a while because of the looting. She said she felt sad about the violence and lawlessness taking place around her and wanted to reach out and “put a smile on the faces” of affected business owners.

So, on Monday morning she posted the following message on the “I Know a Guy” Facebook page: “Anyone who needs help to clean up after the looting in their business, I volunteer.”

To her surprise and delight, her message was shared nearly 1 000 times within 24 hours and by the time I spoke to her on Wednesday afternoon, more than 28 000 people has joined the “Rebuild SA — Volunteers Group” she started on Facebook together with several other volunteers. They also started a Whatsapp group that rapidly became full.

Members of the Winnie Mabaso Foundation Members of The Winnie Mabaso Foundation helping with the clean up of looted shops on the informal settlement of Meriting #MabasoLove #RebuildingSouthAfrica #TogetherWeCan 💙🇿🇦 (Photo posted on the “Rebuild SA — Volunteers Group” Facebook page)

Emelda, who said her Christian faith played a part in her reaching out, said: “I am very happy about it [the flood of people wanting to help] . I am feeling so much hope inside of me. And I feel like this is the New South Africa that I need — and which it was like before this. We just need to recover, I think and get back to where we were. This is how we reunite again.”

She said that, inspired by her example, a foundation in Soweto has already mobilised people and started cleaning looted malls.

Asked how she and her partners plan to mobilise their tens of thousands of volunteers, she said: “We are just busy for this week with administration so we can get everything into order. And from next week we will start the work.”

In addition to the many offers of hands-on support on the volunteer Facebook group, are offers of donations from people further afield in South Africa or outside of the country.

Emelda said that with all the support streaming in she wants to expand the help they offer beyond cleaning up looted premises to include professional emotional support for victims of the mayhem “who are damaged inside” as a result of the trauma.

Asked what her company has to say about her off-duty outreach, she said: “My boss is a kind person and he encouraged me and he is very proud of me.”

Three months of revival prayer starting at crosses at Fountain Vineyard, PE on Sunday

A campaign of three months of revival prayer from August 1 until October 31 will be launched at the three crosses on the Fountain Vineyard Christian Fellowship fields at 22 Newcombe Road Walmer Heights, Port Elizabeth from 3pm to 4pm on Sunday.

The theme for the three months will be The Fervent Prayer of a United Church and local churches are asked to each come and pray at the crosses for an hour on one Saturday during the campaign, said the campaign visionary, Pastor Blessing Marunga.

He said the participation by South Africans and people from other parts of the world in a revival prayer campaign he initiated over the same period last year had exceeded his expectations.

“It was not my intention to have another three months but then I felt led in 2021 that we must pray as the united Church. When the Church prays together the people are united. So, I am saying, as the Church, let us arise, let us unite, so that the people of the nation can also be united,” he said.

“Why are we doing this? Because we know that the world revival is going to start from South Africa. And even though the devil may try with his different schemes to divert our attention, we know what God has spoken and we are taking hold of that Word and we are going to be on our knees for three months to pray for healing for South Africa, for unity, and for revival that has been spoken for many years that it will start in South Africa. And there are people who have been praying for more that 20 years expecting this revival,” said Blessing.

Churches are asked to book their congregational Saturday afternoon slot (3pm to 4pm) as soon as possible with Blessing at 078 944 1391 or with Pastor Joan Keeling at 084 766 2270. [Congregations are welcome to come on as many Saturdays as they choose but are encouraged to at least commit to one afternoon in the 3 month period.

Individuals can join the campaign by WhatsApping “REVIVAL” to 078 944 1391. They will be sent more information and weekly prayer points.

“So, let us pray for the rebirth of South Africa, for healing and restoration, and for God’s purposes to prevail in South Africa because we know that the schemes of the devil are defeated in prayer,” said Blessing.

Our choices affect our democracy — Nelson Mandela Bay church leaders

The Nelson Mandela Bay Church Leader Network condemns the blatant criminality, looting, financial sabotage, and incitement of violence in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, which threatens to spill over to other parts of our country.

The South African democracy is at a crossroads. The way we choose to go forward will determine our future, be it one of destruction and suffering or flourishing. We need to be clear about who we are and what kind of society we want to build, and what we reject.

We have a biblical, prophetic witness and message to deliver. Firstly, we witness against:

  • The thieves, looters, thugs, and arsonists. We say: stop your criminal activities. You are sabotaging the economy robbing people of jobs and livelihoods and will tear us down into the abyss of lawlessness. You are in fact stealing from the most vulnerable who will languish in the aftermath of your destruction. Please stop.
  • The instigators and organisers of violence. We say: you use the very real issues of hunger, poverty, unemployment, and poor service delivery to flame chaos for your own gain. You try to light the wildfire which will uncontrollably destroy us all. Please stop.
  • Those who flame lawlessness through race, ethnicity, or tribalism. We say: you sow division and set citizens against one another. You endeavour to consolidate your own power but destroy the ability of South Africans to work together and to build a better future for all. Please stop.
  • Those who spread fake news and distort the truth. False narratives about the judicial system, court verdict, political leaders, issues concerning Covid-19 and vaccination are being spread. You construct a false rationale for thuggery and destruction. Please stop.
  • Corrupt politicians who do not serve, but seek to enrich themselves and their families, often in cahoots with equally corrupt businesspeople, robbing the public of necessary services and opportunity. Please stop.

We call on every South African to refrain from what is corrupt, destructive, violent, false, and merely self-serving.

We call on the South African police and the military to stand firm against the destruction we are witnessing in our land. Please be loyal only to justice, fairness, the common good and the protection of the public. We support our security personnel.

We commend the justices and magistrates who measures justice out without fear or favour, but in fairness and in a principled way.

We thank health care workers who diligently care for our sick, especially in this dire pandemic. We are grateful for the programme of immunization.

The current events should not be allowed to harm this rollout.

We call on all South Africans to remain calm and collected. Be circumspect in the actions you take to protect your loved ones and your property.

Our prophetic voice also points to God’s preferred future for us.

God intends a better future for us all.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Church Leader Network advocates a caring, open society with opportunity, employment, and security for all. For this reason, we call on all leaders in all tiers of government to work together with civic society, business, and education to create a better life for all.

The current crisis is symptomatic of the deep inequality, poverty, and hopelessness in our society. We are sitting on a timebomb. Our problems will not go away without a concerted effort to address inequality, poverty, and growth in the economy to promote employment.

In addition to short-term actions to solve the current crisis, our problems.

As the collective church we are taking practical steps to improve our plight:

  • Our Prayer Network — which reaches right around the Bay — prays diligently for the volatile situation in the country and for God to protect the Bay and flourish her people
  • We are feeding literally thousands of economically marginalised families in our metro. Our Against Hunger programme prevents starvation
  • We are committed to plant vegetable gardens and to teach people to grow their own nutritious food
  • We are present in schools to support educators and learners
  • We are developing training to enable voters to use their votes wisely in the upcoming local elections and to resist the nomination of corrupt candidates by political parties
  • Our diverse leadership (denominations, networks, race, culture, gender, gifting) witness to the society we are building and set an example for others to follow.

We ask congregations to link communities together. Create networks which can communicate and advocate through digital platforms to protect themselves, disseminate information, mobilise against criminality, and keep government structures accountable.

Our people carry a heavy burden.

As spiritual shepherds our immediate concern is for the people who are shaken, numbed, shocked and feeling hopeless by what they are witnessing.

We are committed to a ministry of hope. We will prevail because God our Father cares for us, Jesus Christ our Lord reigns over us, and God the Holy Spirit empowers us to seek the Kingdom of God.

Bishop Jacob Freemantle:  Methodist Church of SA (Grahamstown Synod)
Apostle Neville Goldman:  Ebenezer International
Dominee Danie Mouton:  Director Synod Eastern Cape DRC

The destiny of SA, and Africa, depends on our prayers — Mogoeng

Written by Andre Viljoen

“What time is it? And what season are we in?” Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng asked South African Christians at the start of an online prayer meeting for the nation that he led on Sunday.

Unless we are like the Sons of Issachar and truly know the times and the seasons we risk praying against God’s purposes, he said during a Zoom prayer gathering on the final day of a seven-day period of repentance for the sins of the nation called by the Hope, Healing, Restoration Project of the Lord, which he leads.

The 7-days of repentance prayer followed 40 days of intense spiritual warfare for the nation convened by the campaign and Mogoeng’s Sunday message, which was also streamed on Facebook Live, marked his first public address since he announced in early May that he was going on long leave.

Answering his own question about the time and season, Mogoeng said that according to trustworthy prophetic voices we are currently in a time of judgment, a time of repentance and a time of birthing the destiny of South Africa — and Africa.

In order to pray as God wants us to pray to release “the biggest move of God in the history of the earth”, beginning in South Africa — “the revival we have been praying for” — we need to understand these three components of the current spiritual season, he said.

“We dare not allow this moment to slip through our fingers.”

“Let me begin with judgment,” he said, as he began to expand on each aspect of the current season.

He said that for too long the Church has been lukewarm, politically correct and sought the approval of politicians, celebrities and the media resulting in it perverting the Word of God and condoning immorality..

“And that is why judgment has been unleashed upon us as the children of God and the people of God,” he said.

Had the people of God, called by His name, stood in the gap, Coronavirus, poverty, corruption and other evils would have disappeared a long time ago because God is an almighty, covenant-keeping God, he said.

He said greed, corruption and serving mammon are widespread in areas of the Church itself. We don’t unite to fight criminality. We are lazy about prayer. We deliver motivational speeches and love positions, publicity and power. We pursue personal and sectional agendas “and even the agenda of the devil”,

“That’s where we have been and that is why there is judgment, and that is why the next point is critical — and that is repentance.”

He said that whenever we talk about repentance, we quite correctly refer to 2 Chronicles 7:13-14.

13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

But he said, the children of God mostly make the mistake of praying for the sins of other people.

“That is not what the Scripture says; I must begin with myself,” said Mogoeng.

He said: “It begins with my own heart. I must ask the Lord to search my heart, to purify my heart with fire so that I can then be in a position to pray for others.”

“We must acknowledge our wickedness and from the depth of our hearts repent — and then only will the Lord hear,” he said.

Mogoeng also said the Body of Christ needs to repent for its lack of unity. Unbelievers and witches are more united than the Church which allows “anybody and anything to divide us”, he said.

“People can shut our mouths any time. Restaurants can be open but not churches because they know there will not be any consequences. We have allowed ourselves to be impotent,” he said.

Moving to “the time of the birthing of SA” Mogoeng said he was struck by two recent prophetic words published in Gateway News — by Veronika West and by Naomi Sheneberger — which “reiterated what we know, that- the time for the Kingdom of God is here, the Government of God is here. The time that Kim Clement prophesied about in May 2008 has come.

“But the devil — the spirit of Leviathan — as warned in Revelation 12, has risen up, and the dragon wants to steal and kill and destroy the destiny of South Africa and of Africa by extension — and the nations of the earth. Because, as you well know, the greatest move ever in the history of the earth, is destined by the Almighty God to begin in South Africa.

“That revival we have been praying for, we have seen in part, needs to break out completely. It just needs you and I; it needs our hearts saints. We dare not allow this moment to slip through our fingers.”

He said that happily Jesus left believers a pattern for dealing with Satan. As recorded in Matthew 4 and Luke 4, when the devil tried to tempt Jesus, the Lord kept saying: “It is written..”

He said Satan cannot stand the written or spoken Word of God.

 “We have got to believe it ourselves first because four times in the Bible we learn that ‘the just shall live by faith and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

Unfortunately, as believers, we listen more to the devil than to the Word of God, by listening to fake news and evil narratives that provoke unbelief and fear.

He said that we need to appropriate the power in the Word of God (Revelation 12:11 — They overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony) and to start praying with the boldness that releases God to wage war on our behalf.

Mogoeng concluded his message by inviting his audience to pray through a list of prayer points in line with the current spiritual season and with the prophetic words he mentioned. He said they should keep on praying that way until there is a breakthrough. 

“The Lord is waiting for us to pray this way so that the destiny of South Africa we have been fasting and praying for happens.”

The prayer points are:

  • My own repentance and the repentance of the Church of God — 2 Corinthians 7:14, and “It is written” — Luke 4, Matthew 4
  • Declare that Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly — John 10:10
  • Declare there will be no more stench of death — not by Coronavirus and other diseases and disasters. 
  • Declare the light and the glory of the Lord is rising upon SA and Africa and that darkness shall flee — Isaiah 60:1-3 
  • Say that our God has not given us a Spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind —  2 Timothy 1:7 — so we command you to flee Satan in the name of Jesus — James 4:7
  • Based on Rev 12:11, say: Satan, you spirit of Leviathan, we overcome you by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony and in Jesus name we resist you and command you to flee
  • Declare that South Africa fears God and His glory from the rising of the sun — Isaiah 59:19 
  • Declare that the waves of the death and destruction of the spirit of Leviathan will not flood the land and the Spirit of the Lord is raising up the standard against the demonic flood of the enemy, against witchcraft, occultism, against all forms of idolatry, deception, immorality, perversion, criminality, corruption, injustice, iniquity, and unrighteousness — Isaiah 59:19; 2 Samuel :22, 5, 17, 20
  • Say the battle belongs to God — 1 Sam 17:27 — and ask the Lord to judge all forms of wickedness and all the wicked who are unrepentant 
  • Declare victory is assured — 1 Corinthians 15: 57
  • Declare that the new nation of South Africa is being birthed in a day — Isaiah 66:8 
  • Say: It is finished in Jesus name — John 19:30

SA Olympic golden-girl Tatjana Schoenmaker gives glory to God

Written by Andre Viljoen 

Adapted from the original story in Faithwire

South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker today claimed SA’s first gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics as she won the women’s 200m breaststroke final on Friday, smashing the world record in the process. 

Swimming in lane 4, the 24-year-old swimming star timed her race perfectly, sitting behind American Lilly King for the first 100m before surging over the last 100m. She touched the wall at 2:18.95  beating the previous record of 2:19.11 set by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen at the World Championships in 2013.

Schoenmaker who also set Olympic records in the 100m and 200m breaststroke during the heats and took silver in the 100m breaststroke earlier this week has been using her success to point others to God.

In all her competitions in Tokyo, Schoenmaker has worn — under her green South Africa swim cap — another cap proclaiming her faith.

The white Speedo cap the athlete is wearing features a blue Jesus fish under the phrase “Soli Deo Gloria,” which means “Glory to God alone,” printed on the side of it.

Schoenmaker today became the first South African woman swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal since Penny Heyns — another bold ambassador for Jesus — at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

Her win takes Team SA’s medal tally in Tokyo to three. In addition to her two medals, surfer Bianca Buitendag also won a silver medal on Tuesday. Buitendag, who was only ranked 17 out of 20 before the event also acknowledged God during an interview on the podium.

In an Instagram post last week, Schoenmaker posted a prayer as she traveled to Tokyo for the summer Olympic Games.

“Father God, may Your will be done, may Your peace fill us up, may we praise You no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by Your strength to give our all and may we forever be in awe of Your goodness!” she wrote. “Thank You for bringing us to this very moment.