'Transform fear of unknown'
The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) held a successful two-day convention in KwaThema, Springs, at the weekend.
The convention, hosted by the local Bethel AME was attended by several delegates, including church ministers and elders, from as far away as Mpumalanga.
In a moving opening sermon, the outgoing chairman of the Springs District Lay Organisation, Peace Magongwa, preached at length about what he called the "fear of the unknown" as experienced by most Christians in general.
He said this fear could be traced back to biblical times when Moses was leading the children of Israel from the Draconian rule of the Egyptian king Pharoah.
"As the Israelites were approaching the promised land, despite the promise of arable land by God, they feared for their lives after hearing stories of people who resembled giants in stature.
"This fear of the unknown is unnecessary if we put our trust in the Lord," he said.
Another speaker, the presiding elder Reverend Tsiela Setai, urged delegates to transform their fears of the unknown into successes.
"Fear is the reserve gear of success," he told delegates.
He quoted from Joshua 14 verse 12 in which Caleb said: "Now give this hill country that the Lord promised me that day.
"You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but the Lord will help me and I will drive them out just as he has promised," he read.