Church services held at the malls
Being unable to attend church due to the national lockdown regulations and lack of data should not stop people from receiving the word of God.
As a result, a group of worshippers have decided to take church services to the malls in an effort to pray for the country and the strain that families are facing due to Covid-19.
Members of the House of Grace Ministries in Vosloorus, on the East Rand, have started an initiative to pray at different malls in Ekurhuleni to help those who cannot physically attend places of worship.
Leader of the church, Pastor Mandla Tshabalala, told Sowetan that the initiative started when President Cyril Ramaphosa allowed places of worship to open. "I felt in my spirit that we should take the church to the people because people are not able to come to church because there are restrictions to numbers and hours of worship. We chose to utilise public places where everyone is moving.
"We simply stand in these public places and give people the word of God. Our intension is to encourage people and give them exhortation."
House of Grace Ministries does have services on Sundays, which Tshabalala said are attended by a limited number of people.
Sowetan witnessed the services on Saturday at midday. Dressed in their traditional all- white church uniform, the congregants stood next to the entrance of Vosloorus Crossing Mall with just a microphone and a speaker.
Gospel music played softly in the background as preachers took turns to pray for different issues that the country is facing. While most people walked to the shops, a group of shoppers gathered to listen to the music, prayers and the preaching.
"We want to utilise our services outside malls to pray for the country. The Bible tells us that whenever we see such difficulties in the land, as people called by God, we should pray so that the Lord can heal the land. In our services, we pray for our government - from the president to the local councillor. We pray for essential service workers who are at the forefront of the fight against the virus," he said.
Tshabalala said a portion of the prayer sessions is constantly dedicated to families who are facing serious strains and also the scourge of gender-based violence which has gripped the country. Other services have been held at Lesedi and Spruitview malls.
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