Peter Matika, Senior Life Reporter
AN estimated 15 000 Christians from across Africa met at the Enlightened Christian Gathering — Sunday of Wonders convention held last Sunday at the church in Bulawayo, where prophetess Mary Bushiri graced the occasion all the way from Pretoria, South Africa.
Christians from all walks of life arrived as early as 4am for the convention, which heralded a much bigger crusade, scheduled for some time this year, where the founder and leader of the church South Africa-based Malawi-born cleric Prophet Shepherd Bushiri is expected.
Dubbed Sunday of Wonders, the convention was in no doubt astounding, as countless people gave testimonies of salvation, deliverance and healing from various ailments and handicaps through the hand of the prophetesses.
The day was nothing short of that of a Biblical encounter, where those in doubt where left speechless, with their mouths agape, as the prophetess healed the physically challenged, ministered the word of the Lord, prophesied and delivered many from the clutches of evil.
The day-long event began as scheduled at 8am, despite many people having arrived as early as 4am, all for the sake of securing a seat in the church housed at a warehouse along Fife Street Extension.
In an interview, the prophetess said she didn’t expect a large crowd, as the one she saw comparing the turnout to their every Sunday gatherings in South Africa.
“I didn’t expect this in Bulawayo. This is like in Pretoria. Through the power and grace of God I declare that this church will be bigger in the next two months,” she said, hinting that there were plans on building a mega church complex in Bulawayo.
It was a hive of activity as early as 5am, when people began jostling in long queues along Fife Street Extension winding all the way to 23rd Avenue.
There the road had to be temporarily closed to secure parking for congregants, with police also having to be called in to maintain soundness.
The church doors had to be open at 6am to shelter the numbers from the blistering cold.
Talking over the service at 11.45 sharp from ECG Bulawayo head pastor Patrick Boanerge said prophetess Bushiri received a Queens’ welcome from the church.
As expected she gave a powerful and miraculous sermon, which forged Christ-related relationships, where she spoke on topical issues such as those to do with business, love and marriage to mention a few.
After her sermon she got to meet and speak to a few congregants made up of ordinary citizens, politicians, businessman and even other man of God.
“This was truly a blessed day, a true Sunday of Wonders and we hope to see the church continue its work, in saving more souls and also changing people’s lives positively through active engagements and developmental programs,” she said.
Pastor Boanerge said he too was astounded by the turnout, saying that the prophetesses’ presence proved that the church was genuine.
“The church was buzzing by 6am. I had to be called in by other pastors to come and assess the situation at 5am. When I got there I was shocked to see the numbers. I went into church and prayed to God, asking for guidance on the day and He granted it. There are many people out there that claim to be children of ECG, many of whom are involved in illicit activity, thereby giving ECG a bad name. Prophetess’ coming gave trust to many Zimbabweans. We as ECG are gearing on giving a new name to ministry and want to change the lives of many,” he said.
Pastor Boanerge, referring to the Bible said the gathering of congregants was almost similar to that of the 5 000 crowd that gathered to hear and see Jesus preach.
“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
“Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat’.
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children,” he said adding that the prophetess had similar compassion and too wanted to assists where she could.
He added that there would be hosting another convention on 26 May dubbed Hosana Night, where they expect an even bigger crowd.
“This convention also gave the city some business conventionally and unconventionally. Talk about the taxis, food outlets, hospitality places and so forth. As time goes on we will be launching programs that will also assist in empowering and rebuilding the great nation of Zimbabwe through its youth,” said pastor Boanerge.