Fatima Bulla —
A Harare woman gave her second child to the church as thanksgiving offering after finally bearing children after four miscarriages that almost destroyed her marriage.
Convictions Mapfumo from Sally Mugabe Heights has given her child, who is now in Grade Three, to Holy Baptist Apostolic Church founder Bishop Susan Ziki Dube, who has assumed the role of the mother while the daughter assists in the church.
The story bears striking resemblance to the Biblical one of Hannah and her son Samuel.
Mapfumo said after going through the painful experience of miscarrying four pregnancies, the leader of Holy Baptist Apostolic Church prayed for her, and she has now conceived three girls born in 2005, 2009 and 2011.
Bishop Ziki Dube is well-known in the area as offering powerful prayers for people with varying needs and ailments.
“After my struggle to conceive, I decided to give this child to God as a tithe to thank Him for answering my prayers. I was prayed for by the leader of the church. I have also given myself to working in this church because there is nothing more I can give to God for what He has done for me.
“I was prompted to give this child because even in conceiving I did not know I was pregnant. In addition during the period of the pregnancy people would come to Mrs Ziki and give her preparation for the child. By the time the child was born she had more than she needed in terms of preparatory items. So I felt convicted in my heart to give her away to the work of God,” said Mapfumo, who is the secretary at the church.
The child has now assumed Bishop Ziki Dube’s surname and addresses her as mother, while Mapfumo has assumed the role of aunt.
“She no longer calls me mother, but auntie. The church leader, who also happens to be my niece, is now her mother. This was agreed upon with the consent of my husband.
“All the responsibilities that concern her have been assumed by Bishop Ziki Dube. Even when she gets married, Bishop Ziki Dube is entitled to get part of the lobola entitled for the mother of the child, and I have no problems with it,” Mapfumo said.
Mapfumo said she registered her church leader as the mother of the child on the birth certificate.
“We did not encounter problems and my husband had also waited to be guarantor so that the process would go on well. And it did. So she is now the legal mother,” said Mapfumo.
“I have given myself to the church. Even when the child used to call me mother I would not answer until the point where she is now used (to calling someone also mother). I see it as a tithe when I count the children I have miscarried and those I now have; hence it’s a befitting gift to God,” she said, adding that she desires to have a son.
“I have been prayed for and I am now pregnant. I have been asking God for a baby boy and I believe I will have him,” she said.
Mapfumo follows the example of the Biblical Hannah who gave up her son, Samuel, to the care of High Priest Eli in the Tabernacle.
In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah promised to give her child to the work of God if God fulfilled her desire to conceive. She later conceived more children.