Die predikant met die masker op is ds Calvary van Mthatha en die ander een is ds Mountain van Canzibe.

 

Meer as 50% van ons VGK Streeksinode Kaapland-gemeentes moet sonder ‘n predikant funksioneer; iets wat vir die Sinode ‘n reuse-uitdaging is.

Die gesamentlike VG- en NG Kerk-diensgroep, Getuienisaksie, het in die lig hiervan sedert 2018 saam met die ander VGK-bedieninge ondersteuning aan gemeentes begin gee om proponente te beroep. Die afgelope twee jaar is daar byvoorbeeld in die voormalige Transkei vier nuwe predikante beroep. Hulle is Wiseman Calvary (Mthatha), Thanduxolo Mountain (Canzibe), Thembinkosi Mene (Rietvlei) en Zukile Bloro (Lusiksiki en Bambisana).

Vra jy hulle hoe dit met hulle uitdagings as predikante in die huidige COVID-19-pandemie gaan, kom die WhatsApp-antwoorde vinnig:

“My family and I are well,” antwoord ds Mountain wat die nuwe predikant by Canzibe is. “At first it was hard because people wanted to continue with church services and funerals but as time went by they understood that this pandemic is a serious issue. We need to adhere to the guidelines given by our president and ministers.”

Hy verduidelik verder: “The argument was that we are here in rural places, therefore, we never travel abroad and to cities. If COVID-19 affected one of them, it will be brought by people from cities.”

Dis ‘n groot uitdaging om iets waarvan jy nog nie die uitwerking sien nie, aan mense te verduidelik. “We try to teach about it, at least making them understand the safety of personal protective equipment (PPE’s). So far we are coping because of that understanding. ”

Maar dit bly ‘n uitdaging. “We still have a challenge because other people are just walking up and down without even a mask.”

Die groot uitdaging is om steeds jou gemeente te bedien, maar daarvoor is daar ook al planne gemaak: “In terms of the congregation, we record sermons and send them to church council members. We also formulated WhatsApp groups with members to share the Word on a weekly basis. We started that before Easter, like Palm Sunday, the Seven Words on the Cross (Good Friday), and the resurrection sermon.

“Another challenge is that not every member has WhatsApp. Even now I am preparing the Ascension and Pentecost sermons in order to share.”

Ds Wiseman Calvary (wat ‘n fantastiese naam vir ‘n predikant!) van Mthatha laat weet dat hy ook dieselfde planne maak en ook dieselfde uitdagings het: “People do not have enough data and not everyone has WhatsApp.” Hulle stuur dus sms’e na hierdie lidmate; iets wat weer baie tyd en data van hom verg, maar dit werk.

‘n Ander groot uitdaging vir hom is begrafnisse: “I cannot even support the family of the deceased with a prayer or visit. The families feel rejected and I feel that I am not doing what I am supposed to do. The church council does a tremendous job explaining to our members to understand that this is a global problem and everyone must work together and abide by the rules. I keep praying that God will show me more effective ways of communicating with our members.”

Kontak ds Stephen Pedro by stephen@kaapkerk.co.za vir meer inligting.