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By Tapiwa Padenga

All roads led to The United Methodist Church, St Mathew, Dombotombo, Marondera circuit on Sunday, 20 July 2014 for the “Mini Ebenezer Conference.” The conference was aimed at raising awareness of the Ebenezer Convention coming in a few weeks from the 15th to the 17th of August 2014 at the National Sports Stadium, Harare.

The hustle and bustle of Marondera’s Central Business District came to a standstill as multitudes of people followed proceedings at a place called “The Green” where the Ebenezer march began.

From there they marched through town to Dombotombo circuit in an awareness campaign. The convoy meandered through the town of Marondera and its participants were in high spirits as they sang and danced to the Ebenezer hit song “Munhu wese ku Ebenezer”. They slowly passed through the neighborhood of Dombotombo before the convoy disappeared into Dombotombo circuit. There it converged with other forces to form a wave of excitement as the voices backed by an air of mission accomplished became louder and the singing more entertaining.

From the 15th to the 17th of August 2014, The United Methodist Church, Zimbabwe Episcopal area will be having the historical Ebenezer Convention at the national sports stadium. Thus far the Lord has helped the church to minister for 117 years lifting high Jesus’ flag. In an attempt to raise awareness of the Ebenezer conference to the general public the Chitungwiza-Marondera district (CHITMA) under the instruction of the District Superintended (DS) Rev P Kanoyangwa hosted a blessed event which they dubbed the mini Ebenezer conference. The conference had the blessings of all the circuits in the district as they combined their efforts on a sunny afternoon to make the event a success.

The dust was allowed to settle down before formal introductions were made prior to some melodious singing from the guest choir, Ngariende Rugare St Lukes Vabvuwi. Amongst the dignitaries was DS Rev P Kanoyangwa who gave the devotion. She highlighted on the theme of the conference, Ebenezer “thus .far the Lord has helped us.”

The master of ceremony then unleashed the main speaker of the day evangelist Mr. Nyahodza. He beautifully delivered a sermon that iced a cake that had been well baked the whole afternoon. He read from Exodus 1:19 and John 5:1-9. His main theme was “now is the time for restoration and breakthrough” based on the Ebenezer theme “thus far the Lord has taken us.” The congregants’ spirits were left at a higher level than before the mini Ebenezer.

The Ebenezer theme comes from a biblical background of the Israelites who had been captives of the Philistines for many years. They were now lamenting after the Lord. Samuel then spoke to them and advised them that if they wanted to return to the Lord with all their hearts they had to stop worshiping other gods and the Lord would deliver them out of the hands of the Philistines. The children of Israel took hid of the advice and stopped worshiping other gods and fasted for a day in acknowledgement of the fact that they had sinned against the Lord. The Lord heard their prayers and as the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel the Lord thundered with a great thunder upon the Philistines causing confusion amongst them and instilling fear. The men of Israel pursued them and smote them until they came under Beth. Samuel then took a stone and set it between Mizpeh and Shen and called it Ebenezer, saying “Thus far the lord has helped us.”

As the congregants dispersed, some to their distant households as far as the city of Harare and Svosve village, most of them could hear the song “Munhu wese ku Ebenezer, Munhu wese ku Ebenezer” from the deep echelons of their minds as the remnants of a day that had been well organized, coordinated and lived up to billing.

Tapiwa Padenga is the chairman of the history and communication committee at St Mathew, Dombotombo, Marondera Circuit. He is also a committee member of the CHITMA history and communications committee.



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