Standing on Holy Ground

Worship Service in Masiphumele township South Africa, with team from Grand Rapids Christian High School

I asked Mike Verkaik to share about our worship experience this last Sunday.

This past Sunday I was blessed to worship in the Masiphumelele Township near Cape Town, South Africa. As we made that right turn into the township, the community changed drastically from the previous roads we had been on. We passed a Catholic Church building, and then a Baptist, but neither of these were our final destinations. We continued deeper into the township until we made another right turn and came to a sudden halt in front of several cars that were noticeably out of commission for sometime.

As we filed out of the van there were no noticeable signs of a church building. The only structures recognizable were several metal shacks making up the homes of the residents that lived there. Some members of the Holy Zion church met us in the parking space, and they ushered us down the road. On the left we entered a small broken down building with bowed rafters and sheet covered windows, and were greeted by members with large smiles and joyful hearts.

As we circled around the candle lit table and the drum, we began to worship. Spontaneously a member broke into song as the drum quickly picked up the beat, which enhanced the harmony of the African voices. As the song of thanksgiving continued their voices raised in worship as their bodies joined in dancing before their Abba Father. In many ways it felt like I was home, praising and worshiping with simplicity and authenticity.

As the service continued the elder moved the candlesticks from the table to the middle of the cement floored room. He went onto explain that when Moses went over to examine burning bush; God said, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5) So to as they moved the fire from the candlelight the church where we are worshiping was holy ground.

At that moment God reminded me that He comes into the ordinary things of life and shows Himself extraordinary. A bush is something we pass by each day without much notice or acknowledgement.  I am sure I would have done the same with this building in Masiphumelele Township as well if I had not been guided there. However, like Moses and the burning bush there was a sense of His presence in that insignificant place as God calls Oceans to begin its ministry and message of the Father’s heart to the people in Masiphumelele

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