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‘The rapture is coming,’ Mboro in high spirits at his first Sunday service

Motsoeneng was one of the first to welcome members back to his Incredible Happenings Ministry in Katlehong.

 Pastor Paseka Motsoeneng was one of the first to welcome members back to church on 7 June. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - After two months of not being able to hold service to a physical congregation, pastor Paseka Motsoeneng, better known as ‘Pastor Mboro,’ was in high spirits on the first Sunday under level three restrictions.

Motsoeneng was one of the first to welcome members back to his Incredible Happenings Ministry in Katlehong.

While several other churches around the precinct remained closed, Incredible Happenings followed government restrictions by screening members before allowing them inside the tent, with members seated 2,2m apart. Each member was also given a bottle of sanitiser and asked to present their ID to ensure that they matched the initial RSVP list sent prior to the service.

A member over the age of 60 was asked to leave the tent as per regulation and for his own safety, park his car right outside the church entrance and listen to the sermon from there.

GALLERY: First Sunday under lockdown level 3

Mboro said although he was happy to be able to allow members to come back to the church, he was concerned the data gathered from congregants when they attend church would be used against churches unfairly when the infection rate shoots up because people were not screened the same way when they go shopping.

“If you only gather data from here, where have these people been in the past 14 day? In the malls and so on. They don’t have data for that but the data they would have is from the church so it’s going to pin the whole thing on the church so somehow it looks like it may be sabotage where they’re going to say 'we found the connection to this [increased infections] it is the church,'" he said.

Mboro said he was not against the lockdown but everybody should be treated equally as people spent most of their time without surveillance but are monitored when they go to church.

“People who come to church need emotional support the same way others are emotionally supported by alcohol and drugs, at least it helps them,” said Mboro. “Government needs to balance the economy and fighting the virus, and we [churches] give guidance, which would help people to follow the laws.”

Mboro said that he was not worried about his church struggling financially due to the cap placed on the number of people allowed for a service. “We are not living from taking, it works two ways, you get from the church, you give to the church. You must have programmes, which empower people economically. You can’t preach God and leave the economy out, we will overcome this and we’re going to create more jobs, we’re going to turn our situation around.”

Mboro said government needed to work with churches and do more to ensure that people were properly educated about COVID-19. “It is the end of times, the rapture is coming, Jesus is coming.”