Mayor Mihloti Muhlope dances with Pastors Jeremiah Negogogo (90) Ndwamato Luvhengo (95) and Mulivha Mulaudzi (84) during the event to celebrate the elders’ lives at Nancefield community.

“There is nothing more fulfilling than being honoured by your own people while you are still alive. If I die now, I will die a happy man.” These are the words from Pastor Ndwamato Luvhengo (95), one of the three elder pastors whose religious works were appreciated by Mayor of Musina, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope. The event took place at Nancefield Community Hall.

Luvhengo, together with Pastor Jeremiah Negogogo (90) and Pastor Mulivha Mulaudzi (84) were the pioneers of the Christian faith and founders of the Musina Council of Churches (MCC) which now has a membership of 35 churches. For many years, Negogogo was the chairperson of MCC while Luvhengo and Mulaudzi were deputy chairperson and treasurer respectively. During the event, the three old men were each presented with a designer suit, a shirt, pair of socks, an appreciation certificate and cash.

Speaking at the event, Muhlope said the three elders are very lucky because there is a tendency of honouring people while they are no longer alive. “We are very happy because we are celebrating your lives while you are still alive. The saying that a man does not see a beautiful rose in his own garden does not apply to us because through these elder pastors, we are seeing beautiful flowers in our own garden here in Musina. We are not even sure if the Musina Council of Churches would have been formed if these old men didn’t stand up and work diligently without compromise. Biblically, we can proudly compare them with great religious fathers like Abraham.”

She said when the biblical book of Musina is written, the name of the three elders will appear in a special chapter. “The Bible tells us that those who humble themselves will be uplifted. That is why we are celebrating their works because they humbly worked for this community when things were difficult. They used to deliver meeting invitations on foot around Musina because none of them has a car. And on top of that, they did not expect any reward for their hard work. No wonder why they are all still strong, walking unaided and having very good eye sight. This is because the Lord has blessed them with abundant lives for their good deeds. We are really proud of these humble servants of God.”

The current secretary of Musina Council of Churches, Apostle Julius Ramphabana said the three old men had laid a strong foundation for them to work with ease. “We now have computers and printers and it becomes very easy for us to get in touch with our members through various communication platforms. During their times, they had to walk from one place to another to fulfil the work of the Lord. No wonder why the Lord has blessed them with so many years because they did so many good things for this community.”

Negogogo said they were not working for making names for themselves or for fame. “We are very happy that you are honouring us while we are still alive. We wish the present leadership of the Musina Council of Churches will continue the good work that we have started.” He said.

His sentiments were echoed by Mulaudzi who only said: “Words alone cannot express our gratitude. We are indeed very blessed and humbled by what you have done for us.”