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© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Prophecies and fuller details of Healing Service

This was held during a Sunday Service and stared in the usual way. I arrived with the church Secretary at about 12.30 p.m. The total congregation at this service was about 20 - 4 men, 6 women and the rest children. When we arrived the service was in the control of a Moruti but the Bishop had not yet arrived. The Moruti in charge announced the purpose of the service, which he called Ditapelo (prayers).

Then individuals made their confessions in turns, starting with the oldest of the children (young children do not confess) up to the Moruti himself. This was interspersed with hymns. These were in the same format - an individual would kneel and greet everyone-in turn according to their positions and then mention their problems, often explanations as to why they had not been to the church lately.

Then the Moruti in charge gave thanks for all the people who had confessed, and for their visitor - me. He said that not many people would have the opportunity to preach that day. He, himself, was thinking very much that day about the crucifixion and the courageous one who had gone to fetch the dead body of Christ. "We believe that He was buried. We hear that the shepherds were there at the time and sent to guard his grave. As it is known that before Christ was crucified he had foretold this, and then arisen from the Dead, and those people who had crucified him had sent people to guard his tomb, so that his body could not be stolen by his followers. (This was an appropriate address as it was the Easter season) He then announced that next they were going to sing a hymn before praying for power from God.

Next we hummed another hymn which preceded a general prayer where everyone knelt down to pray their own prayer ending with a blessing  “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost". Then we sang "Let's dance Hosanna". The Secretary was called to read Matthew 13, v. 47-52 and 15 v. 10. Then we sang "Eli, Eli" and the Moruti preached, his sermon being closely based on the above Bible reading. This was interrupted by a hymn "Jerusalem, Halleujah Messiah" to help the preacher have" more power.

The Moruti continued saying how the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to the fish taken out of the ocean. Those fish that were not good were thrown back. Those people who do not believe will be like those fish who were thrown back,during the Day of Judgement. They should prepare themselves to be like the good fish. He emphasized Matthew 13, saying that people should try their best to be prepared for the second coming of Christ. The hymn "Halleujah Amen Messiah" was sung. Next the Moruti announced that he was now handing the preaching over to two of the trainees followed by the Secretary and one of the Senior Women (Mma Mookamedi) Then we sang the hymn that we took up from the Bishop, who started it outside, to announce his arrival. "A voice is calling the voice of Christ". The Bishop spoke for a long time referring to the Bible reading from Matthew 13, v. 4-7, reminding the congregation that that is what it would be like on the Day of Judgement. Angels would be sent from God to take those who are good and leave the rest, who will be going to Hell.

The Secretary was  given her turn to preach. She preached on the same theme. Mma Mookamedi announced she would preach on Matthew 15, v 10. She said that Christ had called lots of people and after they had arrived he preached to them, giving examples before asking them if they had understood. Christ said that whatever they heard or is spoken from the mouth, may not itself make a person Holy. Words can easily lead one astray. They should be careful as a blind man cannot lead another blind man.

Two hymns followed "A train which goes to heaven, should be pushed" and "The Son of God was noticed by his work to be the Son of God". Two trainees next preached briefly on the same theme which was followed by "Let's praise the Lord".

The Bishop reminded them that the preachers had spoken about a person who had been sent to be a true shepherd to guide the people, and the Bible stated that the Kingdom of Heaven is like the net which was thrown into the ocean. The net brought in a lot of fish when the fishermen drew it ashore and they threw back the useless fish. A non-Setswana hymn followed. The Bishop continued to preach along the same lines, that believers are like the fish that were kept, and non-believers like the useless fish that were returned to the ocean. Then he went into non-Setswana,(comparable  to traditional doctors and their special language) before returning briefly to Setswana to  say that when his children were sick and taken to the hospital, they were not helped by that doctor so maybe he was a sorcerer.  He then continued in non- Setswana.

He then stated that if you are a sorcerer you will suffer those consequences like the useless fish. He referred to a recent journey to the Lands during which he had picked up children who had been hit by lightning. Then he had gone to the Lands the next day and found another accident where a child had been killed by lightning. He had helped to bury the child and the parents had begged him to stay and help them with their troubles. He said that he had told those people that he was a Zionist using cords and drums and hated the meat of dead animals. He had prophesied that child who had been hit by lightning and he had revealed the woman who had sent the lightning to kill the child, he had told her to her face, not like the Z.C.C.. He told the congregation that that woman who had sent lightning to kill the child could be compared to those fish that were thrown back into the sea. He warned the congregation not to be like those fish. He referred them to verse 10 and asked them what Christ had meant by calling the congregation to Him. When Christ had spoken these words the Pharisees had been very annoyed because they were jealous. Jesus replied that they should forget the Pharisees because they were bad preachers and their followers could be compared with the blind man leading the blind man resulting in both falling into the ditch.

Christ had further said that any tree that grew that had not been planted by his Father would be pulled out by its roots (i.e. the bad people were like such trees). He asked the congregation if they understood - like Christ had asked Peter. He explained that some priests of high rank had in fact promoted themselves, but in their church they pray on top of newly promoted people. What is done on Earth is noted in Heaven, a person who promoted himself is a false prophet who will never reach Heaven - he is like a scavenging hyena. The way to Heaven is hard and has to be followed in proper stages. He said it would be unfortunate on the Day of Judgement when it has been well-known on Earth that an individual is  Christian and he possesses everything that has been prophesied for him as well as a church uniform, then people see that person going to Hell.

The hymn "I'll meet thee during the time when I see Jesus Christ with wounds on his hands", was sung.

Next the Bishop announced that the service that day was a special Healing Service, the Secretary's children were sick and also two of his own sons. He wanted to finish the service that day and then go to the Cattle-post as he had left his cattle alone. For the service he needed to be provided with a bath, two dishes and water. The children would be washed and then prayed on.

Then he started the hymn “Halleujah Amen, Messiah" and announced it was time for prayers. He would hand over to the Moruti. He asked where the cords and specially prophesied: red dueks were for some other members who were to be given them on that day. He was shown them on the altar. The mother of the sick children explained that when she had had a special service at her Cattle-post she had been told that she should wear a red duek to help her headache. The Bishop asked her if the headache had now gone, she said she still had the trouble. Another woman also said that she had been prophesied to have a red duek, but had not been told exactly what it was for. Another young woman explained that she had been prophesied to wear cords on each wrist for the pains in her arms.

The Bishop explained that it was now the time to light the candles  and he would pray on the water. He explained that when children were to be washed like this they need 5 candles each. We all had to stand around in a circle holding the lighted candles. The Secretary was then reprimanded for not bringing her candles in a packet, but she explained that due to lack of money she had had to buy them one at a time. (If candles are in an unopened packet, there is less danger of them being bewitched.)

We then hummed a hymn and the Bishop explained that now it was the time for healing. The Secretary was asked where she had obtained the matches that were to be used: they were then prayed on. The bath was in the centre of the circle, all the congregation were standing in a circle holding the lighted candles around the bath. One small bowl was placed at each end of the bath. The Bishop chewed matches. He lit others and dropped them into the bucket of water. He also stirred in various powders with his prophecy stick, one at a time. Then he spat in the matches he had been chewing. (This is very similar to a traditional doctor's method of preparation of his medicines for washing patients.)

Next the Secretary's two children were undressed and "washed". They were placed  in the bath and water from the bucket was taken by each of the two bowls in turn and poured over their heads. The Bishop lifted up each child in turn and prayed for it. Then his own two sons were treated in the same way, and finally the Secretary's baby. We all sang hymns whilst standing in the circle, which drowned the noise of the crying children.

Then cords were tied around their wrists, ankles, waists and necks and they were dressed. The cords were tied on by the other two Baruti. Next the cords and red dueks mentioned above were given to the other women.

The Bishop next asked anyone who had received a prophecy to reveal what they had “seen." He himself had  “seen” when he put the children in the bath, lightning striking and also a snake appearing. He said that this showed that the mother was not happy. (In fact the woman had been engaged to the father of the two little boys, and then she had had her third child by another man.)

He prophesied that one child should have cords round the waist and also another going like a sash. This would help to protect the child from the troubles he had “seen." He said sometimes the child grinds its teeth when it is sleeping and becomes very hot and wakes up suddenly during the night as though it is sick. He continued for a while in non-Setswana. Then continued in Setswana saying that something belonging to the child had been stolen and in this way the child had been bewitched. The child had been touched by a sorcerer at night and after that the child had had troubles - a swollen stomach and severe headaches, he had become sluggish and lazy and wanted to sleep all the time.

The Secretary's mother, who was also present, agreed that this was the case and the child had complained about a headache. The Bishop continued that there was something that had happened to that baby, sorcerers had touched it on the head and from then it had had pains badly. (These are the kind of symptoms caused by people with maoto a molelo, (such as menstruating women, miscarried and aborted women, uncured parents of dead children or spouses) touching children without using wet cattle dung or ash.) He continued that the child had been touched on the head and the stolen clothes had been returned and the family had allowed the child to use them because they did not know they were bewitched. He also said the child was ill because there was disagreement in the family and maybe with the father of the child. (It has already been stated that the mother had broken her engagement with their father, and so the illness was perhaps being caused by dikgaba (i.e. the child's father feels angry in his heart, causing the illness of the child).

The mother replied that there had been a time when the child had been asked to go and visit its paternal relatives and when the child returned some of its clothes were missing. She said that they had thought that as the child had been brought back by an old woman, that that was why the clothes had been left behind because they were too heavy for the old woman to carry in addition to the child. She added that there was to be a kgotla trial on behalf of the two older children. The Bishop continued that he had “seen" this also in his prophecy - that the father was trying to reclaim his children and the things he had given his former fiancee. The Bishop continued that at some time the child's stomach would swell and he would hiccough and be abnormal, it even looked as if the child would be an asthma case.

In addition he had received a prophecy concerning one of the Baruti. He “seen"that in that Moruti's house where he visits his girlfriend, he dreams excessively but the following day he cannot remember his dreams. and after that he always has problems. That Moruti was ill and easily forgot things. (At this point the Moruti concerned asked me to turn off my tape recorder as he wanted a secret prophecy. In fact there was so much noise during the hymn singing while he received the rest of his prophecy in the middle of the circle that we could not have heard the words anyway.)

After this secret prophecy, the Bishop told him (the Moruti) to wear a red and white cord around his waist on his uniform (the Bishop referred to the red cord as a danger cord). He told the Moruti that he should dance with his cord and hold it during the services. The girlfriend was told to wear a red and white prophecy cord with tassles at each end.

The Bishop continued that in his prophecy he could “see” a blanket, and he asked where it was. He told the Moruti he had problems with his heart and often talked to himself and had pains. Once when he was walking he had feared he was going to be attacked from behind. Sometimes he ended up talking to himself. The Bishop announced that we should now pray for that man on behalf of the money he had had that had once been taken from him. He asked him which church he had originally belonged to and if he had danced in a church with BaKalanga. The man agreed that at first there had been BaKalanga, but there were not any now.

The Bishop explained that in his Spirit he had seen a Kalanga who had belonged to that man's church. She was slightly plump and tall and sometimes wore a black skirt. (The fact that he “sees” the particular tribe compares with traditional doctors, whose bones can show the individual tribes of the people “seen” during divination.) The Bishop then said that they should dance some more to try and obtain a clearer prophecy about that Kalanga girl. We then sang the hymn "Amen Messiah", and the Bishop continued that he could see that man s legs had problems an he sometimes even had painful toes as if he had cramp. He said that that girl was visiting the Sangomas  to try and obtain medicines to make that man love her. ( N.B. The Sangomas referred to here are a type of Zionist Church which uses traditional medicine.)

The Bishop asked the Moruti if he had ever promised to marry that girl, but he replied that he had not. The Bishop continued that that Moruti sometimes had pains and aches in his stomach. He had a lot of saliva and felt nauseous as though he had a lot of bile. The Moruti replied that he was afraid of these things he was being told because they were true.The Bishop continued that there was a certain uniform he had been prophesied to wear at that church but if he wore it he would fall into a faint. He continued that the girl went to the Sangomas to harm him so that he would marry her. She was black and was not a Mongwaketse or Malete, but came from the Francistown area. If he took that prophesied clothing when that girl was with him she would take it to the sangomas in order to harm him. He should wear cords on his ankles and wrists, and he should also take Holy Water, put more cords in its container and drink that water to protect himself.

The other Moruti, who had mentioned that he was unwell at the beginning of the service, was then prophesied. Here the Bishop did not “see “ much, he said he “saw” he was having problems, for example he had psychological problems and an unbalanced mind. He asked the congregation to pray for his own son at the hospital, who had been given a course of 10 injections following measles.(Measles itself is not a "sent" disease, only complications. However every patient who is treated and cured by the modern medical services (such as the hospital), may still need to be protected from a moloi who "sent" the original problem.)  He would not at present go into further details about the second Moruti's problems as it was now late (5.00 p.m.)    

Another hymn was sung during which the protective cords and head scarves were placed on the other woman. The service then ended.