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Sunday February 26, 2017

United Apostolic Faith Church
Soweto (Dube), South Africa
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GPS/DMS 26.2385° S, 27.8927° E

Additional photos after Testimony

4567 cdd Chronicles of a PK
Volume 19 Number 076

Today’s Author: Pastor Bill

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:10b
“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation” NKJV

Hello, my name is Pastor Sipho Mahlangu and this is my testimony which is my journey to find Christ and how His favor has blessed my life. I grew up with my three sisters, late brother and mother; I never had the privilege of knowing my dad as he passed away when I was six years old. I am the third generation of pastors as my father and his father before him were pastors. Embracing this calling on my life did not come naturally or easy for me. My brother on the other hand never had ambitions of becoming a pastor; he pursued a career in medicine and excelled as a medical Doctor.

Unfortunately, during my final year of high school tragedy struck when my brother was brutally murdered by his so-called best friend. This event shook our world to the core. Throughout this tragedy my mother was a pillar of strength and through her prayers the whole family pulled through.

When I finally picked up the pieces I enrolled for a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Durban-Westville (now known as the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal). However, upon graduation I struggled to find employment and ended up taking a job as a cleaner in one of the insurance companies in South Africa.

During this time, I was also introduced to an organization called the Soweto Development Foundation. The goal of this organization was to redesign the master plan and image of Soweto and to turn it into a viable tourist destination. Due to my science background I was given the responsibility of managing the environmental sector of the organization.

In the year 2000 as we were preparing for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg a British delegation came to tour Soweto. I was chosen to show them around the area. Unbeknown 076to me someone in the delegation was impressed with my oratory skills and confidence. He took my contact details and one week after their departure he called with a proposal that changed my life forever.

His proposal was that their organization is acquiring a South African company and they needed somebody to head up their environmental division, when their deal was finalized. There was a catch however, the catch was that I had to go for an intense training program in the UK for 8 months to familiarize myself with all their operations. I was skeptical at first however, after a couple of overtures I eventually relented.

Arriving in the UK was a huge culture shock for a young boy from Soweto, South Africa and to my surprise the people I had grown suspicious of and hating all my life treated me like a prince. I adopted habits that were foreign to the way in which I was raised as a pastor’s kid. I started drinking heavily and straying away from the Word of God. British culture taught me to drink beer for breakfast, lunch and supper. I was completely out of control.

Conversely my wife to be had accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior and was on fire for the Lord. One of the advantages of working in a country with a superior currency was that I could save and achieve my goals quicker. One such goal was paying Lobola (dowry) for Nthabiseng my then girlfriend, who I desired to marry. I did this in the most unconventional manner and foreign to our African culture, I transferred the entire amount through Electronic Funds Transfer and prepared to marry her as soon as I arrived back in South Africa.

On my arrival back in South Africa in 2001, I married my childhood sweetheart, Nthabiseng. She became and is still a huge pillar of strength and moral compassion in my life.

Upon my return to South Africa she played a huge role in me mending my relationship with God. She’s a true blessing. My journey of mending my relationship with God was not easy as I had grown accustomed to certain habits that were not easy to break. With the help of Nthabiseng and my mother I finally got it right.

When I sincerely gave my life to Christ and stopped “playing church” my life changed drastically. I got a significant promotion from the company I worked for. l enrolled for an MBA degree at the UNISA School of Business Leadership, later after completing I then enrolled for my studies in Civil Engineering.

After some years working for the British company I moved to a leading international Mining Company traveling across the world making good money. Eventually Nthabiseng and I decided to start our own engineering company, ProSelVer Group, and one of the most profound conversations I had with God was that if the company was prosperous and successful I would use the proceeds of that success to advance the Kingdom of God. The company indeed became successful and we used it’s proceeds to buy a 2000-seater tent and sound equipment.

Thus, began our evangelistic ministry where we traveled across South Africa proclaiming the Kingdom of God and leading people to Christ. Our evangelism crusades opened the door to a Bible College and we eventually both received our Theological Diplomas from Bethel Bible College where I am currently lecturing.

We also managed to renovate our humble church where my father preached into a large auditorium. Today my wife and I are now the lead pastors.

Pastor Bill if there are any Preachers Kids out there reading this let me pass on some advice. Find Christ your own way. Being a Pastor’s kid does not make you a Christian.

In looking back, I see the favor of the Lord all over my life. I may have made a lot of wrong decisions, but the Lord was always faithful to turn things around for His Glory.

When it comes to my favorite Bible verse it is a daily event. I love the scriptures and when I read in the morning my favorite verse jumps off the page at me. Can’t wait for tomorrow to see what the Lord has jumping off the pages of the Bible for me!

The Cross is a most powerful symbol of what Jesus did for me when He died for my sins. I’m forever grateful.

This Cross planted gives notice to a community where they see a building that does not look like a traditional church — that here is a place of worship — a place of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. All are welcome. The favor of the Lord is here.

Prayer: Father thank you for strengthening the children of Gospel Ministers for Your glory. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!