Bloemfontein - Nearly a million Christians from all over South Africa and neighbouring countries descended on Wilde Als Farm, on the outskirts of Bloemfontein to worship the Lord.
The crowd gathered at the City of Roses on Saturday to pray for justice, peace and hope in South Africa at a national prayer service themed: ‘It’s Time”.
The initiative, which is a brainchild of internationally acclaimed evangelist Angus Buchan, trended on social media.
According to the organisers, their posts on social media platforms that marketed the campaign reached millions of people throughout the world.
Scores of worshippers from all walks of life began to arrive in the Free State capital in droves on Friday night and most accommodation facilities in the area were fully-booked.
Hundreds of thousands more people streamed into the city on the day of the event travelling in buses, minibuses and private cars.
People began to arrive at the venue from as early as 6am on Saturday.
The venue, a farm owned by former Springbok rugby player Ollie le Roux, had people waiting patiently for the evangelist to arrive.
He touched down in his private jet just a stone’s throw from the area where the event was held.
Although Buchan was supposed to have delivered his sermon at midday, he couldn’t start as scheduled but had to wait for people who were still flocking to the event. The evangelist addressed the gathering after two hours.
Buchan told the crowd his vision to host an event of such a great magnitude was born after he received a video from a concerned citizen.
In the video, the unnamed citizen called on him as a Christian leader to get Christians together in one place and pray to God to save South Africa.
The KwaZulu-Natal-based pastor said God gave him these words regarding the event - “It’s Time” and “One Million”
“Today we are witnessing history. History is in the making today. This gathering is a prayer meeting, it is not a gospel concert. It is not even an evangelistic outreach, it is a prayer meeting. We are going to pray together and as individuals,” he said.
He further said: “This meeting is not about black or white, males or females, young or old - but this meeting is all about good and evil”.
Buchan thanked thousands of people who graced the event with their presence, some of whom travelled throughout the night to get to the Free State. He said as Christians it was vital to pray together in one place.
“It is not good enough to just go to your house and pray with your family. We need to come together as a nation and we need to seek the Lord together. You may know it but there are one million people over here today.
“God is calling us to draw a line in the sand and say devil no further than this. God says He will save South Africa. He is a faithful God who answers our prayers. Amen!” he added.
Before he descended the stage, Buchan said he was waiting for a day for Parliament to be open every morning before he died.
“That time is coming. It’s coming very soon. We don’t want to see corruption and stealing in our country anymore.
“Through our prayers this country will change in one day. We want to see love and peace prevail in the new government.” concluded Buchan.
Those who could not be in Bloemfontein took to social media to express their feelings.
“#It’sTime for God to take back His nation”, tweeted Foster Nkuna while @Zagreuss tweeted, “In 1990 we prayed for De Klerk, in 1994 for Mandela. In 2017 more than 1.5 million will pray for Zuma to fall. God help us!”
@Canvasguru tweeted “#ProudlySouthAfrican. Blessed to live in a country where we can freely serve the Lord.”
Facebook, too, was alive with goodwill and national unity.
Margaret Mohr wrote, “There are many South Africans working in the UK as carers. We cannot be in Bloemfontein but a prayer chain has been formed and we will all be praying during that time.”
Yoko Papu said, “Hallelujah…this just brought me to tears… this country belongs to Jesus and I will be joining this prayer.”
Michael Zastron said, “Many of us expats will be attending a prayer service at the Baptist church in Woodvale, Perth (Australia) to coincide with the meeting in Bloemfontein. We are expecting a good turnout. Pastor Angus, we will stand together in prayer along with you and all South Africans currently living in SA. God bless South Africa.”
Wouter Fouche wrote, “We are living in Thailand and last night four South Africans on Koh Samui got together to pray for the meeting in Bloemfontein.”
Dabulamanzi Bhulu Jerreth Maseko said, “We thank God for our father and grandfather Buchan for standing up and providing leadership beyond this morass, he is displaying an Elijan spirit. Let this meeting be a seed that will start similar prayer meetings in homes, blocks, streets and communities. South Africa is at the abyss today because good men and women have (been) cowed and kept quiet.”
Dane Cassisa said, “As a South African, I will be lifting my country and backing my brothers and sisters in prayer at the time of this event from Oregon, USA.” While in Canada Yvette Cook said, “God bless them and fulfil Your victory for this nation.”
Ruth Croeser said SA expats in Zambia would pray at Mulungushi Village in Kalundu in Lusaka and she asked others to join in.
Faizel Mohamed declared, “Finally we turn to God. How awesome.”
Connie Sange Majambase said, “We need this in our day. God bless our land.”
* This story has been updated to reflect the estimated attendance at the event.