"Old Man John" passed away on Wednesday. He was over 80 years old - really fitting the description 'old and full of years'. He was one of the founding members of our congregation at Hlalanathi Methodist Preaching Place. I knew him from when he was part of the Lanseria Preaching Place, before the community was moved to its current location.
In the early days of this little church, I arrived more than once to find no one there for the service - except John. He would walk all the way from his shack with his walking stick in his hand - slow, but sure. He was very quiet. He said he came from Malawi and he did not speak much English. But he believed in church and in what church means. I like to pray for anyone who needs prayer as the closing part of the Sunday service. John always came forward - increasingly for pains in his chest. I knew he was going to go. I have very mixed feelings - I'm glad he didn't suffer and fade away slowly. I know people can't live forever here. But he was a real character and a 'good guy'.
I was privileged in those times when church was just him, me and the Lord. When we shared with each other briefly and I prayed for him.
I will meet him again one day.