Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Surrender Adventure of a life time SOUTH AFRICA pt.2 The Annointing

After recovering from having difficulty breathing, the next day was like a breath of fresh air in every way. Now that I could inhale the air without a challenge, the flowers, the trees, and the occasional rain seemed even more beautiful than the day before.

The Novalis Center was expecting us for a morning meeting with a minister who was interested in meeting us and learning more about the center itself. Bishop Themba KaZulu was there with his deacons ready with questions and comments about his vision. It didn't take long to tell that this man was very direct, very clear, and expected for the rest of us to reflect that back to him. When someone in the meeting would use a particular word, he could very well want clarification as to what that word meant to person using it. It was a demonstration of seeking clarity that I truly appreciated.

As we sat around the table each person introduced themselves. When it became my turn I stated my name explaining that was I still learning how to pronounce it. The Bishop interupted my explaination of my presence there with the question "Excuse me, but how did you get that name?" I told him about my parents being involved in the civil rights movement and that many African Americans in the 60's were changing their names from what they called "slave" names to African names. I told him and his party that I had also met several people from Africa and that at 6 I wanted an African name and I chose Bukeka.

He along with his deacons were smiling and stunned as well. This was a pivital moment for me because I had come to expect that type of response from people here at home and I wondered what would be the response here. The Bishop asked me if I knew the meaning of my name and I told him what I understood; that it meant beautiful and was connected with being a princess.

He said to me that I did not know the true meaning of my name but by the time I left South Africa  I would. He went on to say that this name is very special and in my innocense to have chosen such a name at such a young age it could have only been an annointing from God. The deacons continued to smile and one shared how he thought this was amazing and incredible and now my life had come full circle. That's when the first streams of tears began to flow.

I tend to pronounce my name with a long A sound in the middle (Bu-Kay-Kah). It's really a short A that is rather enlongated when spoken (Bu-Keh...Kah). It means "indescribable beauty, adorned, so beautiful its hard to take your eyes away"

From that point he began to tell us what additions we would be making to our current agenda. He said to me "You will sing at my church on Sunday". He then told Rev. Jane Simmons, that she would speak. That is the moment when Jane was stunned, and we all had a laugh of support for her. She said she would do 15 minutes and then the Bishop told Robin Goff she would speak for the other 15 minutes. We were all very happy to be part of his vision.

The Bishop said that his service begins right at 10am and last for exactly 2 hours letting out by noon. Now if you've ever been to a traditional Black Christian church you're saying to yourself "yeah right". This is a Black Penecostal type church service (in AFRICA). As expected we were out by 1pm and the time flew by as the minister preached, and the choir sang many, many times over again. It was wonderful.

During the service the minister was laying hands on people. It was not like laying on of hands to heal an affliction but more of an annointing. I heard a voice in my head that said "go". So I went and stood there with several others waiting their turn. Sometimes he placed his hands on their forehead, or the back of their head. When he came to me after putting oil in his hands he grabbabed my hands and held them tightly as he preached his words. When I returned to my seat I knew on some level I understood every word he was saying.

After church we went to the ministers house and had dinner. When I was a child my mother loved to play a song by South African artist Miriam Makeba called Pata Pata which I loved. I wanted to sing this song, but I was nervous about saying the words correctly so I asked for help. The dinner turned into a party.

When we retured to our rooms for a nap, I held my hands together and fell asleep them claps together. I felt so at peace with my life and everything in it. I wondered why he grabbed my hands. It is only now in this moment that I asked myself  what do I do with my hands that are so important. The answer is "I write". I write to tell this story that feels as if it is a bridge of some sort that fosters an understandng between and among cultures and beliefs.

The other thing I do with my hands is receive. I receive the love and abundance in all the ways the Universe has to offer.  On the final day of my trip which I will give more detail on later, Robin and  I worked with caregivers at Novalis. I had them open their arms and say "it's ok for me to receive". Which has also been a good lesson for me and a tough message to hear for ourselves as we saw so many with appears to be so little.

Jane and I left for our trip to South Africa prepared to give as much as we could as well as knowing we woud recieve so much more. But I don't think either one of us were prepared for the unconditional outpouring of love and appreciation that we received from everyone we came in contact with.

Here are clips one of Miriam Makeba singing the Pata Pata song and other clips of Bishop Thema KaZulu.

MIRIAM MAKEBA 3/4/1932 to 11/8/2008. In the 1960s she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music in the U.S. and around the world. People called here "Mama Africa" and she was best known for the song "Pata Pata", first recorded in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1967. On November 9th 2008, she became ill while taking part in a concert. The concert was being held near Italy. Makeba suffered a heart attack after singing her hit song "Pata Pata"and was pronounced dead at the hospital. She was a singer and human rights activist until her death. 

Bishop Zulu's Church-Antioch Ministry

Bishop Zulu with Deacons and friends

Pata  Pata at Bishop Zulu's house


  1. I am so happy for you and proud of you. Its so wonderful to hear about your trip in South Africa.

  2. Beautiful! What amazing joy and love that was shared! Love yours journey!