The Sunday Mail
Lovemore Chikova Faith Talk
It’s here and everyone can feel it.
Yes! Judgment Night is back, this time on a much bigger scale.With less than two weeks before one of Zimbabwe’s biggest church events, the buzz surrounding the Judgment Night 2 is already heightened.
The all-night event, to take place at the National Sports Stadium on April 19, and organised by Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s United Family International Church, is the biggest gathering of Christians in Zimbabwe. Well, there is no debate about this aspect considering that more than 120 000 people from different walks of life thronged the stadium during the inaugural event in 2012.
The people filled the terraces of the 60 000-seater stadium, while thousands others took their places on chairs arranged on the track around the stadium. Many more followed proceedings from outside the stadium after they failed to fit inside. Now, the major headache confronting those organising this year’s event is how to handle the crowds, with 150 000 people expected to turn up.
One thing that people cannot take away from Prophet Makandiwa is that he is a crowd puller. It is a special anointing from God on him that even those who have nothing to do with his church usually find their way to his services. And in most cases once they listen to him preaching, another aspect he is richly anointed in, they will never turn back.
The big crowd expected is good enough to make any organiser strive to be astute for a smooth event. This means UFIC crowd controllers and ushers already have a lot on their hands before the day arrives. Prayers, of course, are needed for such a big task to be surmountable, but after the prayers, people still need to sit down and come up with a workable plan. Much effort has already been put into advertising the event. A number of billboards are being seen at some road intersections in Harare, while cars are being branded specifically for the event.
Posters are also being used to inform the people about this event, while those who watch the church’s Christtv.com are being updated on a daily basis. It is a night where all evil is going to be judged and Prophet Makandiwa has asked people to bring whatever situation they face.
“If poverty is your enemy, if sickness is your enemy, if bareness is your enemy, if lack is your enemy, you shall bury your enemy in the morning,” he wrote on his official Facebook wall.
“Whatever you have been going through, you are going to experience a full stop! Are you ready to see your enemy getting judged?”Announcing Judgment Night 2 recently to his congregation, Prophet Makandiwa said it would be a night when people would know the true God and witness his works. “I know most of you have been to several conferences, but not this one,” he said. “The whole nation is going to know that Jesus reigns. It has never happened anywhere. God is going to be blessing His people, just begin to pray from now, from today, from this night.”
The 2013 edition of Judgment Night could not take place after authorities at the National Sports Stadium could not grant permission to the church to use chairs on the track around the pitch.
In 2012, there were more than 45 000 chairs on the track and the church had to lay a rubber carpet to prevent damage to the tracks. The following are the unique aspects of Judgment Night that have captured the imagination of the world: Song and dance
In the true spirit of celebrating the enemy’s defeat and the judgment of all evil, music, dance and drama have become an integral part of the night.
UFIC is blessed with so many popular gospel musicians who are expected to belt out their different tunes on the night. The musicians and groups from the church expected to perform include Gospel Power, Pastor Hubert C, the Mahendere Brothers, Diva Mafunga, Joyce Simeti and Leonard Zhakata.
The UFIC choir, which is rocking airwaves with its chart-topping songs, is expected to lead in praise and worship.
Led by Pastor Hubert Chigumira, the choir has established itself as the best in Zimbabwe and is already being recognised on the world scene. A host of popular regional and international gospel music singers are also expected to add colour to the night.
Preaching and salvation
Prophet Makandiwa is known for producing life-changing sermons and that night will definitely be no different.
The word of God will be top priority and the man of God is already geared for delivering an unforgettable sermon.
It is this sermon that will lead thousands to salvation through receiving Jesus Christ as their personal saviour.
For those who are hungry for the word of God which is relevant to their lives and the celebration of the Passover, the National Stadium is the place to be on April 19. There is no way you can remain the same after hearing the word from Prophet Makandiwa.
Well, there are some who believe, mistakenly of course, that prophecy does not exist. Those who doubt this should be at the Judgment Night 2 to witness first hand that God has availed the gift of prophecy to Prophet Makandiwa.
Pin-point prophecies will characterise the night and many are going to have their faith uplifted through hearing Prophet Makandiwa tell some people their closely guarded secrets. Prophet Makandiwa is very clear about the necessity of prophecy. He always explains that he does prophesy as a way of uplifting someone’s faith.
If a person, for example, is told about the hidden things of their lives, what will make them have doubt if the same prophet tells them they are healed? What will make them doubt if they are told that they can come out of poverty, barrenness, lack and other afflictions of life? Prophet Makandiwa always explains that prophecy is a way of assuring a person that God knows about them.
Healing and deliverance
This is one aspect of Judgment Night 2 that excites many. We have seen Prophet Makandiwa being used by God to heal and deliver people from various afflictions. But the man of God says this night will be totally different. It will be a night supercharged with the power of God to heal and deliver. There is no doubt that those who will bother to be part of the event will walk back to their homes free from any evil spirit or disease.
Prophet Makandiwa has taught those who attend his services that God can heal any ailment despite how complicated it can be. Such ailments are expected to go on Judgment Night just at the mention of the name of Jesus.
I can envisage the night turning into a healing session as the power of God moves to touch the sick.
There is no doubt that the UFIC brand is now too big and attracts people from all over the world. In fact, the influence of the anointing upon Prophet Makandiwa has proved to be unstoppable.
In recent years, UFIC has witnessed an influx of men and women from beyond Zimbabwe’s borders. It is common to find people from faraway places like Afghanistan, Iraq, United Kingdom, Canada, Scotland, United States, and many others from all over Africa being part of UFIC’s normal Sunday and Tuesday services at the City Sports Centre.
Some of them are already in the country eagerly waiting for the big day, while a lot more are expected as the day draws nearer. Hotels are set to record full houses as people come from different parts of the world to be part of the life-changing night. UFIC leaders have indicated that inquiries are already coming from many countries. Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi prefers to call this “Religious Tourism”. Businesses in Harare will get a huge boost as people from various parts of the country throng the capital.
This will be a perfect example of how domestic tourism can help boost the economy, as thousands of people from all the over country gather in one city.
Judgment Night will present one of the busiest days for those in business.
There will be some money to make for everyone, from commuter omnibus operators to shop owners and vendors.
For commuter omnibus operators, it will be hectic for them ferrying the thousands of people to the stadium on the day and taking them back home the following day. It would be prudent if the police can waive route permits for the commuter omnibuses so that they are able to cope with the huge number of people travelling to the National Sports Stadium. Those selling foodstuffs around the stadium are also expected to make brisk business, although thorough hygienic standards will need to be observed to avoid contaminated food.
Finally, it will be a night of celebrating the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.