“Her Death Is Not In Vain”

A South African mother who tragically lost her daughter in the collapse of T.B. Joshua’s guesthouse in Lagos, Nigeria on September 12th 2014 has expressed belief that her death served a purpose. It’s been almost three weeks since the tragedy in Lagos and Sibongile Madzhiye's family is still waiting for their daughter’s remains to be brought back home. The bright 23-year-old final year BCom Accounting student was an avid Emmanuel TV viewer and thrilled at the opportunity to visit The Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), along with over 300 other South Africans. “Immediately when she boarded the flight, she sent me an SMS – ‘Mummy, good morning’”, Sonny Madzhiye sombrely recounted to South African news channel ENCA reporter Bongiwe Khumalo. “She then called me at the [Lagos] airport. She was so excited. She said, ‘Mummy, they have come to fetch us to go to the church.’ I said, ‘It’s fine; take it easy. We will talk tomorrow.’ That was it. We never communicated after that.” Sibongile was among 84 South Africans at a pilgrimage to Joshua’s church in Lagos who died while taking their lunch as the guesthouse above them suddenly caved in. Her mother said when The SCOAN authorities informed her of her daughter’s passing, it merely confirmed what she had seen in a vision during prayer. She spoke glowingly of her daughter’s faith, “She loved the Lord so much. She was unique. One thing that I know – she was a child of God. She was set apart. I didn’t know that it was for this. I know that her death is not in vain. South Africa will never be the same.” Today, she waits patiently for her daughter’s remains to be brought home, acknowledging that the incident has actually moved her and the family as a whole closer to God. “I just immerse myself in the Word and pray for my family,” she said, the ‘Faith Bracelet’ from T.B. Joshua visible on her hand. “I think God is doing this for a purpose, so that we can get closer to Him. I have never spent time with God like this moment.” “One thing that I know [is that] nobody can stop God, whether the government or whoever – no one can stop God," she said. "I believe that God’s time is the best. I’m appealing also to the people that lost their loved ones to stay in Christ. This is the opportunity to be closer to God, not to complain." The family says it has no plans to take legal action against Prophet TB Joshua and they’re willing to travel to Nigeria to visit The SCOAN in the future. Officials are still arranging the repatriation of the remains of those who died three weeks ago and the South African government has warned that this process could take longer than expected.