AFTER decades of being trapped in poverty, Nomathemba Mamve from Mthatha had all but given up on her dream of owning her own house
But that changed on Saturday afternoon when the 62-year-old pensioner was presented with keys to a new four-bedroom house in Link village just outside the city.
Her dream home was built for her by youth from the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Mthatha circuit.
It all started when members of the church’s John Wesley Youth Guild visited Waterfall township, where their “honorary youth guilder” was staying, as part of their social development outreach programme earlier this year.
The group had reportedly brought groceries but were devastated when they witnessed her living conditions.
The home was run-down and Mamve was relying on the goodwill of others.
The mother of two, who is a devout church member, was staying with people who took her in after seeing how she was battling.
“We were shocked and touched to see her plight and we decided to do something to change her situation,” said youth guild chairman Zwai Qotoyi.
“We agreed that we should build her a house so she could have her own place to stay in.”
After struggling to find a vacant plot, the young Methodists eventually managed to purchase a plot at Link village from one of the villagers.
“Coincidentally it was around the time when the country was hosting the annual 67 Minutes for Mandela initiative on July 18, and we decided our contribution to the event would be in the form of building her a house.”
The church youth, mostly students and unemployed people, raised more than R100000 to build the house.
This is the second time in less than three weeks that the church has built a new house for an impoverished congregant.
The church’s women’s group, Women’s Manyano, raised more than R70000 to build a two-roomed house for 66-year-old Rachel Tinzi in Bhongweni township last month.
Speaking at the handover of Mamve’s home on Saturday, the church’s Mthatha circuit superintendent, Andile Mbete, praised the youth for their actions.
“Salvation does not simply mean being prepared for heaven. The love of God must be experienced here on earth. Our youth guild was merely doing what Jesus would have done,” he said.
Mamve opened the door to her new house, saying: “I don’t have words to describe how I feel right now. Thank you for changing my life forever.” -— firstname.lastname@example.org