Deputy News Editor
Did Pastor Alph Lukau calculate his move?
If so, in that calculation, did he miscalculate?
But it cannot be denied that he must be credited — wrongly or rightly — for ‘pulling a miracle’
Having gone through the over three hour video of last Sunday’s service at Alleluia Ministries International, led by the South African based pastor Lukau, it gives an interesting insight.
One can be forgiven to suggest that the pastor primed ‘his subjects well’ until they were ready for the final coat.
As such, the church congregants, on that day, must be absolved for believing that “Elliot” rose from the dead.
Elliot aka Brighton Moyo is the man said to have died two weeks ago, like Jesus, on Friday and rose to life on Sunday.
And as he ‘came back to life’, thousands of church goers at AMI raised their hands high to praise the Lord, cheered, whistled, ululated, jumped up and down in excitement over the ‘rare’ miracle.
To them, Pastor Lukau, had brought Elliot back from the dead.
Clad in a royal blue slim fit suit, a matching blue tie and sky blue shirt, a pocket square that blended well with gold coloured finger ring, wrist bangle, Stefano Ricci Eagle Buckle belt and glittering golden microphone, Pastor Lukau was in no doubt dressed for the occasion.
He began the church service by telling the congregants, who had filled the main auditorium to the brim, that; “miracles will happen to you today”.
Others followed proceedings through giant screens in the overflow outside and in basement area of the church in Sandton, South Africa.
The followers appeared true participants and believers of the man of the cloth as they occasionally waved hands in the air and burst in shout of joy.
The pastor on the other hand did not disappoint.
He told the flock that Jesus was born in a miraculous way; He began preaching at age 12, He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights; fed thousands of people on two fish and five loaves and turned water into wine at a party.
All these were miracles, the pastor explained to wild cheers.
Pastor Lukau explained to his followers how Jesus had raised a girl from the dead and that on the fourth day Lazarus came back to life.
The man of cloth maintained his ‘miracle’ line, emphasising that it was a miracle Jesus walked on water.
Almost everything he said, triggered shouts of the name — Jesus — whilst others burst into small prayers.
Pastor Lukau maintained that he had a feeling; “God will allow you to do what He can do.
“When a miracle happens, you cannot accept it or embrace it with your own senses, but by faith, you can.”
After about 30 minutes of ministering, the church was asked to open their bibles and read aloud from Ephesians 3 verse 20.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” the congregants read in highly energetic tones.
In what seemed an appreciation to the high spirits from the followers, the pastor shouted; “something good is about to happen to somebody”, as he jumped up and down in front of the congregants.
He interpreted the verse and the book of Ephesians as a summary of faith in believers.
He talked of how his God is able to bring, “he who has been told he has no life, back to life. How He is able to take a broken man and fix him; how He is able to make the lame walk and open the eyes of the blind.”
All along, there was no dead man in sight, but was the pastor giving a hint?
Pastor Lukau added that God could do things beyond the limit and he was about to do what cannot be contained by man.
“God is able to do exceedingly. Something is going to keep your mouth open; for it has happened here, God is able to do exceedingly.
“When you say exceedingly it means even the greatest man cannot contend it.
“…An exceeding miracle is about to hit your mind. God is in the exceedingly business,” he shouted amid continued cheers from the crowd which was occasionally spiced up with a keyboard and guitar punches from the praise and worship team.
At the same time, a male voice dramatically repeated, through a microphone, what the pastor was saying.
“Exceeding miracles,” said the pastor at one time, to which the other voice repeated; “exceeeeeding.”
The mood in the church appeared to have gone into high gear as people jumped up and down.Another voice of a woman also joined on the microphone with single bouts of words that seemed to urge and whip up the spirits among the congregants.
‘Noise for the Lord’ filled the main auditorium and outside to which Pastor Lukau pleasantly showed his appreciation by telling the followers that God is mighty.
He then began to sing.
‘God is about to, to do, exceedingly, exceedingly.
‘Above all, above all.
‘For He is able, He is able
A group of men and women seated in the front rows and appeared important than the rest of the crowd got to their feet clapping in acknowledgement.
After about an hour into the service, the theme of the preaching suddenly changed from ‘miracles’ to that of ‘Gods power’.
The whole church was led by the pastor in shouts of ‘power’ amid musical instruments making emphasis in a repeat mode in the background.
The act went on for more than five minutes, probably for the congregants to feel the power. The pastor then began to pray for power asking for; “the power to work within everyone.”After about 10 minutes of deep prayer ,pastor Lukau, kneeling, announced that ‘the power’ had been released.
He asked the congregants to lift their prayer requests and photos of their loved ones who were sick at home.
It was apparent the tempo had reached its crescendo.
Some people could be seen on their knees with their heads to the ground.
Others slammed the floor with their hands while one women lied on her stomach on top of photographs with human images.
A man, looking up the ceiling, mesmerised and in deep smile seems to admire something only visible to himself
Another woman, holding an android cellphone shakes it rigorously as if to cast the ‘demons that come with technology’
“Demons are being tormented by your prayers and are leaving you and your loved ones right now,” declares the pastor through his gold coloured and glittering microphone.
At that, time a barefooted man walks slowly accompanied to the front of the auditorium, with another man following behind whilst raising a folded wheel chair in the air.
A miracle has just happened, the pastor acknowledges.
The man goes to kneel before Pastor Lukau to kiss his glittering shoes.
At the same time, another wheel chair comes to the front, then another and another, before clutches, more wheel chairs and clutches pile up in front, with only a few of the ‘former occupants’ coming to sight.
Some of the ‘former users’ of these aids take time to show-off walking, jumping, running and throwing punches in the air in front of pastor Lukau.
Interestingly, it is the men that get healed ‘first’ and women follow later.
In about 15 minutes there are over 30 wheelchairs and several clutches in the front.
Amid the miracles in the main auditorium and after almost two hours into the service, a white Mercedes Benz mini-van hearse registration number PBT 915 GP inscribed Kings and Queens reverses into the gate.
The woman who once appeared near the pastor and speaking after him, is seen directing the hearse.
A man, who is later identified as Elliot’s brother, emerges from the front seat of the vehicle as three other women are already standing at the back of the van wailing.
These women are later identified as Elliot’s wife, her mother and his land lady.
People in the main auditorium suddenly become distracted to the images as they appear on a big screen.
But the pastor asks them; “keep on praying, don’t be destructed.
“Reketa soto, reketata sakata soto, pray to God,” the pastor commands his flock as strong men continue bringing more empty wheel chairs to the front.
“I say again, my name is Alph Lukau. You are leaving here with a minimum seven outstanding miracles,” boasts the pastor as an elderly woman, who has just relinquished her wheel chair limps past him in a fast pace whilst being held on the arm by an usher as if they are running away.
Pastor Lukau then begins to lead in song;
‘We bless your name, oh mighty God
‘We bow our heads, before your name’
The song is suddenly interrupted by the voice of the female assistant outside as she shouts Pastor Alph’s name.
There is dead silence to which she continues: “Something is happening outside,” and this prompts a wave of noise and cheers from all the congregants.
The woman runs inside the church and speaks excitedly: “Pastor Alph I went outside, there is family, that is about to take a corpse to Zimbabwe. But they are saying, that is the wife that is crying; that is the mother, that something is happening man of God, something is happening.
“Something is happening, as the funeral parlour (hearse) drove past the church, the next door neighbour (land-lady) that came with them, said it seems like the fingers of this corpse were beginning to move. This is unbelievable, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”
There is increased screaming as the pastor bolts out with his security clearing the way.
Outside, Elliot’s brother opens the back of the hearse where the brown coffin is placed and pulls part of it out.
The coffin had been placed in the vehicle leg-side first, like is the tradition with the military.
Most Zimbabwean cultures place the head in the direction of movement.
As such when pastor Lukau gets to it, he opens the compartment concealing the head which appears not locked.
Without unscrewing the rest of the solid top, the pastor lifts it off, exposing the whole ‘body’ of Elliot who is dressed in a white suit, matching gloves and mouth wide open.
Pastor Lukau touches the chest of the ‘deceased’ and Elliot’s brother introduces himself.
The pastor then asks for the coffin to be taken out of the hearse and placed on a stand.
Elliot is evidently breathing, maybe putting true to the land-lady’s claim that she had seen his fingers move. But how she had seen them move in a solid closed coffin is a ‘miracle’.
Elliot’s land-lady gets to explain what had happened: “he got sick and started coughing a lot on Friday, then went to the hospital and the doctors said, because he has no papers (immigration documents), they cannot help him. Until we sent him to the surgery doctor that is where he died in my hands.”
The brother adds that the body had been taken to a mortuary after death.
The pastor seems to make inaudible talk to Elliot whilst touching his chest.
Pastor Lukau then says the man is breathing after which he asks for his name.
“Elliot, hello Elliot, Elliot,” the pastor tries to talk to the man in the coffin.
After a small prayer, pastor Lukau shouts, “rise up”, and Elliot rises like a ‘zombie’ and sits up in the coffin with his mouth wide open.
He is lifted out of the coffin with legs still stiff or in rigor mortis, but suddenly bends them to stand on the ground, followed by a laidback walk with mouth still open and looking in the sky.
The move or miracle has attracted memes worldwide since last Sunday.
From there the chap is ushered into the main auditorium looking around in ‘confusion’ as the choir sings ‘my God is awesome, he can move mountains’.
Indeed, He is an awesome God as Elliot tries to dance to his second life.
He is an awesome God as Elliot immediately earns himself a front row seat and food, while his coffin also finds a place amongst the empty wheelchairs.
Pastor Lukau then takes a seat on the stairs at the front stage, probably resting after the ‘unbelievable miracle’ as the praise and worship team takes over in song and dance.
The praises continue with ‘more believers’ praying in tears for Ellliot had risen from the dead.
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