Tribute to Ebenezer Sikakane
It was with real sadness that we heard of the passing to glory of our very dear friend, and long time colleague Ebenezer Sikakane. But our sadness is overwhelmed by our realisation that he is with his Lord whom he served in a distinguished manner all his life. In this lies the wonderful comfort of those who are left behind.
We extend our deepest sympathy to his second wife, Emlinah whom he married a number of years after his first wife, Emily, had gone to be with the Lord. So to Emlinah and all the family plus grandchildren we extend our deepest sympathy and express our huge gratitude for this great man of God, husband, father and grandfather.
Our original team first met Ebenezer Sikakane when we came to Pietermaritzburg for our very first mission in 1962. Ebenezer, a theologian, musician, writer and lecturer at Union Bible Institute brought to the city-hall the amazing UBI choir which he had trained and which delighted audiences on many occasions. The whole team loved Ebenezer and dearly hoped he would one day join us.
When the team returned to South Africa at the end of 1964 and were to conduct our first mission on return to Ladysmith in Northern Natal, Ebenezer was invited to join the mission as a volunteer. Ebenezer was one of the stars of the show and so loved his ministry with AE that he was ready to respond positively to our invitation to join us.
I personally loved ministering with Ebenezer who proved himself not only the best Zulu interpreter in the country but one of the greatest Zulu preachers in all South Africa. Ebenezer served the ministry with distinction, and I had the privilege of having him accompany me in ministry in a number of schools, in Egypt and then in Latin America (Panama and Nicarugua). In 1970 he and I preached together for three weeks in a mission to Soweto.
In Nicaragua he was always very amused when we were travelling with Bishop Festo Kivengere and a mixed up pastor introduced him to a meeting as “Bishop Sugarcane”!!
Sadly in the late 80’s in South Africa he felt so overwhelmed and depressed by the apartheid system, and fearful of being detained, that he emigrated to Canada where he became a baptist pastor, and our representative in Toronto and remained part of the AE fellowship in North America from that day to this.
He was a lovely man of deep godliness with the gifts of friendship and laughter and he won people to Christ wherever he went. We do indeed bless the Lord for his life and again send our deep sympathies to the beautiful Christian family he has left behind.