JOHANNESBURG (WJLA) - In just a matter of hours, South Africa will be saying goodbye to the most beloved man in their history, and perhaps one of the most important figures in the world.
The anticipation is now building, and the farewell will feature an assembly unlike any other in history.
The magnitude of this loss is not lost on these workers, who consider their role more than an assignment - it's a mission.
At this Johannesburg church, Bishop Robert Kelley, who was born and raised in D.C., is in his own way, fulfilling Mandela's vision of unity. His sermon will not be about sorrow, but rather about how Mandela empowered people on both sides of the ocean in is unique, jovial way:
"David danced before the ark of the covenant. That's what I thought of when I saw Mandela dance -- dance for freedom."
Outside Mandela's home not far from Johannesburg, throngs of people stream by, singing, dancing, honoring, and missing the man they affectionately called by his tribal name: Madiba.
It is easy to see Mandela's reach exceed the borders of this country he helped heal. It is apparent that his influence will last well beyond this week of remembrance.