AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST      4TH – 5TH MAY 2024

Following the successful completion of the year 2023 Special Weekend Meetings in November, which brought together our brethren from different regions in Germany and other parts of Western Europe, we deemed it fit to repeat the same exercise in 2024.

The purpose of this year’s retreat was to enable The Apostolic Faith Mission, Germany, as a group, to take a step back from the weekly virtual meetings to strategize, harmonize processes, and spend time to refresh while building a strong team bond needed to achieve our calls as a good representative of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The retreat was scheduled to take place from Saturday 4th to Sunday 5th May 2024 at Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The theme for the retreat was Ambassadors for Christ! 

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20)”

Therefore, this programme served as a clarion call to everyone – people of all ages and at all stages to wake up from spiritual slumber and moral laxity to answer the call of God.

As Christians, we are Ambassadors for Christ; heaven is our home and Jesus Christ is our Lord who has sent us with a message to the world. A Christian is God’s Diplomat of the highest ranking, bringing His message to the world and representing His kingdom here on earth. As Ambassadors of Christ, although we live in this world, we are not of the world.

Arrival Day and Prayer Meeting

The Regional Director for Mainland Europe, Reverend Francis Odudu arrived from the UK in the early hours of Friday, 3rd May while all other participants from different regions in Germany, Italy, and the UK arrived later that day.

Shortly after the dinner, all delegates returned to their lodging in preparation for the Friday evening prayer meeting. The prayer meeting, led by Esther Oladipo, from Italy, was held virtually between 8.00 pm and 9.00 pm.

Day 1: 4th May 2024. – Symposium/Perspective Sharing, Distribution of Gospel Literature and An Evening of Music.

We held our Day One meeting at Cherisy-Straße 15-17, 78467 Konstanz.

The morning session of our special weekend meeting opened with an organ prelude followed by a violin duet “Jesus, I my cross have taken” by John R. Sweney performed by Joana and Janet John. There was then a session of choruses led by Esther Oladipo and Jessica Abioye. The choir also presented “A Volunteer for Jesus” by Charles Gabriel, after which Lanre Idu, a delegate from England in the UK, led the congregation into singing some hymns, while Johnson Oladipo led the opening prayer. Dare Abioye gave a short welcome address and a brief overview of the day’s activities.

Another choir rendition as 2nd special was a solo titled, “Jesus Use Me”, by Jack & Billy, and performed by Titus Oyedokun, one of the delegates from Germany.

The perspective sharing was in the form of a symposium whereby facilitators talked on different areas and dimensions at which as Christians we could serve as ambassadors for Christ.

The four areas of discussion were education & career, music, family, and digital media.

Abena Abioye, who currently leads the group, made us understand the importance of education in fulfilling our role as good ambassadors. “Education is a means of knowledge acquiring either by receiving or giving; knowledge is power and by knowing, one will appreciate God the more”, she said. Furthermore, through critical thinking, we can challenge existing polluted knowledge and create pure and undefiled knowledge that benefits the souls of humanity. 

She further gave a briefing on the German Academic system, stressing how we should live our lives as ambassadors in schools, the challenges of living for Christ, and how to overcome them while standing our ground as Ambassadors for Christ.

She quoted from 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, emphasizing that God hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. Therefore, as ambassadors, education is a ministry through which we reach out to reconcile others to God. According to her, knowledge through education is not limited to the classroom.

While concluding, she, as a way of encouragement, cheered up those facing challenges of peer pressure that they should not see themselves as ODD, but rather as EXCEPTIONAL.

Anthony John, from Scotland in the UK, brought to the limelight, the importance of music as a means of evangelizing. In a world filled with evil music genres, one must not underestimate the damage and resultant effect upon the life of every Christian and society, necessitating a deliberate focus on music ministry in church, at home, and at school. It cannot be overemphasized that we must adequately represent God’s kingdom here on earth (home, school, play, and church).

To wind up, he used scriptural references to buttress the purpose of music ministry in our church, home, and society.  Music is for worship (2 Chronicles 29:28); for thanksgiving (Psalm 147:7); for consecration (Psalm 139:23); for edification (Colossians 3:16); for evangelism (Psalm 40:3); and the preservation of faith (Psalm 145:4–5). He ended his talk by stressing that a successful music ministry demands consecration. 

Victor Idowu, a delegate from England in the UK anchored this third discussion point, which centered on the family and marriage. He made the participants sit in family clusters just to ensure the points were taken.

He quoted from the Scripture in Matthew 18:19, as the basis for unity in any family. Major points were on raising godly children, which he noted could only be achieved by demonstrating love to children and being available as parents. He further encouraged couples to incorporate love trips, outings, and celebrations into their activities to keep the marriage bond. 

He ended his talk with an admonition to pray for our children, as it is never too early to help them pray through to their life partners.

The last speaker, Titus Oyedokun spoke on “Digital Media: An effective tool for Evangelism (Ambassador for Christ)”

He started by outlining the effects and impacts of digitalization on our lives as ambassadors for Christ. He stated that the world is very much digital now, with unlimited access to information via the Internet.  His talk centered on the information we carry and how it affects our commission as Ambassadors for Christ here on earth. Therefore what we say, what we post online and what we portray, what we share can either lead souls to Christ or cause doubts in the hearts of many.

He later put it to us all in question: 

  • Whom does your life represent? Christ or you?
  • Who are you representing when you sit down at the computer or use social media? 
  • Is your role as an ambassador for Christ part-time or full-time?

He reminded us that our actions speak volumes more to people around us than what we say; hence, we must be a good example to the people around us. A Scriptural reference from 1 Cor. 1: 11 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” was quoted to draw the point home.

Francis ended the service, after a short review. He urged everybody to go on their knees to pray. 

A lengthened session of prayer, with individuals seeking God’s face to search our hearts and renew a right spirit within us, brought the morning session to a close.

After the prayer, a couple of brethren went to the inner city of Konstanz to distribute gospel literature, which was printed in the German language, and to invite souls to the Evening of Music. 

Total attendance for the morning session was 36 (21 on-site; and 15 online).

EVENING OF MUSIC

All thanks and praises be to God for the success of the Evening of Music which was the main event for the afternoon session.

Francis Odudu gave the welcome address followed by a congregational hymn – “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah” led by Victor Idowu and an opening prayer by Lanre Idu.

The full choir rendition opened with “He is a Wonderful Savior to Me” by Blanch Brock. This was followed by a mixed quartet titled “The Sweetest Song I Know” by Albert E. Burnley.  The orchestration session began with “Ode to Joy” (Tune: Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken) by L. van Beethoven and “March of the Bowmen” by John Caponegro.

Another round of full choir renditions was “Get All Excited – Solo/choir by William J. Gaither” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic by Julia Howe & Anon”, which brought the programme to an intermission. 

At intermission, we listened to a testimony by Lanre Idu and his salvation and how the Lord has faithfully kept him on the Christian race. There were also some musical performances from Jessica and Joy Abioye.

Just after the intermission, we had some instrumentations including a violin duet “Violin Duet – Six Easy Duets by I.J Pleyel”, a flute duet “Marsch der Priester, from Die Zauberflöte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)” both performed by Joana and Janet John, while the full orchestra played “Men of Harlech, trad.”

The concluding part of the choir rendition had songs like: “Just A Little Talk with Jesus, by Cleavant Derricks” rendered by the male quartet; “A Volunteer for Jesus by Charles Gabriel” sung by the Choir: and “Christ is the Answer.” Arrg by Mary Tim, Andrae Crouch & Sandra Crouch as an altar call song ended the evening of music for the day.

Overall, the total attendance for the musical concert was 40, (25 onsite and 15 online). 

Day 2 – Sunday Service

Sunday service was held at Luisenstrasse1. The saints gathered early enough for a pre-meeting prayer session. 

The Sunday school service opened with an organ prelude and was immediately followed by an opening song led by Victor Idowu, who thereafter gave the opening prayer. 

The elementary children then presented a short welcoming skit titled “Ambassadors for Christ”, highlighting how we as ambassadors for Christ could take advantage to exhibit the righteousness of God and proclaim His power to save wherever we found ourselves just as Noah, Moses, Joshua, and many others in the Bible.  They encouraged all to follow the example of Joseph and Daniel, who kept their integrity and sinned not in the presence of kings in foreign lands. Thereafter, the Sunday school lessons were held.

Ijeoma Nwosu, one of the German delegates, taught the Primary Class on the topic “God calls Moses”, taking her text from Exodus 3:1-15, and emphasizing the call of God on every one of us to be an ambassador for Him.

Dare Abioye handled a joint class for both Answer & Search on “God’s Power on Elisha”. He began the lesson with the key verse and texts taken from 2 Kings 2:1-15. The lesson highlighted the concept of baton exchange in a relay race, its significance and relation to Elijah-Elisha, and the expectations. The lesson focused on three major discussion points; namely: Promptness of Elisha to leave all and follow, the Dangers of following God afar, and Personality Differences – explaining that, God can use any type of personality, but only if we promptly obey His Word and follow His will closely.   

The Sunday school session ended after a short review by Abena, stressing the resilience and determination attributes exhibited by Elisha. A challenge was thrown to everyone that another Elisha could be in our midst, but that could only happen if we asked God. She read from John 14:14 “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” She then led the congregation on their knees to ask God for the grace to answer His call and walk with Him faithfully.

The morning devotional service opened with a String Trio, “Erstes Quartett. Minuetto Mov.3 K80-177 by W.A. Mozart.”  Thereafter, a choir rendition followed “Joy Unspeakable by Barney Elliott Warren”. Victor Idowu led the congregational singing on some inspiring selection of hymns and a congregational prayer was said by Abena.

The choir sang a first special titled “Follow On by Robert Lowry”, while Titus Oyedokun read the Bible reading from Matthew 5:13-16.

The second special, a solo titled – “The Power of God is Just the Same Today” by Frederick Graves” was rendered by Seun Idowu.

Francis Odudu brought the message titled, “Ambassadors for Christ”. Citing the text of the sermon from 2 Cor. 2: 18-20. He gave an analogy of what is expected of any ambassador representing his country in another foreign land, as to how his effectiveness would reflect in the relationship between his home country and the host country. He added, “Equally we are to represent Jesus Christ, and in representing Jesus Christ, we don’t just do it with mere words, we must represent Him in all ramifications.

Drawing from John 20:20-21 and Matt. 10:7,8, he stated that we are commissioned by Jesus to bear His life-giving message to the world; and that our main focus must be to win souls for the Lord. Referencing 1 Tim. 4: 11, 12, he added that to do this effectively, our life must reflect the light of Jesus in the darkness of the world. 

He assured that our work as Ambassadors is backed by power from our Lord Jesus Christ. He concluded the sermon assuring all that great rewards await us if we serve faithfully, and challenged everyone to live a life worthy of emulation and be good examples to others, as the Scripture enjoins us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

The song “I am thine O Lord, I have heard thy voice” was sung by the congregation to end the devotional service, after which we went down on our knees to pray.

The morning devotional service attendance was 33 (20 onsite and 13 online). 

We thank God for His manifold blessings and the divine manifestation upon all. 

All the attendees have since returned safely to their respective places. 

The Youth Camp themed ‘Ready for War’ was held from the 3rd of to the 6th of May 2024 and hosted over 200 campers. Most campers arrived at the venue, Pioneer Centre, Kidderminster from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, 04 May

There was a roll call at 6 am where the campers were divided into 13 groups. Each group was assigned a leader and a team name. Following up on the grouping; the cappers had their devotion in their various lounges titled Spiritual Warfare: Dealing with trials and temptations”. The pivotal message of this session is to be reminded that all are in a spiritual battle every day and must be aware of the different ways by which one can be distracted. Temptation can come in different ways, nonetheless, if one’s dependence is on God, He will provide the wisdom and strength to overcome.

Following breakfast, there was a welcome presentation. A message was received from the campsite managers through the Youth Leader Sister Lara Shorinmade-Oguntoke acquaintting us with the Camp’s rules and expectations from the campers. In addition, Sister Damilola Emitola explained to us how the various Camp leaders would lead and how the different teams would be rewarded for good behaviour as well as having points taken away for bad behaviour (lateness to activities, non-attendance, etc). The welcome presentation was rounded off with a short worship session.

Immediately after the welcome presentation, the first outdoor activity tagged “On the battlefield” followed. This activity involved playing a series of ‘war games’ such as Capture the Flag’. The game was about wise soldiers from the two groups having to hide a flag and the opposing team had to search for it. Other war games included completing obstacle courses by various teams.

At 2 pm the activity called KNOWING YOU started. It had a short worship session and prayers. Next, all were split up into groups categorized by age and gender, for various discussions based on current youth issues. Subsequent to the Knowing You activity, all were once again divided into 13 groups; and tasked with presenting the armour of God in creative ways (Helmet of Salvation, Sword of The Spirit, Shield of Faith, etc). 

The last activity of the night was called “FIGHT”. Sister Ayo Olayisade gave a talk from John 10:10 (The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly). Ayo exhorted and expatiated deeply on the spiritual meaning of this verse of the Scripture. She touched on the attacks of the enemy and the lies the enemy uses to keep many bound in sin. She reminded us that true freedom is found only in Jesus and there’s no life outside of Him. The enemy wants to distract those in the Lord’s camp already, but there’s hope. The essence of the talk was to emphasize the reality of the fact that all are in a spiritual war and there’s still time to decide which side one wants to belong to.

In line with the verse of the Bible John 10:10 under discussion, Brother Ola Balogun gave a brief synopsis emphasizing that the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy. The point of the enemy’s attack can come whenever and wherever to steal away the affection for Christianity. It is not just that many slowly allow the enemy to come in, but some can as individuals, not even want to be drawn away but can find themselves caught up in bad habits that lead to destruction. Until one makes the right choice, some continue to make decisions that cause them to self-destruct. 

In testifying to God’s goodness and ability to heal. Sister Joyce Mhike gave a testimony of God’s deliverance. She stated how she experienced a series of panic attacks and a depressive episode for months when she was 15 years old which often made her suicidal. She concluded that one day when she was praying with her friend about a topic that was unrelated to her mental struggles, she heard the testimony of her friend’s faith, that God could do the impossible and it inspired her to have a mustard seed faith for her own personal struggles. She wholeheartedly prayed and from that moment on, those feelings she had been feeling disappeared, and she was delivered.

Following the exhortation and testimony service, groups were formed into prayer circles, splitting into topics of addiction, procrastination, mental health, lust and sexual sin, Salvation, Sanctification and Baptism of The Holy Ghost, etc. A short discussion of encouragement in those groups was held, followed by a congregational prayer.

Sunday, 05 May

The Sunday morning devotion covered the reading about the “War of the Mind”. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life. All were asked of what they do, to make time for prayer, and a few examples were given such as; praying whilst doing the dishes, driving, or intentionally carving out time. The devotion concluded that though all have free will, it is not by own might that anything is done, but it is God who helps all and is a true guide. 

The Sunday School started at 10 am with discussions about Elisha and Elijah. A contribution was made that the call of God is for everyone and there will be many things that one will have to let go of or reprioritize when God is calling. The teacher mentioned that a spiritual walk is a pursuit and sometimes a test to see what would discourage one from following God. 

The devotional service started with the campers joyfully singing “Our God is marching on”, ending on a high note about how God is worthy to be praised. People were blessed through the congregational songs and choir songs; “the Holy Spirit was in this place”, A duet was sung having a running theme of “If we can’t, God will” which served as a reminder to all. The youth leader, Sister Lara preached a powerful message about being enlisted through being saved, and getting all Christian experiences, and for those who already have them, she admonished all on how to stay enlisted. Lara gave a personal testimony of when she felt shaken and when fear wanted to take over, but God intervened. Putting on the whole armour of God is important to fend against the wiles of the devil and ensuring that all are completely covered will help protect in times of trouble and affliction.

In the afternoon, there was a celebration activity – 20 years of Youth camp. There was a panel discussion with some of the old-timers who were key youth workers: Sister(s) Dupe Yalley, Tosin Aina, Olos Irenoa, Brother(s) Adebanji Alade, Stan Nyakhuwa, Ola Balogun, and Ayo Adedipe. There were around 20 first-timers this year with over 200 people in attendance and videos were played of some of the earliest youth camp skits with old-timer attendees talking about their first youth camp meeting experiences. They spoke of the camps they attended, which were the most impactful, most memorable, and how they would describe youth camp in one statement.

Questions were asked to the panelists such as dealing with discouragement from Church family/family and if they would come back to youth work now. Tosin Aina made a touching point that this Church has gold as its gospel, and may all be encouraged to not only worship The Lord by ourselves but also with our future children. Ayo mentioned two leading youth workers, Joyce and Dami, who showed him that he was leaving the youth work in very good hands and that bridging the gap and adapting the advice for young people of their generation is key in making sure no one is pushed away with careless words.

The Revival service in the evening started with a beautiful trumpet medley by Brother Seyi Sodipe, followed by the youth choir who sang “Our God is the Ancient of days”. Congregational songs rang into the night, reinforcing that in the love of Christ, we will stand, and that Jesus is the lover of our souls. Sister Lara provided answers to those who asked about the three Christian experiences, highlighting key verses in the Bible that stated how one would know when Saved, Sanctified, and Baptised with the Holy Ghost.

A quintet sang about “Taking it to the Lord in prayer” before the time of testimonies. Sister Comfort testified that her request had been answered by allowing her to reject the placements that she didn’t want, and she emphasized that we should trust God fully and that all can tell Him of ‘out of pocket’ requests (requests that seem strange to ask) because God can do so much more for anyone who just asks. A female quartet from Sister(s) Ruth, Olos, Tosin, and Dupe, sang “Holy Spirit rain down”.

The evening sermon was preached by Sister Murielle Igbode titled “Time to Fight”. She explained that the devil knows that all have the potential to go out into the world and preach the Gospel so everyone should ask God to reveal their potential and where they are meant to be. All must win the battle against the devil and win with God’s help. If anyone thinks they are not in the place that they ought to be, it is “Time to Fight “and such can make a different choice for their life tonight. The message stayed in everyone’s mind as all knelt to pray and a short worship session rang into the night, ringing the tune of keeping the fight and that God will take care of everyone.

Monday, 06 May

The devotional service for Monday morning was on “Pursuing intimacy with God’. Sin was highlighted as being the sole reason people fail to have intimacy with God, but there is hope that, once sin is removed, all can start to know God at a deeper level. That vacuum in anyone’s life can only be filled by God and not anything or anyone else. A conclusion was given on ways all can improve our relationship with God which are: intentionally speaking to Him like a friend, keeping a gratitude journal and start acknowledging and seeking deeper intimacy with the Lord in prayer.

The last session of Youth Camp was titled “READY, SET, GO!”. This session began with some worship and then everyone was given a Bible character of which he or she would meet other people with that same Bible character. Each person was to answer various questions in relation to that Biblical character as well as what they had learned during youth camp and something they had learned about each other.

Afterward, the attendees were placed into their youth camp teams where they had to nominate their team members to partake in a game show. Various questions were asked each round, with the last round highlighting scenarios of spiritual attacks and how to combat them. Sometimes the answer to a victorious win can look strange (walking around Jericho silently) and sometimes all need the help of iron (Christian relations) to give help in a time of spiritual warfare (Moses’ arms being held up by Hur and Aaron). This activity tested the Bible knowledge of our camp soldiers and served as encouragement to go and read their Bibles!

Brother Segun Ifesanmi gave a roundup of the activity and the entire youth camp overall. He made a link to the first activity that was on the youth agenda which was the drill session that was carried out at 6 am on Saturday. Not everyone made it to the drill session and thankfully all were given grace to still partake in activities and even redeem their teams, but it’s a reminder for us that one day we will not have another chance to make The Lord’s drill session (the Second coming) but thankfully there was still an opportunity to pray to be prepared for it at the end of the morning session.

After this, everyone had our final moments with fellow attendees, taking pictures and packing to leave. Then after lunch, the campers headed home ready to face the spiritual battles in their lives with Jesus’ help.

Click the link below for pictures:

https://vophotography.pixieset.com/youthcamp24readyforwar/

Date: 29 – 31 March 2024

DAY 1

The Special meetings opened with an organ prelude followed by a trumpet solo “Above all Powers” performed by Daniel Oshodi and an orchestration “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. The choir also presented “At Calvary” following which Reverend Toyin Emitola the Pastor of Manchester Church and Regional Director for Midlands and Northwest, gave a short welcome address and led the congregational in singing some songs in commemoration of the Easter season. Reverend Victor Idowu led the Opening Prayer.

The morning session had a Bible Study titled, “The Passion Narrative, which was taught across three age group classifications. Ages 11 and below had their class in the children’s hall taught by Olumide Ajayi, ages 12 – 45 had their class in the sanctuary taught by Adebanji Alade, and ages 46 and above were taught in the porch by Olumide Akintonde. The study focused on the narrative of the Passion week, the events that took place, and their significance as a build-up of activities to the ultimate sacrifice Christ paid for the redemption of mankind. The session ended with the congregation singing passionately “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power”.

The congregation was urged to go for a short break, have some snacks, and fellowship time before returning to the sanctuary for the afternoon session.

The afternoon session began at 1:15 pm with Toyin Emitola leading the congregation in singing Easter choruses “On the Way to Calvary”, “I Love That Man of Galilee”, “What Manner of Man is Jesus,” and a host of other songs joined by the congregation singing heartily. Thereafter, he reminded the congregation to join their classes.

The Bible Study for the afternoon session was titledThe Crucifixion. The main auditorium was filled with the age group 12 – 45 years led by Adebanji Alade, the porch was for the age group 46 and above led by Olumide Akintonde, and ages 11 and below were led in the children’s hall by Olumide Ajayi. The study focused on Christ’s Crucifixion, its significance, the power of atonement in the life of a Christian, and its numerous benefits. The day’s event came to a climax with a review session led by Toyin Emitola and then an altar service.

DAY 2

The day’s event began with a piano prelude, congregational singing led by Evangel Uwandi, and an opening Prayer by Uyi Akioya. The day was dedicated to the young people who had activities lined up for all age groups in attendance.

The Ice Breaker was a Bible Quiz with a QR code displayed for all to join with their mobile devices. Participation was encouraged for individuals and groups who were able to sign up for the quiz and earn points for correct and timely answers. While this was ongoing, the Easter egg hunt for the age group 11 and below took place simultaneously. The group searched in and around the church premises carefully for Easter eggs hidden and tucked in specific places before the program began.

The next activity was the Arts and Craft workshop at the Children’s Hall led by Adebanji Alade. He told the story of the Crucifixion alongside participants guiding them in painting the cross of Christ between that of the two thieves and the Joy that Calvary brought with the Blood that Jesus shed for the remission of sins. Participants thereafter placed their paintings to dry outside before going for a short break to allow for some snacks and fellowship time.

The afternoon session had three groups: the children, the young people, and the aged. The Children watched a movie titledThe Crucifixion of Christ in the sanctuary, the aged had a discussion moderated by Toyin Emitola on healthy living and general personal care tailored for the group while the young people had their session in the children’s hall moderated by the youth leader, Brother Comfort Moyo.

The final event for the day was the auction of the painting of the cross done by the guest minister, Adebanji Alade who passionately donated the proceeds of the auction to the youth work in Manchester.

DAY 3

Sunday school began with a prelude from the Organist after which Victor Idowu led the congregation to sing “Christ the Lord is Risen today” in celebration of the resurrection of Christ and an opening prayer as well. The Junior Orchestra then presented “He Arose” and the Sunday School classes were distributed. Olumide Ajayi taught the adult class on the subject – The Risen Christ. He began the lesson with the key verse and texts taken from Mark 16:1-14 and John 20:19-29. The lesson highlighted the concept of resurrection, its significance, the risen Christ and the hope of all Christians.

The Junior class was taught by Evangel Uwandi, who took time to demystify the concept of resurrection, highlighting that it was part of the plan of redemption for lost mankind. The Sunday school ended with a duet by Oyin and Marvelous titled “The Old Rugged Cross,” and worshippers were given the opportunity to go on their knees in prayer.

The Devotional service began at 11:15 am with the orchestra playing the tunes “Crown Him with Many Crowns” and “Celebrate Jesus” and a choir rendition of “Jesus is Lord”. The congregational singing was led by the Toyin Emitola with varied selections of Resurrection, hymns, and an opening prayer led by Sam Ajayi.

The second special was titled – “Then Came the Morning” rendered by ChidinmaAgunu following which the visiting minister Adebanji Alade delivered a sermon titled, “Wounded but Winners. Citing the text of the sermon from Isaiah 53:5. He encouraged everyone to join the Army of the Lord and to keep up the fight having it at the back of their minds that no matter how fierce the devil comes at them, they must determine to be winners at the end of time. The service ended with worshippers coming to the altar to pray.

Easter concert

All glory be to God for the success of the Easter Concert held on March 31 at 5 pm featuring members of the choir and orchestra from Manchester. The sanctuary was filled with both visitors and members of the church.

Toyin Emitolagave the welcome address followed by a congregational hymn – “He died of a Broken Heart” led by Victor Idowu and an opening prayer by DeoluDairo.

The Orchestra began on a very high tempo with the presentation of “Majesty”. As more guests settled into the sanctuary, the first reading from Luke 23:20-25 was taken by Joyce Mhike as the choir rendered “The Power of the Cross” and an octet “The Old Rugged Cross”. A special Quartet titled “Thank You Jesus”, and a presentation by the Youth Choir titled “Mercy Tree” was rendered. The second reading for the concert was John 19:38-42 taken by John Salami preceded by a Solo by Victor Idowu titled “Garden at Dawn” and a Solo/Choir/Orchestra accompaniment of “The Holy City” bringing an end to the first half of the concert. All these presentations were punctuated by the resounding “Amen” from the congregation. The choir and orchestra took a well-deserved break, and it was the turn of the audience to sing “Above All Powers” and “Because He Lives” led by ChidinmaAgunu.

After the break, various presentations were made including string orchestra “Because He Lives” by the string orchestra, the third reading was from Luke 24:1-6 by Ayomide Ajayi, “He is Risen Alleluia” by a male quintet, “Resurrection” by the female choir, “My Redeemer Lives” by the Youth choir and “No More Night” by the choir.

Following the vote of thanks, the congregation joyfully sang “He Lives”. Abiodun Salami gave the valedictory prayer after which everyone had the opportunity to fellowship after the concert.

Easter is a time to reflect on the great price that Jesus paid on the cross of calvary for humanity to be reconciled to God. Jesus was born into this world, took the form of a human being and lived among his own people, Israel. He was rejected by his own people who preferred to have a robber, Barabbas released to freedom; and have Jesus nailed to the cross. However, the love of God is evident in that the tree, the nails and the Roman soldiers who crucified him were all his creation, used for him to pay the ultimate price for our redemption. Through Jesus’ triumphant resurrection from the dead, the Gospel is preached for all to believe and be partakers of the kingdom of God.

The prophet Isaiah says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). All he could say in agony hanging upon the old rugged cross was, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are do” (Luke 22:24). His last words before he gave up his spirit unto his Father proclaimed, “IT IS FINISHED” in other words, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!” The death penalty for our sin and transgression was fully paid! It was at that very moment that the plan of the redemption for mankind was completed. Christ’s blood bridged the gap that sin created between God and man in the garden of Eden. Thank God that, whereas in Adam, humanity was separated from God because of the sin of disobedience to God’s commandment; in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ everyone can gain access into God’s kingdom through faith in the blood he shed for us. We remember the day he died as Good Friday! It is “good” in that without the shedding of his precious blood, there would be no remission for our sins!

In accomplishing our redemption Jesus did not only die as a martyr, he also resurrected out of his grave victoriously! The stone that was laid at his grave could not hold him back! It was found rolled away, and the grave empty, save the white linen that wrapped his dead body! Jesus became the first fruits of those that slept. Now all who believe on Jesus through faith can have an assurance of their sins forgiven, and the blessed hope that they will live eternally with him. The main reason for Easter is for us to remember that Jesus paid the price for the forgiveness of our sins, and he still gives all who believe on him power to live victoriously without committing sin. Faith in Jesus makes those who have been delivered from sin to abhor it from the depth of their heart and have a desire to please God in every aspect of their life. True faith in Jesus is the best cure for the troubles, heartaches, anxieties, wars etc. that people are experiencing in this world. Thanks be to God, Jesus promises all who are saved; love, joy, peace, and a hope of eternity with him in heaven. Yes, in this world trials and temptations will continue, but through faith in Jesus Christ and the power his shed blood, we are overcomers!

This Easter, you can pray that God help you to have a true relationship with your creator. Jesus knows and loves you so dearly that he would have died for the redemption of your soul. All he wants from you is that you open the door of your heart for him to enter and live within you today. If you truly repent of your sins, and surrender your life to him, accepting Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour, he will save your soul.

Mark Mfandarahwa
(Western Europe District Superintendent)

 

The Bristol/Cardiff Group appreciates God for the success of the 2023 Christmas Carol, held at 1, Rock Lane, Stoke Gifford, Bristol on the 3rd of December 2023. The occasion, which attracted attendees across the United Kingdom, was well supported by delegate choristers from Bexley and Peckham branches in London, culminating in a total attendance of sixty-three congregants. Glory be to God!

The day started with Sunday School lessons for all ages, with the children – primary pals and answer classes, having a separate class, while the junior and senior attendees held a combined class focused on the topic – “The Two Debtors”. The lesson happened to be the first in the series – “And He spake a parable”. The lesson was facilitated by Brother Joshua Nwaebonyi, from Peckham Branch, who guided congregants into appreciating the extent of God’s forgiveness and how one ought to respond with much Love for Him. The lesson climaxed into a time of personal prayers to wrap up the morning session.

After a hearty lunch, a good fellowship, and a time of practice by the choir led by Sister Olos Irenoa to put some finishing touches to the preparations, the carol kicked off at 1:30 pm. The theme of this year’s carol – “Emmanuel – God is with us”, was evident throughout the afternoon of music, as the choir blessed the audience with melodious musical renditions of Christmas carols, such as “Come and Worship” by Henry T. Smart and Felix Mendelssohn and “Ding Dong Merrily On High” by Charles Wood and George R. Woodward. The host choristers – Bristol/Cardiff choir, also blessed the congregation with an exhilarating rendition of – “Ring Out the Merry Bells” by Leonard A. Gordon. After which the audience was treated to a Flute solo – “Christmas Medley”, as well as other beautiful choral pieces, while also grabbing the opportunity to join in the singing themselves, of hymns like – “O little town of Bethlehem” by Phillips Brooks. The songs were spiced up with testimonies from choristers, who narrated God’s goodness in their lives since they decided to have Jesus as their Lord.

A melodious solo rendition of “Mary Did You Know?” by Buddy Greene and Mark Lowry, was closely followed by a sermonette from Brother Ola Balogun, the Pastor of Peckham Branch. Using 2 Corinthians 8:9, he preached about ‘The ABCs of Christmas’, stressing the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was rich, but He willingly became poor so that we may be rich. He noted that we could identify with Christ’s grace by association. And that to do this, one needs to humble oneself and first acknowledge the filth and then have it exchanged for God’s righteousness, thus one becomes rich in grace. He urged everyone to tap into the riches of Christ during this Christmas season.

A vote of thanks by Brother Thomas Moyo – the Leader of Bristol/Cardiff Group, was closely followed by a beautiful congregational rendition of “Joy to the World” by Lowell Mason, and a jubilant chorus by the choir of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” by Arthur Warrell, effectively rounding off the afternoon of Christmas music. All glory be to God for the success of the Carol and looking forward to Him for a more glorious event in the coming year if the Lord tarries.

 

 

Thanks be God for a beautiful weekend of Outreach activities which started on Saturday, 19th August 2023 when a group of four (Brother Ola and Sister Remi Balogun as well as Brother Joshua and Sister Temitoyosi Nwaebonyi) from Peckham church (London) joined the group leader and his wife, Brother Ade, and Sister Caroline Akerejola, for a seaside outreach during the Eastbourne Seaside Airshow event. After a warm welcome from the Akerejola’s, a set out was made for the seaside. The weather was nice and sunny with people from all over the UK attending the Airshow. As the great airshow displays were ongoing, a fruitful engagement with tourists visiting the seaside event took place by connecting with them socially. A couple of tourists gave a warm welcome and accepted the tracts and invitation to church, which also included a follow-up opportunity. While the gospel message was being shared via tracts and magazines, an invitation to attend Sunday Service was also extended.

On the following day Sunday, 20th August 2023, the service started at 11 am with a keyboard prelude by Brother Beloved Akerejola. Then Sister Temitoyosi played a flute solo “In Christ Alone” by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty and “No Not One” by Johnson Oatman Jr.  Sister Caroline Akerejola gave the welcome address and led the congregation in singing while Brother Joshua gave the opening prayer. Brother Ade Akerejola then made the announcements which was followed by a duet “The Longer I Serve Him” by William J. Gaither after which Sister. Caroline Akerejola took the memory verse drill and the Sunday school class distribution. There were two classes, the combined adult and youth class taught by Brother Ola Balogun and the children’s class taught by Brother Praises Akerejola.

The children’s class was very engaging. The class made a wall out of crafts and props and marched around it seven times demonstrating their understanding of the lesson about the Wall of Jericho. A wall was also designed on paper which was taken away after learning about how the Israelites obtained victory by obeying God. The adult class was also very interactive and opened with a discussion on personal experiences when driving or traveling through a narrow road, relating it to the Christian walk. Using Luke 13:24 and Proverbs 14:12 the class participants discussed the importance of striving along the narrow road to reach our heavenly destination. After a short period of prayers, the choir sang “Close to thee” by Fanny J. Crosby, and this was followed by a closing prayer by Sister Remi  Balogun.

The fellowship was greatly enjoyed by all, and food and refreshments were as well, afterwards, the four visiting delegates returned to London.

 

The Apostolic Faith Church, Cranfield was dedicated on the 15th of October, 2023. As part of the build-up to the dedication ceremony, an evangelism outreach was carried out within the community. This outreach resulted in a request for the AFM Cranfield choir to perform at the 2023 Cranfield Community Christmas Market. This opportunity was embraced with excitement as it presented a chance to spread the good tidings of great joy and raise awareness of the Church’s presence.

On Sunday, December 3rd, 2023, the Cranfield Church Choir welcomed four young choristers, led by Sister Cynthia Pedro from London, and Brother Delight Nyoni and his family from Birmingham.

The Christmas Carol presentation started at 2:10 pm with a violin and clarinet duet by Rhys and Rahl Pedro. The audience was thrilled with classical and melodious tunes: “Allegro Moderato” by G. Fredrick Fuchs Duo Op. 14 No. 1 and “Angels We Have Heard on High” by K. Baird.

The choir rendered various songs, each introduced by related scriptures, which gave meaning to the renditions. Among the songs rendered was a vocal solo by Sister Cynthia Pedro titled “O Holy Night” by Adolphe Charles Adam, a male quartet by Brothers Tope Odunsi, David Ogunjimi, Oluseyi Oyetuga, and Kudzai Mukwata titled “Good Christian Men Rejoice” by John Mason Neale, and a choir choral rendition of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Lewis H. Redner & Phillip Brooks.

Passers-by and shop/stall owners stopped to listen to the music, and the gospel literature was shared with the various individuals present. The audience joined in singing and glorifying God, with everyone singing “Ding Dong Merrily on High” by Charles Wood & George Woodward and “The 12th Day of Christmas” by John Rutter.

Brother Delight Nyoni echoed the reason for the season and encouraged everyone to make Christ the reason for celebrating Christmas.

Gabbie, one of the residents of the Cranfield village, gave feedback: “Thank you all so much for your performance! It was well received and has been talked about since. Look forward to hearing from you in the future with any more events”. God has started His work in Cranfield, and the prayer is that He will draw more souls unto Him and shower His blessings on His church and the community.

 

 

 


Overview:

The drive of the retreat, the first of its kind, was to allow scattered members of the Apostolic Faith Organization around the country to come together as to plan, complement, and spend time to revive while building a strong family bond needed to achieve the evangelizing of our domain.

The retreat was scheduled from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November 2023 at ‘Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, with a theme “Have Faith in God – Mark 11:22.”

Day 1 – Arrival and Prayer Meeting

Participants from various regions, namely – Italy, Berlin, Bonn, and Konstanz, all gathered at Hardtstraße 32 Konstanz, right from early morning until late in the evening of Friday 24th November, 2023. The Regional Director for Mainland Europe, Reverend Francis Odudu, and his wife Sister Christiana Ola-Odudu arrived later that evening and joined the first-day prayer meeting.

Brother Dare Abioye led the prayer meeting with an opening hymn “ALLELUIA, song of sweetness” He further read from Psalms 100:1-5 to buttress the fact that we have every reason to praise God for His faithfulness, journey mercies, and for counting us worthy to be part of His great family.

Sister Christiana Ola-Odudu ended the prayer meeting with a short prayer

Day 2 – Bible Study, Distribution of Gospel Literature and Revival Service

A Bible Study was held titled, “Heroes of Faith” on the morning of the second day at Sankt-Stephan’s-Platz 39A, 78462 Konstanz.

The day started with a session of choruses led by Sister Jessica Abioye, while Sister Cristiana led the opening prayer. The choir rendition started with Sister Joy Abioye presenting a Flute solo “Silver Lake”, and then there was a female trio titled, “Faith of our Fathers”, by Frederick William Faber.

Sister Esther Oladipo led the Bible Study, taking her text from Hebrews 11:1-22.

It was a session of expounding the Word of God on how and what faith looks like in reality.

“Nothing but faith can enable a man to see the unseen; it brings the unseen into view and it makes the unknown known. That is what enabled the patriarchs, the men of God, and the martyrs of old to endure through thick and thin.”

The lesson brought to the limelight that Faith is practical yet sometimes, exercising faith does not look logical.

A review of the lesson was done by Brother Francis. He emphasized the fact that we cannot please God without faith; that we are saved by grace through faith, and that we all exercise faith unconsciously in all areas of our daily living.

This was followed by a session of prayers, with individuals seeking God to enrich our faith. A total of 15 people (13 in person and 2 online) attended the Bible teaching.

Shortly after the Bible Study, we held a worker’s meeting, with Brother Francis admonishing us on various aspects of the work, the need for us to work together as a body of believers, and the expectations of the leadership of the Church. He further encouraged the workers to ensure that they closely follow events and activities at the Western Europe Headquarters church in London.

Thereafter, all the participants had a sumptuous lunch together.

The afternoon was dedicated to street evangelism in the city of Konstanz, with the workers distributing Christian literature to members of the public. Although the literature was all in English, many of the locals were happy to take it as we handed it to them.

The day was rounded off with a Revival Service which commenced with a female duet with Sisters Esther Oladipo and Abena Abioye singing “Higher Ground” by Johnson Oatman.

During testimony service, Sister Esther testified on how being saved from a Muslim home about 28 years ago meant that her parents forsook her and denied her access to education. But the Lord raised up help for her and she was able to go through up to the University.

Brother Titus Oyedokun equally testified on how God is able to save and keep a young boy saved over the years. He was thankful to God for his care for him and his family over the years since they have been in Germany.

Others also testified of their various Christian experiences and the faithfulness of God in preserving them.

Sister Esther then sang, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” by Charles H. Gabriel , before Brother Johnson Oladipo brought the Word.

Brother Johnson took his texts from Luke 19:9,10 and Matthew 1:21. He spoke about the importance and numerous benefits of salvation, emphasizing that this was the whole purpose of the coming of Jesus Christ.

We thereafter had a great time around the altars of prayers.

Thirteen people attended physically, in addition to online participants.

Day 3 – Sunday Service

We had to use a different venue, Luisenstrasse1 for our Sunday activities. The saints were gathered early enough for a pre-meeting prayer session.

Brother Dare Abioye opened the Sunday School by leading the congregation in singing “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty”, while, Brother Johnson Oladipo led the opening prayer, followed by a vocal solo by Joy Abioye “How great thou art” by Carl Boberg.

The elementary children then presented a short welcoming program for our Regional Director and his wife. This was followed by the delivery of the day’s lessons.

Sister Oladipo taught the Elementary Class on “Thanksgiving”, emphasizing the need for us to always be thankful to God for all things and at all times.

Brother Abioye taught the Adult Class on “Eternal Life”. The lesson focused on God’s intention to meet all our physical as well as material needs, irrespective of our spiritual standing. However, eternal life can only be attained through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. He thereafter took the class through what is required to attain eternal life.

Sister Christiana Ola-Odudu reviewed the lesson, stressing the need for us to prepare for eternity. Knowing and preparing for where we will spend eternity is the most important decision and preparation we can make while on earth.

Thereafter, we spent some time praying before the devotional service started.

The morning devotional service opened with Brother Dare presenting a Clarinet solo, “There is Sunshine In The Valley.” This was followed by a choir rendition “I know that my Redeemer liveth” by George Frideric Handel and a vocal solo by Sister Abena, “The love of God” by Frederick Lehman, Sister Abena thereafter directed the congregation song, after which Sister Christiana led the opening prayer.

The choir sang the first special “Stand up, stand up for Jesus” by George Duffield Jr and a second special sang by a soloist, Brother Titus Oyedokun, “One day at a time, Sweet Jesus” by Lynda Randle, before the word of exhortation. The Bible reading was taken from 2 Corinthians 5:10, 11, 17-20.

Reverend Francis Odudu, first  thanked God, and expressed his appreciation to the brethren for their steadfastness. In his sermon titled “The Case of Two Beggars”, Brother Francis gave a vivid illustration of how the rich man in Jesus’ story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, qualified as a beggar when he got to hell. While it was very obvious that Lazarus was a beggar because he was poor, the poor state of the rich man only became obvious after death. The rich man became a beggar when he found himself in hell fire begging for a fingertip of water. The sermon emphasized that, the rich man became a beggar but at a moment when it was already too late to beg. He did not only beg for water, but also for his family on earth who were on the same path that led him to hell. The scripture “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27) was used to show that the rich man was rather late to realise the futility of his life of pleasure at the expense of his soul while on earth. The point was therefore made that all must ensure they prepare for eternity while it is still possible. And that anyone seeking to spend eternal life in heaven must first repent of and renounce their sins, accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

The song “Are you washed in the Blood?” was sung by the congregation to end the devotional service, after which all went down on our knees to have a moment of prayer with the Lord.

The Sunday service was attended by 21 people (17 physically present and 4 via zoom).

We thank God for His manifold blessings and the resurgence of His work in Germany as we earnestly look forward to the group growing and holding regular Sunday Services in due course.

All the attendees have since returned safely to their respective places.

From Friday, November 10th, to Sunday, November 12th, the Ireland group organised a three-day special programme centred around the theme ‘MY HELP’ inspired by Psalm 121:2.

Day 1

The first day commenced with a prayer gathering on Zoom. Participants from various regions, including the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and other countries, were in attendance. The session was aimed at seeking divine assistance and experiencing God’s presence across all aspects of life, with the collective trust in God centred on making the seemingly impossible aspects of our lives feasible.

The guest minister, Reverend Francis Odudu (Mainland Europe Regional Director), along with his wife, Sister Christiana Ola-Odudu, who both arrived in Dublin earlier that day, actively participated in the event. Brother Francis Odudu urged attendees to cultivate a strong relationship with God, emphasising the importance of placing trust in God while seeking answers to their prayers. Drawing from biblical verses such as Psalm 121:1, 2, and Psalm 37:5, the session concluded with the congregation singing the hymn ‘Draw me nearer, blessed Lord,’ by Peaceful Hymns, creating a profoundly blessed atmosphere.

 Day 2

The focus of the second day centred on the youth forum, where attendees were treated to a spread of tea, coffee, cake, and cookies. Precious Adeyemi led the opening choruses, and Moses Itanola led the opening prayer. Following a rendition youth choir of ‘Praise is Rising’ by Paul Baloche, the young participants engaged in fun games to test their knowledge of the Bible.

A brief video clip titled ‘The Glorious Church—Bride of Christ’ was showcased, featuring an archived Sunday School Review video from WeCA Headquarters in Lagos. This was followed by a prayer session, seeking divine guidance to prepare daily for membership in the glorious church of the Lord.

The second session kicked off with a captivating viola solo by Praise Ogundipe and a trumpet solo by Isaac Abdulhamid. The female youth choir delivered a moving performance of ‘He Made a Way’ by Anthony Brown, before the commencement of a question-and-answer session facilitated by Brother Francis Odudu. During this interactive segment, young participants had the opportunity to pose questions spanning various aspects of their Christian journey. The practical and insightful answers provided, contributed to a profoundly enriching experience. Brother Francis Odudu concluded the session with a brief word of exhortation, drawing inspiration from Lamentations 3:1, 21–27.

Brother Francis Odudu subsequently shared about God’s unwavering readiness to help, recounting personal testimonies of instances where God had intervened in his life. He reassured the youth of God’s trustworthiness in times of need.

The Youth Forum had an attendance of 42 individuals, with additional participants connecting online.

Day 3

On Sunday, the brethren gathered early for a time of prayer before the meeting started at midday. Brother Washington Chawanda initiated the proceedings with uplifting songs of praise and prayer. The children presented two clarinet solos, followed by a boy’s trio rendition of ‘He’s got the whole world in His hands’ by Laurie London

Sister Christiana Ola-Odudu led the Sunday school on the theme ‘Deliverance’ emphasising that total liberation from sin, flesh, and the devil is attainable through love and trust in God. The congregation was indeed blessed.

The devotional service, commenced by the orchestra that played ‘Give Me the Old Time Religion,’ by Theophilus and featured a soulful female duet, ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ based on Psalm 23

The guest minister based his sermon on Psalm 61:2-4, titled ‘The Rock That is Higher Than I’ He shared the transformative story of a businessman who, at his breaking point, turned to Christ for help in his business troubles. Brother Francis Odudu underscored God as our immediate help, referencing Psalm 46. Drawing references from Isaiah 2:22, Jeremiah 17:5, Psalm 60:11,12, Psalm 118:8,9, and his personal experiences, he highlighted the limitations of relying solely on human support. Reading from 1 Samuel 2:30, he emphasised the importance of establishing a relationship with God through salvation and maintaining constant fellowship. Brother Francis Odudu stressed that God honours those who honour Him, clarifying that while God helps both Christians and non-Christians in times of trouble, divine assistance doesn’t guarantee entry into heaven.

Concluding with Jeremiah 17:7–8, he assured the congregation of God’s readiness to help those who trust in Him. Brother Joseph Adeyemi led the invitation song and prayer, followed by additional time for collective prayer.

The attendance was 37 individuals, with additional participants connecting online. The specially recorded theme song video, ‘MY HELP’ by members of the Ireland group, played throughout the three-day event, contributing to a joyful atmosphere. The gathering was a celebration of God’s presence, brimming with promises of divine help for victorious living. May the received blessings be enduring and serve as inspiration to bring Ireland and its inhabitants closer to Christ.

 

Reverend Isaac and Sister Stella Adigun from West and Central Africa (WeCA), with 10 other brethren from our UK and New York churches were received by the Ireland group for Sunday worship service on Sunday 08/10/23.

The Sunday school was opened with a clarinet solo by Lesley Chawanda. Sister Funmi Akinwunmi from Peckham, London taught the Answer Class with Brother David Ojo from Bexley, London taught the (Search) Adult Class, the Sunday school topic was Divine Healing. The closing song to round up the lesson was “The Great Physician Now is Near” by Adeniyi Allen-Taylor, after which the congregation was encouraged to pray and seek God’s face for divine healing.

The devotional service opened with a youth quartet presentation, “Waymaker” by Sinach. Sister Stella Adigun, wife of Reverend Isaac led the congregation to sing praises to God using her testimony of miraculous healing to inspire the song “Praise my soul the king of heaven” by Lauda Anima, after which Reverend Niyi Olayisade from Peckham, London branch led the opening prayer.

The choir sang “Lead on O King of Glory” by Dunsin Oyekan, and then Sister Adenike Odulaja from New York sang “Little is much when God is in it” by Gaither, before the word of exaltation. Reverend Isaac Adigun expressed his heartfelt thanks to God and the brethren for prayer support since they relocated to WeCA in Nigeria, and the miraculous way, that God made his desire to fellowship in Ireland possible.

For the sermon, Reverend Isaac quoted from John 10:9 and spoke on “Jesus Christ the door to our salvation”. He likened the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to a Cruise ship, where you pay for the service and facility but you can only enjoy the experience if you enter in it. He encouraged those who have entered the door (Jesus Christ) to stay in so that they will continue to have access to all the benefits. Unsaved souls were implored to enter the Gospel ship as the door is still open, and God is here to help them. Brother Bisi Odulaja from New York gave the closing prayer that the Lord will help us not to leave the Gospel Ship for whatever reason, and also help the souls that have not met Christ to pray and enter in too. Everyone went on their knees to pray. There were 44 people in attendance

A reception was held at the end of the service with a sumptuous meal for all

All glory and gratitude to God Almighty, for using the cruise trip around the British Isles and Ireland, as a means of evangelism to the towns that were visited. We pray that many souls who received the gospel literature will be won unto Christ. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction: The Apostolic Faith Mission UK, Cranfield Church, was dedicated on Sunday 15th October 2023. Since the inception of the Apostolic Faith work in 1976 in the UK, through the efforts of the retired Rev Victor Okusanya and many of the veterans of this church, this is the fifth church that has been dedicated to the glory of God. We have our own church properties in Manchester, Birmingham and two in London (Peckham and Bexley). The Bexley Church is the headquarters of the Western Europe District. In other places, our services are held in rented facilities and these include Bristol & Cardiff, Coventry, Leicester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Paris (France), Dublin (Republic of Ireland), Germany, and Spain. The details of Cranfield Church relating to its location, accessibility, historical account of how the Apostolic Faith work in the area started and its acquisition are provided below.

Accessibility of Cranfield Church location: Cranfield Church is located a few miles from M1 Motorway Junction 13 in Bedfordshire County which borders Buckinghamshire County. Thankfully this location will allow our members in the neighbouring areas such as Milton Keynes, Luton, Dunstable, Cambridge, Oxford and Bedford to have access to a place of worship. Cranfield Church offers a huge relief for members who have been travelling to our Peckham branch or Bexley Headquarters for services. It also brings about a revival of the work that started in Aylesbury in 2013.

Brief Historical Account: The Aylesbury group sprang up in 2013 as a result of three Apostolic Faith families that live in the cities of Oxford, Aylesbury, and Milton Keynes, deciding to meet together for Sunday morning services at one of their homes, with the support of the London church. Brother Felix Panganayi was the Minister in charge assisted by Sister Miriam Panganayi. Soon the group grew, and the Sunday meetings moved to a community centre in Aylesbury. At this time, Brother Sola Omolayo was appointed Sunday school teacher and later associate minister. In January 2015 Brother Panganayi relocated to Zimbabwe, and Sister Panganayi became the Minister in Charge assisted by Brother Sola Omolayo, In August 2016, Sister Panganayi and her family relocated to London, whilst the Omolayos relocated to the United States of America. Consequently, the group had its last meeting in October of 2016 with the remaining members returning to attending church at the London branches. During that final service in Aylesbury, the Group praised the Lord for the three years of Gospel seed sowing that was done in the Oxford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes areas and prayed for a time when the gospel would take root in those areas if the Lord tarried. Their prayers were answered through the establishment of an online bible study centre in February 2022. This was a result of several of the Peckham church saints that relocated to live in the Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire Counties. The several families faithfully and consistently attended the weekly bible studies with Brother Fungai Mangere as the Minister in Charge. The Cranfield Church will provide the long-awaited desire of having a permanent place of worship. Additionally, this church is located within a variety of communal facilities including shops, a Post Office, a Newsagent, and places of education, ideal for spreading the Gospel.

Acquisition of the Cranfield Church: The burden of long-distance travel to church every Sunday necessitated us to start praying for a physical bible study location in the catchment area. Through divine providence, our quest led us to an exceptional location in Bedford which had a fit-for-purpose church. After prayers and due diligence, the church board gave approval, and we tendered our offer with great hope. Our bid fell through to the highest bidder. In a twist of divine grace, the Estate Agent, Waldens, shared that another church property would be coming onto the market in early 2023. On January 10th, the details of this new opportunity were made available to us; a former Wesleyan Chapel dated 1880, which has been extended to the right-hand side to provide a modern kitchen and entrance lobby. The estimated time of the extensions would be in the 1970s. Overall the gross internal area is approximately 225.31 square meters (2425.2 square feet) offering a layout that comprises the following: entrance lobby, toilets, kitchen, small dining hall, large hall, vestry and sanctuary. We immediately arranged a viewing by our property specialists, including some of our board members. After the necessary consultations were held, we were happy to tender for the property, asking God for His divine will. To the glory of God, the tender was successful, and the purchase of Cranfield Church became a reality. Indeed, God’s timing is perfect, and His plans surpass our own. This journey from a bible study group to the blessed sanctuary of Cranfield Church is a testament to the unwavering power of faith and the boundless love of our Heavenly Father. Indeed, we praise God for this wonderful provision!

Click below for the Cranfield Church Dedication Report:

https://www.apostolicfaith.org/world-report/former-wesleyan-chapel-is-dedicated-as-cranfield-church

 

 

I want to thank God Almighty for the gospel, for it is the power of God to save us from sin and to heal the sick. God saved me in 2004 in a miraculous way and has been keeping me since, taking me through the highs and lows of life. One of my favourite scriptures in the Bible is (Hebrews 13:8) “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to day, and for ever”. I do not only read of the miracles of Jesus in the Bible but we are blessed to experience those miracles in our life.

I work in a hospital as a sonographer and in April 2019, after having an ultrasound scan of my shoulder by a work colleague and proceeding to check other organs of the body as we had some time on our hands to spare, he noticed something in my neck that he was concerned about. He advised me to have a radiologist investigate it. I was not ill nor unwell at all, and I was going about my life without a care in the world and never thinking there was anything seriously worrying regarding my health. However, I had further investigations and a biopsy of my thyroid gland, and I was told that I had Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). The doctor I saw was very reassuring and he told me that out of all cancers, this is very easily curable. This would require surgery to remove the thyroid gland and radioactive iodine dosage to destroy the cancerous cells. The doctor reassured me that my life expectancy would not change as this was a very curable cancer. My family and I were thankful to God after hearing this news. The doctor told me that the biopsy cells would need confirmation by another senior pathologist to confirm the initial diagnosis. 

A week later the same doctor called me to come in as a matter of urgency. When I saw him he looked very worried, he told me that the biopsy sample went to be assessed by a senior doctor and the diagnosis had changed, it was a different type of cancer of the thyroid called Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) which is more difficult to treat when it has spread and has no cure as radiotherapy and chemotherapy are not suitable for this cancer. I had more tests which showed the cancer had metastasized to the neck and chest area. The new diagnosis meant I had to have extensive surgery to the neck to remove the spread of the disease and I would need to have a chest sternotomy to remove the spread to the chest area. This MTC diagnosis really knocked me back.  

I had just turned 40, had a child barely a year old, and had great plans ahead of me but suddenly, I was now just counting a day at a time not really looking further ahead. I kept asking God to please let me live to see my child start nursery and to hear him call me “daddy”.  Though I have had challenges in the past, this was a huge mountain and nothing that I have faced before compared to this. I prayed, my family prayed with me, and my pastor and ministers prayed along with me.

I remember praying at the altar one day and God gave me the assurance that this disease has reached its limit and will go no further. God even gave me an example of the sea to say that the water in the ocean knows its bounds and when it reaches land it will recede and that it is God who has made that decree and the same would apply to my case. I was very thankful to God. 

However, like the Apostle Peter in the Bible when Jesus had bid him to walk on the sea, when he saw the huge wave, instead of looking at Jesus, he focused on the wave and he began to sink so was my case. After the Holy Spirit had given me an assurance that all would be well, I went ahead with surgery thinking that was my only hope. I went in for an arduous 16-hour operation and at the end, the doctor told me that he was not able to remove all cancer cells as it had wrapped around some delicate organs and structures in my chest, and trying to remove it would be more of a danger and would affect my immediate quality of life. In fact, I was told that there was more of the cancer left inside my chest than what they managed to remove. In addition, my voice was gone as my vocal cords were damaged during the surgery, and I would need surgery to correct the damage and restore my voice. During the workup, I was informed that it looked like I may also have colon cancer and breast cancer and needed more investigations. 

I was overwhelmed and asked God how many cancers one person can have in a lifetime. I am grateful to God that God undertook and all the investigations came to naught for the colon and breast cancer. It is only God’s grace that sustained me and my family through this difficult trying time. 

I informed the ministry of my condition and they prayed with me and advised that the doctors have done their bit and we should leave the rest to God. And it is true that when man has reached his limits, that is when God starts. I am grateful to God that in a miraculous way, my voice returned on its own accord without having to go back to the operating theatre. I am also grateful to God in that it’s been four years since my diagnosis and the cancer is stable. The cancer has not spread from the time God had promised me that this condition would not spread further. If only I had obeyed His Word and promise, I would not have proceeded with a surgery that was so extensive and extremely painful. Through my life experience, I have since concluded that when God promises something it will come to pass. Sometimes it may not come in the way we expect it, but God will bring it to pass. 

The Bible says in (Isaiah 55:8-9) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”. 

I have concluded that God answers prayer in a way He sees fit. Sometimes in a miraculous way, God can remove cancer or any illness from the body or He can use surgery/medicinal purposes. Or even as in my case, God can leave cancer in the body and neutralize it so that it doesn’t cause any pain or further spread. In some other cases, though we pray, God may decide to call us home through the illness. My duty is to just surrender and say ‘’Your will be done Lord, not mine.’’

I am grateful to God for sparing my life to see my child start and finish nursery and now he is going into his second year of primary school which is something I had not envisaged some years back on receiving the news about MTC cancer. I am in good health and the only reminder of my cancer is the surgery to the neck, sometimes I even think to myself were these doctors telling me the truth that I had cancer as I have seen some people and family members given cancer diagnosis after me and they have gone to eternity and here I am strong and healthy. It is only through the mercy and grace of God that I am alive today and I give Him all the glory, honour, adoration, and praise. May this great God keep me to the end to see Him in glory.

Special Meetings Weekend at Peckham Church – 11th to 13th August 2023

Friday marked the beginning of the 3-day special meetings weekend, themed “A Fresh Encounter”. Forty-six people attended in person while many joined online. The revival service started at 8pm with an organ voluntary, followed by the choir singing “Leave your Burdens at the Place of Prayer. Sister Olos Irenoa led a session of congregational singing and souls were lifted to Heaven. The testimony service was interspersed with a few in-person testimonies and some pre-recorded testimonies of young people from the recently concluded MidWest Camp meeting, USA.

Following the testimony service and the last special “Do you know my Jesus”, the guest minister for the weekend, Rev Lazarus Simbanegavi (Pastor of Birmingham branch) brought the Word of the Lord on “Refreshing Times”. Using Acts 3: 1-10 as his key text, he shared the account of the lame man at the beautiful gate and his encounter with Peter and John that brought about his healing. He explained that when someone encounters Jesus the unexpected happens! The natural turns to the supernatural, and the ordinary becomes extraordinary. He encouraged all present to have an encounter with Jesus. The altar service was blessed as many poured their hearts out to the Lord in prayer.

Saturday was dedicated to young people and was primarily a Question and Answer [Response] session. The session began with a time of singing together and an icebreaker activity. The panellists chosen for the session were Sister Olos Irenoa, Brother Seun Ogunleye, Brother Lazarus Simbanegavi, and Brother Ola Balogun. Collectively the panel explored issues of Discipleship and Relationship with the audience (both in person and virtual) and what came out of both sections were revealing and encouraging from all perspectives. This was followed by a time of worship which was enjoyed by all. Sister Cynthia Aramide then rounded up with a short sermonette, which was followed by a closing prayer, and all present were encouraged to spend time in prayer.

Sunday marked the final day of the 3-day Special Meetings weekend. The day began with Sunday School for all ages at 10am and focused on the topic “Golden Rule”. In the various classes, the concept of loving one’s neighbours as oneself was explored, and how someone can do this even in the most difficult of circumstances. The devotional service started at 11:15am with the Orchestra playing “He is Exalted” and this was followed by the choir singing What a Mighty God We Serve. A time of congregational singing was enjoyed, then there was a bible reading taken from Luke 24: 30-33 after which Sister Temitoyosi and Brother Joshua Nwaebonyi sang a soul-uplifting duet “He Will Carry You. Brother Lazarus Simbanegavi preached on, “A Fresh Encounter”. Using the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:15-19, he spoke of how Jesus can bring fresh and renewed hope to any situation. He spoke of the joy and relief the disciples experienced when Jesus revealed Himself to them and encouraged all present to take time to connect with God the only one that can make a difference to our lives and situations. It was indeed a blessed altar service as many sought the Lord in prayers.

After a time of fellowship over lunch, the day was rounded off with a variety evening at 4pm, which saw different categories of people within the church give musical renditions, ranging from a flute solo, sibling’s vocal presentations, youth choir, and a minister’s quartet. Everyone was involved and oh, what a time of joy and fellowship this was. Brother Lazarus Simbanegavi gave the closing admonition WONDERFUL JOY using Luke 15: 1-7 as his main text, he stated how Heaven rejoices over one sinner that repents. He encouraged those present that Jesus is interested in the 1% and that’s why He left the 99. Jesus is interested in you! A time of prayer followed as many tarried in prayer. Our prayer is for the many blessings received during these refreshing times to abound in our lives and for God to use them as a springboard for a deeper walk with God.

My Testimony to the glory of God!!!

I am thankful that our God is a prayer answering God. I thank God for saving my soul, for sanctification, and for Holy Ghost baptism. The Lord called me from an Islamic home where the bible was not known. However, through the grace of God, I was sent to a Christian school where every morning at the assembly we were taught about God and that was where my love for Jesus developed. It has been forty-two years since I gave my life to Christ.

God gave me victory over one of my clients who has been giving me problems. He owed me money and refused to move out of the property. I gave him a ‘notice to quit’ in May 2022. He refused to move out and became abusive and violent towards me. To such an extent that each time I visited the site, I had to be accompanied by a colleague. He would even refuse to give me or my contractors access, for any repairs or viewing.

When I could not get any headway with the problem, I decided to take him to court. I paid the court fees and the hearing was fixed for November 2022. On getting to Court, the Judge threw the case out due to some technical error that he alleged I made while filling out the form. I was devastated and didn’t know what to do. I started to pray about it. If I were to log another court hearing, it would take six months before the hearing would take place and then another three to six months to get both an eviction order and a bailiff to get him out.

After persistently reporting him to God in prayers, he messaged me on the 12th of February 2023 that he will be moving out of the premises by the end of February 2023. When I received the message of his moving out, it was as if I was dreaming, due to all the hassle the man had given me. This was a man who did not want to see me or talk to me, but God sent his hornets to drive him out.

When God stepped in, he not only moved out, but he also paid me more than what he owed. I am so thankful to God. As the Psalmist said, the wickedness of the wicked comes to an end but he establishes the just. I give God Almighty all the glory that he still answers prayers today.

Ayo Elizabeth Sobowale, is a member of Apostolic Faith Church, Peckham branch, London.

The Gospel Work Continues to Experience Growth – May 2023

Brother Ola and Sister Remi Balogun planned a visit to the Apostolic Faith Mission groups in Scotland during the last bank holiday weekend in May. Brother Ola is the Regional Director for Scotland. It was indeed a thrill to see the gospel work making good progress in the three major cities (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow) where our church groups are located.

Glasgow

Brother Ola and Sister Remi arrived at Glasgow International Airport at about 11:25 pm on Friday, May 26, 2023, as part of their visit to The Apostolic Faith Mission UK groups across Scotland. They were received by Brother Anthony John, who also transported them to their lodge for the night. On Saturday morning, brethren in Glasgow gathered at the Travelodge Glasgow Central at 9am for a pre-scheduled meeting with Brother Ola. It was an exciting time of fellowship for the thirteen people in attendance including the Baloguns.

The meeting started with singing, “We are never, never weary of the grand old song”, followed by an opening prayer by Sister Folasade John. Brother Tunbosun Oyedokun then made an opening remark, which started with an appreciation to Brother Ola for the visit and prayer support for the group. He also acknowledged God’s faithfulness and answered prayers, evident in the group’s numerical growth since Brother Ola’s last visit. The group, comprising about twenty individuals, meets weekly for Sunday school and music training.

Addressing all, Brother Ola expressed gratitude to the assembled brethren for the warm welcome, particularly their unwavering dedication to spreading the Gospel in Glasgow. He highlighted God’s benevolence as evident in how various government policy changes have worked for the good of the gospel by providing opportunities for more people to migrate to the UK. He then encouraged the attendees to intensify their evangelistic efforts in order to bring in more people to the gospel, especially among the locals. While it may be difficult to spread the gospel to people of different nationalities and cultures, he emphasized that it is achievable by submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and remaining adaptable in implementing approaches that enhance outreach to diverse communities. After a closing prayer, we enjoyed more fellowship and refreshments together. The Baloguns departed Glasgow for Edinburgh at 11:30 AM to continue their visit to other Scottish cities.

Edinburgh

On arrival, Brother Ola and Sister Remi met with the group at the rented facility used for Sunday services. An evangelistic service was held with 26 people in attendance, and it was a blessed time in God’s presence.

The service started with a keyboard prelude, followed by a violin solo by Sister Tanya Makombe. Then the choir sang God is bigger than any mountain, followed by a solo Great is thy faithfulness sung by Sister Remi Balogun. The congregation then sang some praise songs and Brother Matthew Ibukun, the leader of the Apostolic Faith work in Scotland, offered the opening prayer.

Sister Debbie Olorunsaiye, the leader of the Edinburgh group, made the announcements, which was followed by a baby dedication service. After the baby’s dedication, the parents testified of God’s goodness during the pregnancy and birth. A special song, The power of God is just the same today, was sung before the sermon by Brother Ola Balogun. Using the account of Moses from Hebrews 11:23–27, he reiterated the need to be humble to get saved, stay saved, and work for the Lord. A call to prayer was given, singing To God be the glory. A blessed time of fellowship followed after which the Baloguns left for Aberdeen with Brother Matthew and Sister Juliet Ibukun.

Aberdeen

On Sunday, May 28, 2023, Brother Ola Balogun and his wife, Sister Remi worshipped with the Aberdeen saints and it was a time of refreshing in God’s presence and fellowship. At 10.30 am, the Sunday school service began with a clarinet and flute rendition of O God our Help in Ages Past. We were all blessed by the interactive Sunday school class on God’s Work moderated by Brother Wale Oladokun. We were reminded that, as saved souls, all our talents are useful and needed to propagate the Gospel.  At the end of the lesson, we were encouraged to pray about what we had learned.

After a time of prayer, Brother Wale Oladokun played his flute to raise us from our knees. This was followed by the choir singing Onward Christian Soldiersand “Take My Life and Let It Be”. Brother Sam Osifeso led the congregational singing. In the announcement, our Scotland and Aberdeen group leader, Brother Mathew Ibukun introduced Brother Ola and Sister Remi. Following the announcement, the choir sang, “Rescue the Perishing,” The scripture reading was taken by Brother Mathew from Philippians 3:7–14, and the last special, a duet titled “I’ll Wish I Had Given Him More” was sung by Sister Ireti Olukitibi and Sister Bola Oladimeji. Brother Ola gave a brief and powerful sermon on the importance of being purpose-driven as Christians. We were encouraged to always have Heaven as our vision and our purpose to be like God. We were told that “without purpose, life has no meaning.” After “Jesus, I my cross have taken”, Brother Matthew led the closing prayer. We had a blessed time of prayers at the altars afterward.

After praying to our satisfaction, we exchanged pleasantries, ate a delicious meal together, and continued interacting outdoors as it was a bright Sunday. Some beautiful pictures were taken to mark the occasion. We all returned to our homes feeling blessed and revived.

Early Monday morning, Brother and Sister Balogun were driven to Aberdeen Airport, where they boarded their flight back to London. We thank God for the success of their visit and the safe journey granted to them from Friday evening to Monday morning. Glory be to God!

  

Youth camp 2023 began on Friday, 05th of May 2023. In the afternoon, youths from all branches in the UK including our international guests started arriving at the Pioneer Centre Kidderminster – Camp centre, in anticipation of the full activities to take place starting from Saturday morning. The rest of Friday was used in settling into rooms due to the late arrival of a number of delegates coming from far distance to the centre.

Saturday morning started early with the morning devotional, in which the focus was centered on “identity crisis”. The discussion was about the sensitivity we need when experiencing it personally, how to encourage and support someone else that might be facing such a crisis, as well as the need for all to embrace their identity in God ultimately.

The first-morning session begin with a time of worship, then campers were split up into the 12 tribes of Judah and were tasked to do different activities. These included a team tug of war, a treasure hunt to find objects around the centre, and other team-building games. After this, there was a thought-provoking sermonette by Brother Simeon Bamgbaye. He reminded all that God sees us regardless of our state and linked it back to the theme of the youth camp, I.C.U. This led everyone to a great time of prayer.

In the afternoon, the outdoor activity was replaced because of the rain with a non-compulsory activity time. The campers used this time to bond with each other, rest or catch up with other campers.  After that, there was a worship session in which the youth sang along to praise God. This was led by Brother Joshua Osayemi with the audience suggesting songs along with those sung by the worship team. Many were touched by the songs and enjoyed this time.

The evening session was titled “ICU’r struggle” it began with 20mins of worship that led to an icebreaker where the audience had to answer true and false questions about some of the topics that were to be discussed later on. The bulk of the session included testimonies/presentations on what some of the campers had been through (grief, finding identity, mental health and eating disorder struggles etc). This was alongside a few panelists that were leading the discussion on these same topics, whilst giving their personal experiences and what they learned from the struggles they had been through. The point of the session was to show the campers that they were not the only ones to have gone through something difficult as a point of encouragement. After this, there was a prayer session where the campers could decide to pray personally or join a group prayer to pray about specific topics that were applicable to them/to be able to pray and intercede for others: these topics included, career, addiction, identity, purpose, grief, illnesses as well as other topics.

The devotional for Sunday morning was “Biblical kindness in an unkind world” and it was concluded that acts of kindness and compassion should be exercised in daily interactions with each other, in both private and secular life. At 10:00 am, Sunday school began. Everyone was split into various age categories for what was learned and to discuss Consecration. Examples were given of people that consecrated their lives in the Old Testament, New Testament, and even in our day. All were encouraged to consecrate themselves and things own for a deeper walk with God. The devotional service started at 11:00 am, it was filled with joyous congregational singing, instrumentals, and solos. The sermon was given by Sister Lara Shorinmade-Oguntoke, titled “Saving that which is lost”. Sister Lara reminded all of the story of Zaccheus and how Jesus came to him  the tree he had climbed and declared Salvation to his house. She encouraged us to reach out to God as He is looking to save all that are lost. 

On Sunday afternoon there was a session titled “ICU in a new light” where a drama was presented. The drama centered on different points of view, of people’s stories and how they came to God. The first is a modern representation of Rahab where although the character was judged for her appearance, God still chose her and the outward appearance did not matter. And the other modern spins included Paul of Tarsus (represented through a story of murder and redemption). The overall message given was that our past does not matter, that Jesus still loves all and wants to redeem everyone. He can make us a new creature in Him, old things will pass away.

Continue reading “Youth Camp 2023 Report”

Easter Music Specials at Aberdeen

Brethren across Scotland came together in a joint service to celebrate this year’s Easter. The Apostolic Faith Mission in Scotland has three groups in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow that hold weekly meetings in their respective cities. However, as part of a joint effort to spread the message of Christ throughout Scotland, it was decided that a combined service would be held in Aberdeen on the morning of April 9th, followed by a musical event in the afternoon to commemorate Christ’s resurrection.  

The day began with Sunday School at the Inchgarth Community Centre, Aberdeen. It was a joyous moment as brethren gathered to fellowship and share the Word. The meeting opened with an organ prelude, followed by an orchestra piece titled “He Lives on High” and a solo/choir performance titled “Ten Thousand Angels.” Three congregational songs were also sung, which thrilled everyone in attendance, followed by congregational prayer, announcements, and a special song titled “He Lives,” rendered by Brother Joshua Oladimeji.

The lesson, titled “The Risen Christ,” was taught by Brother Gbenga Odufuwa and aimed primarily to help students understand that “the miracle of Christ’s Resurrection is the heart of the Christian faith”. Through the help of the Holy Spirit, the teacher engaged the students throughout the lesson, and everyone was blessed, as indicated by how they fervently prayed after the lesson. A total of Fifty-0ne people were in attendance. After a time of refreshment and fellowship at this venue, brethren travelled to Holburn West Church, Aberdeen, the venue of the musical event that was held in the afternoon.

The musical event, titled “Easter Music Specials”, began at 3 pm with a congregational song titled “Because He Lives”, followed by an opening prayer. The event showcased songs and instrumentation that conveyed the story of Christ’s resurrection and the victory it brought to humanity. The first part of the event featured an orchestra piece called “Hymns of Joy”, choir songs “Magnify, Glorify”, “Jehovah Reigneth”, and a female quintet, “At Calvary”. Other items included “Christ Arose”, “Partita 2 for Violin”, “Amazing Grace”, “Resurrection Morn”, and “I’ll Have a New Life.” There was a congregational song, “Victory in Jesus,” during the intermission before the second part.

The second part featured a few orchestra pieces and songs such as “Christ is Risen Today” and “He Set Me Free Medley.” Brother Tunbosun Oyedokun preached a short sermon, taking his text from Matthew 28:1,5-8. He highlighted a few benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection and, afterwards, challenged everyone to be ready for the soon return of the risen Lord. The sermonette was followed by the “Hallelujah Chorus,” heartily rendered by everyone, before the announcements given by Brother Matthew Ibukun. The meeting ended with a congregational song, “Burdens are Lifted at Calvary,” and a closing prayer.

Seventy-seven people were in attendance, but the event was also streamed via Zoom, with approximately ten connections and at least fifteen viewers. During the meet-and-greet session that followed, guests, including a local councillor, expressed their appreciation to the Church and would like our Christmas concert to hold at the same venue. This event was a significant milestone as it was the first musical event organised by the Church in Scotland during Easter. We pray that God will continue to bless His Church Scotland and bring more people into His Kingdom.

The first ever youth-led service for our Leicester group took place on Sunday, 12th March, 2023. It was a special service to be remembered by all in attendance. Sunday school began at 10:30 a.m. with the organ striking and two officiating ministers leading the service, Sister Lara Shorimade-Oguntoke the youth leader of our church for The UK and Western Europe, and Brother Anu Bakare. Brother Anu led the children into singing “I’ve got the joy joy joy”, “Singing hosanna” and “Praise Him all ye little children”.

An instrumental rendition was performed by the children including Deborah and Unique Alabi both playing violins, cello was played by Elizabeth Effah, and the flute by Gracious Malima. This was followed by congregational singing, including adults, who sang from the hymn book Collected Gospel Songs hymn 389. They were all led in an opening congregational prayer by Brother Anu Bakare. 

After the opening prayer, Congregants moved to their various classes, Primary Pals Class was taught by Sister Emem Jimmy, who was assisted by Sis Ifeoluwa Bakare, Answer Class was taught by Brother Samuel Effah, and Adult Class by Sister Lara. In the adult Sunday school lesson, we were reminded that God’s house is to be reverenced as a house of prayer where His blessings abound for those that honour it and there are consequences for those that do otherwise. Sunday school finished at 11:30 a.m. and everyone had time to pray before the devotional service began.

Before the devotional service started, workers gathered in the prayer room to pray for the service ahead. After a time of prayer, Reverend. Isaac Adigun and his wife, Sister Stella Adigun, the former District Superintendent (DS) of The UK and Western Europe who is now DS for West and Central Africa (WECA) were presented to the workers. Rev. Isaac made a brief remark about how happy he and his wife were to be visiting the Leicester group and to see and witness how much our choir and congregant numbers had grown.

The devotional service began started at 11:45 a.m. with an organ prelude, as this was a special youth service, the youth choir took the stage,  by starting with a Brass duet by Brother Stephen and Brother Kingsford Effah, and a solo performance of the song by Brother Shepherd Mpofu “How great thou art”, next was a choir rendition titled, “ Days of Elijah”. Brother Stan Nyakuhwa the leader of our work in Leicester, gave welcome remarks. Congregational songs were introduced and led by Brother Tolu Opaleye titled, “ Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest”, “Lord we lift up your name”, “You are my all in all” and “, As a deer” after which we were lead in prayer by Sister Tolu Ojebantele. 

Brother Stan gave the announcements and also introduced Reverend Isaac and his wife Sister Stella, Sister Lara, and her husband Brother Segun Oguntoke, as well as the newcomers to the congregation. The second first special choir song, “How great is our God” was sung. The scripture reading was read, taken by Sister Lara from Leviticus 9:1-4 and the last special was the song, a quintet titled, “A Volunteer” by Brother Deji Ojebantele, Brother Anu, Sister Tolu, Sister Ife Bakare and Sister Tumi Olajide was rendered. The sermon for the service was given by Reverend Isaac Adigun on, “ The house of the Lord”. We were encouraged that the house of God was a place of blessing where we meet with the Lord. He is always there and that to bless us.

The closing song was from Collected Gospel Songs no. 696 led by Sister Nombulelo Shamba and the closing prayer was given by Brother Stan, and followed by congregation praying around the altar. 

After we prayed on the message heard, we ate delicious meals, exchanged pleasantries, and took some beautiful pictures for the occasion.  Sister Lara gathered the young people to encourage them in the different areas where they could support the church, and also for themes to look forward to, which are more youth-driven services as the year progressed. We all left the church feeling blessed and anticipating what God has in stock for the Leicester church group.

DS visit to Paris, France 2023

On Saturday, 11 February 2023, Reverend Mark Mfandarahwa, his wife Sister Marble and their two daughters visited the Paris branch in France. They were warmly welcomed at the Gare du Nord train station by Reverend Mathieu Bobo (The leader of our work in France) and Brother Joel and Sister Suzanne Vimadje.

Early the next morning, on Sunday, 12 February they were transported to a rented facility which has been adapted to a place of worship. Despite Sunday School commencing at 9.00am, it was well attended with a sizeable mixed congregation of 42 people and an additional 5 families connected through Zoom. The attendance consisted of members of the Apostolic Faith Church from all over France gathered for a special, combined service.

Soon after their arrival, the lesson on, The Responsibility of Marriage, was taught by Sister Patricia Sossa to a combination of the Adult and Junior class with the Primary Pals situated towards the back of the sanctuary. By the end of the lesson the unmarried were encouraged to prioritise seeking God’s will by prayer in choosing God’s best partner for them and the married were admonished to endeavour to fulfil all the responsibilities that the institution of marriage entails.

Due to the time limitations, the devotional service immediately followed in which it was preluded by a piano voluntary by brother Joel Vimadje. Then the orchestra rendered the hymn ‘Saved! Saved!’. After that, the choir sang, Grand et puissant and Salvation has been brought down by Albert E Brumley. This was followed by a solo C’est différent (It’s different now) by D. Beatty which was sung by Sister Kujo Tanmakpi. Reverend Matthieu Bobo lead the congregational singing, and the congregation was led in prayer given by Brother Segun Aramide a visiting minister from Nigeria.

The first special, He Hideth My Soul by Fanny Crosby, was rendered by Sister Patricia Sossa, Sister Morgaine Hounye and Brother Emmanuel Sossa. Preceding the last special given by the choir, ‘Wonderful Grace of Jesus by Haldor Lillenas, Sister Suzzanne Vimadje read selected Scripture from Matthew 11:2-5.

Reverend Mark Mfandarahwa’s sermon was titled ‘The Impact of the Gospel’ in which he explored through various biblical examples how the lives of people who had physical encounters with Jesus were powerfully impacted as shown in Matthew 11:2-5. He emphasised that as Jesus did great miracles to heal those who had physical ailments, He has power to do the same in our day and more importantly save sinners. Brother Mark concluded with an altar call in which he encouraged the congregation to seek for their Christian experiences of salvation, sanctification, and the Holy Ghost and fire baptism. After the closing song That Means You the sanctuary was filled with the sound of prayers.

Soon after, workers and their families travelled to a restaurant where they enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship. Just before parting ways with majority of the brethren, Reverend Mark Mfandarahwa shared a few words encouragement with the ministers and advice on matters in pertinence to the work in France.

 

The Mfandarahwas visit to France was an opportunity to have a great time of fellowship with the saints in Paris. As the brethren there are looking up to God for a permanent place of worship, let us remember them in our prayers and believe God for a favourable answer to their request.

You can access the recording for their devotional service on YouTube – Click link Below  –  https://www.youtube.com/live/yqeWelR2cSo?feature=share

 

APOSTOLIC FAITH MISSION UK

NORTHWEST & MIDLAND 2022 CHRISTMAS CONCERT REPORT

The Northwest and Midlands 2022 Christmas concert was made possible through the grace of God and the combined effort of all the members of the choir and orchestra from the entire region: Birmingham, Manchester, Coventry and Leicester. Below are the various reports from each branch and some of the images from the concerts. Happy viewing! (Coventry)

(Birmingham)

(Leicester)

(Manchester)

Manchester 

We give God all the Glory for yet another successful Manchester Christmas Concert! The concert featured a combined choir from the Northwest and the Midlands and also a cameo from Scotland. The congregation was filled with both locals and visitors, greatly anticipating another outpouring of God’s blessings through Christmas music. Brother Toyin Emitola, the local pastor and the regional director for Northwest and Midlands gave the welcome address as the concert began at 5pm, the congregation was then led into an opening Christmas hymn by Sister Chidi Agunu and the concert officially started after the opening prayer from Rev. Odejimi from Birmingham. 

Brother Seun Idowu conducted the orchestra into a rendition of Overture from The Messiah, followed by Asofa Mma by O.A Boateng, an instant favourite with the congregation. The choir took over with Sing O Heavens by Caleb Simper followed by renditions of Past Three A Clock which was rendered as an Octet. The male choir treated us to a wonderful rendition of He’s Still The King Of Kings followed by a wood ensemble giving us Largo from Xerxes, HWV 40 and God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, a traditional Christmas tune. The choir then gave us two moving renditions which consisted of Good Christian Friends Rejoice by John Randall Dennis and He Smiles Within His Cradle by David Willcocks. This brought the concert to its halfway point, giving the congregation the opportunity to also sing some hymns which were led by Toyin Emitola. 

After the interval, the orchestra began with The Stars and Stripes Forever and the Christmas classic “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year”. The youth choir took over with a Tiny Miracle By Pepper Choplin and a beautiful rendition of Somewhere in Your Silent Night Arr. By Joseph M. Martin. The female choir blended the voices beautifully as they gave us “Christmas Songs Of Joy” by Joseph M. Martin. Another favorite was the trumpet solo rendition of popular Christmas tunes, played by Brother Uyi. This rendition had everyone in a cheerful mood, with some children even singing quietly along. You could see amongst the congregation that the joy of the Lord was within. The choir then gave us two numbers before the sermonette, which were: All Glory To God In The Highest Heaven and Christmas Adoration.

Brother Delight Nyoni then gave a short sermonette titled ‘A Name Above All Names’. His message was inspired by the scripture in Philippians 2:9-11 which spoke about how the name of Jesus is above all names and this name is the only way to salvation. We were encouraged to call on this name, submit to Christ and remember the reason for the season. The choir gave us one last number titled Rejoice and be Merry. A short vote of thanks was given by Toyin Emitola, followed by a closing congregational hymn Hark the Heralds led by Brother Comfort Moyo. The Birmingham Branch Pastor, Brother Lazarus Simbanegavi came forward to give the closing prayer. 

Just as the congregation were leaving the sanctuary, Brother Lanre Idu from Birmingham conducted a surprise rendition of We Wish You A Merry Christmas, which kept the Christmas spirit high.  Both the congregation and the choir members could not help but share smiles during this rendition as it was very evident that the spirit of Christmas could be felt in the sanctuary.

Birmingham

After a brief welcome by Brother Delight Nyoni, the congregation rose up to sing the first congregational hymn – ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ after which Brother Toyin Emitola gave a benedictory prayer. Every presentation given by the choir and orchestra, was punctuated by a loud amen and an applause on completion. At the interval, the choir and orchestra took a well-deserved break while the audience was led in a song by Brother Lanre Idu called, ‘Angels we have heard on High’. Our young children too had an opportunity to showcase their learning and skills too as they presented a number of pieces. Shortly after, the choir and orchestra returned and the second half commenced. It is safe to say one of the crowd favourites in the second half was definitely the trumpet solo by Brother Uyi which was a combination of popular Christmas tunes that captivated and astounded the audience by the sound and display of skills. This yielded a resounding applause and cries of encore at the end of the presentation. Befittingly, a sermotte by Brother Godwin Jimmy was very reflective on the essence of Christmas and the greatest gift given to mankind by God. He capped it all with his Christmas blessings and wishes. Brother Odejimi gave a valedictory prayer after a congregational hymn – ‘Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem’. As attendees mingled in fellowship, we had the privilege of meeting the West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner – Simon Foster whose feedback was that he greatly enjoyed the concert and had not received Christmas wishes at the level he had got on the night. He looks forward to returning for the next year’s concert.

Coventry

Thanks be to God for another proclamation of the birth of Christ through songs and instrumentals. The occasion was preceded by a congregational song ‘O come all ye faithful’, led by Sister Susan Adeyemo and followed by an opening prayer given by Brother Uche Anthony. The atmosphere was lifted as the choir cheerfully delivered each presentation, which was followed by a resounding AMEN and applause! During the intermission, the audience raised their voices in carols, whilst the choir and orchestra went out for a much-needed break. Two of our Sunday school students, Brian and Majesty Obia performed ‘O when the Saints’ and ‘Ode to Joy’ on their recorder instruments. The rest of the children joined in to sing ‘Jingle Bells,’ directed by their teacher. We thank God for the skills of the children and pray that God will continue to use them in his house. The local official Lady Godiva of Coventry, Pru Porretta, graced us with her presence. Although, she could only remain for the first half because she had another official event to attend that evening, she expressed how happy she was to be there for the event. Councillor Jaswant Singh Birdi, Deputy Lord Mayor, and Deputy Lady Mayoress were also in attendance. He gave the vote of thanks, followed by Brother Muyiwa Adeyemo with the announcements, and thereafter the closing congregational song was sung and the closing prayer rendered by Brother Mlambo. We were all delighted because it was a wonderful fellowship with brethren, neighbours, Stoke Health Community Hall staff, and, most importantly, the dignitaries who honoured the invitation. We thank God for the message of our Messiah’s birth that has spread as a seed that will germinate into righteousness. We anticipate more as our Lord’s arrival draws closer.

 

Leicester

The Christmas performance began at 4:00 p.m. with an organ stroke, followed by the congregational song “O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM,” led by Sister Shamba (Leicester Music Leader), and an opening prayer. Leicester Leader, Brother Stan Nyakuhwa then announced the Christmas concert opened. The audience thoroughly enjoyed every rendition by the Choir and each performance was backed by a loud Amen! A short break was taken by the choir following the fifth performance and during their little break our Leicester branch Primary Pal and The Answer class came to perform their Christmas songs which lasted for about 10 minutes, after which the choir was brought back in and then the congregation sang “Angel we have heard on high” under the direction of Shamba. Following more heavenly singing and playing by the choir, there was a short Sermon by Coventry Leader on the reason for celebrating the birth of Jesus because he came to redeem us. Announcements of Leicester church order of services were given by Stan Nyakuhwa. Vote of thanks was given by Councilor (Cllr) of Nottingham Bilbrough-Ward Faith Gakanje-Ajala The last congregational song was “Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” and we rounded up with a closing prayer from Brother Sylvester Obidima, after which the Choir stood up to sang, “we wish you merry Christmas” to all the congregation. All glory to God. It was a successful concert.

 

“HIS NAME IS JESUS”

All glory be to God for keeping us to see year 2022 Christmas season. Since the last week in November, most of us would have seen Christmas lights around us, which are more visible at night in our streets. It is a generally accepted phenomenon that light is good, when compared with complete darkness. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ the perfect light proclaimed that, “……. I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12). When one allows Jesus to come into the heart, His light shines and dispels the darkness caused by sin. This is called salvation, heart regeneration, deliverance from sin or a born-again experience. Jesus does not only save us from our sins, but He also gives us peace, joy and love which this world could not give us. Christmas means a lot more than a celebration of the season when one has Jesus in his or her heart. Thanks be to God; salvation makes one to rejoice regardless of the life situations that one may be going through.

Many people will be exchanging gifts this season; however, it is worthwhile remembering that the perfect gift, JESUS CHRIST was given to us by God two thousand years ago. It is through faith in God that we can have the perfect GIFT of God in our hearts.Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10). God is marvellous, all loving, gracious and merciful to the human race. After the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, He gave us his only begotten son, JESUS to be the perfect sacrifice for our redemption. Matthew 1:21 says, “…..And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

This season as we rejoice remembering the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST into this world, we should look up to heaven in anticipation of His second coming. When the trumpet of the Lord sounds, we want to be partakers of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in the azure above.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Report of the Bristol/Cardiff Christmas Concert on 27th November 2022

The Bristol/Cardiff Group is full of appreciation to God for the success of their 2022 Christmas Concert, held in Llanrumney Cardiff, Wales on the 27th November 2022. The occasion, which attracted attendees across the United Kingdom, was well supported by delegate choristers from Glasgow (Scotland), as well as Bexley and Peckham branches in London, culminating in a total attendance of 60 congregants, including 12 visitors. Glory be to God!

The day started off with Sunday School lessons for all ages, with the children (Primary Pals and Answer classes) having a separate class, while the junior and senior attendees held a combined class focused on the topic – “The New Heaven and New Earth”. The lesson happened to be the last in the quarterly series with the theme “Are you Ready?”, which is centred on end-time events. The lesson was facilitated by Brother Ola Balogun, the Pastor of our Peckham Branch, who guided the class into a look ahead to events after the great white throne judgement, the beauty of the New Jerusalem and characteristics of its occupants, as well as a detailed recap of key events in the end-time chronological order. The lesson climaxed in a time of personal prayers for mercy and grace to be counted worthy to partake in the new heaven and new earth.

After a hearty lunch and good fellowship, and a time of practice by the choir led by Sister Olos Irenoa, to put some finishing touches to their preparations, the concert kicked off at 2pm.
The theme of this year’s concert “His Name is Jesus”, rang throughout the afternoon of music, as the choir blessed the audience with melodious renditions of Christmas classics, such as “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Once in Royal David City”. The audience were also treated to a Cello solo, as well as other beautiful choral pieces, while also delighting in the opportunity to join in the singing themselves, of hymns. Congregational hymns included “Joy to the World” and “It came upon the midnight clear”. The Christmas feel was very evident in the building, despite the concert taking place just shy of the festive month of December. A melodious Choir rendition of “Good Christian Men Rejoice”, was closely followed by a sermonette from Brother Fungayi Mangere, the leader of our Bedford group. Using Colossians 1:14-19, he preached about ‘The Preeminent Christ’, and guided the congregation to ponder on some poignant questions. Asking, – “Is Jesus the Centre of your life?”, “Is He the point in your life from which all things are directed, and to which all things are focused?”. Brother Fungayi Mangere urged everyone to make Christ the centre of their lives, considering Him in every thought and decision and further prayed that God would help all those who hadn’t submitted to the Lordship of Jesus, to do so on the same day.

After a few closing comments by Brother Thomas Moyo, the leader of our Bristol/Cardiff Group, Brother Mark Mfandarahwa, our District Superintendent gave the vote of thanks, which was closely followed by a beautiful congregational rendition of “The First Noel”, and a jubilant chorus of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” by the Choir, effectively rounding off the evening of Christmas music. We give all glory to God for the success of the Carol and look to Him for a more glorious event in the coming year, if the Lord tarries.

 

Concert held on Sunday, 30 October 2022

Apostolic Faith Mission has three groups in Scotland, United Kingdom: Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. An Evening of music titled ‘Living Hope’ was held on Sunday, 30 October, 2022 at 4:00pm. as a means of evangelism. Choir members in attendance included 14 from all the groups in Scotland, and 9 from London, Manchester, and Coventry.

On Saturday, 29 October, 2022, choir members arrived at Edinburgh and were treated to light refreshments at the residence of Brother and Sister Olorunsaiye. It was also a time of lovely fellowship. Afterwards, Sister Olos Irenoa from the Peckham church led the choir members to the venue arranged for rehearsals and this ended at 7:00 pm.

The day started with a Sunday school service at their local meeting venue. 46 people were in attendance. After a few music preludes and announcements, the children went apart for their Sunday school lesson which was taught by Sister Juliet Ibukun while Brother Ola Balogun took the extended Sunday School for the adult class titled “The Revelation of Christ and Armageddon. At the end of the Sunday School, a short video depicting the second coming of Christ with His saints on white horses was shown. A good soul-searching prayer session took place after the adult session. After lunch and a time of fellowship and last minute preparations, all moved to the concert venue to set up the platform.

The concert commenced precisely at 4:00 p.m. with a brief introduction by Brother Matthew Ibukun (Leader of Scotland Group), an opening song My Hope is Built on nothing less’ and prayer by Brother Uyioghosa from our Manchester church.

The program started with orchestration ’Father God I wander/In Christ Alone’ followed by choir songs ‘All Hail King Jesus-Crown Him King of Kings’ and Tis Marvelous and Wonderful’. An exciting Piccolo solo was rendered by Brother Amala while an Octet sang ‘Salvation has been brought down’. During the interlude, Sisters Esther Jelenke, Seye Adeyemo, Faith Udosen and Brother Toye Shobukola testified of the saving grace of God. A congregational song ‘My Jesus, my Saviour Lord there is none like you’ was rendered which led to the second part of the program.

During the second part, a Piano solo was played by Brother Simeon Bamgbaye (Manchester Branch), followed by a choir rendition ‘It’s really surprising’ and a quartet (Sisters Remi Balogun and Esther Jelenke; Brothers Dapo Adejimi and Uyigoghosa Oghe) sang ‘Whispering Hope’ followed by a Violin solo by Sister Tanya Makombe (Edinburgh) and ‘Mighty to save’ by the Scotland choir. This was followed by a sermonette from the Regional Director, Brother Ola Balogun. Immediately after that, the choir gave the last rendition with the beautiful presentation of an Assurance Medley’.

During the announcement, the leader of Edinburgh group, Sister Debbie Olorunsaiye thanked the visiting choir and orchestra, the invited guests and all attendees and then invited one of the guests, Pastor Lorraine Danquah to present a vote of thanks to the choir on behalf of all the guests. The last congregation song was ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus’ after which the closing prayer was given by Sister Olos (Peckham Church). This was followed by a short reception and opportunity to share the Gospel literatures with our guests which gave the choir members and church members to meet and greet the guests. Thereafter, the brethren from London, Manchester, Aberdeen and Glasgow were send off with well wishes and thanks from the Edinburgh group. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and God blessed the entire event with good weather and spiritual blessings.

The concert went well and 79 people were in attendance including visitors. We pray that God will water the seeds planted and bring more people to God.

 

Youth evangelism team working hard with smiles at AFMUK headquarters church Bexley. They are willing to be used of God, assisting with the preparation of evangelism materials & tracts. We give God Almighty all the glory for this enthusiasm.

Couples Conference 2022

Couple’s conference is a time enjoyed by both blushing newlyweds and seasoned married couples. This year’s conference was no exception. The theme for the conference was “Thriving as Christian Couples in the 21st Century” and it took place in the newly refurbished hall of our Birmingham Church. Over sixty Christian couples from our churches and groups across the UK were present. The length of marriages of the couples in attendance ranged from 4 months to 47 years!

Upon arrival, the couples were met with a beautifully decorated hall, which for some may have been reminiscent of their own wedding receptions! After tea and refreshments, the delegates were ushered into the hall to start their “Love languages Quiz” icebreaker. This quiz required each spouse to work on their own to complete and identify their love language. It was a strict requirement that each spouse ought not to look at their partner’s answers, which led to comical moments as some partners reported on the other for trying to peak at their answers! This then led to a mini-test where each spouse had to answer questions about their partner, which led to varying levels of success (and failures). The purpose of the love languages quiz was that; different people with different personalities give and receive love in different ways. By learning to recognize these preferences in themselves and in their spouse, they can learn to identify the root of potential conflicts, connect more profoundly, and truly begin to grow closer. For love to thrive in our marriages, we ought to follow Christ’s words, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you”(John 15: 12) and it is very important that we learn how best to love each other.

This was followed by a session on Thriving Communication. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do ( 1 Thessalonians 5: 11). We had fun activities to aid in the development of effective communication. The first session was a card game, where the couples spent time together going through a series of cards that asked questions that are not often asked. It was a fun and enlightening session, where new things were learned, and it was also so lovely to see couples actively engaging in conversation. This was followed up by a session where the couples learned the art of active listening. By sitting back-to-back, with one partner drawing something then describing to the other partner what they had drawn so that the other person could copy them based on their oral instructions only. This activity highlighted the importance of active listening and the fact that at times we may not fully understand what our partner has communicated to us, therefore it is essential that we take the time to listen and make sure that we have truly understood what is being said.

The conference then took a more serious turn as it progressed into the “Let’s talk about it – domestic abuse” session. This session started with a video that described what domestic abuse is from a Christian perspective and continued on with a summary being provided regarding domestic abuse. This was followed by a panel-led Q&A session after a short tea break.

The Q&A session was very powerful and revealing. Bible-based wisdom was provided by the panel on issues ranging from domestic abuse, to communication, and the role culture plays. The responses were thought-provoking and presented the church’s biblical view as one that was open to helping people who may find themselves in these circumstances.

Following the session, a short session was held on “thriving finances”. A video was played sharing finance tips from Bro. J Asaya of our Portland Oregon headquarter church. This was followed by a brief talk on the different ways you can generate alternative streams of income and also a discussion around financial protection – making sure that your family is protected financially even after one has died.

A delicious lunch was served to the delegates, which included starters, mains, and dessert, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Following lunch, it was the session titled “Thriving relationships”, where a scenario was shared for the couples to discuss amongst their tables regarding the “intruders” that can enter our homes. This included ‘intruders’ such as work/colleagues, family, inlaws, friends, and associates.

This was followed by another panel-led Q&A session where issues around finances and managing third parties were discussed. Wherein, panel members and other delegates shared their experiences and biblically truths.

Overall, the day was light-hearted, filled with godly wisdom, and lots of fun and laughter, as well as encouragement and practical ways of enabling us to thrive as Christian couples.

It was a great time of fellowship for our group in Denmark during the recent visit of the Mainland Europe Regional Director Bro. Francis Odudu and his wife Sis. Christiana. The Odudus arrived at Billund Airport in Billund, a city located 37 minutes’ drive from Kolding. They were met and greeted with excitement by Bro Solomon Akano, the leader of our Denmark Group, and Joanna his daughter, around 10:00 am on Saturday 15th October 2022. They were from there driven to the home of the Akanos, where they joined Solomon’s wife, Oluranti and Bro. Clement Oloruntobi, who recently moved from Nigeria to Denmark for study, for a sumptuous breakfast. 

The Odudus were then taken on a brief sightseeing of Kolding, including a tour of the city’s 104 years old Geographical Garden where over 2000 plants from different parts of the world are grown and maintained.

The day ended with an evening prayer meeting led by Solomon at the Akanos’. Reflecting on his early days in Denmark, Solomon recollected how he entered into a covenant with God, and how God had faithfully fulfilled His part of the bargain. Requests were specifically made for God to re-establish the work in Denmark. 

Early on Sunday morning, Bro. Robert Makasi joined the group from Copenhagen, after a two- and half-hour train travel. Bro Makasi of our New Jersey, USA Church, currently lives and works in Denmark. 

After a 30-minute prayer session, Christiana led a very interactive and soul-enriching Sunday school on The Antichrist, at 10:00am. As we went to pray, it was clear that everyone was determined to make the Rapture of the saints so as to escape the reign of the Antichrist.

The Devotional service started at 11:15, with a violin solo prelude by Joanna playing “Oh! Happy Day” in variations. After some congregational singing, Solomon sang “Blest be the tie” as the special song before Francis gave the Word titled “Be Rapture-Ready”. He took his text from 1Thessalonians 4:15-18 and pointed out that the Rapture would be for the dead in Christ and those that remain and are ready. He expressed that to be ready, one must have answered the universal call of God to Salvation, be chosen by getting genuinely saved and remain faithful until the coming of the Lord. He summed up that faithfulness is standing up for God and our faith wherever we find ourselves, fellowship with the people of God, prayer and extending the Gospel message to others. The presence of God’s Spirit was felt as everyone tarried on their knees. There were seven of us altogether at the service.

After the service, the 2-day visit got to peak with a visit to one of the early members of Apostolic Faith church in Denmark. The Odudus went in the company of Robert and Solomon on a journey of about an hour to the city of Arhus to see Bro Jesper Kjolseth. Jesper was excited at being able to meet with Apostolic Faith Church members again, after many years had passed since the Church closed down in Denmark. He reflected on so many memories, people and events and we were thrilled to glance at his younger age pictures with a number of people in our Church, including one with the late Rev. Soyinka.

Bro. Jesper was further excited at having the opportunity to speak on the phone, to Brothers Remi Abdulai and Godwin Okusanya both of our Bexley branch in London. The visit ended on an emotional note as Jesper could not hold the tears anymore, watching us board the car to drive off. 

We arrived at Kolding safely and had a delicious dinner together before the Odudus were driven to the airport at about 19:40 to catch their flight back to London. 

Surely, we had a wonderful time, and it is our earnest prayers that God would remember Denmark and bring back the old fire of the Gospel that once burnt in the country.

 

Mainland Europe Regional Director’s visit to Ireland 23rd to 25th September 2022

The Regional Director of the Apostolic Faith churches in Mainland Europe, Brother Francis and his wife Sister Christiana, visited the group in the Republic of Ireland from 23rd to 25th September 2022. The long delay they had with their flight from London Gatwick Airport meant they did not arrive at their hotel until past midnight that Friday.

Some visitations had been planned for their visit, and that commenced early on Saturday morning with Sis Mercy Adeyemi the leader of the Group, and her husband brother Joseph ready to pick them up at the hotel for the visits. The first point of call was Drogheda, County Louth to visit a young recently wedded couple, where they had sweet fellowship over lunch before heading to Portlaoise, which is in the opposite direction.

On arrival in Portlaoise, we were welcomed by the Chawanda family, who treated us to a sumptuous dinner, including some Zimbabwean specials. We had a good time of fellowship together.

The day was rounded up with an invitation visit to a lady the Adeyemis have been trying to invite to Church. It was a long day out covering about 300 kilometres journey but sure worth it for Jesus.

Sunday services started at 12pm at the Group’s rented facility in Sword, where the brethren had already gathered for service. We had the congregation singing a few choruses followed by a prayer session conducted by Bro Joseph Adeyemi. This was followed by a strings/clarinet orchestration.

Brother Chawanda led the Congregational song “When Jesus comes to reward His servants” to start Sunday School. While Sis Christiana Ola-Odudu taught the combined Elementary class, the Search class was taught by Sis Mercy Adeyemi on “Be ready”. This was followed by a good prayer session to make us all ready for the Rapture.

The Devotional Service was opened with the congregational song “Are you washed in the blood”. As it was the last Sunday of the month, there was a variety time of testimonies and songs in thanksgiving unto God for His blessings in the month of September. Sister Grace Komolafe testified of answers to prayers for healing and her residency status in Ireland that was recently granted after a 16-year waiting period. One of the young people also testified of her successful admission to the University of her 1st choice through the help of God.

Sister Vivian Ogundipe from Belfast in Northern Ireland brought the Bible reading from John 3:1-7. This was followed by the Youth Choir singing “Chain breaker” before Brother Francis gave the sermon. Taking his opening text from John 3:7,9-10,16, Francis preached onThe Real Thing’, encouraging the congregation to not settle for anything less than the real Gospel.

He compared the real Gospel to when one through hard work achieves career excellence that would give a comfortable income for a decent living rather than settling for a secondbest that would only lead to a life of mediocrity. He said nothing would do other than to get genuinely saved through the Blood of Jesus, which comes by genuinely repenting from, and forsaking sins. This is the only way to be Rapture-ready.

The congregation had a good time praying at the end of the sermon. There were thirty-seven people in attendance.

After the service, we had a Church family meeting over lunch during which, Sister Mercy Adeyemi announced the commencement of Bible Study centres at locations that are closer to the people. This would ensure that neighbours who are unable to regularly attend Church services due to distance, can be more easily reached.

The Odudus returned to London on Sunday evening. We thank God for their journey mercies and pray that the work of God in Ireland continues to grow and that God prepares us all for the Rapture.

Mainland Europes Regional Directors visit to the Apostolic Faith Church in Germany

26th to 29th August 2022.

The saints of God in Germany were very happy to welcome their Regional Director, Reverend Francis Odudu, into their midst. He arrived at Frankfurt Airport on Friday, 26 August in the evening, and was picked up by Brother Stephen Ogbodo, the leader of the group in Germany.

The next day, German brethren from all over Germany arrived at the Ogbodo’s home, where they were heartily welcomed. They had a short break where varieties of homemade pastries, juice and tea were served after their long journeys. We then held a planned prayer meeting from 6 to 7 pm, led by Sister Naomi Ogbodo. We had cause to be thankful to God for journey mercies, for making it possible for the saints to gather as the family of God and for God’s daily faithfulness in protecting His peoples and answering their prayers. Prayer requests were brought before the Lord in faith, remembering Jeremiah 32:27, that there is nothing that is too hard for our God! Lastly, she encouraged us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and not lean onto our own understanding, referencing Proverbs 3:5-6.

After the prayer meeting, a delicious 3course dinner, which had been lovingly prepared by the Ogbodos, was served. Brother Francis thereafter shared his testimony with the brethren.

On Sunday, 28 August, Brother Francis joined other brethren from his hotel to attend Sunday morning service in Heidelberg. It was a wonderful, multicultural gathering of saints from various parts of the world: our Regional Director Brother Francis from London, UK, Brother Vic Firme from Toronto, Canada, and brethren from all over Germany including cities such as Heidelberg, Constance, Bonn and Munich.

The Sunday School service started with a piano prelude by Sister Naomi, followed by a vocal trio titled, ‘Love lifted me’, which was passionately presented by the Ogbodo family. The Sunday School lesson taught by Brother Stephen focused on reviewing the entire quarter, where he particularly pointed out that we must fully consecrate our lives to God for God to use us in His service where He needs us, and that God is always faithful and ready to fulfil His promises in our lives when we do our part. He also stressed the importance for children of God to be holy, for it is the will of God that we should live a holy life in this present, sinful world, using 1 Peter 1:16. After the Sunday School lesson, a vocal duet was rendered by Brother Stephen and Sister Naomi, ‘Constantly Abiding’, which led everybody to go on their knees to pray down the power of God.

 

The Devotional Service started with a piano prelude by Sister Naomi, after which Brother Stephen and Sister Naomi played, ‘It pays to serve Jesus’, on the trombone and the violin, respectively. This was followed by two choir songs titled, ‘Come and Dine’ and ‘Come unto me’, beautifully and enthusiastically rendered. After some congregational songs, Brother Francis gave the congregational prayer, following which Brother Stephen gave the announcement, and the Regional Director was heartily welcomed by the congregation.

Our children had prepared to present a lovely welcome programme for Brother Francis. After They marched in singing several stanzas of the song ‘Give me oil in my lamp’, and a brief welcome speech was given, which included reciting Psalm 29:11 and Psalm 67:1. The children then greeted Francis and joyfully marched out singing another stanza of ‘Give me joy in my Heart’. Brother Francis expressed his appreciation, thanking the children and Brother Dare that led them. This was followed by Next, Sister Elke Ogbodo and Sister Naomi sweetly sang ‘The Love that won my heart’, which gently reminded the brethren of the priceless love that Jesus Christ feels for us all.

 

The Bible reading was taken from Jeremiah 32:26-27 and read by Sister Naomi. The last special was a solo titled, ‘I want to be a worker’, sung by Brother Stephen.

Brother Francis took his opening text from Exodus 15:11-13 before he extended greetings from his wife, the District Superintendent and the saints in London. He expressed his delight to be able to worship and fellowship with the saints in Germany for the first time, and how blessed he had been since arriving. He also recognized the effort, commitment and consecration of the Ogbodo family in particular and the saints in Germany, generally.

Using the children of Israel as an example of how unlimited God is, he explained that although the Israelites had lived a terrible life of slavery for so many years, God had a divine plan for them, and He delivered them at the right time. Also, when the children of Israel were standing in front of the Red Sea, they greatly feared that everything would become worse, but again, God in His infinite mercy intervened, and He faithfully led His people through the parted sea!

Brother Francis also shared His testimony with the brethren, how God changed his life and that he couldn‘t do the things he used to do any longer as soon as he was saved from his life of sin, mentioning that if God could change somebody like himself, there is nothing that God cannot do! Moreover, he explained that when somebody gets saved, a lover of sin will become a hater of sin and that Jesus gives that person the grace and the power to go and sin no more.

Brother Francis encouraged the brethren to keep trusting God and that God would provide all their needs, including a new place of worship for the group in His own time.

The service concluded with a congregational song and a closing prayer by Brother Stephen, after which the altars were filled and everybody prayed at the altar. The Spirit of God was felt throughout the whole service.

 

After a good prayer meeting, it was time to say goodbye as the brethren that came from various parts of the country to grace the service had to leave, travelling various distances ranging from 2 hours to 7 hours. The saints in Germany solicit your prayers.

In all, we had 11 people at the service.

On Friday, 19 August Brother Mark Mfandarahwa and his family (Sister Marble, Naomi and Ruth) arrived in Aberdeen in the afternoon. They were met at the Aberdeen International Airport by Brother Niyi Olukitibi, Brother Matthew Ibukun and his wife Sister Juliet. We welcomed them at the Ibukun’s house, where we had a Sunday school teacher’s conference and prayer meeting before proceeding to their hotel.

On Saturday, 20 August Brother Mark and his family, including Brother and Sister Ibukun and the Olukitibis, visited the previous places of worship starting from the beginning of our work in Aberdeen City. These places of worship showed us the history of “The Apostolic Faith Mission UK” work in Scotland. Below are the places of worship in succession.

– 2, Boyd Orr Place
– A hall in Kepplestone
– Harlow Academy
– 57 Wellington Street
– Mile End Community Centre
– Garthdee Parrish Church
– Inchgarth Community Centre, which is the current place of worship.

We visited Rubislaw Quarry (see photo above now showing approx. 137m deep quarry full of water), where most of the granite used for constructing Aberdeen granite buildings was obtained. On that same day, we visited some of properties that we had been interested in or tried to purchase as a church. These properties include:

– Hebrew Church
– Ardoe Hall – Smithfield Road
– CLAN House
– Garthdee Parish Church
– Crown Street Property

Afterwards, we visited one of Aberdeen’s lovely parks, ‘Duthie Park’, which everyone immensely enjoyed. The park houses the David Welsh Winter Garden. This garden has an extensive collection of beautiful flowers, tropical plants and other plants from around the world. Everyone was excited to explore and take photos in the park, and the children particularly enjoyed playing at the park.

That same Saturday, we visited the two Universities in Aberdeen (Aberdeen University and Robert Gordon University).

On Sunday, 21 August we worshipped at Inchgarth Community Centre. Our combined service for the Scotland groups (Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh) started with Sunday School at 10:30 am, in which the adults and children had their separate lessons. The total attendance was 39 (25 adults and 14 children).

The Sunday school began with a piano prelude by Brother Gbenga Odufuwa. This was followed by a clarinet Solo of “Have Faith in God” by one of our junior choristers, Sister Abimbola Ibukun. The congregation sang a Hymn from Collected Gospel Songs – 514 led by Brother Opeyemi Ibukun, who then prayed for us. After this, the children went to their Sunday school class, and the adult Sunday school also began. The lesson ‘Spiritual Endurance’ was taught by Sister Helen Okolegba. The lesson was blessed and interactive. At the end of the adult Sunday school lesson, we had a beautiful vocal solo from Sis Tolu Ibukun titled, “Be Thou My Vision”. Once the Solo ended, people went on their knees in prayer till the Devotional service began at 11:45 am.

The devotional service began with a piano prelude from Sister Naomi Mfandarahwa. An orchestration followed this by the choir members. The Choir then sang “For thy goodness Oh my Saviour” before the children’s programme was done. We sang congregational songs from the Collected Gospel Songs before the prayer rendered by Brother Tunbosun Oyedokun. Brother Matthew Ibukun gave the announcement. This was followed by another piece by the choir, “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks”. Brother Matthew did the scripture reading from 1 Timothy 6:11-16, and then a special song, ‘Jesus hold my hand,’ was sung by Sister Dami Osifeso, Sister Tope Tunbosun and Brother Amala. Brother Mark Mfandarahwa gave the word of exhortation. The title was “Soldiers of Christ”. He took his text from 1 Timothy 6: 11-13. He admonished the congregation to join the army of Christ that fight the good fight of faith. We felt the presence of the Lord in our midst, and we were able to pray to our satisfaction. After church service, we all had a blessed time fellowshipping together. During this time, we took several photos, had some lunch, and then presented a welcome gift to Brother Mark and his family. The fellowship continued till 3 pm.

On Monday, 22 August, Brother Mark and his family, including Brother and Sister Ibukun and the Olukitibis, went to Drum Castle in Banchory, about 25 minutes from Aberdeen. We had a guided tour of the Castle. This was an enjoyable experience as we all learned about the history of those who owned Drum Castle. We learnt that the Bible was kept secure and safe for fear of persecution. After this, we had lunch and then returned to Aberdeen.

On Tuesday, 23 August, we had a quick tour of Aberdeen City centre. We also visited Aberdeen’s Art Gallery, which was a fun experience. After this, we went to the Ibukun’s home for lunch and at 2pm we started heading to the Aberdeen International Airport for their fight back to London at 4:05pm. Overall, it was a blessed time of fellowship with all the brethren in Scotland.

On Friday,12 August my family and I travelled to Bristol to visit the Bristol/Cardiff group. We arrived in Bristol in the morning and did some site seeing before we met brother Lawrence Mahembe’s family in the afternoon. As we last met the Mahembes sometime in 2018, our visit was a great time of fellowship, which was capped with a special BBQ treat. We had time to share testimonies and pray with the family before we left for our hotel in the evening.

On Saturday, 13 August we visited Brother Thomas Moyo’s family in Cardiff. Brother Thomas took us to see their rented place of worship at 3 Shaw Close, Llanrumney, CF3 5NX, including a brief tour of Cardiff city in the afternoon and concluded the day with a dinner at a restaurant on the outskirts of Cardiff. After dinner, we left Cardiff for our hotel in Bristol.

On Sunday, 14 August we had Sunday school for both adults and children separately. The extended Sunday school for adults was taught by brother Mark Mfandarahwa, and the children’s teacher was Sis Keaboka Moyo. We had a great time of fellowship with the Bristol/Cardiff brethren as this was their first in-person meeting after our annual camp meeting at Cefn Lea Park. After the morning service, we were invited for a sumptuous lunch at the Moyo’s house. We had a brief time of fellowship with the family and left the Moyos to visit Sister Sizwile briefly on our way back to London. Let us continue to pray for the Bristol/Cardiff group.

“Thursday, 28 July 2022

Our Thursday morning service started at 10 am, those in the church before that time praying for God to fill the Church with the Holy Spirit. The service started with a piano solo ‘May I never lose the wonder of the cross’ which was powerful and encouraging to the soul, followed by our wonderful choir singing ‘sold out’. After another beautiful solo, we joined our voices together for congregational songs inviting God’s presence, and then we had a short prayer. The choir sang a marvelous song ‘Raise up an army, Oh Lord’. After the choir, people had the chance to testify, and all the testimonies were encouraging and filled with the glory of God. This was followed by the last beautiful special song, then we had our bible teaching from Brother Darrel Lee on the topic ofLove and Marriage‘ (Genesis 1:28)

In the afternoon, we had a children’s service which started with children under the age of 6 singing ‘This little light of mine’ followed by other children who were between the ages of 6 and 8 singing ‘Oh be careful little eyes what you see’ and ‘Read your bible pray every day‘ and many more Sunday school songs as our little ones grow in the Lord’s house. The  9 to 12 group also had their opportunity to sing ‘chosen generation’ and they were very confident as the beautiful rendition filled the room.

                 Click  LINK for Children’s Church

It is sure to be said that we all had fun for we felt like we were in Sunday school again. The young choir from ages 13 to 17 sang a wonderful song‘God’s love’ followed by children’s testimonies which were motivational to see the little children testifying. Next, the children from Midlands presented a program that had musical renditions, an informational play, and bible recitals. The word for the day was given by Brother Solomon Akano who helped the children envision “The beauty of heaven” as it even surpasses the most beautiful place they have ever seen. The children were invited to pray whilst the Midland children group sang a closing song O Lord send revival’.

After dinner, we had our revival service. The service started with a beautiful clarinet solo followed by the choir singing ‘Blessed be the name of the lord’. Followed by an amazing Father-Daughter duet which was very inspiring. After that we joined our voices together for the congregational songs, one of them was, ‘Look and live’. These songs filled the church with a good atmosphere and evidently lifted spirits. After that people had time for testimonies and each testimony was inspiring, with people thanking and glorifying God for his goodness in their lives.

Then we had a very touching special solo from one of our sisters from France before hearing the word of God – Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, by Brother Moyo. (Exodus 14:13)           Click LINK for Thursday’s pictures 

 

“Friday, 29 July 2022

As it has been since the start of the week, today, Friday 29th of July 2022 began with a prayer meeting in the early hours of the morning at the campground. The prayer requests of the people were brought to God by the leading minister with the congregation affirming with echoing Amen.

At 10 am, the last Bible teaching for our camp meeting 2022 began with orchestration from the Northeast and Midlands choir officiating for the day followed by a choir rendition, How Firm A Foundation. The congregation joined in singing before the opening prayer. Afterward, the junior choir encouraged us about God’s Provision which was followed by soul-lifting testimonies. Shortly after this was the final teaching titled “Qualification for heavenly citizenship” with the key text taken from Matthew 22:1-14. We were reminded of that Great Kingdom, not as the kingdoms of this world but the Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, that which He has gone to prepare for us. In the words of Bro Lazarus Simbanegavi who taught; Salvation is a must, Sanctification is a must, and the enduement of Power from on High make up the qualifications for that Heavenly Kingdom. The Spirit of God was undoubtedly moving in the congregation. Even before the altar call, people were moved to tears with their spirits stirred by the power backing his words. The teaching finished with the words of the popular hymn by G. A. Young, “Some through the waters, Some through the flood, Some through the fire but all through the Blood”.

In the afternoon, the day continued as normal with delegates continuing to arrive at the campground and those around having fellowship with each other. The afternoon’s meeting was a youth service starting at 3 pm. This began with a wind instrument quartet from some of our brethren from France, followed by a violin solo, then a band of four singers who were accompanied by guitar playing.

This youth service was an especially special service as it served as the sending off of the previous Youth leader for Western Europe Sis. Irenoa Olos served faithfully in the role for the last 11 years. This was followed by the installation of the new leader in her stead, the person of Sis. Lara Shorinmade. The service continued with duet music from a couple and then the youth choir sang a song titled ‘We bless you your name’. The word for the service by Sis. Irenoa Olos, was on God’s willingness to see past our mistakes of all shapes and sizes if we but come to him and repent. The youths were invited to make the decision to follow Christ and see how he would change their lives for the better.

The revival service was a power-filled one. Titled Your Expectations for the camp meeting by Bro Matthew Bobo from France.

Our Northwest and Midlands choir continued to encourage us in the Lord with several Spirit-filled uplifting songs including a vibrant song from the youth choir titled Can He? Could He? Would He? The song before prayer was just as powerful, Let the Fire Fall. One could envisage the great power falling during the prayer session. Even before Bro Bobo’s sermon began hearts were already geared to reach out to God. Using the examples of Hezekiah, Abraham, and Solomon we were reminded that, unlike earthly parents that might give you just what you ask for, God goes beyond that. Hezekiah asked for victory and God sent His Angels to destroy the enemies, Abraham asked for a son, but God gave him nations, while Solomon asked for wisdom, yet God deemed it fit not only to give him wisdom but also untold riches. That is the mighty God we serve. All He requires is that we seek Him with our all. What a mighty revival service it was!     Click LINK for Friday’s pictures

 

“Saturday, 30 July 2022

Today is the day of the baptismal and ordinance service. A day many people who had been saved and had not had the experience of being water baptized were looking forward to. The ordinance service began with hymns and then a word about the biblical importance of partaking in the communion. Afterward, we were led to pray and during that prayer, we were given communion taken in remembrance of Christ’s blood and body. After prayer and communion, we again had a short word on the biblical importance of foot washing. As the foot washing began you could not help but feel blessed to partake in the fellowship of this ceremony as each person took turns to wash each other’s feet while the other laid hands upon the washer to pray for them. When it had finished, we sang more hymns and were treated to a lovely song by the choir from Aberdeen, a family trio, and a few impromptu pieces from members of the congregation. It was a beautiful ceremony for those doing it for the first time and for those who were doing it after the pandemic break.

We had an amazing time in the afternoon after being treated to a nice lunch, for it was time for those who have waited for their baptism. The service started in the church and as always, we started by praying to God after that one of our ministers gave a short sermon explaining the meaning of getting baptized. All the people who were to be baptized were wearing white garments. After the sermon, we made our way outside for the baptism and people who were not getting baptized came to support us by singing choruses in between each baptism. Hearing one of those who got baptized, she said,I will never forget the emotion inside my soul; to be clean, to start fresh as a child of God. …It was such a special feeling”.We ended the afternoon service by further singing and gathering to take commemorative pictures of those who got baptized with the ministers and supporters.

         Click LINK for Baptismal Pictures

During the time between services, it was clearly in the air that the camp meeting was nearing its conclusion as delegates used their time to continue to have the last full day to catch up with their peers. In the kitchen during dinner, as is customary on the Saturday of the camp meeting, we had BBQ for dinner. This brought the camp spirits high as we all got ready for the last evening’s revival service.

Our evening revival service started at 8 pm as always and I tell you it was very powerful. We had our sermon from Sister Mercy Adeyemi from Ireland, who taught using verses from the book of Habakkuk on “Tarring on the Lord”. However, before this we started by praying, welcoming the Holy Spirit into our midst, followed by spirit-filled performances of a piano solo, the choir who sang were ‘Singin’ Camp meeting style’ and ‘All your anxiety/Burdens are lifted’, the male group of 8 choir members and a special from the France group. The testimony service in the evening felt extra-special as we had many testimonies of people glorifying and giving praises to the Lord. The sermon that ended the night discussed the waiting time for the things we pray for, God’s timing for his response, and the answer He provides. After the sermon, delegates went down to pray and take advantage of the last evening at Camp 2022. It was sure that God has met many on their knees in a mighty way.              Click LINK for Saturday’s pictures

 

“Sunday, 31 July 2022” Leaving day

We woke up to the sound of suitcases being wheeled, car tyres driving up and down and much movement from campers as we all tried to locate our departure bays, it was the last day of camp 2022! Amidst all the movement, phone number exchanges, photographs, and tender farewells, the final day of camp started with Sunday School for all ages.

The farewell service opened with a piano and organ voluntary of ‘To God be the Glory in appreciation for God’s many blessings. This was followed by the orchestra playing a beautiful rendition of I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. The choir then gave us a special number titled Ebenezer. These preludes set the tone of the service which was one of Thanksgiving. We enjoyed a time of congregational singing as we praised and looked to God for guidance in the new spiritual year. After the opening prayer, the choir sang Thine Forever. The last special titled God will take care of you was a song of encouragement and assurance and our hearts were certainly strengthened.

Taking his main text from Hebrews 2:1,2, District Superintendent (DS) Rev Mark Mfandarahwareminded us of the messages we have heard throughout camp and the need to hold them fast and guard them jealously. We were admonished of the importance of not just hearing the Word but also being doers of what we know (James 1:22). God’s Word requires action, we are to practice it and live it! We were reminded that revival need not be limited to campmeeting time only but that if we take to all we have heard and remain consistent, God’s grace will be sufficient. We had a blessed time at the altars of prayers as the choir closed camp with the closing song God be with you till we meet again.

We give God thanks for the many blessings bestowed during the course of the just concluded UK campmeeting and should Jesus tarry we are already looking forward to another amazing time in His presence next year.                                                              Click LINK for Sunday’s pictures

 

          Click this LINK for more UK Camp 2022 pictures

“Arrival on Saturday, 23 July 2022

On Saturday the 23rd of July 2022, the UK annual campmeeting began following a hiatus of two years due to the Pandemic. In attendance we had delegates from 8 countries including France, the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, the USA, Germany, St Vincent, and Nigeria who all arrived safely through various means of transportation. Due to an early departure by our brethren traveling from the Midlands, UK, most of them arrived early to the campsite with beaming faces, and excitement all around so palpable. It is easy to imagine the atmosphere was similar in all other locations en route to Cefn Lea Park, Newton, Wales.

The arrival at Wales had not-so-welcoming showery weather, however, that did very little to dampen the excitement in the air, and in a way, it provided a sign of the revival waiting to pour down. As other delegates arrived, due to having not seen each other for 3 years, there were lots of greetings and laughter in the air. More hugs than can be remembered as people reveled in seeing each other once again after several Zoom meetings; thanking God on each other’s behalf.

In the cool of the evening after we had some dinner, we congregated in the hall for the official welcome meeting, this featured singing, an opening prayer, and addresses by Bro. Mark Mfandarahwa – (District Superintendent of the work in Western Europe) – and other camp officers with details of the activities to follow. At the end of the meeting, we returned to our accommodation for a good night’s sleep anticipating the services to come on Sunday. Click LINK for Saturday’s pictures 

 

Sunday, 24 July 2022

The first Sunday of the campmeeting began with warm but cloudy weather, the service started promptly at 9:30 am. The sight in the hall was a familiar people-filled auditorium, with the gallery space allowing for more delegates to be seated. There was a Sunday school service, followed by the devotional service. Bro Mark welcomed the congregation and read out various campmeeting greetings and assurances of prayer support from branch churches around the world. After some hearty singing and orchestration from the choir, we had the bible reading and the first sermon preached by Bro. Darrel Lee. The principal bible text was taken from 2 Samuel 9:11, with the sermon titled Feasting on God’s table‘.

After a nice lunch, the youth delivered the second service of the day. The service began with a piano prelude followed by a choir rendition titled God is still doing great things. The choir sang beautifully, and this was accompanied by the great sight of our youth choir who filled the entire platform by their numbers. The sermon was delivered by Bro. Comfort Moyo who spoke on “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever” from Hebrew 13:8. The encouragement was given for the youths to “taste and see that the Lord is good”.

The day continued with delegates filing into the dinner hall, where we were served baguettes and a variety of filling options. After this enjoyable dinner, we had the opportunity to have a brief period of rest, whilst some prepared for the service in the evening. The service began at 8 pm and had several beautiful musical renditions, from choir orchestrations to a solo with trumpet accompaniments. During the service, we heard several testimonies of God’s ability to provide, heal and bless his people. The service concluded with a message by Bro. Toyin Emitola [main text – Habakkuk 3:2] reminding us to look at the ‘Revive us again’ theme as a personalised ‘Revive me’ outlook, and the importance of this to the ultimate revival of the church. This first Sunday has provided an incredible foretaste of the days to come, we continue to look forward to what God was doing for the rest of the campmeeting. Click LINK for Sunday’s pictures

 

“Monday, 25 July 2022

The first Bible teaching of campmeeting 2022 kicked off promptly at 10 am, this time led by the Northwest and Midlands Choir, who were alert and ready to offer their sacrifices. The atmosphere in the air was palpable as excited saints of God poured into the church minutes before the service started to pray down the power of God. The service started with a beautiful rendition from the orchestra titled ‘be still my soul’ followed by sweet melodious singing from the choir with a song titled Great and mighty God. The platform was filled with choir members, which further added to the harmonious sound of the choir. Praises were rendered unto God in the form of testimonies from brethren from all over the world bearing witness to God’s wondrous power to heal, save, protect and provide specifically during the past 2 years of Covid. The first Bible teaching began with a text from Joel 2:13-18 and was delivered by Bro. Mark Mfandarawa titled ‘Revive us again’ where we were reminded of the importance of turning to God now that we have the opportunity. We were encouraged that God is a merciful God and he is ready to accept us as we are.

After the service had finished, we all enjoyed an enjoyable lunch of jacket potatoes with assortments included such as tuna and coleslaw, which was topped with sugar sprinkle doughnuts. Once tables were cleared, everyone dispersed for an afternoon of rest before the revival service at 8 pm.

By 7:45, the auditorium was brimming once again with saints as they prepared their hearts for the blessings in store. The service started with a beautiful violin and cello duet which sure inspired the listening hearts. The choir gave a special presentation titled ‘O Happy day’ followed by the youth choir who proclaimed the power of God’s love. The testimony service in the evening was represented by our French-speaking brethren. The music special was a male solo that tied to the succeeding word by Bro Godwin Jimmy titled ‘Jacob at Jabbok’. The opening text came from Genesis 32:21-28 and we were reminded to go back to Bethel in order to receive the revival of God. It is evident that the Spirit of God is moving during this campmeeting and continued to move.  Click LINK for Monday’s pictures 

 

“Tuesday, 26 July 2022

The day began as the previous day, with saints gathering to commune with Christ for the general morning prayer at 5.30am. At the prayer we sang choruses, read out prayer requests, and took time for prayer. Some went back to our respective rooms while others ventured out for some jogging exercise around the chalets before heading back to prepare for the morning bible teaching.

At the bible teaching, we had a presentation by the choir which filled the atmosphere full of joy and gladness. This was continued by the solo ‘Revival is here’ and violin and cello duet. During the testimonies, it was clear the power of Christ was working through the congregation as they all provided great encouragement to us all. The Bible teaching this morning was given by Bro. Ola Balogun titled ‘Humility‘ and the opening verse came from 1 Peter 5:5,6. This teaching served as a reminder for us to strive for and remember the importance of humility.

Following the morning service, we all gathered for lunch and to catch up. At 3 pm, the children’s church service began. People filled the congregation, adults along with their children of all ages. There were several presentations from children of different age groups from 1-17 including a violin solo, choir songs, and a play about Revival. Everyone was up on their feet and in good spirits during the choruses as we asked the Lord to come into our hearts. At the testimony service, the children thanked God for healing, their parents, and friends and it was clear through the repetition that they all appreciated God’s hand in protecting them from the last 2 years of Covid 19. The short sermon by Sis. Marble Mfandarahwa taught the children of God’s love and how things such as communion and the washing of feet is for everyone who is saved. After all this the children were all encouraged to go to the altar to pray through to their Christian experiences supported by the elders.

In the evening, after the high energy of the children’s service, everyone gathered for dinner. Then after a short recess, we went back into the tabernacle for the Revival service. The service started with a beautiful clarinet trio followed by a song from the choir. Then we joined our voices together for a congregational invitation of the Holy Spirit into the church. The first special by the choir ‘God can do anything’ laid the foundation for the testimonies that were given after, which were full of God’s praises and miracles in the lives of the congregation. This was followed by an amazing solo to finish before the sermon led by Bro. Nyoni, based on Psalm 46 highlighting once again that God can do anything like every song, and the testimonies which were given proved. Click LINK for Tuesday’s pictures 

 

“Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Can you imagine we’re already at the halfway mark? Today was left as a free day for all to spend as they so please. Some went into town whilst others enjoyed the feel of the cool breeze against their backs in the countryside as they engaged in some kind of sporting activity, and some used this opportunity to catch up on some good old sleep time.

In the afternoon, all first-timers to the UK camp were hosted to a welcome reception filled with fellowship, songs, activities and food…

At evening we returned to the tabernacle for the Revival service, and what a time of encouragement it was. The brass quartet opened with a lively rendition of trumpet voluntary followed by a piece titled ‘testimony, power, and praise’. The choir then gave us a rendition of ‘O the glory did roll’ and this set the tone for the rest of the service. Following this, we were led into a time of congregational singing where our hearts were lifted to heaven. We were blessed with a special number from the junior choir “It is truly wonderful what the LORD has done” and this ushered in a time of testimony followed by a beautiful solo rendition.

Using the story of Lazarus found in John 11: 38-44, Bro. Tunbosun in the preaching reminded us of the hope that Jesus can bring to even the most hopeless of situations. We were admonished of the different forms that a “dead Lazarus” could take in our lives; be it a rebellious child, unsaved family members, or even situations of stagnation in our lives. We were encouraged that irrespective of the form, all dead areas in our lives will hear the word of the LORD!  Click LINK for Wednesday’s pictures

 

      Click this LINK for more UK Camp 2022 pictures

 

We are all invited and encouraged to attend the family fun day with a friend or neigbour!

 

Glory be to God in the highest for bringing to pass the opportunity for another musical evangelism – ‘Victory conference’ – for Apostolic Faith Church in the Republic of Ireland. We are so grateful for this as it had not been possible to hold another one of these conferences since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Despite the uncertainty around us, the Ireland group were encouraged by the ministry to proceed with the preparation, and it was surely worthwhile. With the Lord’s help, the program smoothly sailed on up until the end. ‘DIVINE VISITATION’ was the theme of the 2022 Victory Conference, which was supported with the scripture from Luke 1:79 “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

The first day of the conference was an Evening of Music presented by a few representatives of our choir and orchestra from the United Kingdom – London (Peckham & Bexley), Manchester, and Coventry. Their presentations included orchestration, choral pieces, and vocal and instrumental specials. This year, there were some youth choir presentations, we give God the glory for encouraging our youths to be involved in His work.

During the interval, the congregation joined the singing which was interspaced with victorious testimonies of salvation and God’s goodness.

The evening was rounded up with a sermonette by Reverend Victor Idowu. He preached on ‘Divine Visitation’, referring to scriptures from Luke 1. He spoke about the life of Zacharias and Elizabeth and how God divinely visited them and blessed them with a child – even in their old age. He shared his testimony on how God divinely visited him as a young boy and saved his soul. Brother Victor then talked about Jacob’s divine visitation after running away from his brother, Esau. He concluded with 2 Chronicles 7:14“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” This assured the congregation that God is ready to heal every situation – spiritual or physical – when we call upon him in humility.

In a spontaneous manner, the congregation was encouraged to pray for a few minutes, focusing on surrendering their lives to God for them to experience divine visitation. Whilst the room was filled with the sound of prayers, the soloist that sang prior to the sermonette, Sis. Susan Adeyemo continued to sing ‘Give them all to Jesus. Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken hearts…and He will turn your sorrows into joy”.

The choir concluded the evening of music with “I saw the light”, by Hank Williams, followed by a closing prayer by Brother Joseph Adeyemi. This was followed by a time of sweet fellowship, greetings, and the sumptuous dinner. 

On Sunday, the Sunday school was opened by a recorder solo from Lesley Chawanda, one of our Answer Class children, followed by a vocal duet by Bunmi Sobowale and Debbie Adeyemi – ‘Close to Thee’.

 For Sunday school, we were grouped into three classes; our teachers for the day were Sister Susan Adeyemo (Primary Pals), Brother Lanre Idu (Answer) and Sister Marble Mfandarahwa (Search – Junior & Senior). We were blessed and the lessons were thoroughly enjoyed by all.

 The devotional service was opened by a beautiful violin solo from Iyanu Okusanya, followed by more special renditions from the choir and orchestra and congregational singing. The special song before the sermon was ‘How the fire fell’ beautifully sung by the quartet.

The sermon was preached by Reverend Mark Mfandarahwa. He opened with the verse of the conference, “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace”(Luke 1:79) He spoke on how John’s father was filled with the Holy ghost shortly after being relieved from being dumb and prophesied about the coming of the Saviour of the World after the birth of John and of how Jesus came to radiate light into this dark world. From Isaiah 9:2, we were assured that whoever is in spiritual bondage or struggling with sin of any kind, can come out into the light of God and be made new by Christ. The majority of the Word referenced some of the people who received divine visitations in bible times such as the Gadarene demoniac and Saul of Tarsus who was visited on his way to Damascus. He stressed that we should not procrastinate and give our life to Christ as hell is awaiting the unrepentant sinner. Brother Mark concluded by reading from Acts 2:1-4 when the disciples tarried in one accord and received the Holy Ghost baptism on the day of Pentecost. He then urged the congregation to pray for their personal divine visitation from God. Without a doubt, we can say that the Lord visited His people at the 2022 Victory Conference.

 A prayer session was organized in the evening where we prayed for God to prosper His work in Ireland. Bro Mark led the prayer meeting and read from the Book of Jeremiah 32:17 to remind us that there is nothing too hard for God, and the congregation responded by fervently praying for the progress of the gospel work. Other prayer requests included the congregation members, to seek their Christian experiences.

There was so much joy in fellowship at the end. We were able to hear a brief testimony from one of the attendees; a friend of Brother Mark whom God used to invite him to the Apostolic Faith church for the first time in Zimbabwe.

We were so blessed with the participation of the young people this year as they took up the majority of the audience making the attendances on each day reach up to about 60.

On Monday, some of the choir members departed very early for the United Kingdom. The remaining London choir guests were taken on a mini-tour around Dublin before their departure late in the afternoon. The evangelism continued to passengers on the bus and in the taxis where God made it possible for us to meet the local people who were interested in taking some gospel tracts when conversing with us. As the seed continues to be sown and watered by the people of God in Ireland, let us pray that God will raise up more labourers as the harvest is plentiful.

View some photos here

The Lord has been good to us! Spring is fully with us, and we can see the evidence in beautiful spots of bright yellow, pink or white flowers and trees in parks and gardens. Our prayer is that as nature springs into life, spiritually many souls will be revived, and won for the Kingdom of God.

As the Lord would have it, our new year message was on Revival (Psalm 85:6 Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee?). God then helped us to engage in daily prayer meetings from the beginning up to 31st January. We are confident that God heard and answered many prayers, but for some, in due season we shall reap.

Many of us have had a breath of fresh air following the lift of all Covid Restrictions in the United Kingdom. However, we did not envisage that a war would break out in Ukraine before the end of February, the effects of which have been devastating, and we pray for God’s intervention. Jesus promised us in John 14:27-28, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you…... The war in Ukraine is one of the many signs that the coming of the Lord is at hand! As the Lord sends us revival, we pray that many souls will allow the Prince of Peace to reign in their hearts by renouncing sinful life and allowing Jesus to take absolute control of their lives.

Following the removal of the Covid-19 restrictions by the government, the ministry decided to gradually start having Bible Study in-person and Revival & Evangelistic services on a rotational basis at all our four main branches. Since the start of the pandemic, we have always taken a risk-averse approach, to protect our vulnerable people and the Lord has been helping. Recently we have decided to discontinue most of the virtual prayer meetings to allow us to attend services in person at all our branches. However, once a month we will be having a combined virtual prayer meeting on a Saturday as announced by the ministry.

We thank God for the success of the Ministers and Workers meeting we held in February, and the Ladies conference, titled, “A unique woman”, that was held virtually on 19 March. It is our prayer that the Word of God will show fruits in the lives of all that were in attendance.

For this year’s Easter, we thank God that we were able to physically attend Good Friday Bible study, Easter Sunday Children’s programme, and the Easter Concert. These two recent events can be accessed via the links below.

Children’s Easter programme https://youtu.be/WfpZZS3qQdA

Easter Concert – https://youtu.be/cucRnl-1X4E

Looking ahead, if Jesus tarries the Youth camp meeting, with a theme, “De-MaskUs”, (Luke 12:2 – For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known), will be held at Pioneer Centre in Kidderminster from 02 June to 05 June. Our annual camp meeting is planned for 23 July to 31 July at Cefn Lea Christian Centre, Dolfor, Mid-Wales. We are privileged to have the Superintendent General, Reverend Darrel Lee and his wife Sister Debbie attend this year’s annual camp meeting. Before then, we want to earnestly pray that God would continue to keep us and give us the grace to prepare for His imminent return.

We thank God for another opportunity to have a Christmas concert in-person at our Peckham church. We had 108 people in attendance including our new District Superintendent, Reverend Mark Mfandarahwa, and his family and a good number of visitors, and the Christmas concert featured the Combined Choir and Orchestra in both London branches – Peckham and Bexley.

The Christmas concert started with a welcome address by Sister Olos Irenoa, who also led the opening Congregational Song – O Little Town of Bethlehem. Then two orchestral pieces were played in succession – “Pomp and Circumstance” followed by “Christmas Bonanza 1 – Deck the Hall” led by Brother Godwin Okusanya. A beautiful choir rendition sang of “Sing the News” and “Joy to the World Medley” was conducted by Sister Olos Irenoa. Then a string ensemble played a thrilling piece titled “Loka Kalipso”. Before the interval, the choir rendered “Amen, Tell it on the Mountain” conducted by Sister Emah Itang followed by a vocal solo titled “O Holy Night” sang by Sister Tope Ajibola.

During the interval, Brother Mike Owolabi led the audience while they sang a few Christmas carols including “Away in a Manger”, “O Come all ye Faithful” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. After the interval, the Orchestra played “Festival Prelude from Te Deum” followed by “Christmas Bonanza 2 – Hark the Herald Angel’s Sing” played by The Orchestra. A vocal duet titled “When You Believe When There’s a Miracle” was inspiring and uplifting to the audience. The choir then presented “Baby Born in Bethlehem” conducted by Sister Emah followed by a Trumpet and Piano duet by Brother Seun Sodipe and Sister Aanu Sodipe respectively. Before the sermonette, the choir sang “Do you Hear what I Hear”.

Bro. Godwin Okusanya gave a short exhortation titled “Do you Hear what I Hear”? He emphasized that the Christmas season is one of good news. This glad tiding of great joy is that Jesus Christ is Born.

Using John 3:16 as his text, he stated that if we have to believe that He can save us then we will be saved. He said, there are two places, humans will go to at the end of their lives, and encouraged everyone to choose Christ so we can go to Heaven. The last rendition for the concert was titled How Great Thou Art & Majesty Medley conducted by Sis. Emah.

During the announcement, Brother Ola Balogun recognised two guests that have regularly attended our concerts over many years – Councillor Michael Shittu – Old Kent Ward, Southwark Borough, and Ex-councillor Johnson Shittu – now the Special Adviser to the Mayor. Mr. Johnson Shittu gave the vote of thanks. He expressed appreciation to the choir and orchestra for an inspirational evening of Christmas music and thanked every family, the church community, and everyone who had contributed and reached out during the pandemic.

Brother Balogun reiterated how the church contributed to the wider local community through music and welfare activities. He encouraged people who are interested in learning the type of music played by the Orchestra to join Salem Music Academy for musical training based on their service to the community. The closing congregational song was “Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” which was heartily sung after which the audience was encouraged to spend time in prayer reflecting on the message of Christmas through music.

Find pictures from the event here.


Report on Aberdeen Christmas Carols

Introduction

The 2021 Christmas Carols were held on 5th December, at The Father’s House, Aberdeen as part of nativity activities in commemoration of Christ’s birth. Evangelism remains the most important preoccupation of the Church, and the Christmas carol always presents the opportunity to reach out to the unsaved using music. The carol was, therefore, another platform to herald the good news of salvation and we are grateful to God for making it successful. This report presents the key highlights of the program.

Attendance

A total of fifty-seven (57) people were in attendance, these included twelve (12) choristers from Manchester, Midlands and London. We consider the attendance a good turnout, given the ongoing pandemic situation. This testifies to the power of God to draw men to Himself, regardless of the uncertainty and anxiety prevalent in society.

Major highlights

The program commenced at 4 pm with a welcome speech followed by a congregational song (Joy to the world) and opening prayer respectively. The carol started with the choir singing All hail, Immanuel and Sing the news. This was followed by violin quintet Christmas concerto Op 6 no. 8 pastorale and “Angels we have heard on high”. Other songs rendered included Calgaro’s cache of Christmas”, andRing out the merry bells. The first half of the program ended with a trumpet duet, titled “The Entertainer” and “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”. During the intermission, Scotland elementary Sunday school children presented some songs and recited memory verses. This session was rounded off with the congregation singing While shepherds watched their flocks by night. The second session of the carol began with a piano solo by Bro David Asaya, followed by orchestration “in the bleak mid-winter”. The choir then rendered two songs, Come and Worship and In Bethlehem a star Other songs rendered included Down from His glory” (vocal solo) andMary’s boy child.

Reverend Ola Balogun, the Regional Director of the work in Scotland, used Luke 19:910 to give a sermonette on No Christ, No Christmas. He stressed the love of God for mankind and the need for everyone to reciprocate that love by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior. He stated that Jesus came down to our level by taking on human form and was born of a virgin. He did not come with all the pomp and pageantry but was born in a lowly manger. He did this so that He can relate well with us, understand and feel any emotions we may go through. The sermonette, together with the salvation messages contained in the songs rendered, presented all attendees with the right information needed to find their way back to God.

The impact of the sermon and indeed, the entire program, was felt like one of the guests expressed his gratitude to the choristers, organist, leader of the work in Scotland, and all the attendees for a spirit-filled carol service. Other guests also expressed their happiness and satisfaction after the program. The program ended at 5.35 pm, after which everyone proceeded to a session of light refreshment.

Find pictures from the event here.

We thank God for the successful Christmas carol concert held in Cardiff, Wales last weekend, on behalf of the Bristol/Cardiff branch. With delegates from the London branches of Bexley and Peckham making up part of the choir and the congregation, the presence of God was felt throughout. The theme of this year’s carol concert ‘Do you Hear What I Hear? Jesus is Born’ rang throughout the afternoon of Christmas music. Despite the concert taking part just shy of the festive month of December, the Christmas spirit was abundant in the building, as the choir blessed the audience with jubilant renditions of classics, such as “O Holy Night” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.

The day started off with Sunday School lessons, in which the junior and senior classes covered a review of all the lessons learnt throughout this season’s quarter. The lessons focused on the Christian attributes needed to establish and maintain Christian maturity. Topics such as “Temperance,” “Faith” and “Humility” were touched on. The Primary Pals and Answer classes mirrored the lesson reviews in their own separate space, where they also looked back on the similar lessons that they had learnt over the last few months.

After a hearty lunch and good fellowship, the choir led by Sis. Comfort Akaka practiced for a while to put some finishing touches on their program, and the concert kicked off at 2pm. The audience were treated to a vast array of melodic musical pieces ranging from a mellow clarinet solo, to a harmonious brass trio and lots of beautiful choral pieces. The audience also heard moving testimonies from Sis. Naomi Mfandarahwa and Sis. Miriam Panganayi. Sis. Miriam stated that her visit would be last one to the Bristol/Cardiff saints before she departs for Zimbabwe permanently in December. This was all followed with a sermonette from Bro. Ola Balogun, the pastor of our London Peckham branch. Using John 1:10-13, he preached about the ‘Elephant in the Room’. The gray Elephant was in the middle of the main banquet room causing a lot of havoc yet being unnoticed by most of the guests at the banquet. Jesus was likened to that Elephant in the Room around Christmas time, in that many would celebrate Christmas without noticing or embracing the true meaning of Christmas and acknowledging the significance of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in our festive celebrations. He admonished everyone to embrace Christ during this festive season just like Zacchaeus did and he had a transformed glorified new life. A congregational performance of ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ rounded off the evening of Christmas music. We give all glory to God for the success of the concert and put our trust in him to manifest Himself in a greater measure as we look forward next years Christmas event if the Lord tarries.

I want to thank God Almighty for the gospel, for it is the power of God to save us from sin and to heal the sick. God saved me in 2004 in a miraculous way and has been keeping me since. taking me through the highs and lows of life. One of my favourite scriptures in the bible is “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). I do not only read of the miracles of Jesus in the Bible but we are blessed to experience those miracles in our life.

I work in a hospital as a sonographer and in April 2019, after having an ultrasound scan of my shoulder by a work colleague and proceeding to check other organs of the body as we had some time on our hands to spare, he noticed something in my neck that he was concerned about. He advised me to have a radiologist investigate it. I was not ill nor unwell at all, and I was going about my life without a care in the world and never thinking there was anything seriously worrying regarding my health. However, I had further investigations and a biopsy of my thyroid gland, and I was told that I had Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). The doctor I saw was very reassuring and he told me that out of all cancers, this is very easily curable. This would require surgery to remove the thyroid gland and radioactive iodine dosage to destroy the cancerous cells. The doctor reassured me that my life expectancy would not change as this was a very curable cancer. My family and I were thankful to God after hearing this news. The doctor told me that the biopsy cells would need confirmation by another senior pathologist to confirm the initial diagnosis. 

A week later the same doctor called me to come in as a matter of urgency. When I saw him he looked very worried, he told me that the biopsy sample went to be assessed by a senior doctor and the diagnosis had changed, it was a different type of cancer of the thyroid called Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) which is more difficult to treat when it has spread and has no cure as radiotherapy and chemotherapy are not suitable for this cancer. I had more tests which showed the cancer had metastasized to the neck and chest area. The new diagnosis meant I had to have extensive surgery to the neck to remove the spread of the disease and I would need to have a chest sternotomy to remove the spread to the chest area. This MTC diagnosis really knocked me back.  

I had just turned 40, had a child barely a year old, and had great plans ahead of me but suddenly, I was now just counting a day at a time not really looking further ahead. I kept asking God to please let me live to see my child start nursery and to hear him call me “daddy”.  Though I have had challenges in the past, this was a huge mountain and nothing that I have faced before compared to this. I prayed, my family prayed with me, and my pastor and ministers prayed along with me.

I remember praying at the altar one day and God gave me the assurance that this disease has reached its limit and will go no further. God even gave me an example of the sea to say that the water in the ocean knows its bounds and when it reaches land it will recede and that it is God who has made that decree and the same would apply to my case. I was very thankful to God. 

However, like the Apostle Peter in the bible when Jesus had bid him to walk on the sea, when he saw the huge wave, instead of looking at Jesus, he focused on the wave and he began to sink so was my case. After the Holy Spirit had given me an assurance that all would be well, I went ahead with surgery thinking that was my only hope. I went in for an arduous 16-hour operation and at the end, the doctor told me that he was not able to remove all cancer cells as it had wrapped around some delicate organs and structures in my chest, and trying to remove it would be more of a danger and would affect my immediate quality of life. In fact, I was told that there was more of the cancer left inside my chest than what they managed to remove. In addition, my voice was gone as my vocal cords were damaged during the surgery, and I would need surgery to correct the damage and restore my voice. During the workup, I was informed that it looked like I may also have colon cancer and breast cancer and needed more investigations. 

I was overwhelmed and asked God how many cancers one person can have in a lifetime. I am grateful to God that God undertook and all the investigations came to naught for the colon and breast cancer. It is only God’s grace that sustained me and my family through this difficult trying time. 

I informed the ministry of my condition and they prayed with me and advised that the doctors have done their bit and we should leave the rest to God. And it is true that when man has reached his limits, that is when God starts. I am grateful to God that in a miraculous way my voice returned on its own accord without having to go back to the operating theatre. I am also grateful to God in that it’s been four years since my diagnosis and the cancer is stable. The cancer has not spread from the time God had promised me that this condition would not spread further. If only I had obeyed His Word and promise, I would not have proceeded with a surgery that was so extensive and extremely painful. Through my life experience, I have since concluded that when God promises something it will come to pass. Sometimes it may not come in the way we expect it, but God will bring it to pass. 

The Bible says in (Isaiah 55:8-9) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”. 

I have concluded that God answers prayer in a way He sees fit. Sometimes in a miraculous way, God can remove cancer or any illness from the body or He can use surgery/medicinal purposes. Or even as in my case, God can leave cancer in the body and neutralize it so that it doesn’t cause any pain or further spread. In some other cases, though we pray, God may decide to call us home through the illness. My duty is to just surrender and say ‘’Your will be done Lord, not mine.’’

I am grateful to God for sparing my life to see my child start and finish nursery and now he is going into his second year of primary school which is something I had not envisaged some years back on receiving the news about MTC cancer. I am in good health and the only reminder of my cancer is the surgery to the neck, sometimes I even think to myself were these doctors telling me the truth that I had cancer as I have seen some people and family members given cancer diagnosis after me and they have gone to eternity and here I am strong and healthy. It is only through the mercy and grace of God that I am alive today and I give Him all the glory, honour, adoration, and praise. May this great God keep me to the end to see Him in glory.

As previously mentioned, there will be a change in leadership for the Apostolic Faith Mission in the UK and Western Europe districts.

We want to thank God for how much He has helped Reverend Isaac Adigun and his wife Sister Stella to lead and shepherd the congregation in Western Europe over the past 2 decades. God knows best and it’s time for them to accept their new assignment in West & Central Africa and as they take on that mission, we here in Western Europe have been blessed with Reverend Mark Mfandarahwa as our new District Superintendent with effect from 7th of November 2021.

Brother Mark has been a major part of the work here in the UK and we believe God has chosen His best for the role. We are so excited as a church to welcome him as our new District Superintendent, and we pray that Brother Mark, his wife Sister Marble, and their two daughters will be used by God to advance the spreading of the gospel here in Western Europe.

This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes (Psalm 118:23). We thank God for the provision of a new Yamaha B3 Acoustic Series Piano and Viscount Chorum S80 3-manual Classical Organ for the Birmingham branch church. These two musical instruments were dedicated unto God for His service on Sunday, 27th of June 2021.

Saints of God gathered for this service from across the Midlands and North-West Region notably from Coventry, Leicester, Manchester, and joined the host brethren in Birmingham. We are also delighted to have delegates from London and the District Superintendent for the UK and Western Europe, Reverend Isaac Adigun, and his wife Stella also joined us for this memorable service. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the church hall behind the auditorium was also put to use, as people were not able to get seats in the main church auditorium. The people at the overflow also followed the service that was streamed live on YouTube.

The service commenced with Violin Quartet, and they played CWM Rhondda by John Hudges & concluded this with “How Great thou art” arranged by Swedish tradition. This was followed by a beautifully rendered vocal septet titled “Tis Wonderful and Marvelous” by Lelia Naylor Morris. Sister Nombulelo Shamba from our Leicester group led the congregational Songs and she started with “To God be the glory”. The congregation sang heartily to the sound of the old and retiring organ which was on duty for the last time. There were few other praise songs before the congregational prayers by Brother Stan Nyakuhwa, the leader of our Leicester group.

The announcements were given by Reverend Mark Mfandarahwa, the Regional Director for Midlands & Northwest and the pastor of Birmingham church. Followed by the first special titled “Love Lifted Me” Rendered by Timisola Idu, Deborah Fadairo and Naomi Mfandarahwa. The scripture reading was taken from Exodus 40:9-11, 33-35 and was read by Brother Victor Idowu from our Manchester church. The special song was a Vocal Male Duet by brother Victor and Brother Muyiwa Adeyemo the group leader of the Coventry group.

The word of exhortation for the dedication service was given by Revered Isaac Adigun, the District Superintendent for the UK and Western Europe. He took his text from Numbers chapter 7. He started by defining the word ‘Dedication’, as setting aside an object or person for the service or worship of God. He continued that God instructed Moses to dedicate the tabernacle by anointing the vessels and instruments therein for God’s use. Brother Isaac reminded the congregation that when Birmingham church was bought in 2010, the old organ was bought with the church and was good enough at that time. However, God has a time for everything, and it is now time to replace it.

The exhortation continued by telling the congregation that God expects a response from us by dedicating our lives anew for His use. Also, we should willingly surrender ourselves totally to the Lord and the blessings of God will surely follow.

Cutting of the ribbons on the new piano and organ followed and then concluded with a dedicatory prayer by Brother Mark. He prayed that as the sounds from the instruments will be coming out, souls will be saved, sick bodies will be healed, and life’s problems will be solved. Furthermore, the people that will be playing them will be shining light to the glory of God.

The dedication service concluded with a choir rendition of “Great is the Lord” which was sang majestically and accompanied in a grand style by the newly dedicated piano and organ. It was indeed a reviving atmosphere as the congregation, with the heart of gratitude to God enjoyed the first anthem played on the new instruments. Brother Mark gave the closing remarks and vote of thanks before the closing song titled “Glorious is Thy name” led by Brother Isaac. The service finally ended with a closing prayer by Brother Muyiwa Adeyemo.

The church is marching on, and the gate of hell shall not prevail. We thank God for this provision, glory be to His name.

Find pictures from the event here.