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