“I urge you to respect human life!”

New beginnings in Kasai and a jubilee in Ghana. Often, the needs of the congregations vary greatly. Sometimes there is joy and at times great sadness. Join us as we look at two congregations.

For many years, the Kasaï region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been the country’s major trouble spot. A bloody and extremely brutal conflict has been continuing to unfold almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. Rival militia forces have been fighting each other and government forces have been participating in the atrocities. Witnesses report of acts of revenge, rape, beheadings, and mutilation. Many of the atrocities were filmed and spread on social networks.

Returning home to chaos

Great sadness has come over the country. District Apostle Tshitshi Tshisekedi has been fighting tirelessly for peace and consolation in this region. For the last divine service for the departed at the beginning of November 2019, he travelled to the city of Kamonia in former West Kasaï. A massive exodus had taken place there in 2017. The entire population had been displaced. Even the local Apostle Beya Martin, as well as most of the brothers and sisters, sought refuge in Angola. Like many thousands of other refugees, they found shelter in one of the refugee camps. In the meantime, the people are returning home to their villages, and also to Kamonia. They are housed in makeshift shelters, having lost everything. They remain dependent on the help of charities.

Comfort and encouragement

Meanwhile, divine services are being conducted again. At the encouragement of their Apostle, the congregations are being reopened and the districts are being reorganised. To support the members in their healing process, the District Apostle dedicated a large church in the city, which can hold almost a thousand believers. And he himself came to show his solidarity. “I dedicate this building as a place of mutual forgiveness and reconciliation for the entire population of Kamonia,” he said. He based his sermon on 2 Chronicles 20: 9: “If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.”

The District Apostle said: “A lot of blood has been shed in this city. Today, God offers all these souls salvation in His house to prove His love to those who have entered the beyond before us. I urge you to respect human life in the future. No one is allowed to take it,” he appealed to the assembled congregation, among whom were the city’s political and administrative authorities. More than 2,500 people participated in the dedication service.

Jubilee in Ghana

The New Apostolic Church in Ghana is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. Apostle Samuel Oppong-Brenya was in the congregation of Tutuka in Obuasi District in the south of the country to commemorate the jubilee of the Church in Ghana. The service was based on Psalm 136: 1: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” The Apostle began his sermon by giving glory to God for His love, protection, and faithfulness. He reported on the beginnings of the Church in Ghana and said to the congregation that being grateful is an activity. “We thank God on the basis of past, present, and future events.”

As part of the celebrations, the congregation gathered already on Saturday evening to hear more about the history of the Church. The programme was moderated by Apostle Nortey, Bishop Kesse, and the congregational rector.

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Peter Johanning
Congregational life