District Apostle Michael Ehrich of South Germany was billed to pay a pastoral and apostolic care visit to Nigeria in September this year.
This great and excited expectations were dampened with the cancellation of planned visit arising from stringent conditions from Nigerian government occasioned by the ravaging covid-19 global pandemic.
However, hope came our way when Lead Apostle Geoffrey Nwogu was commissioned by our District Apostle to carry out all the acts meant for the District Apostle.
On Tuesday, 12th October 2021 by 10am, the Lead Apostle arrived Ikot Abia Idem, Ikot Ekpene in South East Area to kick start his one week visit to Southern Nigeria.
First on his agenda was a meeting with 18 District ministers from the Area cared for by Apostle Samuel Usoro.
The meeting which had both spiritual and administrative/organizational parts was also interactive.
He addressed them with a text word from Matthew 24 : 45 - 47 " Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?......"
Lead Apostle Nwogu was very emphatic that as servants of God, we are not to lords or rules over those entrusted to our care rather we should see ourselves as fellow labourers in the vineyard, called and elected to give them food in due season.
Explaining further, he cautioned that no one should expect the task to be always rosy, but we should prepare to carry our cross.
'If you don't come across obstacles, please reconsider your calling, for even Jesus Christ was not spared.
'Woe betides you if all men speak well of you, he reminded…
Mysteries of the Kingdom
By 1pm same day, same venue the Lead Apostle conducted a divine service with 345 in attendance.
He addressed them with a word from Matthew 13 : 11 - 12 " He answered and said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.......... "
Lead Apostle Nwogu said we are privileged by the merit of the grace of God to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God and therefore charged all to utilized it to the fullest.
Among these mysteries are:
- Our belief that Jesus is the son of God, our election and calling, worthy partaking of Holy sacraments, access to divine services, following faithfully, living a life of forgiveness and joyful anticipation of Christ's return…
Sickness of the Soul
The 2nd day, 13th, the Lead Apostle and his entourage arrived Nung Ukim congregation in Nung Ukim District by 10am to a rousing reception.
In his homily, he exhorted them with a text from Jeremiah 17: 14 "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me and I shall be saved.
Lead Apostle Nwogu drew paralleled between natural and spiritual sicknesses. He expressed concern that most people pay much attention to their natural sickness at the detriment of sickness of the soul.
He described sickness of the soul as conditions and habits that remote us away from God.
He urged all to give due diligence to the care of our souls and allow ourselves to be adorned with garments of salvation.
He regretted that most souls are being ravaged by doubts, unbelief, lack of trust and hopelessness while some of the habits includes hatred, anger, lovelessness, arrogance, bitterness, egoism and indifferences.
He concluded by pleading with all, to show the praises and worshipped of God as a reciprocal of His love.
He who calls is faithful
In the afternoon, the Lead Apostle rounded off his schedule with a divine service at Asanting Utit Ikpe congregation in Odoro Ikpe District.
The lead Apostle who praised their patience addressed them with a text word from 1 Thessalonians 5: 24 "He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Lead Apostle Nwogu said God from time immemorial has been faithful to those who hearkened to His call as His word is yes and amen.
All that is required of us is being faithful to His call.
He cited how God called Abraham and Moses in the old testament times and showed them His faithfulness.
He also made mentioned of the apostles of old insisting that God's faithfulness is immeasurable.
He assured all that God will never abandon us even in our darkest moments.
We are call to be His children through:
-Ministration of word and sacraments, by grace and the apostolate.
We are to profess our calling to others on what constitute our elements of faith.
In each of the three divine services, the area apostle (Apostle Usoro) and the responsible district rector of each district visited were called to assist during the service.