The last Divine Service for the Departed for the year 2016 took place in our Abuja central church on 6th of Nivember with about 500 members in attendance. Knowing well what has been happening in our country Nigeria; the visit of our district apostle, all apostles from Nigeria, Apostles Ebanga and Ntita Nabru from Cameroon, Apostle Gonzalo Esono Alo from Equatorial Guinea, Apostle Volker Kuhnle from Nurtingen South Germany, all Nigerian bishops as well as as Apostles retired Uwah and Emanerame and Bishop Koch retired from south Germany, was a big consolation and comfort for the country. Their presence brought joy and confidence to our belief about those who have preceded us in the yonder world. In his his message the District Apostle reminded the brethren what happened just a few weeks how our beloved Apostle Augustine Rotimi lost his dear wife and our lead Apostle Nwogu lost his daughter, he said these were moment of trials but as children of God, we have learnt how to give all to the lord. For the occasion of this festive divine service, the district apostle read a text word from psalm of David 34:18 “the Lord is near to those who have a broken heart… ” he started his sermon by explaining the need for the service for the departed saying “The belief in a life after death is one of the foundations of Christian faith. The salvation brought about by the sacrifice of Christ is confined not only to the living, but extends into the realm beyond.” This is the awareness that God wants to help all people and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is directed to the living and the dead. New Apostolic Christians believe that for every soul there is hope of eternal life, grace through Jesus Christ and communion with God. In the New Testament, the belief in eternal life belongs to the core of the gospel. After his death on the cross, Jesus Christ went into the fields of the dormant and preached to "the spirits in prison" (cf. 1 Peter 3:19). He talked about many hearts that has been broken due to disappointment, loss of loved ones... He went on to say that it is only when we come closer to God that all our disappointments and pains will be taken away. While giving a reference in the gospel according to Matthew 11:28 ” Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” he asked all the members to come to the lord because he is the only one who can never disappoint. The District Apostle emphasized that God is for the living and the dead if not so he would have not gone into the yonder world to preach the gospel to those who once were disobedient to God in times of Noah. The District Apostle talked about so many people who have been disappointed and are in the realm of the departed or living on earth, he asked the members to pray for such souls so that they can come near to the lord the only one who can give peace and rest... while talking about our lord Jesus Christ, the district apostle reminded us about Christ on the cross using the gospel according to Matthew 27: 46 as reference “ father, father why have you forsaken me...” the district apostle said that even the lord Jesus had pains and he knew that seeking the nearness with the father was the solution.
To assist him, he called on Apostles Volker Kuhnle, Hagher and K.Ibekwe. Apostle Kuhnle told the members a story that death is inevitable, you cannot bribe it nor avoid it, he rather told the members to cling to the lord and allow his will to be done...
The service for the departed ended with apostle Nwogu and Rotimi receiving the sacraments on behalf of the departed and thereafter the district apostle proceeded in retirement of four district ministers from apostle Effiong Ekpenyong and ordination of two district elders, one from apostle Odili working Area and three district evangelists all from apostle Ekpenyong.
Names of the retires: District elders Otoyo,udosen and district evangelists Uwah and Akpan. Names of those ordained: d’elders Etukudo,d’ev Ekpo, Ini edet and Donatus Akpan.
On Monday the 7th of November, District Apostle had a conference with all the Apostles and Bishops before departing to Germany later in the day through the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport Abuja, Nigeria