With Together in Christ as the theme, the youth of East-Central Nigeria enjoyed a fruitful and blessed weekend from August 26-28, 2022.
In addition to football, questions and answers, games… a choir rehearsal between East Central and Mid-East had been scheduled to allow them to perfect their songs for the national convention to be held in Ikot Ekpene in December 2022.
Apostles Chima Ibekwe from Mid-East and Oscar Kabanga Nwanza from West were also present to check on the level of preparedness of the youths for the upcoming national youth convention.
The two-day activities concluded with a divine service led by the host Apostle Ernest Onwukwe from East central, assisted by Apostles Ibekwe and Nwanza as well as District Elder Onyebuchi from the Mid-East who came to represent all senior chief tutors of seminars at the marriage blessing of the East Central Chief tutor, shepherd Anokam. The wedding took place during the youth service.
For the divine service, the apostle read a text word from Luke 19:5-7 “And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
In his message, the apostle said:
Fellowship with Jesus brings about a complete change
Jesus visited the tax collector Zacchaeus, who regretted his failings and promised to make amends.
The story of Zacchaeus illustrates that God does not exclude anyone. All people are invited to receive salvation. But Jesus wants to be welcomed and accepted. Those who welcome and accept Jesus from the depths of their hearts can be sure to see positive effects in their life.
Jesus comes to those who let Him in
Jesus also wants to visit us and change our lives. He calls on us and wants to visit us regardless of whether we are worthy or unworthy, whether we keep the commandments of God or not. Let us allow Jesus into our lives, Zacchaeus encounter with Jesus made him to mend his way. We too have encounter with Jesus in Divine service and our neighbor. These are all opportunities to recognize our sinfulness and our deficits, and to ask ourselves how we can become better Christians. May be we have to give our lives a new direction, as was the case with Zacchaeus. Perhaps we need to establish a new life plan or maybe we just need to give up some habits that we didn’t know up until now were gradually separating us from Jesus, for examples: constant media consumption or the world of virtual reality, which can isolate us from other people.
Orientating ourselves by the gospel together
A desire is to develop within us to live a life governed by the standards of the gospel. By our words and actions, we and others can recognize that we belong Jesus and are Abraham’s children.