The landing of District Apostle J Kriel on Friday 5 May 2017 at Mahe Airport, Seychelles, marked the beginning of the long awaited journey in the Indian Ocean Islands.
With great anticipation, the church members in the Islands were looking forward to meeting their regional District Church President for the first time since the formation of the New Apostolic Church Southern Africa
The District Apostle’s first activity commenced on Saturday with a meeting where all the Rectors, including some priestly ministries, and the District Leader who represented La Reunion, Mauritius, Mayotte, Rodriguez and Seychelles Islands.
The three main focus areas on his agenda were the following:
• finding servants and bringing back inactive members;
• attendance, and
• teaching and improving offerings.
The District Apostle then unpacked the three topics in accordance to the required standards. Each minister utilized the opportunity by giving an overview of their working areas.
By disclosing his challenging background to the local ministers, the District Apostle shared a moral lesson to everyone: to remain thankful and work with what they have! This lesson brought about a complete change in the minds of the ministers, and consequently, set up a tone for a ‘win-win’ approach regarding their future tasks and challenges. Through the encounter with the District Apostle later that afternoon, the congregation was enthused with the music and the message from the divine service’s teaching which was based on the Bible word Psalm 50:14 -15, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” After his landing at Antananarivo Airport the next day, the District Apostle had a very short time to recollect on his next divine service. The congregation comprised of 410 members and were served from the Bible word Luke 7: 14, “Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” After greeting the congregation, the young brothers and sisters came back and occupied the church hall in anticipation for the Spiritual Enrichment Session. This session was based on the Bible word John 9:11. The teaching was empowering to the youth and it encouraged them to become responsible and accountable for their spiritual lives. On Monday the District Apostle met with the Apostles and Bishops of Madagascar. This meeting covered the same points as in Seychelles. Later on, the District Apostle handed out two motorbikes to Apostles Felix and Lama. Each staff member and minister in the employ of the church also had the opportunity to engage in a one-on-one meeting with him.
Next up: Crocodile Farm. Here the District Apostle and his companions enjoyed lunch and experienced sightings of various animals. The whole of Tuesday was spent on the road driving to Fiaranantsoa in the South of Madagascar.
On Wednesday, the District Apostle conducted his last divine service at the Tombotsoa Hotel Hall where 617 members were served with the Bible word taken from Matthew 9: 37, “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few.”
After greeting the members, the District Apostle then conducted a Ministers’ Meeting. In addition to the three points, he also spoke about
• Thanksgiving 2017;
• English lessons for ministers, and
• Recorder lessons for musicians and ministers.
On the way back to Antananarivo on Thursday, the District Apostle stopped in Ampitatafika to greet and pray for an 85-year-old widow: the mother of the late Apostle Fally who passed away five years ago. On Friday the District Apostle conducted a staff meeting that culminated with the inspection of the rental units. The six open plan units that are built in the adjacent property of the Church in Antananarivo generates some remarkable income that aid in the operations of the Madagascar regional office. Thereafter, the District Apostle was transported to the airport for boarding back to South Africa.