Crowning a blessed weekend in Cape Town, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a special divine service in Lavistown on Sunday, 12 May 2019.
The Chief Apostle was accompanied by the District Apostle J Kriel and P Schulte of Australia, as well as the District Apostle Helpers A Mhango of Malawi, and P Mkhwanazi and all the Apostles and Bishops of the District Church of Southern Africa.
The divine serve was audio-visually transmitted to receiving stations in nine countries across Southern Africa and could be viewed online via live stream. As the members arrived and settled in, the choir and orchestra created a beautiful atmosphere by rendering anthems of praise and worship. The opening hymn, Wonderful words of life, resounded with fervour as the Chief Apostle took to the altar.
As the basis for the service, the Chief Apostle read a Bible word from Jeremiah 17:7-8, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit."
After reading the Bible word, the Chief Apostle reflected on the Children's Service conducted on Saturday, 11 May. "It made us recognise how rich we are," the Chief Apostle said. "Our children are a wonderful treasure. It is a treasure of our church. We have to preserve this treasure. It is a responsibility for all of us. Please help us to show the children the beauty of the work of God."
Turning to the Bible word, Chief Apostle asked: "What then does it mean to trust in the Lord?" He noted three points:
· It means we have to trust in His word. "God's word is the truth! If you trust in God, you are humble. Let us remain obedient to His word."
· We have to trust in His love. "Whatever He does, God wants to lead us into His kingdom."
· We want to trust in His power. "He raised Jesus Christ from the dead and can do anything. He has proven it through the resurrection. We trust in the almighty God. Nothing is impossible."
We also have to hope in the Lord, said the Chief Apostle.
· We hope in His promise, that He will come again and take us unto Himself. "We are absolutely sure that He will come and we wait with confidence. It’s the purpose of our life. We prepare ourselves for the return of the Lord."
· We also hope in His grace. "We depend on His grace to be found worthy on His day," said the Chief Apostle.
· And we hope in His glory. "The glory of God is beyond what anyone can imagine. We continue to hope in this."
The District Apostle P Schulte of Australia and District Apostle Helper A Mhango of Malawi were called to serve along.
After serving our brethren in the beyond with Holy Communion, the Chief Apostle placed the Apostle A Kriel into a well-deserved retirement. The Apostle served in the ministry for more than 40 years, 11 of which as an Apostle. The Chief Apostle described the retiring Apostle as a “vibrant servant of God, full of energy and full of love”.
After the benediction and the threefold Amen, the Chief Apostle reiterated that the grace of the Lord is indeed with the congregation. He said that he could feel that the congregation was truly prepared for the service. The service was ended with a majestic rendition of O Thou Great God. The blessings from on high will linger in the hearts of the congregation forever.
While we took in the full measure of the weekend's blessings, the Chief Apostle made his way to the Cape Town International Airport on Sunday evening, where he departed at 23:05.