Dearly beloved in the Lord, greetings! It’s been a joy sharing fellowship and study of God’s Word with you all since the last edition of our church magazine. Working with all the ministers and volunteers has been a delight and watching the rapid growth and renewed interest in our children and youth leaves me both thankful and hopeful for our church. God bless you all for your dedication to the ministry in Jesus name! Now, we have another opportunity to make a difference. Let me tell you how.

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said as follows, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

This light bulb is a stark reminder to me of the above profound injunction. At no time in the his- tory of this world has it become so compelling than now, and it is not difficult to understand why. But first, who are the light of the world? It is you! It is me! It is everyone everywhere who claims Jesus as saviour. Jesus said, all such people are a ‘city’ (Greek: Polis), set on a hill which cannot be hidden.

In other words, he says that the world we are in is full of darkness. That is very true, because light is unnecessary in the absence of darkness. In our world, the hearts of many are darkened by sin and all forms of vices-godlessness, unbelief, wickedness, social injustice and political oppression, economic inequalities, cheating, strange philosophies so dangerous that many, especially vulnerable children and youth are held captive by them, etc. Every Christian has been called and equipped with light shinning so bright that no darkness can withstand it.

The lamp stand is not located inside our already lighted living room. Nor it is to be limited to the comfort of our beautiful church pews. Rather, it is out there where darkness prevails; and it is out there in the highly soured societies around us. When on May 3, some of us, together with from other surrounding churches gathered here in our church, prayed and undertook a prayer walk in and around Hallunda and Norsborg; when on the last Saturday of every month evangelical out- reach takes place outside the walls of our church; when you go out of your way to invite someone to hear the gospel in church, we give a pragmatic, functional definition of the lampstand. As a Christian, you are lightened to lighten others and your environment. You are salt that is sweet- ened to sweeten others. Only when we strive to justify those two expectations can our lives truly bring glory to the Lord. And that to me, is the best lesson from the summer sunlight! So, wake up child of God! The world needs that light and that salt today more than ever.

In conclusion, as the summer season effectively begins and members make their holiday trips, may the Lord’s presence go with you wherever you go in Jesus mighty name! For those that will remain behind, remember the biblical injunction to take out time to rest. Our church services will continue uninterrupted throughout the holiday. Do not forsake the assembling of one another as is the manner of some. (Hebrews 10:25).

Rev. Sam. E. Nweze

May 2023

With Jesus joy I write to welcome each one of you into the year 2023. Also, to all friends of our church I offer our warmest love, prayers and good tidings for the New Year. As I have done over the past years I once again give thanks to the Lord for the preservation of every life, which is the reason we can boldly repeat the very words spoken by the army commanders to Moses, the great leader of Israel, “Your servants have counted the warriors under our command, and not one man of us is missing.” (Numbers 31:49). This is God’s special grace towards us for which our gratitude must be endless.

The call this year to be completely dependent on God is inspired by the prayer of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20;12b, “neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” There is no better time to depend on the one who himself does not need to depend on anyone else than now because he is sufficient unto himself, halleluiah! When everything is failing and the center isn’t holding any longer for many; with steadily rising prices caused by the world-wide inflation; with the continued presence of war in our backyard which threatens to spread except God intervenes; with the mixed signals out there about Corona virus and epidemics resurgenc, God’s people will have to depend on him with fervent prayer and implicit trust. The Psalmist said, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7). Bottom line: this year, DEPEND, DEPEND and DEPEND!

As the year glides deeper, let me announce that all our activities have effectively resumed. we already had a very successful congregational retreat during which the power of God came down mightily, empowering all the participants for life and ministry in the coming months. In addition, we had an anointed service during which the Holy Spirit released unction on each person, readying us for the tasks ahead. With all that done, I believe that we are all ready to go. There is a place for everyone to serve. Soon, a call will go out for members to volunteer into various ministries. Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Who among you is ready to enter into the labor market of the Lord? I hope I will hear many of you, especially those who until now have not committed to any ministry, respond, “Lord, here am I send me”? May you all find the joy of serving the Lord as you do in Jesus name!

As I have already hinted earlier, our ministry this year will be with a special focus on the children and youth. This is a task will demand the participation of everyone. Generally speaking, the church in the Western world is fast losing the young population among us. This is a very dangerous trend which can be reversed through the concerted efforts of church leadership and parents together. This objective can only be achieved through the deliberate cooperation of all concerned parents. In this task, we simply cannot fail, and we will not fail in Jesus name!

Finally, two major things lie ahead of us. First, the church’s annual meeting comes up on March 18. Every member should prayerfully look forward to it. The other is the season of Lent which will lead to our annual Good Friday special program, “To Golgotha with Jesus” and then the glorious day of resurrection – Easter! Get excited as we approach both programs.

Remain rapturable!

Pastor Sam

January 2023

As the countdown to the end of the year 2022 begins, let me take this opportunity to thank God for the journey thus far. Our focus for 2022 was, A Year of Total Resistance, a theme inspired from 1 Peter 5:8, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Doubtlessly, the year has presented challenges and sometimes unsettling interferences to very many of us along the way. However, many in our congregation have proved through their testimonies that indeed they were able to put up spiritual resistance by prayerfully standing up to the enemy. These ones refused to give in to the devil’s antics by simply following laid down patterns of triumph spelt out for them through intentional surrender to biblical teachings and obedience to calls to action. But, as we all know, the battle is not yet over.

The season we are in namely, the period generally referred to as the –ember months quite characteristically will yet present additional and perhaps defining challenges for very many of us, some of which are bound to test our readiness to continue to put up a good fight against the enemy. To everyone of you my counsel is this; simply stand up and fight! There yet re- mains a couple of months to see the year out. Those that will stand up to fight and resist the devil will obviously come out victorious. This is a spiritual warfare; a warfare which Apostle Paul reminds us is not against flesh and blood, (Eph. 6:12). It is a warfare that seeks to consume us and our children; one which seeks to decimate our faith in Christ and weaken us spiritually. This battle is one which none of us can afford to lose. We must all now abandon every attitude of unwarranted lukewarmness and stand up strong. This fight was never easy before and it will not be easy now. To do that, I urge everyone to keep steady pace with Jesus. The Scripture urges us to ‘walk carefully...because the days are evil.’ (Ephesians 5:16). God is able to give us victory over all the powers of the enemy but you must come to him to receive that power.

I therefore urge everyone to continue to be strong in worship, prayer and the Word, coupled with a growing love for our Saviour Jesus Christ and for one another. Those who miss church and services must now wake up. Wisdom demands that, especially as we see the end drawing near.

Lastly, a couple of programs are coming up, especially our Annual International Cultural Week (ICW). No one should miss the events of those exciting days. Let us also be thankful for the many babies born into our church. God’s faithfulness has indeed proved unceasing to us. Don’t forget to continue to prayer one for another and for the ministry of our church. As the season of advent, Christmas and the New Year approaches let us remain aware that Jesus is coming soon.

Rev. Sam. E. Nweze

September 2022

On one beautiful Easter morning the world witnessed an usual event; an event that to this day still reverberates all over the world; an event that caused the earth to shake; an event that popularized certain previously unknown words and increased the geographical knowledge of many. That event brought a new meaning to the concept of the Cross, Golgotha, Calvary, crucifixion, crown of thorns and the like. But that singular event also unveiled and brought a new meaning to other words such as forgiveness, redemption, salvation and resurrection etc. these are beautiful words, so beautiful and especially at such a season as this. This is the season of Easter! This is that season, once again; the season that changed everything. This is the season that reminds me and many others of that man, the Man of Galilee, the Son of God who by enduring the trauma and brutality of one certain day called “Good” Friday, a Friday that was bad and painful for him but good and memorable for the world. Indeed it the season that reminds me, and very many others, of the real cost of our salvation. Simply put, it was the day we were set free at last.

Satan’s interference in the world has since continued unabated. For over two years the world, our countries, our church and our families have suffered immensely from his nefarious and wicked activities. Governments and authorities have proved again and again that no one truly has the answer to Satanic troubling. But God’s people, you and I, have once again trusted in the saving power of the once whose power to save was proven through the salvation of our souls. But the problems have kept mounting. From the devastated, once beautiful cities and country sides of Ukraine to the unceasing reports of deaths, sickness and hunger in places, we must now continue to draw from our indisputable knowledge that Jesus saves. But he saves only for as long as his people are ready to pray. 2Chronicles 7:14 that, “If my own people will humbly pray and turn back to me and stop sinning, then I will answer them from heaven. I will forgive them and make their land fertile once again” (CEV). As the season of Lent continue, leading to Christ’s resurrection, let us humble ourselves and pray that the one who saves will save yet again. When we do, he will surely save again.

With great joy in my heart, I welcome and congratulate all the chosen leaders of our congregation. I am excited to have to work with you all during the next one year to do all that the Covid-19 restrictions could not enable us to do in nearly two years. As the prophet Nehemiah charges, let’s all now rise and build the Lord’s house together, (Nehemiah 2:18).

Finally, I pray that the lessons of Jesus’ passion during this season of Lent will help us identify with his sufferings, but also, that we shall embrace the joy, the victory of that resurrection morning, the day we all became free at last! We are FREE AT LAST! Glory be to God!

Rev. Sam. E. Nweze

April 2022

I bring you all greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I praise God that we are back to our normal church routines after the evil rain of the virus. It is to that extent that I consider this edition of our church magazine to be a special one indeed. It’s special because it serves as our expression of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord who, despite the trying times, our breath remains intact and we are still counted among the living. The last time I checked, I saw nothing so special that God should love us like he does. No wonder why King David exclaimed, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:4 NLT). As Satan and his foot soldiers unleashed the deadly virus on the whole world, the Lord in his faithfulness shielded our entire congregation with his feathers, causing us to successfully dodge those ferocious arrows. Thus I am happy to announce to his glory that no one in our own congregation was lost to the virus. Once more, not because we are special, but simply because of his great grace. To him be all glory in Jesus name! However, we offer our prayers of support to the families of our other colleagues who were affected by the disease. Divine comfort in Jesus name!

Now that we back, what does the future hold going forward? While we remain optimistic that this affliction shall not arise again, everyone must however realize that a long period of incapacity often requires an even longer period of recovery and rehabilitation. We are facing that long period at the moment. Many members appear to be having a difficult challenge moving beyond the pandemic. Unfortunately, the cost of incapacity is way too high for anyone to bear. Clearly, the worst appears to be behind us but the world isn’t yet out of the woods. For that reason, these are no times to give up; these are no times for complacency, neither are these the times to cry over spilled milk. On the contrary, these are times when, as the prophet Joel admonishes, the weak must say “I am strong.” However, that strength only comes from God as the arm of flesh only produces utter failure.

Consequently, my sincere admonition is that if there is any time when we need one another in close fellowship, that time is now. No wise Christian person can afford to be lukewarm at such trying times as these. We need God and we need one another to survive. We need more prayers now than ever before. Jesus said, Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation, (Mark 14:38). We are doing exactly that in our church and we need everyone to return. We all need more love, more faith, more of God’s Holy Word and we need to see everyone that had been missing until now.

I would like to take this opportunity to really appreciate our able worship team members and all the church workers who risked the very possibilities of the virus to conduct our online and zoom services throughout the peak period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, to our prayer group who prayed relentlessly all through the period I demand limitless blessings from God for you. You all gave sacrificially and you will receive back generously in Jesus name.

I celebrate our youth and their coordinator and teachers who found a digital alternative around the restrictions. Amazing! We are unstoppable! But the challenges remain, especially as our children and youth have suffered devastating assault on their minds and motivation, even if few people can understand that. Let’s all brace up for the challenges ahead. It’s not yet uhuru. But the Lord will help us in Jesus name!

Finally, our Christmas and end of year activities start in earnest very shortly, make yourselves part of it all because we must end this year on a strong note of praise in Jesus name! I love you all!

Pastor Sam

November 2021

Dear friends, the Advent/Christmas season provides me with the opportunity to bring my warmest greetings to the entire family of Equmeniakyrkan Hallunda [Inter’l], Equmeniakyrkan Hallunda Parish and all our friends and partners everywhere. It has been a thrilling ministry year, one in which we can all look back to with great satisfaction, but also with gratitude to the Lord for his great grace to get to where we are today.

It’s quite unbelievable how time has gone so quickly, bringing us to this joyous Christian event once more. With us again is the season of lights and life; the season of hope and happiness and the season of peace and love. It is the season of celebration all over the world that the world got the rarest gift of all – God’s Son, coming as a baby but armed with the mission to save a fallen world, a world completely corrupted by sin and disobedience to God. No wonder halleluiahs and beautiful carols rend the airwaves everywhere there are reasonable and grateful humans. Aren’t you glad to be alive to witness this holy and beautiful season? I hope you are!

Clearly, the journey through the past eleven months obviously may not have been without its challenges for many of us. But remember that without tests there would be no testimonies, and I praise God that many of you have shared fantastic testimonies of God’s faithfulness and interventions in your lives as 2019 rolled by. We must all give God the glory for all the deliverances, all the victories and all the blessings both to individuals and to our church. In the words of the Psalmist, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side...” (Psalm 124:1a), our adversary the devil could have inflicted maximum damage to very many. But thanks be to God who causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus, and makes manifest the aroma of his knowledge by us in every place (2Corinth.2:14). To Him be all the glory in Jesus name!

Blessings all the way...

The year 2019 has unquestionably been one filled with much blessings. We all began it together and we shall finish it together in Jesus name! I have the privilege to announce to to you all that everyone made it alive as we recorded no deaths, no accident and no incapacitations. Can I hear “Praise the Lord!” On the contrary, we instead experienced a steady growth in our congregation, both in the number of adults finding our church, but also in the number of children delivered. To the glory of God, no fewer than eleven children were presented for dedication this year 2019. This is a record. In addition, four individual underwent immersion baptism during the year. The Lord is faithful and we give all the glory to Him.

Ministry Appraisal...

All things considered, I would say that, the Lord helping us, we were able to significantly address much of our ministry goals as set in our activity plan for the year. However, the ministry year ends in March 2020, so we have the opportunity to do even more. However, with the very exciting programs such as our powerful revival meetings that saw us play host to guest speakers but also, our annual International Cultural Week which was very colorful and exciting, we can all give ourselves a pat on the back. Besides, it is obvious that many of you have found strength and blessings through our weekly prayer meetings, Bible Studies, night vigils and others. I congratulate all the regular participants while I appeal to those who shy away from such activities to change their ways in the coming year. To the Advisory Committee, the Men’s Fellowship and the Ministry groups, I appreciate you for your efforts. The Women’s Fellowship has got new leaders that will take them to the next level in the year ahead.

Lastly, as Christmas comes upon us very soon, let us share Christ’s love among ourselves, ensuring that we become agents of disseminating the real message of the season. Christ is born, halleluiah!

My wife and I, with our entire family wish each one of you the happiest Christmas ever!

Merry Christ!

Pastor Sam. E. Nweze

December 2019

It’s so good to see many of our vacationers dropping back in one person and one family at a time. Without controversy, no year did our congregation ever witness such a high rate of vacation travel by members like this summer. This is quite commendable and in line with the standing biblical injunctions on the need to take out time on occasion to rest. I hope you all brought with you, experiences and testimonies of God’s faithfulness and preservation from the
many dangers that people face across the world presently. Praise God that He remains our “refuge and strength” (Psalm 46:1), and everyone has remained safe and sound.

And Now Comes a New Season

The work of the kingdom stares us in the face as we enter the final and decisive season of the year 2019. What happens from now until the end of the year determines whether or not we shall finish this year on a strong footing. A look at our activity plan for the year indicates that much ground remains to be covered. Consequently, there is a need to move with a great sense of urgency going into the final months. Jesus highlighted this need when in John 9:4 he declares, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work.”

We have quite a couple of exciting things coming up requiring our urgent attention. Work among our children and youth remains top on our agenda with more children and youth workers needed in both departments. Our children’s demography continues to grow in leaps and bounds and we must step up to the challenges. By the grace of God we added a new dimension to the ministry among our youth in August when fifteen of them embarked on a fun/mentoring boat cruise to Finland. That trip was such a rewarding and unforgettable experience to all the participants. Such an exercise must be made a recurring experience among our youth.

Secondly, establishing a formidable business men and women’s fellowship within our increasing number of business members is a passion that I want to see accomplished within this ministry year. Thirdly, the Women’s fellowship is in need of revival and I urge all our women to be on alert as plans are on to revive that very important aspect of our ministry. The media department needs some level of modernizing in order to show our services and programs more to the media-savvy world.

International Cultural Week

Plans are on for our annual International Cultural Week (ICW), a program which always intermarries with the anniversary of the establishment of our congregation. A vibrant planning committee is presently working to give us what is hoped to be the best version of the program ever. As usual, the various nationalities in our church are expected to put up sterling and God-glorifying performances during the three day-long program. Talks are ongoing to ensure that get hold of the appropriate speaker for the event. I urge everyone to be in prayer as the events approach.

Finally, keep in mind always, the words of our theme for this year, Daniel 11:32, “The people that know their God shall be strong and do exploits”. Let us therefore remain in the knowledge of the Lord, ceasing every opportunity to bear witness to the gospel. And always remember, PRAYER IS THE KEY!

Much blessings on you all!

Pastor Sam

September 2019