O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. (Psalm 47:1)
Beloved in Christ, join me to give all glory to God for the successful 15th Anniversary celebration of our congregation. You all made it happen in style. From the planning committee to all the contributors and volunteers in the different areas I salute you all. Despite the challenges of building a solid and dependable church here in Sweden, the grace of God has seen us through fifteen year of steady unbroken ministry. At a time when several churches like ours became casualty of unforeseen circumstances including those created by the last pandemic, war in Europe, apathy and weakening enthusiasm for the spiritual; all which consequently created huge economic and human losses for many churches, our congregation, by the grace of God stood tall, due to God’s special grace.
Since we began, very many lives have been changed and a vast number of people have been blessed in different areas of life through our ministry. Very many young families found a spiritual home with us consequent upon which many children were born and are being raised for Christ and society. Thankfully, many of these children have happily remained with us while a few have since moved on. I have the pleasure to announce that some of them have gone in pursuit of higher learning either locally or abroad. Furthermore, our congregation is blessed with a wide range of professionals in various vocations, and yet many more have successfully received certification in professional branches such as the education and health-sectors, etc. All of these are in addition to the many others who are currently pursuing education and certification in different disciplines. Let me also not leave out the blessings of business start-ups, job opportunities and all the many that have been blessed, through answered prayers, with their own accommodation and housing, job acquisitions etc.
What can I say about the fact that our ministry brought the multiple blessings which transformed our church into a bee-hive of activities and a place that to this day continues to impact our immediate and distant society in ways previously unimaginable. All these are in keeping with the vision which the Lord cast for us right from the very conception of our congregation one of which is “touching live lives with the love of Jesus. This is the reason the theme of our anniversary celebrations; See what the Lord has done (Psalm 46:8) was very apt.
While we clap our hands and shouting to the Lord with a voice of triumph, we must remember that, borrowing the words of the Kenyan dissident, Jaramogi Oginga Oginga, it is Not Yet Uhuru.
Recall the story of Israel in Joshua 47:1. Israel finally possesses the land God promised them; the Canaan land, their joys and celebrations overflow. But, Joshua speaks the following words to them, “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.”
Friends, our celebrations must come not from the achievements of yesterday, but from the exploits of tomorrow. As everything in the world continues to change, we all must be strong in the Lord and continue to carry out his work with all our strength. As the book of Daniel 11:32 says; the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. Let us start by making ourselves available to him and to the ministry he has committed to us. We cannot afford to fail.
Finally, as we prepare to enter Christmas; and as the year 2023 begins to wind down, let us be more prayerful, looking out with great excitement for all our end of year activities. Let us finish this year as strongly as we possibly can, the Lord helping us. Let’s us look out for one another and help those among us who are struggling. Finally, let us pray with intention for the wars currently raging in the Israel and Ukraine. Happy Advent Season in advance in Jesus mighty name!
Rev. Sam. E. Nweze