Zurich/Kampala. For the very first time, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider visited Kampala, Uganda. There he conducted a divine service last Sunday, 14 July 2013 for the congregations in the District Apostle district of Shadreck Lubasi, which incorporates the East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The high point of his visit to Uganda was the appointment of a District Apostle Helper.
Joseph Opemba Ekhuya (44) is the name of the new District Apostle Helper. Over the past years he has worked in the field of surveying and has participated in a range of surveying projects for the countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, and the Seychelles. In 2010 he became the managing director of the New Apostolic relief organisation known as KUMEA (Kujenga Maisha East Africa). He was ordained an Apostle in November 2011. District Apostle Helper Ekhuya will in future support his District Apostle Shadreck Lubasi primarily in Uganda in order to care for the congregations there.
More than 2,000 members gathered for divine service in a large hall in Kampala, and many more gathered in the congregations linked by satellite. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider based his sermon on an excerpt from Exodus 19: 6: “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
The Chief Apostle applied the message of this Bible text to our time and said: “It is not because of our own accomplishments, but by grace, that we have been elected. God wants to give us the opportunity to become priests and to reign with Christ in the thousand-year kingdom of peace. Nevertheless, He already expects us to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation today.” He went on to explain that this means we must listen to God and do that which He expects of us, instead of simply telling Him what He should do for us every day.
Before appointing the new District Apostle Helper, the Chief Apostle granted two servants of God who had served for many years a well-deserved retirement. Apostle Madanje, a professional English teacher, translated the first English-language divine services of the New Apostolic Church into his mother tongue of Luo. For 37 years he travelled as a minister of the Church, 16 of them as an Apostle.
Apostle Hunney came to know the Church at the age of 47 and became New Apostolic in 1995. He served in various ministerial levels for seventeen years, nine of them as an Apostle. “Both servants of God,” said the Chief Apostle in his address of thanks, “have served the Lord and their brethren in great love.”
Chief Apostle Schneider stayed in Uganda from Wednesday, 10 July to Sunday, 14 July in the company of District Apostles Patrick Mkhwanazi (South East Africa), Mark Woll (Canada), and Bernd Koberstein (Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland). Together with their host, District Apostle Lubasi, their visits included a stop in the central church and the head office in Kampala. Here the Chief Apostle and his companions were given a warm reception by a group of children. The first divine service took place on Friday in the city of Tororo, some 200 kilometres from Kampala. On Saturday morning there was a meeting for Apostles and Bishops, which was followed by a concert in the evening.