Zurich/Lubumbashi. Chief Apostle Helper Jean-Luc Schneider seemed grateful and relieved after his return from the Congo: the festive divine service in Lubumbashi had been a great highlight at the start of the year. As previously announced, he had just bestowed the District Apostle ministry upon his Congolese successor Tshitshi Tshisekedi (we reported).
Over 4,000 members and guests had assembled for the divine service in the large church in Lubumbashi alone, but more than 200,000 others also shared in the festive service by way of a broadcast over the national television network. Many other congregations in the western part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the neighbouring state of Burundi had also tuned in. Attendance numbers for these areas are not available. Also present as guests from the vicinity were District Apostles Michael Deppner (Congo-West), Shadreck Lubasi (East Africa), Charles Ndandula (Zambia), and District Apostle Helper Frank Dzur from Canada (who also works in Rwanda, Chad, and the Central African Republic).
“Thanks for all your support!”
“The festive divine service on Sunday took place in an atmosphere of reverence, joy, and gratitude,” writes Chief Apostle Helper Schneider. “The choir was particularly impressive, and the quality of the hymns was extraordinary.” The new District Apostle accepted his new ministry and commission in humbleness. Following the service, the outgoing District Apostle Schneider expressed deep thanks to all his fellow labourers “with all my heart for all your support and prayers over all the past years.”
Tshitshi Tshisekedi (40) lives in Lubumbashi in the region of Katanga. He speaks French, English, Lingala, and Tshiluba. The southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo is home to approximately 1.5 million New Apostolic Christians. They are served by over 56,000 ministers in over 10,000 congregations. The neighbouring country of Burundi is also in the care of the District Church of Congo Southeast.
The western part of the country, which is also home to over a million Church members, is led by District Apostle Michael Deppner.