Words fail to describe the excitement and overwhelming joy felt by the congregation of Mandalay, who with great anticipation readied themselves for the encounter with District Apostle N. E. Barnes on Sunday, 11 December 2016.

The special occasion which marked the District Apostle’s  last divine service which he conducted before his retirement, also marked the first divine service which was video streamed via the internet. Brothers and sisters who are spread across the globe, were able to connect to the divine service through this new media.

The District Apostle conducted his first divine service for a congregation after his ordination into his current ministry at Mandalay on Sunday, 22nd December 1996. On the brink of twenty years on and whilst at the threshold of his retirement, he returned to Mandalay to serve the congregation for the last time.

After weeks of intense preparation and with very thankful hearts, the congregation was served with a Bible word from Luke 13:17  “ And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.” (NKJV)

Elaborating on the Bible word, the District Apostle inspired the congregation to profess their faith, irrespective of the circumstances with which they are faced. Referring to the life of Christ, he motivated the children of God to follow the great example set by Jesus who was never put off by those around him, but always carried out the will of His Father. The brothers and sisters were also urged to remain united and always be willing to forgive, sacrifice and be the least for the sake of peace. 

The District Apostle Helper J. Kriel, who was called to serve the congregation, reiterated these sentiments, and further encouraged the congregation to see the glory of God in everything. 

With the special message received, the choir and orchestra brought the divine service to a close with a heartfelt pledge.  Promising to live as God has planned, they performed a majestic rendition of “We will keep our faith alive.” 

A day which will always remain in the hearts of the congregation, also paves the way for the visit of Chief Apostle J-L Schneider, to the shores of Cape Town. With great expectation and excited hearts we now look forward to his arrival and the countless blessings attached.