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SERVICE FOR THE DEPARTED IN KABWE

By Nathaniel Lowa in Kabwe


CemeteryHoly scriptures in relation to revelations of the Holy Spirit are the foundation of the belief of New Apostolic Christians in the life after death.

 

According to the “Belief in the afterlife for New Apostolic Christians” the state of an unredeemed soul in the afterlife can be changed for the better. Help here solely reposes in the grace resulting from Christ’s sacrifice and the merit associated with this.

 

Divine services for the departed take place three times a year, on the first Sunday of March, July, and November respectively. With this in mind, New Apostolic Christians also pray that souls who have died in an unredeemed state may find salvation in Christ.

God's will to redeem encompasses all human beings. Jesus Christ is Lord over both the dead and the living as explained in Romans 14: 9: “For to this end, Christ died and rose and lived again that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”

 

The living are baptized on behalf of the dead as explained in 1 Corinthians 15: 29:

“Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?”

 

Baptism for the departed by Chief ApostleThis practice is continued in divine services for the departed conducted by the Chief Apostle and the District Apostles: in them, two ministers receive Holy Baptism with water, Holy Sealing, and Holy Communion on behalf of the dead. The sacraments are performed in the same manner as usual. In the other congregations, the departed are commemorated in a special prayer after the celebration of Holy Communion.

 

Divine services for the departed have an important place in the New Apostolic calendar. On the preceding Sunday, the congregations prepare themselves for this in a special divine service. Compassion and sympathy are to move their hearts to intercede for those who have died in an unredeemed state.

 

Proxies receiving holy communion on behalf of the deadIn this manner, District Apostle Charles Ndandula conducted a preparatory service for the departed at Mwachisompola congregation in Kabwe on 3rd March, 2018 which was re-dedicated following its reconstruction.

 

Colossians 4:5-6 was read as the text word for this divine service:

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt that you may know how you ought to answer each one.’’

 

In his opening remarks during the sermon, District Apostle Ndandula explained the importance of having to rededicate the church building, “We first want to remember those who took part in the construction of this church that have gone in the realms of the departed but also those who are still alive. There’s need to rededicate it as a way of showing thankfulness to God.’’

 

Mwachisompola Congregation members during service conducted by the District Apostle on 3rd March, 2018Furthermore, the District Apostle encouraged the members to remain firm as children of God. “Like the construction of this building, its foundation is firm and strong just as we should trust and believe in the foundation of Jesus Christ. Therefore let us remain firm on this sure foundation regardless of what we pass through.’’

 

The sermon for this divine service was based on the teaching of ‘belonging inside the body of Christ and gaining knowledge about His word’.

 

The District Apostle called upon the members to remain inside the body of Christ. “In order for us to have the love of Jesus, we need to show love to those who are outside the body of Christ but we also need to be baptized in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, and live our lives in accordance with the Gospel of Jesus,’’ he said.

 

District Apostle Helper Robert Nsamba during service at Mwachisompola congregation on 3rd March, 2018The District Apostle was however quick to caution the members about being inside the body of Christ and yet the hearts are outside. “It doesn’t mean that those who are baptized cannot be outside. Once they do not conform to the Gospel of Jesus, they are regarded as being outside even if they appear to be inside the body of Christ,” he said.

 

District Apostle Ndandula made reference to the teaching of Paul on wisdom. “Paul says it is important to be wise because many are outside the body of Christ and therefore this wisdom requires us not to conform to the likeness of those who are outside,’’ he said.

 

He made reference to Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

 

District Apostle Charles Ndandula cutting the ribbon upon rededication of Mwachisompola congregation on 3rd March, 2018The District Apostle further added that children of God should persevere regardless of whatever circumstances they may face. He equally encouraged the members not to fear those who are outside the body of Christ even if they are many, because God will always be their help. He winded up the sermon with a reading from the book of Luke 12:32: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

 

The District Apostle was accompanied by District Apostle Helper Robert Nsamba, Apostles Stanley Munsaka of Lusaka Central-Kabwe East, Ranford Simumbwe (Host) of Kabwe-Serenje and Patrick Poho of Solwezi-Mufumbwe Apostle working areas.

 

The service was attended by 1500 members.

 

Mwachisompola church in ChibomboMwachisompola Church is one of the many chapels built on “Self Help” bases in the Apostle area with the help of funds generated through the Sisters’ Fellowships and from the members’ contributions as per the Apostle Area Strategic Plan.

 

Mwachisompola congregation started in 1980 with a membership of only ten. Members initially congregated in a chicken run but in 1994 the congregation shifted to the current site where retired District Evangelist Mumba spearheaded the construction of the first permanent church building, which was dedicated by District Apostle Mfune (ir) in 1996.

 

Construction of the new structure commenced on 25th January, 2018 and was completed on 28th February, 2018 thus taking one month to complete. The reconstruction was necessitated by dangerous cracks and some leakages.

 

District Apostle Charles Ndandula during service for the departed on 4th March, 2018 at Mpima congregation in KabweThe District Apostle’s visit to Kabwe-Serenje Apostle working area did not end there. He then conducted the service for the departed at Mpima Congregation in Kabwe on Sunday 4th March, 2018.

 

For the text word, District Apostle Ndandula read from the book of Mark 6:34: “And Jesus when He came out saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things.”

 

The District Apostle began the sermon by making reference to the teachings of Jesus Christ to the great multitude. “Jesus taught the multitudes about the love of God that is unconditional despite the many situations that we may go through,’’ he said.

 

Members of Mpima congregation during departed service with District Apostle Charles Ndandula on 4th March, 2018He further encouraged the members not to despair whenever they go through challenges in life but thank God and allow him to help them.

 

District Apostle Ndandula also added that Jesus taught the multitudes about the grace of God. “He taught them about the grace of God because it covers all multitudes of sins, and through this grace, our sins are forgiven but we too need to forgive and love others.”

 

The District Apostle also encouraged the members that God will always help them in all their situations. He made reference to the faith of the Canaanite woman as recorded in Matthew 15:26-27: “But Jesus replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ And she said ‘Yes Lord, even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table’.”

 

Members of Mpima congregation on a rainy day during departed service on 4th March, 2018 with District Apostle Ndandula as both the tents and the church were fullHe then wound up the sermon by reminding the members that the love of God is not restricted to the living only as he made reference to 1 Peter 3:19-20: “By whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison who formerly were disobedient when once the divine long suffering waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared in which a few, that is eight souls, were saved through water.”

 

The District Apostle then served the departed through the proxies.

 

After retiring one District Evangelist and one District Elder he ordained two District Evangelists and two District Elders.

 

The service at Mpima congregation was attended by 2797 members. 

 

In July 1989, Mpima congregation was registered as a congregation and had the first Sunday service on 2nd July 1989. In 2003, members replaced the grass thatched roof with an iron sheet roof but faced challenges caused by weather and other natural elements.

 

District Apostle Ndandula retiring District Elder Bernard Luyengo and District Evangelist Sibambo SibamboIn 2013, the congregation bought a building which was vacated by its previous occupants, at a cost of K10, 000. The congregation with the support of the district reconstructed the building into a church till its completion.

 

The District Apostle during his visit to the congregation was accompanied by District Apostle Helper Robert Nsamba, Apostles Stanley Munsaka of Lusaka Central-Kabwe East, Ranford Simumbwe (Host) of Kabwe-Serenje and Patrick Poho of Solwezi-Mufumbwe Apostle working areas.