APOSTOLIC FAITH CORPS MEMBERS FELLOWSHIP (AFCMF)
In line with the Youth Development Directorate’s vision statement of “raising an army of outstanding young people going to heaven and persuading others to come along”, the Apostolic Faith Corps Members Fellowship (AFCMF) was created. AFCMF is an outreach arm of the Apostolic Faith Youth Development Directorate (YDD). The aim of the fellowship is to persuasively link and commit corps members to the church and her activities, thereby fueling their interest and active participation.
The online programme - a novel one, which was broadcasted on our social media channels, lasted for 2hrs. 15mins, the session started with songs from the CGS, 14, 612, was followed by an opening prayer by the WECA Youth Leader, Brother Tobi Popogbe, who proceeded to give the announcements. He introduced the Young Couples Forum and explained the topic “IT TAKES TWO” where he talked about how important it is for Husband and Wife to work together in Partnership to make their marriage a success. He also identified some key advantages of couples working together from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Some of these are - They have good reward for their labour, to prevent one another from falling, to keep warm and to have victory over the enemy in partnership. The virtual program had two guest couples connected from their respective locations, to give their various experiences and perspectives as regards the topic. The two couples, are Brother and Sister Lucky Ishomo, Brother and Sister Oladehinde. Brother Tosin shobukola, who moderated the event, started with a memory verse taken from the book of Ecclesiastes 4:9. Brother Tunde Oladehinde who spoke first, talked about the different but complimentary role that God gave Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and mentioned how important it is for every couple to understand that marriage as ordained by God, is a joint responsibility and failure to follow the precepts as God has laid it down will result in problems for the couples. Sister Blessing, who subsequently affirmed what brother Tunde had said, added that God had made the man the head of the house, and the duty of the woman, whom God made a helpmeet, is to provide the necessary support needed for the man to fulfill his purpose for which God has chosen him. Adding clarity to that, she stressed that God said women should submit to their own husband, and not another person’s husband, women are to complement their husband and not to compete with their husband. She further added that men ought to also study their wives, to be able to get the best out of them. <b>Brother Lucky highlighted the important steps required to making the home what God wants it to be, he emphasized the need for the three Christian experiences in every Christian home its importance to ensure that the husband and wife work together in one accord. Brother Tosin the moderator, classified the responsibilities in the home into 4 different categories:<p/> <ul> <li>Spiritual Responsibility</li> <li>Emotional Responsibility</li> <li>Parental Responsibility</li> <li>Financial Responsibility</li> </ul> Sister Opaleye, who was also present with her husband, explained while answering one of the questions asked by the audience, the need for couples to avoid dwelling on each other’s past mistakes, to avoid unnecessary anger or misunderstanding. Rev Moh, who was also in attendance with his wife, explained the effort the church is making, to ensure that marriage counseling and support are made available and accessible to everyone, even at the branch level. Several Questions from the audience followed the session which was carefully treated by the Guest speakers. Sis. Moh, stress the need for every couple to be careful in taking the issues in their marriage to other people for advice. She further advised that both partners should ensure that they create time and attention for themselves, and their marriage The program came to an end, as the winners of the couple’s challenge that preceded the couple’s forum were announced. A song was rendered by Bro Banji, after which the DS gave the closing charge. The DS reading from Psalm 133: 1-3, emphasized on why it is important that a home or marriage is not only built on God’s direction but also maintained and nurtured by the precepts and process God has instructed. He further mentioned that the church’s interest and desire are to see that marriages don’t only work out well, but also in unity, hence the reason for organizing such a program. He stressed, that a home can only function perfectly and peacefully if both parties allow the holy spirit to come in and direct the affairs of the home. Reading from Zachariah 4 vs 6, he narrated the strength of a home that was built on the rock, and a home built on God’s words and injunctions, and when the storm of life comes, the home will surely stand because it was built on God’s foundation. Lastly, he advised every couple to let the Holy Spirit into their home and their affairs, as he ended the program with a closing prayer.
Can a person really be expected to live a holy life in this world? When God said, “Be ye holy, for I am holy,” did He really mean for us to take Him literally? Surely, He knows it is possible! I mean, consider what the average Joe has to face each day: television and advertising assault him with sensuality and materialism; contemporary music glorifies lifestyles that are anything but holy; the people he works with urge him to loosen up and go with the flow. On and on it goes. And it isn’t any better for the average Mary—she faces all the above and more. So, in the midst of all this, we’re supposed to act like angels? Now I’m not saying we don’t want to, after all, we are Christians and we certainly do want to make Heaven when this life ends. But we get kind of concerned when we read in the twelfth chapter of Hebrews that without holiness, “no man shall see the Lord”. So, what’s the answer? And just what is holiness? Let’s settle one issue right away. God means exactly what He says. Now before you throw your hands in the air and walk off in hopeless frustration, listen to this: God is not a tyrant; He is not commanding something that He knows is impossible for us to do, nor is He unaware of what you and I face in this wicked world. Yet He still requires the true Christian to be holy. So how do we reconcile our struggles with His requirements? First, let’s nail down the meaning of the word holy. The Webster’s Dictionary tells us that it means “… spiritually perfect or pure; untainted by evil or sin; sinless; saintly”. Whew! Sounds like a pretty tall order, doesn’t it? But let’s look at the Bible definition. We read in 2 Timothy 2:22 that we are to “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart”. Notice the last two words—“pure heart”. Throughout Scripture, we find the theme of God desiring a pure heart repeated over and over. Remember when David’s brothers were paraded before the prophet Samuel? One fine specimen of manhood after another, yet God rejected them. Why? God told Samuel that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart”. Paul tells us that God sees all the thoughts and intents of our hearts. And we read in 2 Chronicles 16:9 that God is looking for that one who has a heart that is perfect toward Him. Do you see where we’re heading? God is more concerned with the condition of our hearts than He is with our outward actions. So does that mean we can do anything we want and it’s all right with God? No, it means that if we prayerfully and carefully maintain the pure heart that God gives us when He sanctifies us, our actions will be pure in God’s eyes. He looks for pure motives and an earnest sincere desire to please Him. So even when our actions seem to fall short of our ideals for holiness, remember that God is looking on the heart. If we have a desire to be holy planted in our hearts, we’ll avoid situations that might defile our hearts. How? For one thing, we need to say with the psalmist, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes”. Be extremely selective in what you look at and what you read. Then do the same thing with your ears. Don’t purposely listen to the things that could lead you downward. And make sure you keep your thoughts in line with Philippians 4:8! Granted, there will always be things paraded before our eyes and forced into our ears that we have no control over. And Satan can flash thoughts across our minds. But we aren’t responsible for what we involuntarily face in life, only for how we respond to what we face. The Lord will give us strength if we are willing to turn to Him when we are in need. Did you catch the phrase if we are willing? Never underestimate the danger of a misdirected will. If we wilfully begin to lean towards something that is antagonistic to heart-holiness, we will frustrate God’s attempts to help us. Yes, God demands holiness, but rejoice—it’s attainable for all who desire it and are willing to diligently seek it!
I thank God for the privilege of sharing my testimony on this platform. I was born in the gospel, my siblings and I were taught the ways of the Lord by our parents and at a tender age, the Lord graciously gave me the graces of Salvation, Sanctification and Baptism of the Holy Spirit. God took care of me and helped me through school from Primary to Tertiary. It is good to have the Christian graces early in life because it helped me not to be overcome or influenced by peer pressure, especially in the higher institution. I thank God because he answers prayers. After graduation, I told God to do my posting. When the posting came out, I saw Akwa Ibom, “haa”, from one extreme of the country to another. I was shocked but couldn't do anything because I had asked for God's will, so I accepted it like that. Obedience pays. It was announced then, that all intending Corps Members should send their details to YDD at WECA, that I did and was happy I did. I always tell people, especially the youths that there is love in the gospel and Jesus has made us one big family despite all odds. After my posting, my former pastor insisted I should live with his family - that was free accommodation. AFCMF is wonderful; a wing of the church that brings Corps Members to fellowship together. In the orientation camp, we were able to fellowship twice a week. The Uyo district headquarters compiled our details and forwarded to a church member who is an NYSC Staff. All of us then, including those who were non-Apostolic Faith member (because they joined our fellowship) were posted to where we wanted and about 80% of us posted to the capital city. It pays to serve Jesus. We were conveyed to the church by the church bus after orientation camp and fed sumptuously. It is good to be in the midst of the people of God, because one feels at home. With the help of AFCMF (WECA and Ikot Enwang Region), we were able to hold programs, rally and prayer retreat for the Corps Members and the youths. When I passed out with my colleagues the church organized send forth for us which we didn't even expect. I, in particular, was honoured with another special send forth and various presents by the choristers, which made me feel highly elated. I must say, there were trials and temptations, but the God I know and His graces embedded in me saw me through the service year. Glory be to God because I can now look back and say it was God all through. <b>#LongliveAFCMF</b> <b>#LongliveUyoDistrict</b> <b>#LongliveIkotEnwang Region</b> <b>#LongliveApostolicFaith</b> Formerly: Godiya Birma Audu Balami Now: Afe Godiya Oluwarotimi