March 14, 2018
Midwest Special Meetings
Midwest special meetings were held February 9-11 at the Apostolic Faith Church in St. Louis, Missouri. In spite of heavy snowfall in several locations, people traveled from as far as Michigan in the north and Mississippi in the south, with ten states being represented. The guest speaker was Harlan Lee, from Roseburg, Oregon, who attended with his wife, Debbie.
The Friday evening service began with Nyasha Gwaza, from Madison, Wisconsin, singing a song he wrote, while he accompanied on the guitar. Karen Storey, the pastor in Chicago, Illinois, led the congregational singing. Solomon Akinduro, the group leader in Memphis, Tennessee, testified that he had been plagued for a number of years with high blood pressure, diabetes, and gout, but when he went to the doctor the week before, all of his test results were good, and he is thankful for God’s healing touch. Taiwoo Park, from East Lansing, Michigan, said that God brought him to the Apostolic Faith Church in South Korea after he was saved. Now he and his wife are living where there is no Apostolic Faith Church, but he is thankful that God is with them wherever they go. For the first special, a men’s ensemble sang “Heaven’s Jubilee.” Before the sermon, Charles Schleicher, the pastor in Madison, and his wife, Antonia, sang “The Longer I Serve Him.” Brother Harlan took his text from Genesis 1:1-2, bringing out that the Gospel is simple and not hard to understand when people take God at His Word. Using the example of the distress and confusion caused by a recent tragedy in the Roseburg church family, he emphasized that God’s Spirit has been there to put things in order as people have prayed and trusted in God.
The service on Saturday morning began with a woodwind ensemble playing “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” and “Shelter in the Time of Storm.” Joshua Idowu, the pastor in St. Louis, testified that he had been having trouble with his eyes, and was unable to see clearly. The St. Louis church saints began praying for him in January, and God has healed and restored his sight. Cynthia King, from Chicago, said that she was involved in a serious accident last summer when her car was hit by an eighteen-wheeler truck, and even though she was trapped in her vehicle for a time, God spared her from being seriously injured. A men’s trio sang “Rock of Ages” for the first special, and a group from Memphis, Tennessee, sang the last special, “Set My Soul Afire.” Brother Harlan took his text from Joshua 5:13-15 and 6:1-2, bringing out that God is ready to do battle on behalf of His people when they put their trust in Him and believe that He will answer.
A youth service was held on Saturday evening, beginning with a French horn solo by Jonathan Cantrell, “Feeling Mighty Fine.” During the congregational singing, Gozie Uzendu and Goodnews Osunkwo competed in who could “spring up” the highest during the song “Spring Up, O Well,” to the delight of the congregation. Esther Oyedokun testified that she faced a number of trials when she first came to America from Nigeria, but she is thankful that God sent her a friend to talk to, and that He brought her through high school and college. A mixed quartet from Chicago sang “When God Dips His Love in My Heart,” and before the sermon, Olivia Downey sang “He’s Always Been Faithful.” Brother Harlan read 2 Kings 5:1-4 for his text, and he encouraged the young people to let God give them a testimony that they can share with others just as the young maid did with Naaman.
The Sunday morning service began with the brass playing “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart” and “It Is Well With My Soul.” The choir then sang “Nothing But the Blood.” Sister Debbie testified that in June of 1977, just before she graduated from high school, God saved her, and she has enjoyed serving Him ever since. Norman and Pauline Burgess, from St. Louis, sang “A Name I Highly Treasure,” and for the last special, Jon Wolf, also from St. Louis, sang “I Am Committed.” Brother Harlan took his text from John 1:48, bringing out that just as Jesus saw Nathanael’s heart, He sees every person's heart still today and wants to give what is needed.
Those who attended the Midwest special meetings were blessed by the services and fellowship, and encouraged to continue being faithful in their home churches.
(Mouse over the image to click through the album.)