world report

Special Occasion, Special Visit, and Special Meetings in Australia

June 14, 2024

From the Superintendent's DESK

Sam Ajayi, Director of Australia Work, made a surprise visit to Australia this past week for a special celebration that was the catalyst for special meetings. This was his first trip to the country since 2019. He sent the following report detailing what took place.

On Saturday, June 8, at a well-decorated hall in Bankstown, Ernest Akerejola, who leads our work in Australia, walked into a surprise gathering of family, friends, colleagues, and brethren. Some brethren had traveled from Melbourne for the occasion. Many others had joined remotely from Canada, China, Hong Kong, Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Australia.

After a welcome, Romans 13:7 was read, “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” It was stated that Brother Ernest is certainly deserving of our honoring him at his milestone Platinum (seventieth) Birthday.

A little was shared about Brother Ernest. Many know him as a good family man, a faithful Christian, a good colleague, and a decent man. But the man we know is only a product of an encounter he had with Christ many years ago that changed his heart. When he was appointed as leader in Australia, he was at first hesitant, but knowing it was the will of God, he acquiesced. At the time, the group was being led in a direction contrary to our heritage faith, but Brother Ernest began encouraging the work along a straight path. This is one reason he is greatly appreciated among the brethren in Australia.

A congregational song of “Blest Be the Tie that Binds” was sung by all present, accompanied by a woodwind ensemble. Then an exhortation was given highlighting three types of people: those with ties to Jesus; those with severed ties to Jesus; and those without ties to Jesus. It was brought out that just as Brother Ernest was celebrated, a time is coming when Jesus will celebrate all who have ties to Him by honoring them in the presence of the angels in Heaven. The congregation was encouraged to pray and establish, repair, or strengthen their ties with Jesus according to their need. This was followed by a good time of prayer.

The rest of the evening was filled with food and reminiscences of Brother Ernest by family, friends, brethren, and colleagues, including the professor who paved the way for him and his family to move to Australia. Brother Ernest in his response thanked everyone and said he was beside himself to see the depth of the love of Christ demonstrated towards him.

The following day, the Sunday services began with Sunday school. The adult lesson on spiritual growth was taught by Manuel Tshuma. The morning devotional service started with instrumentals followed by beautiful and hearty renditions by the choir of “Walk about Zion,” “Our Hearts are Full of Joy,” and “Joy in My Heart.”

The message was taken from 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, which is a portion of the genealogies tracing Christ’s lineage. Though Jabez was among those given special recognition, it was not for any spectacular feat he had done. It was for offering an effective prayer that was fully answered by God. Each portion of his four-part prayer was analyzed. The first part was a prayer for salvation, for to be “blessed indeed” is to be truly saved and remain saved! His other three requests—for God to enlarge his coast, that God’s hand be with him, and that God keep him from evil—dovetailed with the first. Taken together, the four parts will successfully lead one to Heaven. The congregation, joining from across Australia through the internet, was challenged to pray as Jabez did without placing limits on what God can do. As everyone went to the altars afterward and prayed in earnest, there was hardly a dry eye, and a spirit of revival prevailed.

In the evening service, the spirit of revival continued. Those who came from Melbourne for the weekend celebration were on their way back home. Yet, they still joined the service in transit. Brother Ernest testified to God’s grace that brought a remarkable change into his life. He expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support he had just received. A brother from Perth testified about how God saved his soul when he followed his mother to church. He was also grateful that God protected all the church members through the uncertain times with COVID. Another brother from Queensland thanked the Lord for his salvation and that of his family. He also gave thanks for the good examples and challenges in the Gospel as witnessed at the previous evening.

During the meeting, it was announced that between the upcoming camp meeting in September and the Melbourne revival meetings, there will be a formal launching of the Queensland group at Townsville, if the Lord tarries. This news was received with a thunderous “Amen!” We are very thankful for this development.

The sermon was taken from Luke 22:31-34. It was noted that in recent times the world has witnessed the development of “smart” appliances and gadgets, such as smart phones and cars. In the text, Jesus told Peter that the devil wanted to “sift him like wheat” and destroy him, but Jesus had prayed for him. Peter had no idea about the depth of the destruction coming his way. His only safety was that Jesus prayed for him! Today, we pray to God the Father through our Lord Jesus. How smart it would be to ask Jesus to pray for us as He did Peter! The congregation again took up the challenge, and the spirit of revival continued as people prayed fervently.

On Wednesday afternoon, a special revival service was held in Melbourne. The choir opened the meeting with “Salvation Has Been Brought Down,” and then a quartet sang “He Will Answer Every Prayer.” During the testimonies, two from Melbourne told of God’s goodness to them, which brought salvation to their souls. One said she was invited to Sunday school and in time, God helped her to understand and seek salvation. The other had been a convict who saw an Apostolic Faith magazine and read testimonies of deliverance inside. He wanted the same thing that he read about and asked the Lord into his life. He said salvation changed his life completely. A sister from Sydney also told how her life was changed when she confessed her sins and God saved her. She said the Lord gave her a loving husband, a stable home, children that love Him, and the hope of Heaven. She expressed particular thanks for the true love that is available in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The text for the sermon was Psalm 50:7-15, which includes, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” It was brought out that everyone will experience days of trouble, but God offers a formula for deliverance. The first step is to praise Him, which seems contrary to logic, but works. The second step is to pay one’s vows, including the full surrender each sinner offers at salvation. This means to live humbly, be holy, do God’s will, and follow Him in all things. The congregation was encouraged to examine their hearts and be true to their commitments, which will bring God’s promise of deliverance in days of trouble. The altars filled as the sermon closed and people tarried with tears, seeking God on their knees.

It is a special time among God’s people in Australia. There is a spirit of revival here, and we give God the glory for it. He engineered the events, and we praise His holy name while praying the revival continues and spreads.
occasion / dates
Special Meetings
June 8-14