Coming from Micronesia, Apostle Lodewick visited Tama Congregation on the Second Advent weekend in preparation for the transition of the congregations in Japan to the Australian District which is planned for autumn 2018.
After a fellowship on Saturday afternoon when he was welcomed according to Japanese custom with Koto music and had a chance to practice calligraphy, the Apostle gathered the brothers in the Ministry and explained them what it means to trust in God. He referred to an aphorism which says, “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” He then told them that our Chief Apostle, when he was in Australia quoted this aphorism, and added, “our hope is in God.”
On Sunday, he served the congregation with Mark 1: 2–3, where it says, As it is written in the Prophets:
Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You. The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.
Referring to the text which calls John the Baptist a messenger, the Apostle mentioned that when he visits the Solomon Islands, he is using messengers to inform the congregations of his coming. During a recent visit, he sent a messenger to a congregation to announce his coming and then went to that place in a small boat, a six-hour journey. After he arrived he looked for the priest whom he had sent the message but he could not find him.
As the Apostle’s driver did not know the area, and evening was drawing close, the Apostle went to the market and asked for that priest. Some people said they knew him but they could not give reliable directions to the place of the congregation. Finally the Apostle found a young man who wanted to talk to him. For a short moment the Apostle was hesitant but then he shook hands with that man who told him that he knows the priest and he also said his father had sent him to look for the Apostle. It turned out that the father was a priest of a different congregation, he had received no message but he was prompted to send his son to see the Apostle. He told the Apostle that his father wanted him to come to visit an area where he had worked to prepare many souls for Holy Sealing.
So the Apostle changed his plans. He visited that village, the priest took him to the new location where many souls were waiting to be sealed with the Holy Spirit. The Apostle who was somewhat in a hurry asked when the sealing service should take place and they answered when the sun had reached a certain location. As the children had to sit for examinations, the priest thought the start of the service could not be set earlier. But before noon the son of the priest who turned out to be a teacher told the Apostle they could start now. He had asked the principle of the school whether the examinations could be postponed to the afternoon. The principle agreed and some of the other teachers also attended the service.
Things had not developed as the Apostle had expected them but the Lord had given more than the Apostle ever had imagined.
In closing, the Apostle exhorted the listeners to be messengers of Christ and be guided by the Holy Spirit. In doing so, he assured them, they will experience what they believe.
Before starting the fellowship after the service, the congregation recorded a message, ”Konnichiwa (”Good day” in English). Merry Christmas, Australia!” which the Apostle delivered to the congregations he visited in the following weeks.
The service was followed be a fellowship at the end of which the Apostle joined into the singing of the congregation.