SID President’s visit to State House In Malawi

The 15th of July 2023, was the 5th day’s visit of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division President, Dr Harrington Simui Akombwa to Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa, where he attended the Big Sabbath at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe. The aerial shot of the venue shows that this was indeed a Big sabbath with more than 20 000 church members and visitors attending. Dr Akombwa arrived at the stadium accompanied by pastor Tony Nyirenda the Malawi union President, and his Officers and the three Conference presidents from the South, the Central and the North.

Dr. Akombwa was welcomed at the stadium by the pathfinders and the church members at large. Hundreds of church members thronged to Silver Stadium to hear their leader preach. What made this Big sabbath special, was the presence of the special guest, the country’s President himself, His Excellency, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, who enjoys so much the Adventist music. His Excellency arrived at the stadium accompanied by some of his government ministers. Among the invited guests was the Tanzanian Ambassador to Malawi Mrs. Kayole, who is also an Adventist member, and various other church denomination leaders, who came to attend the Big sabbath and to hear Dr Akombwa preach. The pathfinders were on the ground as well to give His Excellency a rousing welcome. All dressed in their regalia, the church members led by the Pathfinder brass band marched through the stadium and what a sight to see the children, the Dorcas ladies, the AMO men, the Women Ministries’ ladies, and our Youths march in front of the Division President Dr Akombwa and also His Excellency the President of the Republic of Malawi.

Dr Lazarus Chakwera who is so much in love with Adventist music, could be seen singing along with the congregation and what more… he even chose some of the songs, a sign that he is indeed familiar with Adventist music. The stadium vibrated into a frenzy as church members sang from the Adventist hymnal led by the Country’s president himself To God Be The Glory”. His Excellency participated throughout the entire sabbath school and was there throughout to listen to the sermon by Dr. Akombwa. Taking to the podium, Dr Akombwa preached a sermon entitled Behold the Ethiopian and he challenged the audience and church members, that God loves Africa and as such we must prepare for the Lord’s Second Coming as we live each day.

In Response, His Excellency said he was humbled by Dr Akombwa’s powerful sermon and further challenged the congregation that God is still God, and that we must try and live according to His statutes. The afternoon program was filled with music and the congregation was treated to a variety of music from various music groups from Malawi. Both the young and old took turns to preach through music and just as Jesus said let the little ones come to me for such is the Kingdom of heaven. The children led by the Children ministries’ department leaders, did not disappoint either, as they belted a beautiful rendition that left the congregation asking for more.

Addressing the congregation in the afternoon, the Division Leader, Dr. Harrington Akombwa, challenged the congregation once again not to lose sight of the bigger picture, that of eternal life, and to remain UNITED, because the devil is like a roaring lion ready to devour whom he may.

As the congregation made their way home, pastor Tony Nyirenda, the Union President, and John Phiri the host Conference President, said that they were happy that the church members came in their numbers. “I am so delighted that today we had a special sabbath with His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera”

As for the Division President Dr Harrington Akombwa, he said words fail him. “This visit has been very exceptional”. As part of the sendoff, the Union President Pastor Tony Nyirenda, and his union and conference leaders accompanied Dr Akombwa to the airport where he was seen off by the pathfinders accompanied by the brass band. The leaders from Malawi Union Conference were happy about what transpired during the Big sabbath especially the visit by our Division President, Dr Harrington Simui Akombwa to the Malawi Union Conference and more so, the presence of the country’s President, His Excellency Dr Lazarus Chakwera, who enjoyed fellowshipping with the Adventist family, despite his busy schedule.

Article: Noel Sibanda

Photography: Otieno Mkandawire and Yuno Kamba

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