“Ei Deacon! Are you still sitting here?” Lead Apostle Samuel Oppong-Brenya says teasingly as he stops to interact with the assigned person to receive the Apostles and Bishops. He himself had just returned from welcoming the Chief Apostle a few hours earlier, and would drive him to Koforidua the next day, on 26th January 2019, for the Ministers’ and Wives’ divine service. It was past 8PM. And he did look tired.
“Yes Lead Apostle, I am waiting for the remaining contingent from Nigeria.” He continued: “The second batch would arrive around 11PM. That would be too late and you don’t have to wait till then”. “Lead Apostle I will wait”. “Are you sure? Well, I’m off. You, are a young man (he says laughing). Please don’t hesitate to call should you need me”, he concluded.
This time, he is supporting Lead Apostle Ohene-Saffo to receive the Chief Apostle in Ghana. He’s been there, and he knows the weight of expectation during such occasions. On the periphery of happenings, Bishop Eric Ampadu (NAC Reporter) picked his thoughts on dialogue between Lead Apostle Oppong and Deacon Fred Quansah-Haylse during the Chief Apostle’s last visit.
NAC Reporter: When you look back to 2019, what were the most remarkable moments you would recount?
Lead Apostle Oppong-Brenya: 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of NAC in Ghana. The divine service for the Ministers and their wives at Koforidua where over 4,000 attended as well as the Ministers and Wives choir. The over 10,000 members who congregated at Cape Coast, the choir at Cape Coast. The retirement of Apostles Dzatta and Pidah; two tried and tested Apostles, and the ordination of Apostles Osei and Kuada to replace them. They are now working together with Apostle Akubia to host the Chief Apostle at Ho in the Volta Region of Ghana.
NAC Reporter: Lead Apostle Ohene-Saffo (Southern Ghana) is hosting him this time. What advice would you give, considering this might be Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider's last visit to Ghana?
Lead Apostle Oppong-Brenya: The Chief Apostle does not visit a congregation or a district. He visits a country. His visit must therefore have a lasting impression on the country. Ghana was acknowledged by the NAC world when Chief Apostle Richard Fehr conducted a divine service at the Trade Fair Site in Accra and was transmitted to Europe for the first time.
NAC Reporter: What was the most challenging aspect of hosting the Chief Apostle?
Lead Apostle Oppong-Brenya: Hosting the Chief Apostle is a divine task. It is like the construction of a complete building. Failure to include any one essential material eg. stones, sand, cement, wood, water, iron rods and roofing sheets will collapse the building. Here we talk about location, finances, organization and implementation, participants, music, logistics, transmission, etc. It takes a lot sacrifice to bring the plan into reality.
NAC Reporter: How would you describe the Chief Apostle’s personality?
Lead Apostle Oppong-Brenya: He is very simple but complex in nature. He easily adapts to every culture and situation he finds himself in throughout his travels around the globe. I had the opportunity to drive our Chief Apostle and District Apostle Ehrich during his last visit. Coming so close to him, I found him a very humble caring ambassador of Christ.
NAC Reporter: Although you are not directly the host, do you still feel pressured and responsible for a successful visit?
Lead Apostle Oppong-Brenya: We have a mandate to help our District Apostle to carry out his task in his Working Area. Unless the task is completely and successfully done, one is not free. The Chief Apostle is coming to Ghana, and the world would see Ghana, not just Accra or Ho in the Volta region. The many prayers, enquiries, advice, time of waiting and expected fulfilment puts a yoke on everybody.
NAC Reporter: Thank you Lead Apostle. And we will continue to pray for a successful and fulfilling visit.
Lead Apostle Oppong-Brenya: You are welcome my dear Bishop. Thank you for the support and continue to keep us in your prayers.