International Sunday – A Celebration of Unity and Diversity.
Sunday15th of October marked yet another successful annual event at GHIC Bristol. Our church consists of people from different parts of the world we therefore use our International Sunday service as a way to celebrate this diversity and unity in Christ. It’s an event we look forward to all year round, as we come together representing our countries of origin through special presentations, attires, foods and most importantly, worship.
The day commenced with our usual Sunday service at 10:15am. We had a guest speaker, Pastor Seyi Oladosu who is also our provincial pastor. The theme of Pastor Seyi Oladosu’s message was enlargement. To enlarge means to increase, to stretch and to multiply. God commands us to increase and multiply. His plan and ultimate purpose is for us to be fruitful in every area of our lives. God does not want us to remain in our comfort zone, not knowing where to turn. He wants us to take the authority and dominion he has given us to bring change to lives wherever we are and to influence the world in a way that will give glory to His name. God has gathered us from different parts of the world so we can influence our city and nation with the love of God.
The second service of our International Sunday started at 6:00pm. This years’ service started with a Ugandan dance, we saw how people from east Africa worshipped God with their dance. We had an amazing time in the presence of God, as four guest churches led us into praise and worship. Starting with CLC our French connection who led us into praise from their native language Lingala, we then had KICC minister to us in English as well as in Igbo (which is a native language spoken in Nigeria). Glory of God Parish also joined us with a special rendition of “Holy is the lamb” in Spanish, our sister church GHIC Yeovil led us in Nigerian, Zimbabwean and South African praise. Our very own GHIC Bristol Choir also did a great job ministering to us in song. Ayanda Sibanda conducted the special item which was a medley of two songs “You Deserve it” and The Son Of God”. They sounded and looked great in their attires. Our ushers also looked great in their uniforms that had an African print finish.
We were blessed to have a special guest minister, Bee Bakare who is a Nigerian-born British soul singer/songwriter. Her songs have and continue to be played on local and international radio, including BBC, Premier and Crossrhythms. Bee Bakare took us on an emotional journey with her upbeat, yet vulnerable and heart-felt songs such as “Brighter” and “Love Like a Wave” just to name a few. We also had special presentations from some of our life cells groups in the church.
Over the course of the year, our nation has found itself in highly volatile seasons which have brought forth much pain, heartache and division. There have also been global disasters around the world including natural based calamities like hurricanes and mud slides that have sadly resulted in the loss of many lives. As Christians, we used this as an opportunity to cry out to God in prayer for the nations and seek His help in these troubling times. Pastor Kofo from KICC led us as we prayed and also repented on behalf of our nations.
Pastor Chris Bond from Hope Chapel was our guest minister for the night and what he said beautifully summed up our purpose as Christians. He was impressed by the differences in praise style and culture and expressed the importance of us all coming together as one for one common goal, which is to honour our Creator. He encouraged us to use the church’s unity to impact our environment and our city. Matthew 28:19 (NIV) says Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. God instructs us to be influential, effective and to extend our territories beyond our churches or homes.
The closing act for the night was a dance performed by Sandile, Lebo and Juanita, it was such a blessing to see even young people partaking in this glorious day and giving their personal contribution.
It was truly an astounding and powerful time spent in the presence of the Lord.
More pictures here