The small town of Kazungula in the Chobe District of the Botswana-Zambezi Apostle Area on 23 and 24 July 2022, received a visit from District Apostle J Kriel.
The town is of historic significance for the development of the New Apostolic Church in the region. One of the New Apostolic pioneers from the area, the retired Evangelist Loyd Mutakela, tells of how several brothers migrated from Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) to Botswana (then Bechuanaland) in the 1960s. The brothers were working for a trading company and were devoted believers. They would often visit Northern Rhodesia for divine services as there were no New Apostolic congregations in Bechuanaland at that stage (the border between the two countries was just a stone’s throw away from where the brothers were working). Amongst the brothers were the late Shepherd Mukwati (father of the current Apostle Mukwati), the late Priest Sitambi Mutakela, the late Priest Muyoba Mukengami and the wives of the brothers. This group of believers pioneered the church in Botswana and were instrumental in the introduction of the New Apostolic doctrine in the country. Kazungula (referring to a type of tree called a Sausage Tree) is therefore the point of origin where the first seeds of faith were sown, which later spread to other parts of Botswana (Botswana became independent in 1966).
After the congregation of Kazungula was established, the late Apostle Mwape regularly crossed the border from Zambia to Botswana to conduct divine services. During his visits, he would ordain more brothers who then spread the gospel to other areas of Botswana. Amongst these pioneers were the retired Priest Masangu Matengu, his brother Simalumba, the retired Evangelist Mutakela and the now Apostle Mukwati doing the early missionary work for the church.
Now, more than half a century later, the District Apostle J Kriel touched down at Kasane International Airport to visit the Apostle area and to conduct a divine service at Kazungula. He was joyfully welcomed by Apostle P Liwakala, Apostle C Mukwati, Bishop Masule, District Evangelists Litiho and Munisola and many other brothers. Accompanying the Apostle Liwakala was the Rector C/Evangelist Mutakela. It was indeed a joyful moment for everyone present, and especially for all the members who were preparing themselves spiritually for the blessed encounter.
On Sunday, members from Kasane, Lesoma and Kavimba braced a chilly morning to arrive at the church as early as 06h00 to await the arrival of the District Apostle. The District Apostle was accompanied by the two Apostles and Bishop and arrived, to the welcoming faces of the Sunday School children. The divine service was conducted in English and translated into Setswana by District Evangelist Munisola. The Bible word was taken from Psalms 121:5-6. Apostle Liwakala was also called to serve along. For serving the departed, the District Evangelists Litiho and Munisola acted as proxies.
In the afternoon, the District Apostle, the two Apostles and the Bishop joined the district administration brothers, both active and retired, as well as their wives for lunch.