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APC Thanksgiving in Australia

7 November 2007 at 04:12 | 855 views

By Tony Bee Conteh,Sydney ,Australia.

On Sunday November 4th 2007,a well attended thanks giving service which attracted both Christians and Muslims, was held in one of the Australian community churches, the Lighthouse International Church in Sydney by the Sierra Leone community.

But the main catalyst behind such a historic church service was the All People’s Congress (APC) membership in Sydney, Australia.

The purpose of the thanksgiving service was to praise God and thank him for the peaceful transition of political power from the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) to the opposition APC which many Sierra Leoneans here saw as a wonderful miracle from God.

The Pastor of the Church was Pastor Paul Sankoh. The theme of his sermon was on "Hesitation". He started his preaching with Act 17: v 28, which says, “For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said (NIV).”

He named some of the different types of hesitation, which many people have in their minds in serving their Living God: hesitation for security, parenting and family commitments.

Many people, he said, hesitate to leave their wealth behind to serve God; some hesitate to leave their children to do the work of God while others hesitate to serve God because of their family obligations.

“But the Bible says what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul,” he quoted.

Pastor Paul Sankoh said: “It is good for man to leave all his wealth, children and family commitments behind and serve God because "God is the greatest security on earth.”

In an interview with one of the APC organisers of the service ,Mr. Edmondson Sonny Cole, interpreted the theme of the Pastor’s sermon this way:“The sermon was very good because some people hesitate to leave political power because of their misrule and also for fear of prosecution for their wicked deeds during their being in power, including corrupt practices.”

The vote of thanks was given by Mr James I. Koroma the Chairman of the APC branch in Sydney, Australia. He said:
"On behalf of All peoples Congress (APC) branch in Australia, I feel happy and honoured to give a vote of thanks while we celebrate a thanksgiving service for our country. First, I wish to thank Reverend Peter Nswowa, the leadership and the entire membership of this church for granting us the privilege to conduct this serve here. I also want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to our guests who have generously responded to our invitation."

"Some of you have given up your personal engagements to attend this ceremony. My vote of thanks will be incomplete if I fail to mention those who have personally provided us with the food and drinks we are about to have outside the church. I thank you all. In my capacity as chairman of the APC branch in Australia, I will be charged if I don’t extend my personal thanks to my resourceful and committed membership who have made this event a success. I must say, I am proud of you."

"Ladies and gentlemen, the APC, in Australia chose this day as a collective conscience to thank God for what He has done for our country and us. Most of you are aware that Sierra Leone has just gone through a brutal civil war that brought untold misery and devastation to that country. It is therefore, fitting that as we go on our daily activities, we reflect with pride on our achievements and say thanks to God.

"Today, Sierra Leone stands at the crossroads with the just concluded general elections that brought the All Peoples Congress (APC) to the helm. A new phenomenon has emerged in that country and that is, the people are in now in charge. Because the people are in charge, the APC government under the leadership of President Earnest Bai Koroma is committed to promoting the democracy, stability and development that would make Sierra Leone a nation where opportunities for education and jobs would be available, opportunities that would allow the new government to meet the hopes and aspirations of our people."

"Family worshippers, the APC party which is today at the helm of the political leadership in Sierra Leone was formed in 1960, as a radical but Democratic Party, whose allegiance was neither to the rich nor to the influential.

"It is an inclusive party that seeks the interest of all Sierra Leoneans, irrespective of tribe, region or political affiliation. The APC as we all know, has a rich record of achievements in that country, and I need not recount them here. The list is just too long. But a brief look at the country’s infrastructure, communication, education and health to name but a few will rekindle your thoughts as to why the masses voted it in instead of the incumbent party then. In the just concluded general elections, the people demonstrated their determination to let Sierra Leone move forward."

"They voted overwhelmingly against a government of corrupt and selfish individuals, in spite of all the political machinations and flagrant abuses of incumbency. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I wish to call on all Sierra Leoneans to come together and support the government of President Ernest B. Koroma, regardless of where you come from in Sierra Leone.

"Sierra Leone is desperate for development and progress as every sector of our society is a priority. Let the political pundits go to sleep and let the wisdom of the APC emerge. The tradition of thanksgiving is a reminder to all of us to give thanks to God for the blessings of peace, stability and above all for the smooth transition of government from an impotent leadership to an active and result oriented leadership."

"At this point, ladies and gentlemen, I must confess I am not a Christian even though I attended a Catholic institution. I do respect the faith and its values. The one thing I learnt from that institution was the Ten Commandments. Commandments like, thou shall have no other God before me, thou shall not take the name of the Lord in vain, remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, are the foundation of the belief in one God."

"Honour thy father and their mother, thou shall not commit adultery are the foundation of marriage and the family. Thou shall not kill, is the basis for life. Thou shall not steal, is the basis for respect of property rights. Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour and thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s property, is the basis of respect for others and their individual rights."

Concluding John Koroma said:
"Fellow worshippers, we witnessed all the abuse of all of the Ten Commandments in the ten year civil war and in the eleven years of SLPP misrule. For the APC, the Ten Commandments are the great principles of upon which the APC stands. And it is fitting to remind all of us that the rule of law stemmed from the Ten Commandments, on which the constitution and justice system are built. On this note, ladies and gentlemen, if you respect the Ten Commandments, you have respected the rule of law and the leadership of God has chosen for you. On behalf of the APC, I thank you all."

Photos: Some members of the congregation at the thanksgiving service. Pastor Sankoh is seen at the top and Mr. John Koroma is the speaker with the red tie above.

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