An impressive journey to Zambia


Zambia is home to approximately 1.3 million New Apostolic Christians (photo: NAC Zambia)

Lusaka. Some 6,000 members and guests came to the Lusaka-Central church in order to enjoy the divine service with Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber live, while tens of thousands more were linked to the festive service by satellite. At the end of the service, Apostle Akombaetwa Samalama was given a festive retirement, and six new Apostles and eight new Bishops were ordained for the District Churches of Zambia, South East Africa, and Cape.

“Zambia was magnificent,” reported the Chief Apostle as he reminisced about his visit. On Friday, 29 October 2010 he enjoyed a choral concert in the Zambian capital of Lusaka before going on to conduct two divine services in the country: one in Kitwe on Saturday, and another on Sunday in Lusaka. For the country of Zambia, where approximately ten percent of the population professes the New Apostolic faith, he ordained two new Apostles in Donald Kalunga Kalyangu (50) and Godwin Lubinda Nyuwa (48). Jonas Kamwengo (42), Walubita Masheke (55), and Fred Mwila (46) were also ordained to the Bishop ministry for the country of Zambia. There were also some new ministerial gifts for the work of the New Apostolic Church on the island of Madagascar: Felix Ratsimbazafy (46) was ordained an Apostle, and Jacques Andiratomposon (52), Justin Lama (58), and Alphonse Ramena (57) were ordained as Bishops. Patricio Jorge (54) was also ordained an Apostle, and will in future travel throughout Mozambique in this capacity.

Apostles and Bishops were also ordained for both District Churches in the Republic of South Africa: the District Church of South East Africa received a new Apostle in Lionel John Meyer (55), and two Bishops in Jan Enoch Mabaso (48) and Isaac Viril Naude (60). Apostle Ndodomzi Terence Nene (48) was also ordained an Apostle for the District Church of Cape.

Chief Apostle Leber chose a Bible passage from Matthew 12: 30 as the basis for Sunday’s divine service in Lusaka: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” The Church leader went on to explain: “From this we learn that it is necessary to believe in the Lord and follow Him, that we must remain loyal to Him and not pursue our own way, and that we must commend ourselves to the Lord with our whole heart, not just superficially.” The retired District Apostle Duncan Mfune—who had led the Church in Zambia for many years—and his wife also received a blessing on their golden wedding anniversary.


An Inside Look as President Trump Hosts the Administration’s First State Visit

6 minute read

When King David Kalakaua of the Kingdom of Hawaii visited Washington, D.C., in 1874, there was no guide for how President Ulysses S. Grant should welcome him. The White House had never hosted a foreign head of state—Hawaii would not be annexed by the United States until 1898—largely because travel overseas during the 18th and 19th centuries was long and hazardous.

No matter how the visit went, King Kalakaua’s trip would set a precedent.

The result was America’s first State Dinner with a foreign head of state, an intimate but elaborate meal consisting of more than 20 courses and 36 guests. The President, Vice President, and a host of other U.S. dignitaries were in attendance.

The reason for King Kalakaua’s visit and the primary topic of discussion? A trade deal.

America will continue this tradition on April 24, 2018, when President Donald J. Trump hosts the first official State Visit of his Presidency. He will be joined at the White House by French President Emmanuel Macron, who was elected last spring. While President Trump has hosted numerous foreign leaders in Washington, such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May, April 24 will mark the first ceremonial State Visit of the Administration.

One reason that official State Visits are rarer is because they require ample time for planning and preparation. Everything from the 21-gun salute at the arrival ceremony to the seating arrangement at the dinner is meticulously coordinated. The formality of State Visits is both a way to honor the leaders of foreign countries and to pay homage to America’s own distinctive customs.

Today, State Visits include similar welcomes and dinners as to what King Kalakaua experienced, but the formal event has been refined and follows the traditions that were established in the 1950s and 1960s.

Most State guests today arrive in Washington, D.C., the day before their official arrival; they are then driven to the White House South Portico the morning of the ceremony. One of the U.S. Military bands plays the visiting country’s national anthem, followed by the American national anthem, and then the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps performs a march. Each leader gives a public welcome statement.

Often, a formal working luncheon is planned at the State Department for the visiting delegation. If no such lunch takes place, the President and First Lady will often host a small, private lunch at the White House instead.

The crown jewel of the visit is the State Dinner. The President and First Lady greet the visiting head of state and his or her spouse at the White House North Portico before leading them upstairs to the Yellow Oval Room. Upstairs, they often tour historic rooms in the private residence. Other guests enter through the East Wing to the State Floor, awaiting the guests of honor’s entrance down the Grand Staircase. The hosts and guests of honor greet the attendees, and the President and First Lady escort their visitors to the State Dining Room. Larger dinners may be held in the Rose Garden or in the East Room of the White House.

The pomp and circumstance of State Dinners has always drawn public intrigue. The press was so curious about the details of State Dinners in the 1960s, for example, that President Lyndon B. Johnson had an electronic system installed so reporters could listen in to what was happening inside. Today, for greater transparency, cameras record the speeches that the President and his guest give.

The meal itself is a large production that is planned as much as two to four months in advance. Often the First Lady will hold a pre-visit tasting with her staff, occasionally including the President. The Reagans would taste meals 7 to 10 days before their guests arrived. White House chefs often combine American specialties with the visiting country’s own flavors for a unique experience.

State Visits are large ceremonial affairs, as is appropriate to show respect to the visiting leader. The end goal of any such occasion, however, is practical: The President and visiting head of state meet together for working sessions throughout the trip.

Just as negotiating for better trade deals drove King Kalakaua to the White House nearly a century and a half ago, trade is sure to be on the menu when President Trump hosts President Macron in Washington on April 24.


Vice President Pence Swears in New NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine

Vice President Mike Pence swears in Jim Bridenstine as the 13th NASA Administrator as Bridenstine's family watches.
Vice President Mike Pence, left, swears in Jim Bridenstine as the 13th NASA Administrator as Bridenstine’s family watches, Monday, April 23, 2018 at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Jim Bridenstine officially took office as the 13th administrator of NASA Monday after he was given the oath of office by Vice President Mike Pence at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

“It is a great privilege for me to be here today, to be able to usher in on behalf of the President of the United States what we believe is a new chapter of renewed American leadership in space with the swearing-in of the newest Administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine,” said Vice President Pence. “Under Space Policy Directive 1, we will send American astronauts back to the Moon, and after that we will establish the capacity, with international and commercial partners, to send Americans to Mars. And NASA will lead the way.”

In his new role at NASA, Bridenstine takes over an agency critical to the nation’s economy, security and technological preeminence.

“NASA represents the best of the United States of America,” said Bridenstine. “We lead, we discover, we pioneer, and we inspire. I look forward to our journey together.”

As part of the swearing-in ceremony, Vice President Pence and Administrator Bridenstine spoke live with NASA astronauts Scott Tingle, Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, who currently are living and working 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. The astronauts offered congratulations and shared stories of their experiences on the orbiting laboratory.

Vice President Mike Pence and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine talk with astronauts onboard the International Space Station
Vice President Mike Pence and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine talk with NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel, Scott Tingle, and Ricky Arnold who are onboard the International Space Station, Monday, April 23, 2018 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Bridenstine was just sworn in by the Vice President as NASA’s 13th Administrator.
Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Following the ceremony, which was attended by Bridenstine’s family, employees and media, the Vice President and new administrator held a meeting with senior agency leadership at headquarters and NASA’s centers via video teleconference.

“The appropriations bill that is now law renews focus on human spaceflight activities and expands our commercial and international partnerships. It also continues our pursuit of cutting-edge science and aeronautics breakthroughs,” Bridenstine told agency leadership.

Bridenstine was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 19, to serve as the agency’s administrator. Prior to this position, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives for the state of Oklahoma, where he held positions on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Bridenstine also is a pilot in the U.S. Navy Reserve and the former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium.

Read Bridenstine’s official biography at: