Retirement. Some people love it while others fear it. For those who have spent large portions of their life serving God, they may retire from positions or organizations but they can never retire from serving God. The youth of the Ghugus congregation saw this firsthand when retired Apostle Morris Lal visited them. He was as zealous for God as he had been during his “active” years in the ministry.
Three long years had passed since the youth of the Ghugus congregation heard Apostle Lal speak. So when they heard he was visiting them in August 2016, they were beyond thrilled. He had come especially to have a seminar with them after which the youth wanted to interview him. They presented him with a floral bouquet after which they moved into a beautiful time of praise and worship.
Talking Openness, Optimism and Church Responsibilities
Apostle Lal started the seminar by explaining the vision and mission of New Apostolic Church. His interesting and creative ways of handling the topics encouraged the youth to participate. He used attractive sketches to tell them how openness and an optimistic nature will fill their lives with blessings. Apostle Lal wanted the youth to participate in the session and so he gave them sufficient time to come up with answers for some of his questions. He used the four walls of home to illustrate the importance of each one’s responsibility as a church member. In addition to the sketches, he also used two different types of leaves to show the youth the kind of humble attitude that their Heavenly Father appreciates.
Going back to where it all began
Priest Vipin conducted the interview with Apostle Lal on behalf of the youth. There was an interesting mix of spiritual, professional and personal questions as the youth wanted to know more about Apostle Lal. With much excitement the interview began.
What are the pros and cons of being in a relationship and what kind of relationships are safe to be in?
It depends on the culture that you are in. When you are in a relationship you need to be alert and ensure that your love does not turn into lust. You need to always maintain the holiness of the relationship.
What motivated you and keeps you motivated to serve God?
(As Apostle Lal answered this question, there were tears rolling down his face) There was a time when my father barely earned 58 rupees. Surviving on that amount was hard so thinking about purchasing gifts was near impossible. When I was 16, I was already out of the house pursuing my studies. One day I received a postcard from my father. It was embossed with Psalm 119:10, “With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!” These words encouraged me at the age of 16 and continue to motivate me to give my all to serve God.
(This was an emotional time not just for Apostle Lal but for all the youth gathered there. They got a glimpse of the sacred relationship that the Apostle shared with his father.)
What are some of the key factors that helped you grow in the New Apostolic Faith?
My spiritual journey began as an 18-year-old priest in Winston Church, after which I became the Chairman of the churches all around. A time came when there was conflict and controversy in Winston Church. Wanting to be an ambassador of peace, I opted to leave the church. I was sad and feeling very discouraged. Then I met a shepherd who spent time counseling me and led me to the New Apostolic Church. My faith and dedication to God was stirred again and I started to blossom. I was ordained as a Priest in 1981 and six years later, I was ordained as an Apostle in 1987. I worked mostly in the rural areas of central India. After 32 years of active ministry in the New Apostolic Church, I was relieved from my official responsibilities on 7 November 2013 at the DOTY in Hyderabad.
I still continue to participate in the NAC activities and am currently translating the Catechism of The New Apostolic Church from English to Hindi.
How should the youth balance their spiritual and professional life?
First focus on your spiritual life as only that is eternal and everlasting. When we focus on God and choose to be His bride, then everything else will get simplified and sort itself out.
A Fond Farewell
The youth enjoyed getting to know Apostle Lal. After a scrumptious lunch, he bid farewell to his young friends in the faith, and his parting words brought a smile to their face, “God be with you till we meet again.”
It was a day that all of them would cherish for a long time.