Hundreds of Christians on December 31st shrugged off threats of the COVID-19 pandemic to usher in the New Year in a vigil at the Christ Temple of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) at Teshie.
The church members and other visitors, mostly clad in white apparels to signify triumph over 2021, sang and danced to glorify God for His love, mercies, protection, a successful 2021 and asked for a better year in 2022.
The service, which was held outside the Church’s auditorium to allow for the observation of the COVID-19 social distancing protocol, had tight security as personnel from the Ghana Police Service and the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) were stationed at vantage points to ensure orderliness.
Delivering his New Year message, Pastor Mensa Otabil, Head Pastor of the ICGC, said 2021 had been touted as one of the most difficult year’s in about 100 years of human existence for various reasons, including the ravaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world.
He said it was, therefore, important that Christians gave thanks to their Maker for how far He had brought them despite the many tribulations and afflictions of 2021.
“If you survived this year, you are a survivor. If you didn’t fall and lie down but you fell and got up, you are a champion. If life buffeted you but you received the blows and kept marching, you are a champion.
“The Lord will increase us in many areas of our lives,” Pastor Otabil said.
Pastor Otabil, however, was optimistic the New Year would bring a better life for all and urged Christians to surrender their burdens to their Maker and allow him to control every situation.
Quoting Matthew 14:17-20, which indicated that Christ Jesus fed multitude with five loaves of bread and two little fishes, Pastor Otabil, said Christians would witness increase in their lives if they would surrender their burden to the Lord.
He, therefore, urged them not to lean on their knowledge but on Christ Jesus, their saviour.
“Giving those five loaves of bread and two fishes was a sign of surrender. What we have isn’t much but we put it in your hands. In 2022, what you may have in your hands isn’t much but put it in God’s hands because sometimes we despise what we have and we claim that we don’t have much.
“It may be just five loaves of bread and two fishes but if you want to increase, take it away from your hands and put it in Jesus’ hands,” he urged.
The theme for 2022 is “Increase.”
The situation was not different in other parts of the country with millions trooping to churches to usher in the New Year, some, in nose masks.
Before midnight, some drinking spots also hosted some clients with gospel music.