Former DMU student volunteering at First Love society can’t wait for fellowship meetings again

By Sarah Danquah

A former DMU student whose Christian society has been restricted to online meetings is looking forward to the lifting of Covid restrictions so he can again actively guide his fellows.

Adony Diboka, 23, graduated with a master’s degree in accounting and finance in 2019 and has been volunteering in a shepherding role at DMU’s First Love society since 2015.

“I’m a caring loving guide to my friends at church and I’m supporting them on their journey to Christianity,” said Mr Diboka, explaining the tasks of a shepherd.

Before the pandemic, the First Love society members attended church meetings starting at 12.30pm every Sunday at Holy Cross Church in Leicester.

The last big event by First Love Church: Leicester’s Boogie King 2020 on February 25th 2020

Patience, who did not want to give her full name, is another shepherd at the society and currently works in a pharmacy.

She said: “The last meeting happened on March 15th 2020 and we didn’t even know it was going to be the last one. I remember talking to my friends about the fast spread of the virus and thinking ‘hopefully this is not going to affect us.’”

However, the society now has a wide-ranging program incuding online meetings, bible studies and games nights on Zoom.

Charles Djabatey, one of the resource people of the First Love society, said: “The prayer, visitation, counselling and interaction are the four pillars of our church work, we currently do all of that online via social media platforms.”

Although the society made many efforts to continue its meetings online, Mr Diboka can’t wait to see his peers in real-life again.

“I really miss the personal gatherings, they were so eventful and included a lot of worshipping, preaching, singing and dancing.”

Lively stage performances were part of the Boogie King 2020 event, held at The Venue on the DMU campus

The easing of lockdown restrictions on March 8 in England allowed religious denominations to reunite again in person but the First Love society chose to continue its meetings online.

“We don’t want our society to be a hotspot for the virus and angry parents coming after us because their kids are infected,” Mr Diboka explained, with an average of more than 100 members regularly attending its meetings.

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