Every goodbye is a new beginning
When one leaves another one comes. Such is life. District Apostle Urs Hebeisen from the Philippines will be retiring this year in November. This involves a number of organisational changes.
Farewell tour in East Asia
At the end of last year already, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider transferred the care of New Apostolic congregations in parts of East Asia to the New Apostolic Church Australia. The congregations in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Macau, and Taiwan will in future be looked after by the Church in Australia. District Apostle Urs Hebeisen, to whose District Apostle Area these countries belonged, recently said farewell to the brothers and sisters there. Apostle Peter Schulte of Australia accompanied him on his last visit to Japan and South Korea and was introduced to the congregations there. “I set foot in Japan for the first time in November 1976. A lot has happened over these 42 years,” District Apostle Hebeisen said. “One thing is sure, God was always with us.” District Apostle Helper Peter Schulte, who is the designated District Apostle for Australia—his ordination is planned in September—was warmly welcomed in the congregations in Matsuyama and Tama (Japan).
District Apostle Hebeisen also visited Korea to say goodbye to the congregations. Here too, he was accompanied by Peter Schulte, who was warmly welcomed. The ministers pointed out that the New Apostolic Church in South Korea will be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2020. They would love nothing more than to have the Chief Apostle celebrate this golden anniversary with them. District Apostle Hebeisen celebrated a service in our congregation in Daejon. The District Apostle based his sermon on 2 Timothy 3: 14: “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.” District Apostle Helper Schulte emphasised, “We do not want to change things or dismantle anything, but build on it.” Apostle Fred Wolf from Thailand, for example, will continue to assist with the work in South Korea for the time being.
A first official visit in the Philippines
District Apostle Helper Edy Isnugroho of Indonesia—the designated successor of District Apostle Hebeisen in South-East Asia—has in the meantime been busy visiting the congregations which have not yet had a chance to meet him. Together with Apostle Leonilo Desoloc and Bishop Puso he visited the congregations in Palawan, an island in the western part of the Philippine archipelago. In the north, he invited the ministers for a meeting, led a youth meeting, and celebrated a service in Calawag. In the south, he did the same. The ministers came together for a meeting, and the District Apostle Helper conducted a divine service in the congregation Barrio Underground in Quezon. He dispensed the Holy Spirit in this service as well as the confirmation blessing.
In February, Apostle Isnugroho was already in Cebu and Bohol to introduce himself to the congregations there.