The good being done in the face of devastating loss
Food, school supplies, and even a confirmation suit: in crises large and small, New Apostolic Christians are on hand to help their neighbours. Here is where kindness spoke.
When the earth shakes
Some 26 million people in Turkey and Syria are currently facing devastating loss. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in the earthquake on 6 February. The compassion around the world is great as countries, organisations, and individuals rush to offer their help. For example, Bishop Aramik Fesdjian, who is responsible for the New Apostolic Christians in the two countries, reported an emergency relief effort by the New Apostolic congregation of Istanbul (Turkey) one day after the quake: “Priest Edgar Char is currently putting together a convoy to bring food, first aid materials, and especially water to Antakya.” Already on Tuesday morning, the Regional Church of Western Germany and its relief organisation NAK-karitativ donated 10,000 euros for emergency aid with more to follow.
Spontaneously, the youth of the Kassel-Korbach district in Germany organised a fundraising concert. Within a few hours they had planned a programme and distributed flyers. On 12 February the young musicians opened the concert with the piece “To God be the Glory”. The benefit concert was given under the motto #jugendbewegt, a hashtag developed to help young people commit themselves to help people in need. The rector of the congregation in Antakya addressed the audience via a voice message. The choir closed the concert with a wish for peace. The listeners were delighted and donated over 5,000 euros to the earthquake victims.
A good deed for a confirmation celebration
Two days before his confirmation, a boy from the congregation of Hanover Park in South Africa felt devastating loss instead of feeling excited about his confirmation: the house in which he had lived with his family had been destroyed by fire. The tragedy left the boy and his family with nothing. Sadly, he also lost his confirmation suit in the blaze. A call went out to the members of Hanover Park Congregation to assist the family. Following the selfless and generous acts of giving, the young man was given a new suit, shoes, shirt, and tie. Additionally, with the help of donations from the Sunday School teachers, he and another confirmand benefited from even more acts of kindness. The neighbours of the boy opened their home so that he could celebrate his confirmation day with a party. The community have also started building the family a new home. While the building is going on, the family are currently living in their opposite neighbour’s house.
Back to school stationery drive
School clothes, shoes, and stationery were handed over to the rectors of three congregations in the Lavistown district as well as to a local NGO on 22 January. These back-to-school items were presented to them by the district rectors of Lavistown and Welgelegen, after members from the two districts had generously donated them. The task of the rectors now is to distribute the items.
A heart for children
The commandment “Love your neighbour as yourself” prompted members of the New Apostolic Church in Ghana to initiate a monetary donation to the organisation Chance for Children (CFC). The organisation wants to get children off the streets and give them the chance at a good education. Lead Apostles Benjamin Ohene-Saffo and Samuel Oppong-Brenya presented a donation of 30,000 euros to Daniel Awuley Nartey, the director of a CFC Centre in Accra. He expressed his appreciation to the New Apostolic Church and revealed that the donation came just at the right time.
The congregation of Bondorf in Germany has donated about 1,500 euros to the association Kinder brauchen Frieden (Children need peace). The money came from an action carried out by members of the congregation who had sold homemade baked goods and gifts at a Christmas market in December. With the contribution, the association will support children who are currently suffering from the war in Ukraine.
District Apostle Jürg Zbinden also showed that he has a big heart for children during his visit to the daycare centre in Razeni in Moldova. His visit to the facility, which is funded by the New Apostolic Church Switzerland, caused great joy on all sides. He and his companions were welcomed in the traditional way with bread and salt and then shown around. The ministers were delighted when they were shown the children’s handicrafts and drawings and given a musical presentation, which the children had specially rehearsed for the occasion.