At home around the world: divine service in the mountains

Sitting on the couch or relaxing on the terrace? — “Go into all the world!” No time to rest! Our ministers make their way all around the world: high up into the mountains, far into the interior of countries, and over vast continents.

In the middle of the mountains: divine service and ordinations

A total of 2,000 believers gathered with District Apostle Tshitshi Tshisekedi for a divine service last Sunday, 21 May 2017 in Masisi, Democratic Republic of Congo. The District Apostle not only conducted a divine service with his brethren in faith, but also went on to ordain one District Evangelist, three Shepherds, and four Evangelists. He made use of the fellowship afterward for many conversations.

Masisi is located in the extreme east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the province of North Kivu. There are only about 6,500 people living in this city, which lies at an altitude of some 1,600 metres, but it is known around the country for its cheese factory.

Retired Apostle Santos Alfredo Allende has passed away

Apostle Allende passed away on Friday, 19 May 2017 at the age of 87. Santos Allende was born in Nogoli in the province of San Luís on 18 January 1930, and served as an Apostle in his home country of Argentina from 1989 until his retirement in February 2000. District Apostle Enrique Eduardo Minio writes as follows in his retrospective on the life of the Apostle, who undertook many long journeys: “His work in the cause of the Lord was characterised by great love, humbleness, wisdom, and care.”

Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider has informed the Apostles around the world and writes: “The funeral already took place on Saturday, 20 May 2017 in our church in La Plata 2 in the province of Buenos Aires, and was conducted by District Apostle Minio. Our sympathies go out to his wife and children, as well as all the bereaved. May our heavenly Father grant them much comfort, strength, and confidence.”

Five continents in five months: travels of the Chief Apostle

Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia… Within the first five months of the year, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider visited members in nearly every continent. Concerning his most recently concluded trip to the Philippines and Indonesia he writes, among other things: “As I continued my journey to the working area of District Apostle Hebeisen, I visited Indonesia. In addition to various meetings, my travel itinerary included two ministers’ meetings, a meeting with the Apostles and Bishops, and two divine services. In the first divine service, which I conducted in Lampung, Sumatra, District Elder Rumantiyo was ordained an Apostle. The divine service on the Sunday took place in Depok, Java, and was transmitted throughout the country. Apostle Edy Isnugroho was appointed a District Apostle Helper in order to support District Apostle Hebeisen. The day before, two hundred singers and musicians delighted us with their performances in a concert in the church in Depok.”

A cancelled flight, mountain sickness, and a missing moderator

District Apostle Raúl Montes de Oca reports on his trip to Bolivia. The 63-year-old, who leads the New Apostolic Church in Brazil and Bolivia, has vast distances to cover: some of the congregations in his care are located in gigantic countries and are at times many hundred kilometres away from one another. And things do not always go according to plan:

“The activities that had been planned in Bolivia over the Passion Week did not go as scheduled, other than my visit to Potosi. This was because the flight was cancelled at the last minute, which happens quite frequently in Bolivia. In the days before, there was a meeting with the ministers and the youth in Santa Cruz. I visited different regions during the festive days of Easter. This time I had some challenges because of the altitude. The temperature differences between the warmth of the lower-lying regions and the cold of the city of La Paz gave me a serious cold and caused me to have difficulty breathing. This was only exacerbated by the mountain sickness. When I came back, everything was better again.”

As concerns the days following, the District Apostle relates: “For the first time ever we had a seminar in Brazil which was transmitted via internet. Most of the ministers and the sisters who help along were able to participate. One of our rectors was scheduled to conduct the seminar. This brother had been unemployed for some time, but was hired the week before the seminar by a large company. Two days before the seminar, the company asked him to travel to Southern Brazil and—paradoxically—conduct a seminar there. As a result, I had to jump into the breach and conduct the seminar myself.”