“A very solid, quiet worker”
Preserving unity is the greatest challenge. With Apostle Edy the Church in South East Asia will receive an energetic Helper.
“District Apostle Hebeisen will retire in the year 2018, and he has asked me to equip him with a District Apostle Helper. Apostle Edy Isnugroho from Indonesia has been selected for this task,” wrote Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider as he informed the District Apostles and District Apostle Helpers of this decision in January. Tomorrow, 21 May 2017, the international Church leader will perform this appointment in a divine service in the Depok church (Indonesia).
Who is this man, who is lovingly called “Apostle Edy” by his brothers and sisters in Indonesia? “He is a very solid, quiet worker. In terms of personality, he is sort of the opposite of me,” explains District Apostle Urs Hebeisen with a smile. “And when it comes to determining a successor, that is a good thing,” he adds. District Apostle Hebeisen has led the New Apostolic Church of South East Asia since 2009. In the eighteen countries in his care, he is supported by ten Apostles and 4,300 ministers. His working area is home to some 80,000 members in over 2,200 congregations.
Apostle Edy Isnugroho, who was born on 28 April 1963, comes from a New Apostolic family. His father, Yusak Saptohadiprayitno, served as an Apostle in Indonesia from 1979 until his retirement in 2002. Even Apostle Isnugroho’s grandfather was already a minister of the Church. He led the congregation of Lirap in Central Java. The Apostle is married and has three sons aged 25, 21, and 14.
Recently nac.today spoke to the future District Apostle Helper.
nac.today: You are a teacher by profession. Do you work in a school or are you already in the employ of the Church?
Apostle Edy Isnugroho: I only worked as a teacher in a high school for a few months. But shortly thereafter I gave my notice because District Apostle Tansahtikno asked me to support him in the Church administration.
What do you do in your leisure time? Do you have any hobbies?
I spend my free time with my wife and children at home. My hobbies are jogging and riding my bicycle.
What is your home congregation? What is the special thing about this congregation?
I belong to the congregation of Gendeng, Yogyakarta. There are many students who come here to study. Almost every year the number of members changes because the students come and go.
What is your favourite story in the Bible? And what do you associate with this story?
My favourite story in the Bible deals with David. He was a remarkable man with a humble heart. God chose him. Owing to his heart’s attitude, Israel achieved prosperity under his leadership. God blessed him richly.
You have already been an Apostle for fifteen years. In what countries have you worked so far?
So far I have worked in almost every district in Indonesia.
Please tell us about an experience that made you especially happy.
In the service of God’s children I am often confronted with smaller and larger problems. When dealing with the larger problems, I often experience many a sleepless night, many a feeling of depression. But as long as I trust in God, He gives me the necessary strength to cope with it all. Beyond that, He allows me to experience that these problems are ultimately always resolved through His intervention. God always helps me at the right time. And that makes me happy.
As an Apostle you are also a missionary. Is there a secret recipe for good missionary work?
I endeavour to treat all people with love, without making any kind of distinction between them.
You have known District Apostle Urs Hebeisen for many years. Are you fond of working with him, and if yes, why?
Naturally I want to support my District Apostle. I feel his love for me and I love him back. He is my mentor, and he has great wisdom. Among other things, he teaches me to think globally, but act locally. And he also teaches me to look ten, fifteen, and even twenty years ahead, and thus look into the future.
There are many challenges which the Church must face. What concerns you the most?
God’s children in Indonesia come from various tribes, from various levels of social status, and have varying backgrounds and traditions. This applies even more to South East Asia as a whole. For me, unity is the greatest challenge.
In the District Church of South East Asia there are great distances to cover—as is the case in most of the world. How will you stay in contact with the ministers and members?
I will stay in contact with the ministers and members via SMS, WhatsApp, and e-mail.
What are you looking forward to most in your new work?
I look forward to having even more opportunities to meet with our Chief Apostle and the District Apostles. From these encounters I can always draw new strength and joy in order to serve the Lord and the Church.