At home around the world: faith without borders

Faith overcomes borders—between countries and cultures, between poor and rich, between hearing and seeing. Following is a bouquet of colourful examples taken right out of New Apostolic life.

A vacation of a different kind

From Switzerland to the Philippines, and from Germany to Armenia: international friendships link young people on trips abroad with a charitable purpose. So it was that some 40 Swiss young people recently visited the Philippines in order to discuss further opportunities for social projects with their local collaborators. Already before their trip they had collected donations, which will now be used for the benefit of the “NACSEARelief” aid agency.

A group of young people from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany still have their trip ahead of them. “Waiting for you in Armenia are four days of charitable work in a youth camp and an opportunity to help with the renovation of a New Apostolic Church building.” So states the invitation to the trip, which will take place in mid-August 2017 over the space of ten days. Following the positive experiences made on the Albania trip in 2016 and the great interest that was shown in that event, there will now be another opportunity for young people to combine their vacation with actions of an enduring purpose.

Taking action against hunger together

The foundation has been laid and the walls are being erected. In addition to constructing a school, however, the German relief agency known as NAK-karitativ recently had to provide much more basic help in Juba, South Sudan: the people there are suffering from starvation. Increasing food prices are making survival difficult. At present, families there can just barely afford one meal a day.

Emergency aid totalling 60,000 Euros will benefit some 800 students and their families. The project ensures the basic care of families by providing foodstuffs for two to a maximum of three months. In addition, the students will receive a dry meal during class time for up to two days per week. The Missionswerk of the New Apostolic Church of Southern Germany is supporting this project by NAK-karitativ with 20,000 Euros. A donation in the amount of 50,000 Euros was already sent by the Missionswerk to the aid organisation Aktion gegen den Hunger [“Action against hunger”]—which currently has a strong presence in South Sudan owing to its strong relief efforts, among other things—back in December 2016.

Seeing the word of God

District Apostle Wolfgang Nadolny is speaking more slowly than usual, and in short sentences too. His sermon is being interpreted, but the interpreter would rather use her hands than her mouth. The District Apostle has invited the hearing impaired members of the District Church of Berlin-Brandenburg to join him on his visit to the congregation of Angermünde, Germany. They sit in the first rows of the auditorium and enjoy both the sermon and the hymns they sing together in sign language.

The history of this congregation of the hearing impaired dates back to the 1970s. It has its beginnings in Lower Saxony, where divine services were offered with interpretation, in which members from Berlin also took part. Under the prevailing political conditions of the time, this was associated with many travel difficulties and considerable expense. At the beginning of 1989, the first such divine service took place in the Berlin region. Today the hearing impaired members of the Church gather in alternating church buildings once each month in order to enjoy a divine service together.

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