In joy and sorrow
Good days, difficult times, and very sad news—this is something that the Apostles and their families experience too. News from the circle of the Apostles: attacks in Spain, a wedding anniversary, and two unexpected deaths.
“We are horrified and very shocked and can only pray for everybody.” This is how the responsible Apostle for Spain, Rolf Camenzind, reacted to the news of the terrorist attacks in Barcelona. He is currently in Spain with District Apostle Markus Fehlbaum and Bishop Pedro Olmedo. “We are in Barcelona today, where the District Apostle is planning to meet with the district leaders from Spain later in the evening. On Sunday I will celebrate a divine service in our congregation in Barcelona together with Bishop Olmedo.”
The Apostle writes that he heard about the terrorist attacks through a family member who had heard about them and was “worried whether they were already in Barcelona”. Only a month ago, Chief Apostle Schneider was in Barcelona for a meeting with the Apostles. In the evening, they all walked through the Las Ramblas district, where the attack occurred yesterday.”
Fortieth wedding anniversary
District Apostle Raúl Montes de Oca and his wife, Níbia, recently celebrated their ruby wedding. The couple received a blessing from Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider. About 440 people witnessed the administering of the blessing by the Chief Apostle in a divine service he celebrated in Natal (Brazil) on 6 August. Some of the members had up to 1,200 kilometres to drive. The choir and orchestra were comprised of members drawn from congregations in five different states. Because of the distances there could be no combined choir practice. But even so the music they performed was beautiful, and the brothers and sisters were delighted.
“You do not often have the opportunity to be together in such a large circle,” the Chief Apostle said at the beginning, addressing the local conditions. “Most of you come from small congregations. We hope that today’s service will contribute to your joy and encourage you to continue to serve the Lord. I know it is not always easy to be in a small congregation. But even so, let us focus on that which the Lord gives us. Let us continue to have enthusiasm for the Lord and think about our future: the day on which the Lord will return and take us into His kingdom.”
In memory of Apostle Felix Díaz
Apostle Félix Manuel Díaz Salazar from Venezuela died unexpectedly on 4 August 2017. He was 63. Because of the political unrest in the country, neither District Apostle Leonard Kolb nor his assistant, Apostle John Fendt, were able to visit the family or conduct the funeral. Apostle Cesar Benito Barrera Baez conducted the funeral.
Apostle Díaz became New Apostolic in 1977 after his future wife invited him to a divine service. He served as a minister in the Church for nearly forty years, 13 of these as an Apostle. In 2009 Apostle Díaz was appointed as the lead Apostle to oversee the work of the Church in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. District Apostle Kolb describes him as a diligent worker, never tiring nor shrinking from any responsibility that was given to him. “Whenever a special circumstance arose, he willingly made whatever journey was necessary to ensure the well-being of the Lord’s work, often under great personal sacrifice.”
Cameroon mourns the death of its first Apostle
There is more sad news. Apostle Charles Nabru Tita from Cameroon passed away unexpectedly on 15 July 2017 after two days in hospital. Charles Nabru became New Apostolic in 1977, after following an invitation to a divine service. He was sealed that same year. He served as a minister in the Church for forty years. In the 2002 Pentecost service Chief Apostle Richard Fehr ordained him an Apostle for Cameroon—the first local Apostle for the country.
District Apostle Michael Ehrich describes the Apostle as a loyal, deeply devout, and very reliable servant of God. He was a loving leader for the members and a reliable colleague for the ministers. With his strength of faith and joyful spirit he achieved a great deal in difficult times.