The feast of love
The choir members in Argentina wear T-shirts for their Christmas concert and the young people in Germany get cold feet at the Christmas market. The weather is different everywhere and so is the way Christmas is celebrated. But the birth of Jesus and love of neighbour are always at the heart of the celebrations.
Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a cosmopolitan city. New Apostolic Christians from many countries attend our divine services in the city. On Christmas, not even the threat of rain could stop the many members from attending the divine service in the Dilala congregation. The brothers and sisters from this congregation were joined by members of the Kinina congregation. And they were all delighted by the visit of District Apostle Tshitshi Tshisekedi, who was accompanied by Apostles Jean-Luc Tanga, Freddy Nduwa, and Joseph Musuwa. The preaching of the District Apostle and the assisting ministers was translated into English and Swahili at the altar. After the service everyone stayed together for a special lunch.
Double Christmas joy
Some of the congregations in South America experienced a very special Christmas. For them, Christmas coincided with anniversaries of the establishment of their congregations. The historic Gerli 2 church is located just a few minutes from the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Here, the believers celebrated both Christmas and the seventy-fifth anniversary of their church with Apostle Omar Piñero. The Apostle said: “The church is one, holy, and perfect, even if we cannot yet fully recognise divine perfection. Even after 75 years, we are still faithful and waiting for the fulfilment of the divine promise.” The congregation of Monteverde in Argentina also combined its Christmas celebration with the congregation’s fiftieth anniversary. Many of the members had helped with the preparations in the days leading up to the event. They painted, cleaned, and had choir practices. The Christmas Day service was conducted by Apostle Claudio González. “After so many years, we need to remember and focus on our love for God,” he said. “Let us endeavour to continue serving the Lord in our congregation until Christ returns to take us home.”
Apostle Herman Ernst conducted the Christmas Day service in Retiro in Uruguay to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the congregation there. To mark the occasion, the members had prepared a photo exhibition that traced the history of the congregation in pictures. The choir and the instrumental ensemble also contributed to the joy with their gifts and songs.
Christmas joy at the orphanage
Christmas is a celebration of God's love for humanity. It is also a time of giving. Apostles Nwogu Geoffrey and Odili Goddey decided to visit the orphanage in Sapele in Nigeria with some brothers and sisters to give a little Christmas joy to the children. The brothers and sisters not only brought food and other gifts to the orphanage but also gave of the most valuable thing they have, time.
Shivering for a good cause
The Christmas market in Notzingen in Germany looks like your average German Christmas market with lots of food stalls, Christmas decorations, and the like. What makes this Christmas market just a little different from many others is that all the proceeds from the stalls run by clubs, kindergartens, or churches go to a charity project. This year, the proceeds went towards supporting the local primary school. Despite the low temperatures, the young people of the Notzingen congregation braved the cold from three o’clock in the afternoon on the third Sunday of Advent and sold cosy hand-knit socks, home-made jams, and much more. They presented the proceeds of around 800 euros to the primary school.
Postponed Christmas concert
Buenos Aires in Argentina was hit by a violent storm in the early hours of 17 December 2023. Trees fell, cars were damaged, and roofs were blown off houses. The traditional Christmas concert was due to take place that day in the central church in Buenos Aires, but had to be postponed because of the widespread damage. In order to allow as many people in the Regional Church as possible to enjoy the music, the event was held later and broadcast live to all six countries in District Apostle Enrique Minio’s working area.