At home around the world: three donations — taking on responsibility three times

The gospel is not just about going to church and singing pious hymns. Spreading the glad tidings also includes taking on responsibility for people in need. Here are three projects we would like to showcase:

School for Gambia: It is said that education is one of the raw materials for the future. And children and young people in particular need support in order to learn for life. The idea of establishing a new school in the African country of Gambia began in Frankfurt: the New Apostolic Church of Hesse / Rhineland-Palatinate / Saarland contributed 20,000 Euros to a collective pot. The new construction was initiated by the private institution known as JOFI, which seeks to provide needy children with access to education without school fees. During the ceremony that marked the laying of the foundation stone, District Apostle Koberstein underlined that education is the key to a life of self-determination.

The West African country of Gambia is in the care of the District Church of Hesse / Rhineland-Palatinate / Saarland. The first New Apostolic congregation was founded in Gambia in 1985. The New Apostolic Church is legally recognised there and is a member of the national council of churches, which is known as the “Gambian Christian Council”.

Cars for nursing: Ten small cars for non-profit home care services—a value of over 111,000 Euros—were donated recently by the Missionswerk of the New Apostolic Church of Southern Germany. These outpatient services provide care to elderly, sick, and disabled people in their home environment and in marginalised social groups. For many people receiving care, a regular visit from such a service provider is an important social factor in life.

With this donation, the New Apostolic Church of Southern Germany seeks to acknowledge the valuable work that is performed on a daily basis by such care providers. This is the reasoning District Apostle Michael Ehrich, Chairman of the Missionswerk and President of the New Apostolic Church Southern Germany, provided for the vehicle donation. “The idea of supporting people in need of care and help results directly from the Christian notion of loving one’s neighbour.”

Aid for refugees: A donation of 10,000 Euros to the Sea Watch Society—on Friday, 24 March 2017, the dream became reality. Administrative Director Guido Wernicke presented the donation on behalf of the New Apostolic Church Berlin-Brandenburg. The money comes from the Refugee Aid Fund, which the District Church established in 2015 using donations from its members. Sea Watch helps people who come from Africa to Germany across the Mediterranean Sea. In 2015 the association purchased an old trawler, but SeaWatch 2—which is larger and better suited for civilian sea rescue—has been in operation as of March 2016.

Robel Hailemariam, one of the sea rescue workers, describes his experiences: “We are constantly seasick. It is only during a rescue effort that you have enough adrenalin in your body not to notice it.” He goes on to describe the circumstances prevailing on the refugee boats as a practically lawless environment: “There are unspeakable hygienic conditions, people who have, in some cases been on the run for four or five years, some of them showing signs of mental and physical violence.”

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