Regular divine services on the ABC islands
To be able to have divine services, Priests are needed. At least, that is usually the case. But what if there are no Priests? Hope that one will eventually come? Sometimes such dreams come true.
Aruba. At the beginning of September 2018, Apostle Peter Klene from the Netherlands travelled to the so-called ABC islands—Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao—in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. Aruba was the first stop. There is a New Apostolic congregation there, in which the first divine service of this trip was conducted. Then Apostle Klene continued on to Bonaire, where he conducted a divine service on a Sunday. A brother from Curaçao was ordained as a Priest on that day, which is why the whole congregation from Curaçao was invited to Bonaire. Together with the Priests who regularly come from the Netherlands, Priest Overman will conduct divine services in the three congregations in the Leeward Antilles. For the congregations in these islands it is a wonderful development.
Suriname. Suriname is the smallest independent state in South America. It is situated in the north-eastern most corner of the continent on the Atlantic. The aid organisation of the New Apostolic Church in the Netherlands, Stichting Corantijn Nederland, has realised a joint project in the village of Balingsoela with NAK-karitativ, the charity of the New Apostolic Churches in Germany. The project, a building complex, took about four years to complete. In 2014 the village elders had an additional parish hall built next to the village church. Because of a crisis and unrest, the building could not be completed and fell into disrepair. The New Apostolic Church in Suriname and the charity Stichting Corantijn Nederland offered the local council a solution. The building was purchased by the New Apostolic Church Suriname and converted. The parish hall now boasts two apartments, a store, a daycare centre, a village shop, and a classroom for the children. A playground was also added. In addition to this, the whole property was fenced in.
On 9 August 2018 the premises were officially inaugurated. Bishop Ruud Vis handed the keys of the complex to the mayor of the village.
Luzon. The powerful typhoon that slammed into the Philippines on 15 September 2018 claimed more than 81 lives. With winds up to 250 kilometres, the category five storm was one of the most destructive in the South Pacific. The devastation is especially staggering on the island of Luzon. The damage goes into the billions. For days there was a state of emergency. Even three weeks after the storm there is still chaos and the people now have to think about rebuilding their lives. The relief organisation of the New Apostolic Church in the Philippines, NACSEA Relief Fund, responded and sent a team to distribute relief goods in affected areas particularly in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Abra, and La Union. Their mission was to go to remote farms and bring food relief parcels to affected families. This way, 160 families received parcels containing rice, canned goods, noodles, and other items. New Apostolic families were also affected and two of our churches destroyed.