At home worldwide: learning, giving, rethinking

Things never stay the same for long. This applies to many areas of life, also when it comes to church. Here are three stories on learning, giving, and rethinking.

Ghana: Webinar for trainers

Before the actual target groups can be instructed, it needs trainers who can bring the subject matter across. Train the trainer, is the modern version of helping people improve their skills in order to train others. The Church in Ghana invited seminar leaders for a webinar in mid November. The target groups are the youth leaders, teachers, and congregational rectors. The Lead Apostle responsible for Ghana, Benjamin Ohehe-Saffo, opened the second day’s meeting with a prayer. The participants were grouped into four virtual discussion rooms to recap the first day’s activities. The webinar continued with the structure and content of Youth Days, divine services for the youth, local youth gatherings, and pastoral care of young people. Bible topics were also discussed, such as “The Sermon on the Mount in daily life”. Several other interesting topics were also on the agenda: finding a qualified minister, the Church’s concept of ministry, and how to stop sexual misconduct.

The meeting concluded with a Q&A session for all the participants: What have I learned? What will I do differently in future?

Togo: School supplies distributed to children

A French proverb says: “Man lives on hope.” And a second proverb says: “There is a smile at the end of the tunnel.” These were cited by Shepherd Edina Hiheglo, the chairman of the Togolese association UGUS (un geste, un sourire = “gesture”, a “smile”) in a report on a campaign called Education Plus. UGUS is responsible for an aid programme through which school supplies are distributed to children in Togo at the beginning of the new school year.

This annual campaign is made possible by various fund-raising drives such as benefit concerts, performances, and games, according to UGUS. Due to the pandemic, however, the fund-raising events had to be cancelled this year. Even so, donations continued to flow so that 303 children could still receive school supplies. “Our goal is to help the needy and to put a smile on the children’s faces,” Shepherd Edina Hiheglo explains.

In the church district of Herford (Germany), New Apostolic members not only supported the campaign but also collected enough money to be able to buy forty hand-sewn backpacks for the children, thereby supporting the traditional tailoring trade in the country in the process. Toys and other Christmas presents were also collected for the Togolese children in recent months. Now everything is on its way—the parcels are expected to arrive sometime in December still. The parcels are intended for children in the city of Kara in northern Togo, where Apostle Sédjro Kodjo Amevoh is in charge. He is already looking forward to the shipment.

Russia: New responsibilities

There will soon be a change for the New Apostolic congregations in Russia. The long-serving Apostle Sergey Petrovich Bastrikov turned 65 in October and will be retired by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider on 13 December 2020—provided that the service can take place as planned. Apostle Vladimir Viktorovich Lazarev will take over the care of congregations.

Life is always presenting us with changes to which one must react, District Apostle Wolfgang Nadolny from Berlin (Germany) said, who is responsible for Russia. The number of people attending divine services in Russia has dwindled over the years, and in many places there are not enough ministers. The drop in offerings and the simultaneously rising municipal costs require measures to secure the existence of the Church in future, he said.

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