Rays of hope amidst the pandemic

People across the world are suffering as the pandemic drags on, whether it is physically, financially, or mentally. How beautiful when charity is not just an expression, but is manifested in action. Here is how brothers and sisters have helped each other.

Practising charity

Cambodia was also hard hit by a third wave of COVID-19. Depending on COVID levels, the capital was divided into three zones. In the red zone the government ordered a hard lockdown, meaning drastic measures for the inhabitants: businesses and factories were closed and the whole area was cordoned off. Those who lead a-hand-to-mouth existence were the hardest hit by these measures.

Apostle Sophal Keo lives in one of the suburbs of Phnom Penh that was declared a red zone. He is still relatively well off, but he experienced the hardship of his neighbours first hand. He helped where he could. And he had an idea. Via Facebook he contacted his friends and acquaintances and asked them to collect donations. And they quickly did what they could: this way, the Apostle managed to collect 3,000 US dollars and was able to help more than 350 families in the red zones with groceries.

An offer for the soul

Many churches are still closed. Where divine services can take place, often only a few can come together and then only with the required distance between them. Many people are suffering from the isolation. They miss being together with their brothers and sisters.

In Öhringen in Germany some of the brothers and sisters saw the need and wanted to create an opportunity for the members to get in touch with each other. They put up an encouragement box in the church’s garden. The wooden cabinet contains many elements that stimulate thoughts and create joy and connect people. There is an inviting bench in front of the cabinet for people to sit down, take a break, and do some reflection. This little oasis in the church garden offers a new form of fellowship and provides encouragement and new impulses in faith.

National Youth Day goes online

Due to the pandemic, the National Youth Day could not take place as planned in a large setting. District Apostle Edy Isnugroho and the Indonesian Apostles, however, wanted to offer their young people something special. They had already suffered enough under the pandemic and the restrictions. So they invited them to a virtual but interactive national Youth Day from 24 to 26 May. The youth simply got together online, and everybody was able to participate via YouTube and Zoom—whether at home in front of the screen or with other young people in the church.

Everyone was able to get involved. In the run-up, films were made on faith in everyday situations, which were then screened. Music videos were produced, ranging from traditional Indonesian to NAC classics to modern music. Young people sang, danced or played various instruments. A pair of presenters, there were different ones every day, announced the different performances and switched live to the young people in their homes or congregations. And in addition to all of this, the young brothers and sisters could also chat via YouTube and Zoom.

The programme included online games, presentations, and discussions with the Apostles and the District Apostle. For the discussions, the young people were connected live so that they could ask the Apostles their questions directly. The Apostles not only took time to answer the questions, but had also prepared short spiritual impulses and said a prayer at the beginning and end of the online sessions.

The Youth Day, which the young people had really enjoyed, ended with a video montage of the various events, which also provided a look behind the scenes. And of course there was music.

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