Good news from around the world
Reunions after a pandemic forced break, anniversaries galore, and a Youth Day chock full of biblical knowledge. These are this week’s news flashes from New Apostolic congregations around the globe.
A long walk to church
For almost three years District Apostle Edy Isnugroho was unable to visit the province of Negros Oriental in the Philippines. Covid had made it impossible for him to be there in person and tend to the pastoral needs of his brothers and sisters and to conduct divine services. It was only at the beginning of February that he, accompanied by Apostle Samuel Tansahtikno and Apostle Sigfred Catan, was able to visit Negros Oriental region for eight days. He conducted divine services, met and talked with the brothers and sisters, and participated in organisational meetings.
In the congregation of Tayasan Poblacion, which District Apostle Isnugroho visited on 5 February, so many people had gathered for the service that the church building could not accommodate them all. So most of the participants had to stand outside. In Jimalalud some of the people had walked several hours to be able to attend the divine service there on 8 February. The District Apostle conducted the final divine service on 12 February in the central church in Dumaguete.
Know how to protect yourself
The seniors and those living alone in the Kempten district in Germany invited a senior citizen advisor from the police to their annual kick-off meeting at the end of January to give a talk and tips on how to avoid being tricked by a scammer. The police officer played phone calls that highlighted how persistent criminals are in wearing down their victims to get at their jewellery, savings, and valuables. He explained the criminal tactics of shock calls, long-lost relative tricks, and promises of goods, services, or other benefits that are non-existent, and showed the seniors a real police badge so they could identify a fake one in case of emergency. Then there was coffee and even cake. At the cosy get-together that followed they continued to talk about the advice given them.
Five anniversaries in one month
As many as five congregations in South America had something to celebrate in December, namely various anniversaries. The congregations of La Calera and Sourigues in Argentina are now 25 years old. On 17 December 2022 Apostle Néstor Manzelli came to La Calera and celebrated the past and coming years with the congregation. Apostle Claudio Videla visited the congregation of Sourigues on Christmas Day. Photo albums and a guest book held plenty of memories that everyone pored over.
The congregation in Cerro in Uruguay already looks back on a forty-year history. The 55 members celebrated their special day with Bishop Fernando Mendá.
Two congregations celebrated half a century: Cerro Carmelo in Uruguay and Temperley 1 in Argentina. Bishop Fernando Mendá celebrated the special day with the members of the Cerro Carmelo congregation on 17 December 2022. Apostle Pablo Basso visited Temperley 1 on Christmas Day to mark their special anniversary. Here, the brothers and sisters had come up with a beautiful idea for a giveaway: all the participants of the service received a small loaf of sweet bread to take home.
Learning can be fun
Some 450 young people participated in a Day of the Youth in Pindegumahun in Sierra Leone at the beginning of December last year. Apostle Freeman Bob Saidu conducted the youth service and based it on John 14: 6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” For after the service, interesting activities had been lined up for the young people such as a seminar on the topic of “The triune God”—based on the Catechism—a Bible quiz, and singing competitions. The young people from the hosting congregation won both competitions, but everyone was a winner because even the second and third place winners received prizes. Everyone was delighted when the ministers distributed the newest issue of the community magazine.