The Chief Apostle in South America

Argentina, Peru, Colombia—from south to north. These are the countries on Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider’s itinerary this week as he travels through South America. On Sunday, 10 April he plans to conduct a divine service in Bogotá.

Colombia is a country of striking beauty. Its northern coastline is washed by the waters of the Caribbean and its western coast by the Pacific Ocean. This alone is worth a trip. Interesting also is the fact that the Equator runs through the country. But probably the most spectacular natural feature are the Andes, the vast mountain range that runs all the way from the southern tip of South America to the continent’s northern coast on the Caribbean, and that dominates the western part of Colombia. Some of the peaks in the Colombian part of the Andes rise to an altitude over 5,000 metres. The highest coastal mountain range in the world, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, is found in the north of the country. The imposing massif culminates in the twin peaks of Cristóbal Colón and Simón Bolívar, at nearly 5,800 metres.

Tropical savannah and rainforest form the border with Brazil in the east. The biodiversity in Colombia is extraordinary and has impressed many. The country is covered by 53 million hectares of forest and woodland, a million hectares of surface water, and snow-covered mountains—which provide a habitat to a vast abundance of plant and animal species.

After Brazil, Colombia is number two on the list of South American countries by population. On account of the country’s geography, only about half of its land area is settled. The people largely live in the west and in the north.

Conference of South American District Apostles

Bogotá, officially called Bogotá D.C. (“Distrito Capital”), is the national capital. With a population of about seven million it is one of the fastest growing cities on the continent. And this is the city where Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider is headed. Bogotá, located at an altitude of 2,600 metres, is the city where the upcoming conference of District Apostles who work on the South American continent will take place. They are meeting for a regional conference.

Participating in the meeting with the Chief Apostle will be District Apostles Raul Montes de Oca (Brazil) and Enrique Minio (Argentina), as well as District Apostles Leonard Kolb (USA) and Mark Woll (Canada) and their assistants—District Apostle Helpers Frank Dzur, John Sobottka, and John Fendt—who all work in South America. They want to discuss issues that concern the South American District Churches.

Divine services in three countries

Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will be in South America for a whole week. His trip began in Argentina, the South American country with the most New Apostolic Christians. He celebrated two services in Buenos Aires over the last weekend—one for ministers and one for all congregations that was broadcast across the country via satellite—and one in Bahia Blanca. He also visited the museum of the New Apostolic Church in Buenos Aires.

On Wednesday the Chief Apostle continued on to Peru to celebrate a divine service in Pucallpa. There he had to adjust to a completely different climate: 30 degrees Celsius and more are not unusual at this time of year in this essentially tropical country in the Amazon Basin.

On Thursday he will continue on to Columbia, where he will conduct a divine service on Sunday that will be broadcast across the country. On Monday the Chief Apostle will return to Europe.

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Peter Johanning