Impending changes in South-East Asia
He was ordained as an Apostle in 1982. In 2009 he became a District Apostle for the numerous District Churches in South-East Asia. At the end of 2018, Urs Hebeisen will go into retirement. The course for the future is being set already now.
A Swiss national in the Philippines: Urs Hebeisen was born in Basle (Switzerland) in 1952. He received his first ministries there as a young man, Sub-Deacon and Deacon. Working in logistics and freight forwarding, he travelled extensively: Paris, London, and then the USA. Then he settled in Tokyo, where he was ordained a Priest in 1977. In 1982 he moved to Manila in the Philippines with his family, where he still lives today. For fourteen years, District Apostle Helper Hebeisen worked in Asia, a region that was cared for by the New Apostolic Church Canada at the time.
An eventful year: 2009
And then, in 2009, an era came to an end in Indonesia: District Apostle Alfons Tansahtikno, who had led the district for 23 years, went into retirement. The changeover to District Apostle Urs Hebeisen marked the birth of a new District Apostle Area. Not only Indonesia, but numerous other District Churches were brought together under one roof: countries such as Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam—a total of 18 countries.
Many brothers and sisters associate a great deal of life experience with their District Apostle. As an independent logistics specialist with his own company, as an Apostle, and then as a District Apostle he gained a great deal of general knowledge on social issues and ecclesiastical matters second to none. At the same time, he is a very friendly and courageous person.
With a new District Apostle Helper into the future
At the end of next year, after 35 years in the Apostle ministry, District Apostle Hebeisen will go into retirement—hard-earned and well-deserved. Already this year, a District Apostle Helper is to be appointed in order to ensure a smooth transition. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will travel to the Philippines and Indonesia for this in May. In a divine service in Depok in Indonesia on 21 May he will appoint Apostle Edy Isnugroho a District Apostle Helper.
Apostle Edy, as everybody calls him, was born in Indonesia in 1963. He is a teacher by profession. He has been an Apostle since 2002. Already as a young man District Apostle Tansahtikno called him into the service of the Church. He worked in various functions for the Church and in almost all districts of the New Apostolic Church in Indonesia. His father is the retired Apostle Yusak Saptohadiprayitno.
Two additional ordinations are planned: District Elder Rumantiyo (47) is to be ordained an Apostle for Indonesia and Joe An Beli-Ot (39) for the Philippines. District Apostle Hebeisen says: “Sumatra is a very large region. We have wished for an Apostle there for a long time.” He is very thankful for the future Apostle Rumantiyo.
The future Apostle Beli-Ot will work on the island of Negros. He is not even 40 years old yet, the District Apostle says. “The area he works in requires a good constitution. Negros is the island with the largest number of New Apostolic members.”
Chief Apostle Schneider—who will celebrate one of the three services in the Philippines (in Tilling on Negros) and two in Indonesia (one in Lampung on Sumatra and the second in Depok near Jakarta)—will also place the longest-serving Filipino Apostle, Domingo Diagbel, into retirement. Of the 36 years that he was a minister in the Church, he served 30 as an Apostle.