People who have touched our lives in 2018

Praising God with a velvet voice, loving God against all odds, and doing volunteer work abroad with no thought of self. This is how Manilo, Mannki, and Angela live their faith, each in his or her own unique way.

A life dedicated to music

He touched hundreds of thousands with his natural mellow tenor. In April 2018 it was time to say goodbye to Manilo Davids: he passed away after a long difficult illness.

Among New Apostolic Christians, Manilo had become a household name thanks to the 2010 Pentecost transmission from South Africa. In preparation for Holy Communion for the departed he sang the song “Come share the Lord”. To this day, the Youtube video from the transmission is still one of the most viewed clips in a New Apostolic context.

In mid 2016, Manilo suffered a severe stroke with cerebral haemorrhages. He was in a coma for several months. Friends and musical companions started fundraising campaigns to support his family.

On the morning of 6 April 2018, Manilo Barry Davids passed away. The funeral service started with one of his favourite songs: “Sometime we’ll understand”.

A Christian in every respect

Professing one’s faith can become quite a challenge. This is how Mannki Nag experiences it. When the young Indian woman decided to accept the New Apostolic faith, not only she herself was treated as an outcast in her village, but also her entire family.

“Life has become very difficult for us,” the 27-year-old woman says. “So I learned how to stitch clothes, and support my ageing parents by tailoring for nearby villagers. This is how we try to make ends meet.”

Mannki refuses to let herself be discouraged. “On Sundays I love to spend the day with the members of the congregation and share my experiences, since most of the people in my village do not speak to me during the week.”

Now she would like to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree progamme, “which would help me help my family and allow me to contribute to society”. Mannki Nag has come a little closer to realising her dream: her fate touched a large number of brothers and sisters who donated, enabling Mannki to pursue her studies.

A midwife without borders

The medical station run by Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF) was within earshot of the fighting. “But I’ve never felt fear. Never! Not once. I can feel God carrying me. And I’m sure that He decides what is best for me.” For three months, Angela Schwarz, a midwife from Switzerland, worked in a medical station in Agok in South Sudan.

As head-midwife, Angela worked eight to fourteen hours a day, assisted by four to six midwives on every shift. Angela’s walkie-talkie squawks: “A woman’s haemorrhaging. Can you come quickly?” It is midnight. She had just gone to bed. She jumps up and runs over. Someone needs her.

The women who come to the medical station are very tall—many are six feet tall. At six to seven months pregnant they do not weigh more than 60 or 65 kilograms. There is not enough to eat. “Nothing grows here,“ Angela says. She is very happy when they make it to the hospital, when a mother comes, and they can treat her for malaria.

“You sit there every day and you pray, you help, you hope, and resuscitate.” But when you have delivered a healthy child, when you have saved a woman and her child, when they look at you with grateful eyes …” Angela, herself a mother of two and a grandmother of three, pauses and continues quietly, “… this is it, this is your salary.”

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