Working together for Christ and against poverty
Christian fellowship strengthens—both when we profess our faith in Christ and when disaster strikes. Three recent examples demonstrate this.
Damage is worse than expected
A series of earthquakes has disrupted the lives of more than 250,000 people on the Philippine island of Mindanao. Earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.3 to 6.5 on the Richter scale struck the island on 16, 29, and 31 October. This is reported by UN OCHA, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reports 21 deaths and 417 injuries. The first earthquake weakened the structures and the subsequent earthquakes caused buildings to collapse. More than 80,000 people now live in evacuation centres or temporary tents near their homes.
The New Apostolic relief organisation NAC SEA Relief has also joined the ranks of relief workers. “We have sent field workers to the affected areas and are now receiving reports that show us a much worse picture than expected,” it says on the website. “Among members of the New Apostolic Church alone we identified 50 families in need of water, food, and temporal housing material.” Emergency relief has been started.
The Council of Christian Churches in Niedersachsen (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen Niedersachsen, ACKN) has accepted the application of the New Apostolic Church Lower Saxony for an associate membership. This was unanimously decided by the delegates of the denominations that constitute the ACKN at the end of October in Hanover. Amid applause, the chairman of the ACK Lower Saxony, the retired Provost Matthias Blümel, welcomed the two delegates of the New Apostolic Church, the District Evangelists Thomas Sperling and Wolfgang Christmann.
Many New Apostolic congregations in the state of Lower Saxony—located in north-western Germany—have been fostering good contacts with the regional chapters of the ACK. Several congregations have already been awarded associate status at the local level. In April this year, the New Apostolic Church was awarded associate status of the ACK in Germany. The Council of Christian Churches in Germany (ACK) is part of the global ecumenical movement for the purpose of promoting co-operation among all churches that profess belief in Jesus Christ.
Flashmob at the central station
Thanksgiving with a difference. A choir in the western part of Germany voiced its gratitude to God in song in a public place. The idea for a spontaneous concert in a train station came from concert choirs that are active in the district of Essen. They had chosen two songs that would be accompanied by a piano and a violin. They also wanted to encourage passers-by to join in. One was “Thank you, Lord” by Otis Skillings, and the other was Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to joy”.
Many of the travellers were delighted by the spontaneous performance. Many stopped to record the songs with their mobile phones, and some even gave some money. After the seven-minute performance, the group dispersed as quickly as it appeared.