Zurich. Different countries, different customs. How do the people in the various parts of the world deal with life? Here are two different examples: heavy rainfalls in the Philippines caused a significant amount of flooding. The Philippine capital was under water for days on end. According to media reports, some 83,000 people were affected by the floods. And every year in La Caballada, a leisure park belonging to the New Apostolic Church in Colonia (Uruguay), the Church sells barbecued meat to the surrounding population at discounted prices.
“The images in the media are constantly repeated, and while they do indeed portray an accurate picture of the situation from the outside, it is quite impossible for them to convey any deeper insights into the reality on the ground,” says District Apostle Urs Hebeisen, who is responsible for the New Apostolic Church in South East Asia. His experiences after the heavy monsoon rains are as follows: “Even when the outward situation is grim for many people, there is no feeling of fatalism or resignation. The people adapt themselves to nature and find a way to deal with the situation. They simply live with it. I have stood with them in the water without ever hearing a single word of complaint or lament,” relates the Church leader. With his own eyes he has witnessed people who have cleaned, washed, and tidied everything up, only to be flooded again afterward—even as often as three times in a row.
Eighty per cent flooded
Metropolitan Manila, which is the large catchment area around the Philippine capital, was at a complete standstill for three days after the heavy rainfalls and the flooding and mudslides that ensued. Some 80 per cent of the city was under water and many of the main roads were impassable. Thankfully there was no typhoon. “In the meantime, the situation has calmed down somewhat. The usual activities of the metropolis are once again back in full swing,” says District Apostle Hebeisen. In his status report, he assured the Chief Apostle that the aid agency of the New Apostolic Church South East Asia, known as NACSEARelief, has been monitoring the situation and remains ready to intervene. A little north of Manila, twelve families in need have been located, and a care team has been dispatched. A few church buildings in the area have also been affected by the flooding.
Meat market in La Caballada
District Apostle Norberto Passuni writes from the other end of the world, where the local Church leadership has sold over 2,000 kilograms of meat to the surrounding population. “For a number of years now, the congregations in Colonia have organised a large asado (meat barbecue) each year at our leisure centre in La Caballada, and have sold the meat to the local population. This year their efforts set a record, as nearly the entire city came to buy meat. The visitors were respectful, and were very impressed with the orderliness, warmth, and enthusiasm of our young people.” The proceeds are earmarked to help with the Church’s youth work.