Zurich/Haiphong. Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber had already been planning to make a visit to the New Apostolic members in Vietnam for some time. The official recognition of the New Apostolic Church in the South East Asian country had even been scheduled to coincide with the Chief Apostle’s visit yesterday and the day before, but unfortunately there was not quite enough time to bring the entire registration process to its conclusion by then.
District Apostle Urs Hebeisen was visibly delighted by the visit of the international Church leader to Vietnam. In Haiphong there was a public divine service for the 100 Christians who currently profess the New Apostolic faith. The joy of the members over the Chief Apostle’s visit was great.
From Ho Chi Minh City…
The first stop in the Chief Apostle’s travel itinerary was Ho Chi Minh City, the South Vietnamese metropolis formerly known as Saigon. As District Apostle Hebeisen relates, a chapel was dedicated there with the approval of the authorities last December.
The trip continued on to Haiphong, a port city in North Vietnam. At the city’s airport, the Chief Apostle and his companions were given a joyful welcome. In the divine service the Chief Apostle based his sermon on a Bible text from 2 Corinthians 12: 10, where it says, among other things: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” In reference to these words, the Chief Apostle spoke of the special circumstances in Vietnam: “Many a person thinks we are weak because we are humble, have childlike faith, and trust in the Lord. But that is precisely where our strength lies!” A small congregation, some twenty-five members, took part in this divine service.
In his travel report, District Apostle Hebeisen concludes: “This was surely one of the smallest congregations to ever partake in a divine service with the Chief Apostle. This attests to what the trips of the Chief Apostle really are: pastoral care visits, independent of the size of the congregation.” He went on to add, however that he is also delighted with every step of progress, no matter how small. “Vietnam has a great future.”