The Covid-19 pandemic forced many people to rethink the way they approach their day-to-day activities. We find ourselves in obscure times and have to remain flexible to adjust to the ‘new normal’. Following the government’s regulations, the New Apostolic Church (NAC) was forced into making temporary changes in the way it operates. These temporary measures will continue, but the showing of neighbourly love remains a constant factor. Despite the restrictions, members of the NAC continue to convert their good intentions into acts of love and kindness, with many making great contributions towards benevolent works.
Masakhe Foundation, the charity arm of the New Apostolic Church Southern Africa, is a registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO). The meaning of Masakhe, “Let us Build”, fits in perfectly to assist individuals in the various communities, through education and support, to become the best person they can be, irrespective of association. All the programmes offered are free of charge.
The impact of the lockdown brought into focus the plight of the needy. Congruent with the teaching on neighbourly love, the church desired to alleviate the suffering of many of its members.
Masakhe Foundation (NPO: 203-288) receives donations and manages the disbursements of funds on behalf of the church. The donations enabled the Foundation to provide food relief (food parcels/e-food vouchers) too many members and non-member families in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.
Mask Project: In keeping with the guidance from the Minister of Health, Dr Zwelini Mkhize, regarding the need to wear a mask when leaving home, the call was made for the young people of the church, and those who may be interested to assist in making facemasks. The facemasks were handed over by the Church to an identified organisation for further distribution to members and the general public that may need it. Thus far, thousands of masks have been donated to people around the country.
Divine services: Since the start of the lockdown period, New Apostolic Church Television (NACTV) has produced a live service broadcast every Sunday. These services are received via NACTV’s Free-to-air set-top boxes, YouTube live streaming, the NACTV Facebook page, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263, Radio KC, Radio Teemaneng, Sabie Radio and members and the community can also listen to the divine services via a mobile phone or landline. NACTV reaches thousands of households via these broadcasts and for many of the viewers/listeners, this way of receiving the word is a first time experience.
The NACTV team is working on expanding the footprint of the broadcast for divine services to be made available to more members.
The use of technology: Various co-ordinating structures within the congregations make use of technology to further their work by using the web-based conferencing app, Zoom. In so doing, the various functionaries within the congregations are kept abreast of all the developments to advance the work of the NAC during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
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