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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sabah Heilbronn Ecumenical Partnership ~ the 8th & 9th Day

Raymond Wong

Heilbronn, Germany : On Saturday 29th September, we traveled to Basel, a border city of Switzerland just across the common border with Germany. It is about 4 hours drive, South-West of Heilbronn. 
Katherina welcoming the group after about 4 hours travelling in a van with Christian on her right
Basel is the city where the Christian Mission of the Protestant Church began. It has its headquarters here where missionaries go to the rest of the world. It took them to India, China, Indonesia and Africa. The BCCM Malaysia is formed through this mission when missionaries came to Kudat through China and spread the Gospel in the local Hakka dialect. 
The Protestant Churches of Sabah (PCS) has direct communication with this headquarters in Basel, the first missionary to evangelise the Rungus people in and around the Kudat District. A few of these pioneer missionaries are still around and the three PCS members from the group had meetings with them. 
Upon arrival at Basel the group went straight to Basel Mission 21, the headquaters of missionaries who went around the world. The group were met by Katharina who spoke fluent Bahasa Indonesia. She had served in Indonesia for three years and had just returned to Basel. Dr. Meehyun, a Korean and the head of the Women and Gender Commission met and explained briefly of the ministry she served. 
Dr. Guy Thomas explaining about the documents in the archives
Some very old documents
Next, the group was taken to the basement and was shown around the archive by Dr. Guy Joseph. It was very interesting that the archive has such old documents dated back to the 1800. Even the Chinese map written by hand and in symbols and signs of districts that the missionaries served were kept and shown to us. It is one of the most important archive  found around the world. 
A record in Chinese
The Malay Bible in Arabic
Then it was Christian Weber who explained on Mission 21 that originated from Basel and after all the years it is noted how God has guided and allowed the mission to continue until this day. 
It's lunch at Mission 21 in Basel
Basel City
The following day, 30th September was another one and half hours drive northerly and across the boarder into France heading towards Strasbuorg. Strasbuorg is famous for the River Rhine and the Cathedral.  Before visiting the Cathedral, the group dropped by the Office of European Union Conference of European Churches in Strasbuorg. There is also another similar office in Basel. 
The River Rhine
The Cathedral of Strasbuorg
Another angle of the Cathedral
The Cathedral as one enters
One section of the Cathedral
The main door in green and the side door on the left
The organ pipes
It was highlighted to us on the roles of European Union, the situation of Churches in Europe, the Evangelical in Africa and the struggles for human rights. We were briefed on the situation of the people on the move from the eastern countries of EU and migrating to the West. Many Europeans are not adherents to any faith and 90% belonging to the Christian faith do not practice Christianity.

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