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Visit to Bogota, Lima, and Guatemala | Visita a Bogota, Lima, y Guatemala

I would like to share with you another full, exciting weekend trip with District Apostle Kolb.

My trip started Thursday night with overnight flights and layovers that put me in Bogota on Friday afternoon, December 6. After arriving at the airport and meeting up with the District Apostle and our local Bishop, we had a welcome dinner with the apostles, bishops and district leaders from our Linked International Districts. As always, the teaching and sharing from our District Apostle already started around the dinner table and resulted in wonderful conversations. After dinner and fellowship, we all headed to our rooms for some rest.

On Saturday, we had meetings all day with the invited servants. There was plenty of discussion about many different topics. From the teachings and conversations, all were moved to commit to create special moments for all our brothers and sisters in every divine service, that they always feel loved and at home, so they can experience Christ in every service through Holy Communion. These moving and emotional moments created a closeness and oneness among us all. Even during dinner, the teaching never stopped, as we continued to discuss the topics from our meetings. We also had a lot of fun and laughter.

Early Sunday morning, we left to travel to the Boyaca Real congregation for a district service, attended by 365 members. The service was adorned by beautiful worship and music, and included the joyful receiving of the gift of the Holy Spirit for 25 souls. After service, we greeted each member, and then had to rush to the airport for our flight, together with the apostle and the bishops from Peru, for a meeting with their young adult and music group in Lima.

After landing in Lima, we walked into the hotel and there were already some young adults present, over an hour early, waiting for the gathering. We went to our rooms, changed out of our black and white, and headed down to the meeting room at the hotel. After the District Apostle rearranged the seating to bring everyone closer (and pushed the few “older ministers” to the back of the room), he had insightful and productive conversations with this very involved and interested group of 30 Sunday school teachers, music and orchestra members, and active young adults. As we shared pizza and conversation about their activities and ideas for their congregations, I could sense their enthusiasm for the Lord and it brought me much joy. After a few hours, the meeting was over and Sunday came to an end. It felt as if it had been two Sundays, however, the trip was not over yet.

On Monday, we left the hotel early to go to the administrative office in Lima to meet with the leaders of each district and create a plan for future church building projects in the country. After an hour and a half in Lima traffic, we arrived at the office where about 15 ministers and staff were waiting. Our discussions took us late into the afternoon with a break for lunch. The meeting was very constructive, and a solid working plan was accomplished. Everyone worked together to find the best solutions for the country as a whole, not just what was best for their own areas of responsibility. It was a wonderful thing to witness.

Then, after our goodbyes, we headed through the Lima traffic again to the airport. After a quick supper, the District Apostle and I took leave from one another for a “through the night” 12:45am flight back home. It was the end of another very full, yet joy-filled weekend adventure with my District Apostle and friend, and, by God’s grace, a worthwhile, successful trip, which I will long remember.

But now I need a rest.

-Manfredo Stegmann



Me gustaría compartir con ustedes otro emocionante viaje de fin de semana con el Apóstol de Distrito Kolb.

Mi viaje comenzó el jueves por la noche con vuelos nocturnos y escalas que me llevaron a Bogotá el viernes 6 de diciembre por la tarde. Después de llegar al aeropuerto y reunirnos con el Apóstol de Distrito y nuestro Obispo local, tuvimos una cena de bienvenida con los apóstoles, obispos y líderes de distrito de nuestros Distritos Internacionales Asociados. Como siempre, el compartir y la enseñanza de nuestro Apóstol de Distrito comenzaron ya alrededor de la mesa y dieron lugar a conversaciones maravillosas. Después de la cena y la confraternidad, todos nos dirigimos a nuestras habitaciones para descansar un poco.

El sábado tuvimos reuniones todo el día con los siervos invitados. Se conversó mucho sobre diversos temas. A partir de las enseñanzas y las conversaciones, todos se sintieron conmovidos para comprometerse a crear momentos especiales para todos nuestros hermanos y hermanas en cada Servicio Divino, que siempre se sientan amados y en casa, para que puedan experimentar a Cristo en cada Servicio a través de la Santa Cena. Estos momentos emotivos crearon una cercanía y unidad entre todos nosotros. Incluso durante la cena, la enseñanza nunca se detuvo, ya que continuamos conversando sobre los temas de nuestras reuniones. También hubo mucha risa y diversión.

Desde temprano en la mañana del domingo, partimos para viajar a la congregación de Boyaca Real para un Servicio distrital, al que asistieron 365 miembros. El Servicio fue adornado con hermosa adoración y música, e incluyó la gozosa recepción del don del Espíritu Santo para 25 almas. Después del Servicio, saludamos a cada miembro, y luego tuvimos que apresurarnos al aeropuerto para nuestro vuelo, junto con el Apóstol y los Obispos de Perú, para una reunión con los grupos de adultos jóvenes y música en Lima.

Después de aterrizar en Lima, entramos en el hotel y ya había algunos adultos jóvenes presentes, esperando la reunión con más de una hora de anticipación. Fuimos a nuestras habitaciones, nos cambiamos de nuestro atuendo blanco y negro y nos dirigimos a la sala de reuniones del hotel. Después de que el Apóstol de Distrito reorganizó los asientos para acercar a todos (y trasladó a los pocos «ministros de más edad» al fondo de la sala), tuvo conversaciones profundas y productivas con este grupo muy involucrado e interesado de 30 maestros de escuela dominical, miembros de música y orquesta, y adultos jóvenes activos. Mientras compartíamos pizza y conversábamos sobre sus actividades e ideas para sus congregaciones, pude sentir su entusiasmo por el Señor y me dio mucha alegría. Después de unas horas, la reunión terminó y el domingo llegó a su fin. Parecía que habían pasado dos domingos, sin embargo, el viaje aún no había terminado.

El lunes, salimos temprano del hotel para ir a la oficina administrativa en Lima para reunirnos con los líderes de cada distrito y crear un plan para futuros proyectos de construcción de iglesias en el país. Después de una hora y media en el tráfico de Lima, llegamos a la oficina donde nos esperaban unos 15 ministros y personal. Nuestras conversaciones nos llevaron hasta altas horas de la tarde con una pausa para almorzar. La reunión fue muy constructiva y se logró un sólido plan de trabajo. Todos trabajaron juntos para encontrar las mejores soluciones para el país en su conjunto, no solo lo mejor para sus propias áreas de responsabilidad. Fue algo maravilloso de presenciar.

Luego, después de nuestras despedidas, nos dirigimos nuevamente al aeropuerto en medio del tráfico de Lima. Después de una cena rápida, el Apóstol de Distrito y yo nos despedimos el uno del otro para un vuelo nocturno de regreso a casa a las 12:45 am. Fue el final de otra aventura de un fin de semana muy ajetreado, pero lleno de gozo, con mi Apóstol de Distrito y amigo, y, por la gracia de Dios, un viaje valioso y exitoso, que recordaré por mucho tiempo.

Pero ahora necesito un descanso.

-Manfredo Stegmann


On Friday, January 17, my trip to Guatemala with District Apostle Kolb began. It seemed it might be different from the usual trips because “only” two services were on the schedule for the weekend without the normal seminars. Well, once again, I was wrong.

I arrived a little earlier on Friday morning and spent some time with District Evangelist Banos and Evangelist Mendez, the district leaders for that area. We then traveled to the airport to pick up District Apostle Kolb, and on the way to the hotel the “seminars” began. We had wonderful conversations, questions and answers and new teachings that he brought along. We arrived at the hotel, checked in, and met for dinner where the conversations continued. There was planning for the future with minister development, young adults, etc. Not one minute was wasted, and when we weren’t talking, we were eating. After, it was time to get some rest because the next day was a travel day.

Early Saturday morning, we met for breakfast and headed to the airport to fly to Puerto Barrios, a small town in Guatemala. We boarded a small, two-propeller plane. The other option was a 7-8 hour drive through the mountains and rough terrain; so the plane won. There were ten of us flying together. Once the plane took off, it was so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think. That one-hour flight was the longest I went on without having to translate, so I took a snooze because the seat vibrated like a massage chair.

We landed at the airport and were driven to the rented hall where the service was to be held. We expected maybe 15-20 members to attend, as it is a small isolated congregation. The local priest informed us that two other small congregations would also come, some traveling by boat and walking for some distance. As the service began, we were moved that so many had come, 78 members and a few guests.

We had a wonderful service. We heard how God is with us at all times. What really stuck with me was the example of the prophet’s servant who was afraid because he saw soldiers surround the house they were in and were ready to attack them. The prophet prayed to God and asked Him to open the eyes of his servant. After the prayer, the servant looked out the window and saw legions of angels behind the army, and his fear left him.

After service, we had lunch together and conversation with the members. After some pictures were taken with the whole group, our priest informed the District Apostle that there were some sisters going through difficult health issues, and he asked if he could pray with them. While the others were enjoying the day, we sat in a circle of chairs in the hall with these four sisters that were suffering from different types of cancer. They were understandably worried and concerned. The District Apostle spoke tenderly to them, reminding them how God is always with them, and even though He might not change their circumstance, by His love, He would give them strength and peace. This was the time to trust Him. We prayed together, and hugged them, assuring them of our prayers.

Soon, it was time to return to the airport and head back to Guatemala City. We boarded the plane, again with no talking time because of the noise and a snooze because of our seat massage. After landing at the airport and walking away from the plane, I looked back and said, “I can’t believe we just did that,” something I say a lot when serving in our Linked International Districts. Back at the hotel with our group, we had some wonderful conversations during supper about what we just experienced.

Sunday morning we met at our church for the divine service, this time with a smaller group. Nevertheless, even with the smaller group, we felt the Lord was with us and strengthened us. After service, we had, you can guess, a joyful lunch gathering with all. I had to leave for an early flight, so the District Apostle “commandeered” two young men that could speak English to translate for him. As I left, he was gathering the youth and young adults together to speak with them and introduce a musical device to help them learn the songs in the Gloria hymnal.

I mentioned at the beginning that I thought we were “only” going to have two services, but as I look back on this weekend, there was so much more. We had wonderful moments of teaching and planning for the future, moments of spiritual fellowship in the divine services, moments of soul care, moments with the youth and young adults, moments of so much joy and laughter. It seems impossible, but every visit is always better than the last one. I can’t wait for the next one.


CLICK HERE to view photos from the trip



Bishop Stegmann also recently went on a trip to Honduras, where he held a divine service and some members joined in small groups.


CLICK HERE to view photos from this trip to Honduras