Evangelist ret. Friedrich Altvater passed away
We all knew he suffered, yet are saddened to hear our good friend and Pioneer in God’s work here in the Philippines has left us. Still was hoping to meet him this summer in Winnipeg yet that was not the plan of our Heavenly Father.
After early retirement from a government career he had much time to dedicate to missionary travel. 49 trips to Asia, mostly the Philippines, also to Korea, Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and India one trip even to Nigeria followed until his retirement. He seemed to get never tired to teach but found also time for pastoral care. Where ever he was, he supported the cause. “Asia is like a diamond in the rough and now it begins to shine” he once enthusiastically wrote.
Seminar/workshop for our ministers as well Sunday School teachers, was always the core of his activity but he found time to reach out to members and cared for their concerns with a loving heart. No wonder he was loved by all whose heart he could touch. In Carmen/Bohol he once met a 2 years old girl who got badly burned and scalded herself with boiling water. Ev. Fred, as we called him, arranged medical care with the support of his home congregation Winnipeg in Canada. Much to his joy he could see on a later visit that only very little scarring remained. Much could be said, more is unknown, of his work and experiences on his travels. Yet the Lord knows it all.
Being excellent in his mother tongue German, a personal highlight for him was to be able to translate for the Chief Apostle Fehr at the occasion of the latter’s visit to Chiang Mai/Thailand, Ipoh/Malaysia and Sri Lanka which he considered a privilege.
2 children in Asia were named after him. A Baby Friederich was born in Tagbilaran during one of his visit and another one in Kuching/Sarawak where the Evangelist administered the confinement blessing and at next visit baptized little Friederich. Little testimonials that he touched hearts.
His last overseas trip was in February 2009. He wrote in his report: “I am very happy and thankful that I was permitted to be part of the overseas work and could develop a friendship with the brothers and watch them grow, even into Bishops and Apostles. There is also much joy in fellowship and they show respect for God’s servants. They are kind and willing souls who appreciate our coming and are glad to invite us to enter into their homes” His last report was signed off with “glad to have helped”
We are thankful to have known Fred Altvater and for all the traces of blessing he left behind still visible today.
Dear Evangelist and friend Fred: “A thank you from all of us who were permitted to work with you. Thank you from all whose heart you touched. Thank you from the Church in South East Asia who you served in so many years. Thank from the Philippines, our country which occupied your heart. Farewell, you live on in our heart; we shall meet again”
Our sincerest condolences and sympathy to his dear wife Sr Shirley, his children and grandchildren, the whole family. Thank you to the congregation of Winnipeg for sharing their Evangelist with us in Asia. We know we shall not meet for the last time. May the teaching and testimony our dear departed brought to us now reach also the souls in the beyond.