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Bobby Whippy

Around the World: A baptism in ‘the hidden paradise’ of the South Pacific

FEATURE PHOTO (above): Members of the Nabouwalu Church of Christ in the South Pacific nation of Fiji sing hymns as minister Bobby Whippy baptizes a new believer (below). 

The church meets on the island of Vanua Levu, called “the hidden paradise of Fiji” by tourism guides. Whippy, a native Fijian, works with the church and four other congregations as a missionary to his homeland. He trained for ministry for three years at the South Pacific Bible College in Tauranga, New Zealand. “In Fiji, everyone claims to be a Christian,” said Whippy, a second-generation preacher. But few people live as if redeemed by Christ’s blood, he added. After teaching Bible classes in his hometown, Savusavu, Whippy taught a one-week class at Nabouwalu on “The Mission of the Local Church,” sleeping on the floor of the church building at night. He seeks support to continue his work in Fiji.


ENUGU — “Nigeria has become a killing field,” human rights activist Mike Ozekhome said recently after violent attacks in central and southeastern Nigeria.

Clashes between nomadic Fulani herdsmen, who are mostly Muslims, and farmers who claim Christianity as their faith are becoming more and more common — and more and more deadly, according to news reports. At least 86 people died in recent attacks.

The Olepe Ette Church of Christ in Nigeria’s Enugu state is one of the congregations requesting prayers for peace, reports The Seeker, a publication of Fayetteville, Ark.-based Gospel Tracts International.


Asee Darla

COLOMBO — More than 90 percent of this island nation’s 21.2 million souls speak Sinhala and Tamil, Sri Lanka’s official languages. A small number speak Telugu, a language indigenous to southern India.

One Telugu community in Sri Lanka has “not had anybody to teach them Bible in their native language for the last 40 years,” said Asee Darla, a minister for Churches of Christ in Nellore, India. “So we are arranging a FM Radio program for them in both Telugu and Tamil languages.”

Church members also are training native preachers in Sri Lanka for ministry through One Kingdom, a Louisiana-based ministry supported by Churches of Christ. For more information, see www.onekingdom.org.


Mahase Bissoondath

PORT OF SPAIN — A four-night revival, hosted by the San Juan Church of Christ on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, resulted in “one soul restored and between eight to twelve visitors each night,” said minister Mahase Bissoondath.

The church has experienced five baptisms recently as a result of its radio program, the minister added.


KIEV — “A funny thing happened to me at graduation,” said James A. Sherman, who traveled around the globe to train preachers in this Eastern European capital.

“It was not until I looked at the order of services that I noticed my name (in Ukrainian) and that I was the keynote speaker.”

Nonetheless, the preacher from Shady Valley, Tenn., addressed the graduates of the Bear Valley Bible Institute school in this Eastern European capital after teaching classes on the books of James, 1 and 2 John and courses on preaching.

Filed under: Around the World Fiji International Missions News Nigeria People Sri Lanka Ukraine

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