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Around the world: After the tsunami, new life abounds in southern Asia

DELORAINE, AUSTRALIA — Converts pray during a baptism ceremony in Nias, Indonesia. Since the Dec. 26 tsunami and a March earthquake claimed lives and destroyed homes on the island, ministries have provided more than $2 million in hospital equipment and supplies, said James Karl, coordinator of Tsunami Earthquake American Relief Services (TEARS). The ministry, supported by the Lake Jackson, Texas, church, has a 25-year contract to help manage the Lukas Hospital in Hilisimaetano, South Nias.



Threecongregations on the island of Tasmania — the Eastern Shore, Mersey Bluff andBalfour Street churches — cooperated in a gospel campaign in the town ofDeloraine recently. The campaigners set up Bible studies, enrolled 12 people incorrespondence courses and hosted gospel meetings, said Stephen Randall.

Randall,an evangelist for the Canberra church, collects and reports news among churchesin Australia.



Morethan 200 youths from 12 congregations in the Recife area matched wits during arecent Bible Bowl, said missionary Daniel Palk. “It was our second year and thenumber of people participating doubled,” Palk said. The Collegeside church,Cookeville, Tenn., supports Palk and his wife, Janaina.


Ronand Georgia Freitas, workers with Abilene, Texas-based Continent of GreatCities, visited a mission team of five families in Salvador recently for a“six-month checkup.” Team members are Russell and Valerie Quirey, Travis andAlicia Sass, Randy and Jennifer Porter, Keith and Stacy Parker and Matt andMary Virginia Mabery. The Freitases discussed interpersonal relationships andteam strategy.

“Theteam is doing well and all five families are busy studying Portuguese daily,”the Freitases reported. “The next few months will be full, with plans andpreparations as they get ready for their first inaugural worship service onApril 2, 2006.”



Fourpreaching teams were scheduled to spend November conducting simultaneous gospelcampaigns in towns in western Ghana, said minister Lawrence Oduro.

TheAteiku church oversees the work, called the Rural Evangelism DevelopmentProject. During campaigns conducted in August and September the project yielded168 baptisms, Oduro said.

TheSaturn Road church, Garland, Texas, supports the work.



Adistance-learning program launched in January through the Delmas BibleInstitute trained about 100 ministers during 2005, said Jean Robert St.Hilaire, evangelist for South Haiti Mission.

Churchesare growing across the Caribbean nation, St. Hilaire said, adding thatindigenous leadership training is essential to meet the church’s needs for thefuture. The Northeast church, Kingsport, Tenn., supports the work.



Heavyrainfall caused flooding in the southeastern Indian states of Tamil Nadu andAndhra Pradesh in late October.

“Thecontinuous rain … put half of the city under water,” said Paul Renganathan, aminister for the Choolaimedu church in Chennai. The Annanagar church’s buildingwas flooded and water damaged the homes of church members in towns throughoutthe region.

“Weare engaged in relief work, providing food, medicine, clothes and drinkingwater,” Renganathan said.

Churchesin Chennai continue to send relief to villages devastated by the Oct. 8earthquake in neighboring Pakistan, Renganathan said. The Federal Way, Wash.,church supports the work.



Achurch launched last year in this central Mexican city has seen its attendancerise to 40 people, said missionary Chris Johnson. The six-member mission teamthat planted the church conducts regular Bible studies with visitors andclasses for women on Saturdays. Although church growth is slow in mostlyCatholic Leon, “studies are becoming more frequent, workers are starting to jell,and visitors aren’t just coming for potlucks anymore,” Johnson said.

TheOakridge church, Abilene, Texas, supports the work.



Membersof the Belgrade church, in the former Yugoslavia, report growth since theymoved into a new facility this summer. The church has 15 members and about 30in attendance each Sunday, minister Drasko Djenovic said Nov. 4.

Agroup of students from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., worked inBelgrade as part of a Let’s Start Talking program, teaching English using theBible. In October Croatian minister Mladen Jovanovic visited the church for thefirst time since war broke out in the region in the early 1990s.



Inspite of fuel shortages and economic hardship, members of 11 congregations,some from more than 180 miles away, attended a leadership seminar hosted by theAvondale church in Harare, missionary Jerry Hogg reported Oct. 31.

Hoggand church member Hubert Ramagwede traveled from Benoni, South Africa, for theevent. About 75-80 people attended training sessions. One of the speakers,Leonard Magayo, is a graduate of Southern Africa Bible College in Benoni, whereHogg teaches.

“Therewas a renewed excitement expressed by the brethren in Zimbabwe in spite of themany problems that they are now facing in their country,” Hogg said.

Filed under: International Staff Reports

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