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Around the World: An island church grieves and hundreds gather to hear about Jesus

FEATURED PHOTO (above): More than 1,000 souls worship God during a recent Gospel meeting in the Choolaimedu district of the southern Indian city of Chennai. In addition to preaching, members of Churches of Christ in the region distributed 10,000 pounds of rice packets to the poor, said minister Paul Renganathan. “The hungry, sick, hurting and burdened with sin are looking for a way out of their problems,” the minister said. “Where Jesus is preached, they gather in big numbers. It is the precious moment when they find Jesus — the way, the truth and the life.


CASCAVELLE — More than 1.2 million people live in this island nation in the Indian Ocean, 700 miles east of Madagascar.

Canden and Stephanie Subarayadu serve with their children in Mauritius.

Among them are several small Churches of Christ. Mauritius native Canden Subarayadu and his wife, Stephanie, have worked with one of the congregations for about 10 years after training for ministry in France.

Another congregation, the Cascavelle Church of Christ, recently lost its minister, who stopped preaching and left the church. As a result, “the church there was hurt, feeling lost, disappointed and confused,” Canden Subarayadu said.

So he and the congregation he serves began making weekly visits to the Cascavelle church for Bible studies, though the transportation stretched their funds.

“After praying and waiting on the Lord, he showed us that it is the best thing to do,” the minister said. “There are many youngsters there in that church. Please pray for them.”


PORT-AU-PRINCE — A new congregation, the LaTremblay Church of Christ, drew 517 people from 14 Churches of Christ for its inaugural worship service. The congregation meets on the property of the International School of Theology, an affiliate of Denver-based Bear Valley Bible Institute International.

Fifty-seven people attended the second Sunday service, said Larry Waymire, longtime missionary to the Caribbean and director of the theology school.

During the third service, two people were baptized.

The church has “great men and women, well-versed in the Word of God,” Waymire said. “If the church is not Christ focused, Bible teaching and God-glorifying, it is not the church taught in the Bible.”


CHITTOOR — Baptisms can be dangerous in southern India’s Chittoor district, home of the massive Venkateswara Temple, a site of pilgrimage for many Hindus. Christians who baptize in the area’s ponds, wells and canals risk attacks by militant Hindus, said Prabhu Kumar, who works with Churches of Christ across the region.

Recently, church members in Chittoor constructed a baptismal pool beside their meeting place to reduce the risk of attack, Kumar said.


Leah Graefe

DUNEDIN — Leah Graefe, a missions intern working with a Church of Christ on New Zealand’s South Island, recently transitioned to full-time mission work with support from the Britton Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.

“The most significant work I do, and the majority of my time here, is in one-on-one and small-group activities,” she said. “Two other significant aspects of what I do in Dunedin are working with women and children.

“In all this, building firm relationships is crucial.”


EAST LONDON — While Christians shovel snow in the Northern Hemisphere, Churches of Christ south of the equator host summer camps, including the Little Meadow Christian Youth Camp.

About 20 youths attended, including five from a children’s home, said minister Chris du Preez. After lots of games, team-building activities and Bible lessons, four of the youths were baptized, he added.


PAGALA — Planted two years ago, a Church of Christ in this West African village had experienced little growth, said Willie Gley, a missionary from neighboring Ghana.

Then the Gospel Chariot rolled into town. The “Church of Christ on wheels” ministry, in partnership with a congregation in Togo’s capital, Lome, conducted a Bible camp and gospel campaign.

“The congregation was edified,” Gley said, and three souls were baptized.

Filed under: International News

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