Around the world, August 2009
New Christians wait to receive handshakes from their accusers in a remote village in the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea. Missionary Marcus Reese traveled five hours by boat and six hours on foot to reach the village. Ramukas, a recent convert from the village, requested the visit. The villagers listened to the message, and 13 were baptized.
“The next day, Sunday, our worship was interrupted by a summons to a village meeting,” Reese said. “There we were subjected to repeated interrogations, taunting and accusations. One leader said that we had turned the village upside-down.”
During the meeting one of the villagers ran up to a new Christian — his own brother — and started beating him. “The new Christian just held up his hands and said, ‘Kill me if you want. I died with Christ when I was baptized,’” Reese said. “He and some other Christians received a few more punches and kicks, but God protected them from serious injury.”
The accusers convinced the village magistrate to fine the Christians two weeks’ wages (about $80). Reese paid the fine. “Finally, they asked us to shake hands with them to show that there were no hard feelings,” he said.
‘Truth without compromise’
MEDAN, Indonesia — Recent bomb blasts in this predominantly Muslimnation highlight the need to preach the love of Christ — and the needfor sensitivity, missionary Steve Cate said.
Cate, who works with a team of indigenous Christians in Indonesia,lives 15 miles away from the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels inJakarta, where two suicide bombers killed nine people and wounded 53 inseparate attacks July 17.
Authorities suspect a militant Islamic group in the blasts.
Indonesians generally take a grim view of such attacks, but in recentyears the country’s Muslims have become “less tolerant of Christianitythan they formerly were,” Cate said. Some view the wars in Iraq andAfghanistan as “attacks upon Islam, and this causes an emotionalreaction, which results in hardening their hearts against the gospel.”
“We continue to preach the truth without compromise — even on aprominent radio station in Jakarta, but we do make every effort to keepfrom offending our listeners,” Cate said.
Those efforts are producing fruit, Cate said. Minister Tuloasa Ndruru,who works with the missionary, recently performed two baptisms in Medan.
DOUGLAS PARK — More than 60 Christians attended a recent youth andyoung adult retreat weekend at Cataract River Ranch, about an hour fromSydney. The Southwest church in Sydney sponsored the event, whichincluded lessons on temptations and peer pressure.
Speakers included Andrew Burns, Craig Peters, Jonathon Frank, Stephen Males and Roberto Quintanilla.
CAMPINAS — Eighty-five students graduated recently from a 15-weektheology course sponsored by the Campinas church. Among the studentswere “people who were struggling with what they had been taught in thedenominations where they were members and what the Bible is showingthem now,” missionary Allen Dutton Jr. said.
Five students have been baptized, Dutton said, and church members are conducting Bible studies with 10 more.
MOUNDOU — About 600 students in this central African nation haveenrolled in World Bible School correspondence courses in the past twoyears, minister Daniel Feltoing Djonga said. Many of the students learnabout the course through a church-sponsored radio broadcast, saidDjonga, who works with West Monroe, La.-based World Radio GospelBroadcasts.
This month church members plan to organize a conference for listenersof the broadcast and World Bible School students. George Akpabli,director of a ministry training program in Benin, is the scheduledspeaker.
SANTO DOMINGO — More than 200 church members in this Central Americannation attended the fourth District Fellowship of Women, ministerFederico Martinez said.
“This year they named it Grateful Women 2009,” the minister said. “Itis an event of utmost importance for our congregation since the women …can develop the gifts that the Lord has given them.”
VICENZA — About 300 African Christians representing nine congregationsin Europe attended the second biannual Ghanaian Churches of Christlectureships recently, said Titus Robison, who works with the Vicenzacongregation. The Vicenza church hosted the event, which included guestspeakers from Ghana.
NAIROBI — Former street children in this East African nation arelearning business ethics, money management and job-finding skillsthrough the Made in the Streets ministry, said missionary CharlesCoulston, who oversees the ministry with his wife, Darlene.
The ministry launched a new course recently that includes classes inBible, business and computers. “We now have 34 training in sewing,cooking, woodworking, auto mechanics, agriculture and computeroperations,” Charles Coulston said. “The new course is called 4.30,because it meets each day from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m.” Church membersFrancis Mbuvi, Moses Okoth, Joel Njue and Victor Otieno teach theclasses.
CANCUN — “The apocalyptic riders seem to be galloping over thiscountry,” said Gabino Rico, a minister in Torreon, Mexico, in referenceto the drug-related violence, swine flu epidemic and economic downturnhis country has suffered in recent months.
But in such times “the gospel needs to be preached,” he added.
That’s what Wayne Kilpatrick and Orlando Javier Whiteside of Florence,Ala., did recently, traveling to the Yucatan Peninsula to preach. Ricotranslated for the visiting ministers, who taught from the books ofActs and Revelation.
FeedbackInterested in this magazine. It is inspiring. Keep it up.Obed AnthonyChurch of christ, Baird memorial college Buea.Buea, South West
CameroonSeptember, 3 2009