Lions, lies and hope
Johan Gerber remembers praying for rain — and the cloudburst…
Around the World is our monthly rundown of news briefs, links and quotes from Churches of Christ all over the globe. Got an idea for this column? Email Erik Tryggestad at [email protected]
Featured image (above): Selina Dragoti and her fellow Christians rejoice after her baptism in Berat, Albania. Her father, Teki (at left), records the celebration on his phone.
“I am only few moments away from my baptism, and I’m counting the seconds as if they are long days. I’m about to become the daughter of the Most High. … Today, I’m only a step away from his glorious throne.”
Related: Lions, lies and hope
That’s an excerpt of the testimony Selina Dragoti, 17, shared with the Church of Christ in Berat before she was immersed. She’s one of nine believers baptized since mid-April in this Central European city.
Berat is home to about 60,000 people — many of whom claim Christianity or Islam as their faith. During World War II, both Christians and Muslims in Berat hid Jews in their homes from the Nazis.
“I have come to know the truth. I’m ready to follow Jesus. … I’m ready to kneel down before him, and to worship my Lord.”
More recently, a Church of Christ was reestablished in Berat in October and has grown rapidly, said Cimi Kafexhiu, minister for the Church of Christ in Durrës, Albania, who makes regular visits to assist the congregation.
“I have come to know the truth,” Dragoti said. “I’m ready to follow Jesus. … I’m ready to kneel down before him, and to worship my Lord.”
BONABÉRI — Amid rising prices and increasing economic hardship in this West African nation, ministers gathered for a time of study and encouragement at a national preachers’ forum, hosted by a Church of Christ in the port city of Bonabéri.
Among the presenters was Gregory Elangwe, minister for the Wotutu Church of Christ, who spoke on “Who is your Timothy?” — a reference to the young evangelist trained by Paul.
“It was an amazing experience,” Elangwe said, “as many realities about the work in Cameroon were exposed and (participants were) encouraged.”
KRAAIFONTEIN — “Despite it being a bitterly cold winter’s evening” in South Africa (which is in the Southern Hemisphere), three men decided to give their lives to Christ in baptism, said members of the Kraaifontein Church of Christ in a recent blog post.
The church, which meets in a northeastern suburb of Cape Town, got to know the three men through its work with The Haven Night Shelter, a nonprofit that serves the homeless. Church members said they are grateful to the shelter “for the open door for us to preach the Gospel of Christ there every week.”
See videos of the baptisms at kraaifonteinchurchofchrist.com.
BANGKOK — Three young women were baptized during a recent service at The Gathering, a church that meets in a coffee shop in this Southeast Asian capital.
Missional entrepreneurs Gary and Michelle Ford operate the coffee shop, La Mesa, and oversee Replicate Bangkok, a ministry that seeks to “engage, equip and empower others to create social and spiritual impacts in their communities,” according to their website.
See facebook.com/Replicateintl for more information.
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