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Around the World: Baptisms in Tanzania, Ukrainian relief efforts in Europe and more quick takes


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): Without elaborate visual aids — or even a  classroom — Esther Kashumba teaches in Karatu, a small town in northern Tanzania, following God’s command to take his words and “teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 11:19).

Nearby, ministers including Kashumba’s husband, Edwin, taught Bible classes for adults and led worship. The Sunday service came at the conclusion of a seminar that included lessons taught by preachers from the Mahaha, Endamarariek and Getamock Churches of Christ in the East African nation.

Five people were baptized during the seminar. 


GERMANY

LEIPZIG — This city of about 600,000 people, once part of communist East Germany and an ally of the Soviet Union, now hosts some 9,600 refugees from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Dennis Sopelnik, a minister in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, and his wife, Vera, recently visited Leipzig to work with refugee mothers and their children. Participants made Christmas ornaments, enjoyed desserts and learned about Churches of Christ. Bear Valley Bible Institute and Camp Amerikraine Relief provided resources for the outreach.

“For children and their mothers it is extremely important to have communication in a foreign country,” Sopelnik said. “The beginning is here. Let’s pray and keep believing for victory.”

“For children and their mothers it is extremely important to have communication in a foreign country. The beginning is here. Let’s pray and keep believing for victory.”


KENYA

KISII — More than 460 youths — and a number of officials with the local government — attended a recent youth forum hosted by the Nyamue Church of Christ. 

“We served the youths food,” minister David Marube said, “and that is how they were able to concentrate as the facilitators took them through lessons on mental health, good conduct and sexuality.”

The minister requested assistance to upgrade the church’s kitchen and bathrooms to better accommodate future youth forums.


TAIWAN

TAICHUNG — A mix of online and in-person sermons highlighted the recent Taichung Bible Seminar, hosted by a Church of Christ in this city of 2.8 million people on Taiwan’s western coast. On the first day of the seminar, ministers led discussions of Scripture via video link.

John Grubb, center, and members of the Taichung church enjoy a meal.

John Grubb, center, and members of the Taichung church enjoy a meal.

For the in-person portion of the seminar, the church hosted visiting minister John Grubb, who led singing and delivered messages along with Taichung minister John Yo. Grubb and his wife, Beatrix, are longtime missionaries to Southeast Asia. Grubb also has worked for Truth for the World, an evangelistic work of the Duluth Church of Christ in Georgia.


UKRAINE

KYIV — It wasn’t a gospel meeting or an academic seminar. The purpose of a two-day gathering at the Ukrainian Bible Institute was to honor and provide spiritual renewal for church members who serve others in this war-torn country.

The institute, in partnership with Sunset International Bible Institute and the Poznyaki Church of Christ, hosted Christians who distribute food and Bibles across Ukraine and provide transportation away from the frontlines. One participant said that, in her 35 years in the church, “this was the first time she had ever heard someone bring up the topic of burnout,” according to institute director Brandon Price.

“We spent time dreaming about what the future of our ministry might look like as we continue to partner during this very difficult time.”

“We led these men and women in guided, small-group Bible studies as they looked at their own spiritual lives over these last 20 months of war,” Price said. “They spent time in quiet personal reflection, and they spent time together in prayer. … We spent time dreaming about what the future of our ministry might look like as we continue to partner during this very difficult time.”


Spotlight

Cajamarca, Peru — Once a hub of the ancient Incan empire, Christians pray that this city in the Andes Mountains will become a hub of New Testament Christianity.

Raúl Chumbile and his family are moving to Cajamarca to plant a Church of Christ and to revitalize mission efforts in the city of more than 220,000 people. Chumbile studied theology at Baxter Institute in Honduras and earned a master’s in Bible from the Inter-American Bible Institute in Lima, Peru.

Chumbile

Chumbile


Newsmakers

HONORED: Keith Chunn as the 2023 Distinguished Alumnus at Crowley’s Ridge Academy in Paragould, Ark. Paula Dismuke on the Women of Faith wall at the North Davis Church of Christ in Arlington, Texas.

AWARDED: First place to the Gladeville Church of Christ by the Gladeville Community Center for the church’s display in the Christmas Parade in Mount Juliet, Tenn.

APPOINTED: Kristen Roberson as director of graduate business programs for the Freed-Hardeman University College of Business in Henderson, Tenn. Preston Johnson as song leader for the Central Church of Christ in Chattanooga, Tenn. 

HIRED: Gary Davenport as minister for the Farmerville Church of Christ in Louisiana.

BAPTIZED: Emonni and E’maya Lloyd at the BayNorth Church of Christ in Fairfield, Calif. Grace Levering at the Northside Church of Christ in Wichita, Kan.

Filed under: Around the World baptisms Churches of Christ in Kenya Churches of Christ in Taiwan Churches of Christ in Ukraine International News Newsmakers Top Stories Ukrainian refugees

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