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Around the World: Church growth in the Bahamas, Syrian refugees in Germany 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): On the island of Grand Bahama, the northernmost of the 700 islands that comprise the nation of the Bahamas, Tavaro and Shameika Hanna serve the Eight Mile Rock Church of Christ. The congregation recently hosted a marriage retreat and is moving into a new building. The church plans to host a gospel seminar this spring.


Eleni Melirrytos

Eleni Melirrytos

WEINSBERG — “The only problem was that I could not stop crying,” said Eleni Melirrytos.

After years of serving Middle Eastern refugees through the Omonia Church of Christ in Athens, Greece, Melirrytos traveled to Germany to visit families who had resettled there. One family, living in an apartment in Weinsberg, prepared “a Syrian feast.” They have jobs, speak German and are enjoying a life of peace, Melirrytos said.

“I cried at the thought of what they had been through … from Syria to Turkey to Greece through traffickers, through camps, in tents, in forgotten-by-time downtown Athenian apartments,” she said. “The air of that tidy, warm and loving apartment was filled with redemption.”


Monday Akpakpan

Monday Akpakpan

ABAK — “The only challenge … is having Bibles to give to the new converts,” said evangelist Monday Akpakpan. The longtime minister, who preaches, teaches and does follow-up work with World Bible School correspondence students, reported six baptisms at a recent gospel seminar, seven baptisms at another and nine more each at two other church events.

“Nothing can stop us from the work of God,” Akpakpan said.


Lisa Carter

Lisa Carter

PANAMA CITY — Missionary Lisa Carter traveled with a team dedicated to improving health care and education for the indigenous Embera people in this Central American nation.

“One day the group was in a migrant camp distributing soap. The next day they were meeting with leaders in remote villages only accessible by dugout canoe,” according to Carter’s newsletter. “This was followed by beautiful conference rooms and meetings with university presidents — and then talking with the U.S. ambassador and his staff.”

The team included Tennessee State Rep. Mark White, nurse practictioner Diane Edrington from Mississippi, professors from the University of Tennessee and leaders of Embera villages.

The Carters work with Embera Christians. According tot he newsletter, “Hopefully, these initial meetings will lead to educational scholarships, medical clinics and a generation of Embera people who are better prepared to meet the needs of their own people — and more open doors for the Gospel.”


CEBU CITY — Churches of Christ and relief ministries associated with the fellowship continue clean-up, relief and rebuilding efforts in the wake of Typhoon Rai, which swept through 11 of the Philippines’ 17 provinces in December. The damage affected nearly 10 million people. Two months after the typhoon, about 144,000 Filipinos are still displaced, the United Nations reports.

Filipino Christians clean up after Rai, a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon.

Filipino Christians clean up after Rai, a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon.

The storm postponed the start of the semester at Cebu Bible College, said director Mark VanDyke. “We will be sending students out each weekend to help with the recovery,” he said, “working with churches in the communities that have been impacted by the typhoon.”

Filed under: Around the World Bahamas Bibles disaster relief Germany International mission News Nigeria Panama Philippines refugees Top Stories

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