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Around the world: Church takes root deep in Brazils Amazon jungle

Missionary Ellis Long preaches in a new chuch building in a village near the city of Tabatinga, Brazil. The village, in the Amazon basin in the extreme western part of Brazil, is inhabited by the Ticuna Indians, an indigenous people.
Ticuna lands normally are off-limits to missionaries, unless a tribal chief invites them, Long said. A member of the Capital City congregation in Brasilla made contact with a group of Ticuna whiloe stationed near their lads with the Brazilian military. As a result, a tribal chief invited Long and members of the church in Manaus, Brazil.
The missionaries built a church building and conducted a gospel meeting. “We now have a congregation of nearly 100 members meeting in the deepest parts of the Amazon jungle,” Long said.
Missionary Andy Johnson described his relationship with the chief of this African village as “rocky” at best.
Thechief, who practiced Dagara magic, grudgingly allowed the church tomeet, but “forgot several times, Hohnson said. Once, in a drunkenstupor, he barged into a worship service and tried to break it up.
Whenthe chief died recently, a church member asked Johnson if he was happy.Stunned, the missionary replied, “No Christian should ever be glad whensomeone dies without knowing Christ.”
As the village mourned thechief’s death, members of Membar’s small congregation gathered for aprayer service. Other Dagara people, some decked in feathers andtrinkets, danced and wailed around them, Johnson said.
“I amproud of my Dagara brothers and sisters for having the courage to standin front of hundreds of non-believers and sing about hope.”


Children at the Tafuna church got a few of their Christmas presents late — in February, to be exact. But they didn’t mind, missionary David Willis said.
And the biggest gift of all was what the presents came inside — a new 15-passenger van for the church.
Members of the Lake Travis church in Austin, Texas, acquired the van  and drove it to the Conejo Valley church in  Thousand Oaks, Calif. Conejo members drove it to Long Beach for the rest for the rest of its 6,000-mile trip to the South Pacific island.
“Christmas in February is just as much fun as Christmas in December,” Willis said.

Members of the Cidade Nova church are organizing family groups as an outreach to their neighborhoods, missionary David Bayless said. During a retreat on Mosquiero Island, 17 members discussed the mechanics of the group.
The first family group began meeting recently. “We expect it to meet for three months and then multiply into two or three groups, which will meet weekly for Bible study, prayer and fellowship,” Bayless said. “The most important goal will be to win visitors to Christ.”


Members of the Portsmouth church want to let people on this Caribbean island see them worship. The church hosted an “Open-air service” in the community of Glanvillia recently, minister Lewis Romain said.
“Although we  had competition … due to a regional cricket match at Benjamin’s Park, the word went forth,” Romain said.
The church has scheduled additional outdoor services.


Homes for neglected, mistreated, abandoned and orphaned children are under construction in this central American city, said Chad Hedgepath, American director of Mission Lazarus Refuge at Las Palmas.
A team of volunteers traveled to Honduras recently to put the walls and roof on the fist of 10 homes. Members of Berry’s Chapel church in Franklin, Tenn., Maple Hill church in Lebanon, Tenn., and First Colony church of Christ in Sugar Land, Texas, participated in the project
Silvia Castellanos of San Salvador, El Salvador, was a featured speaker at a recent women’s conference hosted by the Ciudad Mateo church.
About 170 church members attended, including an inmate from a local prison who was allowed time out for good behavior to take part in the event, said Castellanos’ husband, Alexander. The inmate asked Silvia Castellanos to speak to other inmates at the prison.


A new church is growing in this small village, near the town of Suryaraopalern in southern India, thanks largely to the ministry of Timothy ravindra.
Curious about Christ since childhood, Ravindra was baptized and studied in a preacher-training program. The church in Duvva, planted last year, has fewer than 10 memers, but the young minister recently baptized four people and is studying with many more, Medapaty Devanand said.
Devanand, minister for the Allampuram church, is raising funds to help support the young minister, who will soon need additional funds to support a wife, Devanand added. Ravindra’s parents are in the process of arranging his marriage.

A mission team in the South American city hosted an evangelism seminar with a twist recently. Rather than teach classes on how to study the Bible with someone, church members were asked to bring friends who “would be willing to serve as a guinea pig for them to practice,” missionary Vanessa Heady said.
The team plans to host another such seminar in March.
Jeremiah’s hope, a ministry serving orphans in easter Ukraine, recently took possession of a house that will become a temporary shelter for abused and abandoned children taken into government custody, said Andrew Kelly, missionary and executive director.
The shelter is the result of a partnership between the ministry and the city of Mariupol. Christians in the United States contributed funds to purchase the house. Workers are raising funds to finish furnishing the house for use by late March.
For more information, see www.jeremiahshope.org.

Filed under: International Staff Reports

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