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Around the World, December 2016

BOLIVIA COCHABAMBA — Nine years ago, in the midst of violent, anti-government protests, a mission team of five families planted the Cochabamba Centro Church of Christ in this South American city.

The church grew, and now a new team from Bolivia, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua has planted a congregation in the suburb of Tiquipaya. The Austin Avenue Church of Christ in Brownwood, Texas, sponsors the work and chose Tiquipaya so that Butch and Patricia Sandoval, the last members of the Cochabamba team still living in Bolivia, can mentor the new church planters, who graduated from the Baxter Institute, a ministry training school in Honduras.

The new Church of Christ has experienced 10 baptisms this year as members reach out to their community with assistance from the Cochabamba Centro church and the Villa Pagador Church of Christ — a former Pentecostal church whose leaders and members were baptized after visiting the Cochabamba Centro congregation.
BRAZIL CAMPINAS — For the past 15 years, Christians in this South American city have offered theology classes to their community, resulting in changed lives.
“All we do is advertise on a local radio station,” missionary Allen Dutton Jr. said, “and the students come to us. What a privilege we have to teach God’s Word to a desperate world.”

Recently, the Guanabara Church of Christ graduated 84 students — its biggest class in the history of the program, Dutton said. Eight of the students were baptized. In all, the congregation has baptized 55 people this year and averages 220 for Sunday worship.
GUINEA Evangelists baptize in Samoé, Guinea. SAMOÉ — An evangelist reports new souls for Christ in this West African nation, where the Ebola virus outbreak claimed more than 2,500 lives. Recently, 10 people in the sub-prefecture of Samoé were baptized during a Bible campaign, minister Francis Musa said. 
CROATIA Varazdin — More than 150 people, including 15 church leaders, attended the recent grand opening of the Varazdin Church of Christ’s new meeting place, minister Mladen Dominic said.

“Four of us gave interviews to television reporters, and we were able to speak about the amazing work that is being completed by the Churches of Christ,” Dominic said. “We shared with them the wonderful news about Bibles that we printed in Braille for the blind so that they too can read the Gospel.”

On the same day, the Croatia for Christ ministry, with help from Eastern European Mission, distributed 15,000 children’s Bibles to local elementary schools. Church members also have developed a smartphone app that allows users to read a Croatian Easy to Read New Testament, Dominic said.
CAMBODIA (PHOTO PROVIDED BY PHANAT OUCH) SIEM REAP — On Sundays, a small group of Christians in the Southeast Asian city of Siem Reap, Cambodia, travels about 60 miles — by car and boat — to reach the village of Kompong Khleang, where homes built on tall stilts appear to float when the Tonle Sap Lake swells during the country’s rainy season. In the village, the Christians worship with and encourage a handful of believers, said Phanat Ouch, who works with International Bible Institute of Siem Reap, an extension school of Bear Valley Bible Institute International. See our recent features on Ouch and Churches of Christ in Cambodia at www.christianchronicle.org. Click on the “Series” tab and look for “From the East.”

Filed under: International

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