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Karen Swan, director of Redwood Montessori School in Lebanon, Ind., helps a student prepare a “fire stick” for Malawi.
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Photo via malawiproject.org

Around the World: Fire sticks in Malawi, Lads to Leaders in Romania and more quick takes


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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].

AUSTRALIA

LONGFORD — The Northern Midland Church of Christ, which meets in this colonial town on the island of Tasmania, hosted a five-day outreach series with guest speaker Mitchell Rutherford from the city of Gympie in Australia’s Queensland state. Six visitors attended.

Rutherford’s uncle, Kevin Rutherford, is scheduled to speak at a similar event in July in George Town on Tasmania’s northern coast. Kevin Rutherford, who was born in Zambia, grew up on the mission field in Tasmania and now serves as dean of admissions for the Memphis School of Preaching in Tennessee.


Related: A full-circle journey of faith down under


Church members in Cúcuta, Colombia, practice pedicures.

Church members in Cúcuta, Colombia, practice pedicures.

COLOMBIA

CÚCUTA — Christians in this South American city seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus by concentrating exactly on that — hands and feet.

The Cúcuta Church of Christ trains women to give professional manicures and pedicures. “It’s a job that will allow them to be able to provide for their families,” church members said in a recent social media post. The congregation serves many low-income families, including refugees from neighboring Venezuela.


Karen Swan, director of Redwood Montessori School in Lebanon, Ind., helps a student prepare a “fire stick” for Malawi.

Karen Swan, director of Redwood Montessori School in Lebanon, Ind., helps a student prepare a “fire stick” for Malawi.

MALAWI

LILONGWE — Christians in this African nation soon will receive a shipment of toilet paper rolls stuffed with shredded paper and candle wax — all in the name of saving trees.

The Malawi Project, an Indiana-based nonprofit supported by Churches of Christ, hopes to provide people in rural villages with a means of starting and maintaining cooking fires without contributing to the problem of deforestation.

“Malawi, and much of central Africa, is fast running out of trees,” workers with the Malawi Project said in a recent blog post.

As much as 88 percent of Malawi’s 20 million people don’t have access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

Wilson Tembo, executive director of The Malawi Project’s Action for Progress program, will work with a village in a pilot program for the “fire sticks,” as the nonprofit has dubbed them.

Villagers will use the toilet paper rolls rather than trees or limbs for their cooking fires for 30 days. If successful, the nonprofit will mass produce the fire sticks.


Participants pray during the Romania Lads to Leaders conference.

Participants pray during the Romania Lads to Leaders conference.

ROMANIA

VALEA DRAGANULUI — In this mountainside Transylvanian village, Romanian Christians took a brief break from evangelism and their ongoing ministry to Ukrainian refugees to watch their children lead singing, give speeches and perform puppet shows.

About 75 believers from nine Churches of Christ met for the annual Lads to Leaders convention. Missionary David Gibson brought the youth program to Romania about 11 years ago.

The convention is “just the reward that the kids receive after a whole year of learning and studying the Word of God,” said Sorina Vintilă, the mother of participants in this year’s convention.

“I have seen children so nervous and introverted that they could barely open their mouths or look at the audience, and now they are leading songs in their local church — or prayers or short devotionals.”

Vintilă and her husband, minister Dragos Vintilă, serve the Church of Christ in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

“I have seen children so nervous and introverted that they could barely open their mouths or look at the audience,” Sorina Vintilă said. “And now they are leading songs in their local church — or prayers or short devotionals.”

Dragos Vintilă and Ukrainian Christians are discussing the possibility of launching a Lads to Leaders program across the border in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

Filed under: Around the World Australia Colombia International Lads to Leaders Malawi Malawi Project Memphis School of Preaching News Romania Top Stories

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