Around the World, January 2007
Doyle Kee, a missionary in Geneva, Switzerland, said he was surprised by the number of congregations he encountered in the central African nation during a tour with U.S. church member Ken Wilson and Chadian church member Daniel Djonga. Another team, including U.S. missionaries Steve Worley and Barry Baggott and Chadians David Nassa, Jean Boido and Pierre Rimorbe, also toured southern Chad recently.
The war-torn country, involved in the Darfur conflict in neighboring Sudan, has never had foreign missionaries from Churches of Christ, Kee said. But the two teams found congregations in Pala, Sarh and several towns in between. Kee suggested that church members concentrate on the southern city of Moundou. Unlike the predominantly Muslim north, in southern Chad “contact with the people is easy and hearts seem receptive,” Kee said.
KIEV — Ukranians don’t celebrate Christmas until Jan. 7, and most of them givemore attention to New Year’s Day, when families gather and give eachother presents, missionary Chris Lovingood said.
“This year, wedecided to encourage our patrons to think a little more about what thebirth of Christ means in their lives,’ said Lovingood, director of theUkrainian Education Center, a library and computer lab near Kiev’sPolytechnic Institute.
For the months ofDecember and January, library patrons get a copy of the center’snewsletter, which tells the story of Jesus’ birth. Patrons also get achance to win prizes, including pens, certificates that entitle them tospecial privileges in the library and tickets to see the film The Nativity Story.
Thecenter is a 501(c)3 corporation with a United States board ofdirectors. The Acklen Avenue church, Nashville, Tenn., sponsorsLovingood and his wife, Lena.
The center’s Web site is www.ueckyiv.org.
MARSH HARBOUR — Seventy-four people — 16 of them first-time visitors — attended a mid-December “Bring a Friend Day” Sunday service at the Marsh Harbour church on the island of Abaco, minister Jason Quashie said.
Lincoln Young, minister for the Rock Sound church on the nearby island of Eleuthera, was the guest speaker.
HATTIEVILLE — David and Connie Adcox and the Hohenwald, Tenn., church arranged for 1,300 pairs of new tennis shoes to be donated to the “Prisoners Without Shoes” project, said Bill Amason of Belize Missions. Church members in Belize distribute shoes and necessities to the inmates at the prison in Hattieville as they teach World Bible School lessons. Church member Lincoln Jones coordinates the work.
SALVADOR — Missionaries in Salvador treated church members and their friends to a “churrasco” — Brazilian-style barbecue — after a recent Sunday service.
“Barbecue here is much simpler — no sauce, no marinade, just salted meat on big swords,” missionary Valerie Quirey said. Church members paid for the food, but visitors ate free. About 100 people — nearly half of them visitors — attended the barbecue at the home of missionaries Keith and Stacey Parker. Many of the visitors requested Bible studies, Quirey said.
APOPA — Alexander Castellanos preached by candlelight after a storm knocked out the power during a gospel meeting at the church in Apopa, a small city about 40 minutes north of San Salvador. An average of 45 people and 15 children attended the four-day event, Castellanos said.
KUMASI — Arthur David conducted a marriage seminar for more than 50 couples at the Oforikrom church recently. “It was a wonderful experience,” David said. “From all indications, there is a need for more teaching and awareness on what Christian marriage is all about.”
David, an instructor at Ghana Bible College in Kumasi, is scheduled to return to his native Liberia this month to assist missionaries working there.
CAP HAITIEN — In a country where paying a witchdoctor to put a curse on those who’ve wronged you is common practice, teaching a Bible lesson on “Overcoming Enemies” is challenging — but necessary, missionary Bob Valerius said. Students at the Center for Biblical Training recently completed a study of Psalms that included sections on repentance and forgiveness.
“Because of voodoo, Haitians are taught to hide their feelings and their faults from each other,” said Dale Huff, academic dean. “To confess sin one to another is a tremendous act of faith in Haiti, and one that does not happen very often.”
MUMBAI — The Bandra church began hosting a monthly marriage preparation program recently for church members in Mumbai, missionaries said.
Church members in Mumbai also gathered for a recent all-congregation meeting with Henry and Nat Kong, members of the Pashir Pajang church in Singapore. Topics included leadership and church planting, Phillips said.
BOTOHILITANO — While seeking the lost, ministers on the island of Nias also are learning to build, sew and even weld. A church-supported vocational program in Botohilitano graduated 12 students recently, said Andrew S. Banjarnahor, a minister in Medan.
The Tsunami Earthquake American Relief Services, or TEARS, ministry presented certificates and tools to seven carpenters four sewers and a welder.
The ministers will use their new skills to earn income and help with rebuilding efforts on Nias, devastated by the 2004 tsunami and subsequent earthquakes.
ROSE HILL — Missionaries Arlin and Pamela Hendrix traveled 6,000 miles from their home in Lyon, France, to conduct a marriage seminar and retreat with church members on the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar.
Missionaries Tony and Caroline Leuteritz invited the Hendrixes. Several visitors — including a Hindu couple — attended the seminar, Tony Leuteritz said.
NOVOSIBIRSK — A team from Greater Atlanta Christian School traveled to Novosibirsk recently to work with World Wide Youth Camps, said Rob Browne, the ministry’s director of Russian operations. Some team members lived at the St. Nicholas orphanage, where they played games and studied the Bible with children, Browne said.
Bill Wharton, an evangelist from Gainesville, Fla., traveled to Sochi, in southern Russia, to work with a small church recently. The church is reaching out to its community, supporting an organization for people with disabilities. “They are very devoted and have a zeal for the Lord that is admirable,” Wharton said.