Around the World, July 2017
On the island of Leyte in the Philippines, minister Arnold Legaspe baptizes Kim Mercadal as Kenneth Mostasisa watches, holding a Bible and a hymnal open to the song “Trust and Obey.” Mercadal became the newest member of the Isabel Church of Christ, a congregation of about 30 souls on Lyete, the island where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur made his historic landing in the campaign to retake the Philippines in World War II.
“The Isabel congregation was started three years ago as a result of gospel meetings, Bible studies, medical missions and relief efforts after Super Typhoon Yolanda,” said missionary Michael Stock. “It has always been our belief that, in order to teach the Gospel of Christ, we must first show the love of Christ.”
Shkelqim Kafexhiu DURRES — “What makes the church grow?” Christians in this Central European nation — along with believers from the U.S. and Italy — pondered that question during an annual retreat for Churches of Christ. About 135 people attended.
“The retreat was great, and it was the biggest so far,” said Shkelqim Kafexhiu, a minister in the Albanian city of Durres. Among the participants were 15 members of the Adams Boulevard Church of Christ in Bartlesville, Okla. After the retreat the mission team taught Bible studies in the two congregations in Durres, using materials from World English Institute.
Ocotepeque — Bob Young spent a few days on the border of El Salvador and Honduras recently, preaching and teaching.
The longtime minister and missionary instructed students at the Border Bible Institute. The institute, supported by Monett, Mo.-based Doors Slammed Open Ministries, has campuses in the towns of Ocotepeque, Honduras, and San Ignacio, El Salvador. Young also preached for congregations in both locales.
“Border Bible Institute has excellent students — capable, alert, interested and serious,” Young said. “It was a joy to teach them, to interact with their questions and to spend time with them.”
Punadipadu — A former Muslim named Sreekar, who converted to Christianity last year, shared his testimony with about 400 souls during a recent gospel meeting in this village near the Bay of Bengal. Minister Prabhu Kumar helped organize the event.
Musanze — A restoration movement is growing in this small African nation, said missionary Doyle Kee.
Kee, who lives in Switzerland and produces Bible studies for the French-speaking world, first encountered members of the Church of the Rock — a network of 12 congregations in rural Rwanda — in 2015 when some of the churches’ members signed up for Bible correspondence courses. Kee and other Christians, including Amou Akembe of Burundi, have traveled to Rwanda to study with and train church leaders.
The network of churches has grown to 16, all of which “now want to be considered a part of the fellowship of Churches of Christ around the world,” Kee said. “The leaders spoke of all the members being baptized for the forgiveness of their sins.” The churches also take the Lord’s Supper weekly, he added.
Vocaliź sings praise songs in Geneva. (PHOTO PROVIDED) GENEVA — Christians sing in the streets of Geneva, Switzerland’s second-largest city, population 484,000.
Vocaliz’, a choral group from the Geneva Church of Christ, share a cappella hymns in their city’s historic squares. Recently 12 students from Harding University in Searcy, Ark., joined the vocal group during a month-long visit to Geneva. Together, they performed a combined public concert.