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Around the world: June 2008

Church members symbolically spread the gospel message by lighting candles at the recent European Singles Retreat. Thirty-two Christians from Western European nations including Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland attended the biannual event at the Bibelfreizeitheim, a Christian retreat center in Gemunden, Germany. Don Roehrkasse, a missionary in Hildesheim, Germany, was the guest speaker. “All in all, this was a real uplifting retreat for all of us,” said Roel De Gruyter, a missionary who lives in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and works with churches in Antwerp, Belgium.

NUEVA FRANCIA — Thirty years ago, there were no Churches of Christ in the area surrounding this small village, close to the Guatemala border, minister Lou Seckler said. Now, there are 70.
Seckler, of Harvest Ministries, sponsored by the University church in Abilene, Texas, and Karl Jones, minister for the Burleson, Texas, church, met with members of 26 churches in Mexico’s Chiapas state recently.
Seckler and a group of evangelists conducted their first campaign in Chiapas in 1974. One campaigner, Liberato Ovalle, moved to Chiapas in 1975 after completing studies at the Torreon School of Preaching. Ovalle helped plant 23 churches during his 20 years there. Esteban Mazariegos continued the work after Ovalle moved away.
Church members meet every two months for Bible seminars. They take up collections to help churches purchase land and build facilities, Seckler said.
“Chiapas is the poorest state in Mexico, economically speaking,” Seckler said. “However, when it comes to their desire to grow and mature in the Lord, they are the richest.”


GYMPIE — Eighty-nine campers and 12 day visitors worshiped under a canvas in the Australian bush during Camp Harmony. Attendees came from Brisbane, Gympie, Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and Hobart, on the Australian island of Tasmania.
Church members Matt Parr, Danny McDonald, Ian Coker, John La Spina and Travis Coker taught lessons during the four-day camp.


COCHABAMBA — Church leaders from the Bolivian cities of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Viacha and Sucre attended a recent preaching seminar hosted by the Cochabamba church, missionary Jeff Forbess said. Fellow missionary Josh Marcum conducted classes.


BRANTFORD — A dozen teens went without food for more than a day to help hungry children around the globe.
The teens, members of the Brantford, Ontario, church that meets at the Constain/Johnson Community Center, participated in the “30-Hour Famine” sponsored by World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization. The teens raised $1,500 to help impoverished children.


SARH — A small group of missionaries and ministers conducted gospel meetings for hundreds of people in this central African nation.
Jean Claude Ethe, a minister from Cameroon; Doyle Kee, a missionary in Geneva, Switzerland; and Daniel Djonga, an evangelist in Moundou, Chad, traveled on dirt roads for six hours to reach the city of Sahr. Gabriel Hai-teato, a minister in Sahr, led the group deep into the African bush, where the church members conducted a gospel meeting for more than 200 people.
The group also conducted meetings and baptized new believers in Sahr and Moundou.


SABANILLA —“Living without Fear” was the theme of a recent evangelistic seminar hosted by the Sabanilla church. Oscar Lopez, a native of El Salvador studying ministry at Baxter Institute in Honduras, was guest minister for the event.
Bob Mayes and Butch Feher, elders of the Signal Mountain, Tenn., church, helped the Sabanilla church host a seminar for its members focusing on biblical leadership and organization.


BARAHONA — Nineteen church members received degrees from an extension program of the La Hispaniola
Bible Institute recently, said Daniel Nin, director of the Santo Domingo-based institute.
The church members are the first graduates of the Barahona extension program, Nin said. The institute is an associate school of Lubbock, Texas-based Sunset International Bible Institute. The institute’s Web site is www.lahibi.org.


ESQUIPULAS — Workers with the Biblical Institute of Central America, a church-supported ministry training program, planted a congregation in Esquipulas recently, said George Hall, the institute’s director.
Twenty-five people were baptized in Esquipulas, a city near Guatemala’s border with Honduras and El


PYONGYANG — Rapha International, a church-supported medical mission, recently shipped a container of medical equipment and supplies to this communist nation.
A team of Korean and American physicians traveled to Pyongyang to participate in a professional exchange program, including surgeries and lectures.


MOGADISHU — In four years of underground mission work, church members have baptized more than 20 people in this predominantly Muslim nation, said Abdul, a minister in Mogadishu who requested that his full name not be used.
Somalia has been without an effective government since 1991, but Christians have managed to establish churches in Mogadishu and the southern city of Jilib, Abdul said. Churches in Australia support the Somali Christians. Abdul requested prayers and additional funds to continue the work.


EAST LONDON — A new church began meeting recently at the College Road campus of Walter Sisulu University, said missionary Chris du Preez. The university has about 24,000 students spread across its four campuses a
nd allowed the church to meet in one of its lecture halls for free, du Preez said.


TAIPEI — Yiin Jih became minister for the Tien Mu church recently. “He and his wife, Shan-Shan, are hard workers and are already greatly loved and appreciated by the members here,” missionary Enoch Thweatt said.
About 50 church members in the Taipei area chartered buses for a recent outing to the “Flying Cow” Ranch in Miaoli, Thweatt said.

Filed under: International Staff Reports

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