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Young believers in Chennai, India, show off their new ballcaps as they take a break between events at the Lads to Leaders convention.
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Photo provided by Ricky Gootam

Around the World: Lads to Leaders in India, candlelight Bible study in Ukraine and more quick takes


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]

Featured image (above): Young believers in Chennai, India, show off their new ballcaps as they take a break between events at the Lads to Leaders convention. About 260 youths from 20 Churches of Christ in southern India took part in the convention, said minister Ricky Gootam, who introduced the program to his homeland a few years ago. Shyam Sundar and G.J. Prabhu Doss organize the Chennai event.

“We had a girl who memorized 600 verses,” Gootam said. “I raised a bar to 1,000 memory verses this year, but only 600 could be reached. A few others had 400 and 316 … but others stopped at 300 memory verses. May Churches of Christ in India bring out more strong leaders for the future.”


Related: Saving souls in Sin City


UKRAINE

CHERNIVTSI — Women  in this western Ukrainian city studied the Bible by candlelight during a power outage. The Church of Christ in Chernivtsi, about 11 miles from the Romanian border, serves as a refuge for those fleeing the conflict zones. From here, some church members make trips eastward to help in hard-hit cities including Dnipro, where a recent missile attack on an apartment complex killed at least 40 people.

Women in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, study the Bible by candlelight during a power outage.

Women in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, study the Bible by candlelight during a power outage.

“Two of our Christian refugees — one from Odesa and one from Kramatorsk — went to take people out of the rubble,” said minister Alexander Rodichev. Dnipro had three Churches of Christ before the war. Now “the central part of Ukraine feels like the epicenter of a tornado,” Rodichev said. Some members have fled, but two small congregations remain.

CROATIA

Vlado Psenko

Vlado Psenko

VUKOVAR — This city in eastern Croatia bore the brunt of the Balkan Wars of the early 1990s — and years of lingering ethnic hatred thereafter, said minister Mladen Dominic.

More recently, Christians in this town of about 24,000 endured more sadness after the death of Vlado Psenko, who moved to Vukovar with his wife, Renata, in 2010 to plant a Church of Christ. He was 59.

Thanks to the efforts of the Psenkos and others, “the hatred is diminishing,” in Vukovar, said Dominic, who ministers for a Church of Christ in Varazdin, Croatia. “The critical need is now for someone to continue the groundwork laid by the Lord through the Psenkos.”

GHANA

ACCRA — On Tuesday mornings members of the Nsawam Road Church of Christ take advantage of the traffic jams in front of their building in this West African capital. They preach and distribute Bible tracts to motorists. Evangelist Willie Gley thanked Arlington, Texas-based Mission Printing Inc. for providing the free Gospel literature.

MOLDOVA

CHISINAU — Christians in this Eastern European nation of 2.6 million souls are struggling with inflation, including a sevenfold increase in the price of gas, said Serghei Corcimaru.

But this is nothing compared to what’s happening next door in Ukraine, said Corcimaru, who ministers for a Church of Christ in Moldova’s capital. Recently an attack on Ukraine’s Odessa region, near its border with Moldova, led to a blackout in Chisinau that “was enough to paralyze the entire country,” he said.


Related: War in Ukraine: Links to The Christian Chronicle’s coverage


But “rather than complaining, it is far better to be grateful for what we have!” he said. The challenges have helped the congregation grow “in our ability to depend on Jesus, to love, and to preach by personal example.”

Filed under: Alexander Rodichev Around the World Croatia Ghana India International Lads to Leaders Moldova News Romania Top Stories Ukraine Ukraine war

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