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Around the world, March 2009

MEDELLIN, Colombia — More than a decade ago, a chorus from Harding University in Searcy, Ark., traveled to Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. The students shared their voices — and their love of Christ — with the people of South America.
Among their audience were Rosanna Marin and her family. It was their first contact with Churches of Christ.
Recently Marin got the chance to make a similar trip from her home in Venezuela to neighboring Colombia.
The young Christian was one of four members of the a cappella group Union C that sang for more than 160 people at a church in Medellin.
The group, which also included Darling Gonzalez, Jonathan Hanegan and Jose Santoyo, conducted a congregational singing workshop for churches in Medellin and sang at the third annual National Youth Camp in Cali, Colombia.
Santoyo, a leader in the church in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, directs an all-girl chorus from the church in nearby Barcelona.
“The church in Medellin has invited him to return and continue teaching on worship and congregational singing,” Hanegan said.
“Venezuela and Colombia are now divided, but they were once united as ‘La Gran Colombia’ under Simon Bolivar,” Hanegan said. “Through mission efforts like this one, the Churches of Christ in Venezuela and Colombia will be united under their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
WATCH VIDEOS of Union C’s performances under the “playlists” option at www.youtube.com/panajonathan.

FILZMOOS — “Vater Unser,” or the “Lord’s Prayer,” was the theme of the recent Ladies Retreat organized by members of the Dresden, Germany, church.
Filzmoos, a tourist city in the Austrian state of Salzburg, was the setting for the retreat, attended by about 25 German-speaking church members across Central Europe.
“It was a smaller group this year, but there were several ladies from different cities who had never attended before,” said Brianna Carroll, a missionary in Dresden. The Munich, Germany, church will sponsor the 2009 retreat.


BUDAPEST — Mark Lance, minister for the Chalmette, La., church, made his eighth mission trip to this Central European nation recently, the Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported.
While attending the Memphis School of Preaching in Tennessee in the 1990s, Lance met fellow student Curry Montgue, who made regular trips to Budapest and encouraged Lance to accompany him.
Lance works with the Budapest church, conducting Bible studies and occasionally speaking to groups of university students.

LUDERITZ — Jerry and Maria D’Alton, who work in Tsumeb, Namibia, visited a church in this coastal city in southern Africa recently. Minister John Mununga baptized two people during the visit. The congregation has a Sunday attendence of 25 and is using its own funds to expand its building, Jerry D’Alton said.


FOXTON — Church members recently launched a small congregation in the Foxton and Foxton Beach area, on the lower west coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
“So far we are three families totaling seven adults and four children,” Glenda Paul said “We have great time together and are preparing letter-boxing (invitations by mail) and other outreach items.”  
Recently the Palmerston North church hosted Camp Kilsby, a three-day camp attended by church members across New Zealand, Paul said.

OBONG NTAK — Lewis Romain, minister for the Portsmouth church on the Caribbean island of Dominca, and his wife, Adriana, returned recently from a trip to eastern Nigeria.
The couple worked with Moses Akpanudo, a Nigerian minister. Akpanudo and his family operate a Christian school, a hospital and recently launched Obong University, the first university in Nigeria associated with Churches of Christ. Romain toured the university and spoke to churches. The couple attended the annual youth forum on the campus of Obong Christians High School.


TAICHUNG — The global financial crisis has impacted weekly contribution at the Taichung church, minister John Yo said.
Unable to rent its current facility, the church moved to a smaller facility for Sunday services recently.
“Please pray for us,” the minister said.


ASUNCION — In recent years church members in the U.S. have donated used clothing to the Sacramento church in this South American capital — so much clothing that it overflowed the church’s small storage space.
Recently the church’s youth group and Kelly Affron, a member of the West Palm Beach church in Florida, organized the donated clothing and distributed most of it to people in need and orphanages.


KHON KAEN — The Ban Kum Hai church, which has about 95 members, could easily double — or triple — its size “if they continued to hang onto their members,” missionary Kim Voraritskul said.
But the church would rather send its members to minister in the 19 provinces of northeastern Thailand than have one large congregation in Khon Kaen.
As a result, the church has helped establish new congregations throughout the region, Voraritskul said.
Members of the church recently pledged to increase their weekly contribution to support two students at the Khon Kaen Bible Institute.


PORT VILA — A mission team in this South Pacific nation trained more than 25 students last year through the “Trutok Baebol Skul” (“Truth Bible School” in Bislama, the local language), team member Eric Brandell said.
The team launched its 2009 classes recently and plans to teach eight courses this year. Subjects include Acts, Moral and Cultural Issues, The Life of Christ and Personal Evangelism, Brandell said.
For more information, see www.missionvanuatu.com.

Filed under: International Staff Reports

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