Around the World, May 2017
FIER — “It’s very hard to be a Christian in Albania — particularly if from a Muslim family.”
Justin SpeerThat’s what Alda, an 18-year-old woman who was baptized last year, told Justin Speer during his mission trip to this Central European nation. Speer, a deacon of the Katy Church of Christ in Texas, works with World English Institute, a church-supported nonprofit that teaches English using the Bible.
Speer witnessed the rebirth of another Muslim, 17-year-old Esmerelda, who got her father’s permission before she was baptized. Speer taught the newborn Christian, who had “a voracious appetite to learn,” he said, and was able “to devour what I believe were difficult lessons.” Three other young women were baptized during Speer’s visit.
Alda had been lonely, Speer added, “so God sent her four new sisters.”
VIENNA — “The Wheels on the Bus” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” are helping Christians in this European capital reach out to their community.
Jake Haskew and Will Kooi sing the classic children’s songs as part of an English-learning program for kids through their nonprofit, Kreuzung. Kooi’s wife, Holly, reads stories in English to the children, who then get a homemade treat from Haskew’s wife, Amanda.
The Vienna mission team worked with the program’s format for years, with mixed results, Will Kooi said.
“We decided to simplify last year and truly use the talents we have instead of forcing ourselves to do things we weren’t good at,” he said. “Crafts? Gone. A curriculum? Out the window.”
The result, he added, has been consistent attendance and multiple requests to continue the program.
RECIFE — An overflow crowd of 90 people gathered for the start of a 15-week, Saturday morning course titled “Deixe a Bíblia Falar” (Portuguese for “Let the Bible Speak”). Members of Churches of Christ teach the course.
“Please continue to pray for these students, many who are hearing the Gospel for the first time in its original, pure-and-simple form,” missionaries Randy and Kathy Short ask in a recent newsletter. “They will soon be called through their study to make a decision for Christ and put him on in baptism.”
LIMBE — Recently, as workers with a ministry training school in this West African nation stopped at a roadside village for lunch, a man rushed toward their blue van.
Greg ElangweExcitedly, he pointed to the words under the windows: “The Church of Christ, Bear Valley Bible Institute Cameroon — Wotutu.”
The man said he was a church member 23 years ago, but that there was no congregation in his village, Anyong. The man was “crying that we should make haste to come and evangelize his village so that we shall restore him back to start a new relationship with God,” said Greg Elangwe, a minister and director of the institute.
Church members are planning a gospel campaign for the village, Elangwe said.
The church van, he added, is “helping us to have open doors to preach and bring restoration to many of (God’s) fallen children.”
Rodgers Namuswa KALOMO — Rodgers Namuswa helps hundreds of people in this southern African nation study God’s Word. On his motorbike, the Zambia Mission worker delivers World Bible School lessons and collects them for grading by volunteers at the Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. Then he returns the graded lessons to the students. For more information, see www.zambiamission.org.