From Ireland to Australia and back again
Frank Cunningham took his mother’s ashes to her home in…
HOBART — On the island of Tasmania, Christians gathered to discuss “Defending Gender: Affirming God’s Role for the Sexes” during the 24th Eastern Short Lectureship.
“The topic’s sensitivity and infamy need no introduction in the wake of heightened tensions in our current political climate,” said James Young of the Eastern Shore Church of Christ, which hosted the event. “The church, as an institution of God, should be immune to whatever human conceptions are in vogue. … Lectures spoke to the specific calling of Christians in their unique, God-given roles, cutting through the relativist noise of contemporary debate.”
Chimborazo — A 50-member medical mission team served more than 1,000 patients during a weeklong campaign — at the base of the world’s tallest mountain.
No, that’s not Mount Everest in Nepal. It’s Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador. Everest is the tallest if you measure from sea level, but Ecuadorians prefer to measure from the center of the planet — which gives Chimborazo the edge since the earth isn’t a perfect sphere and is widest at its equator.
The church members worked among Ecuador’s indigenous Quichua people, said Kent Marcum, coordinator of Operation Ecuador, which oversaw the mission.
“On the Sunday before we began the village-by-village clinic, we worshiped with several hundred brethren in a rented school gym,” Marcum said, “listened to preaching and singing in three languages and participated in the Lord’s Supper, trying to imagine the moment when we will all be present around God’s throne in one understandable language as the Bride of Christ.”
MOLETAI — More than 100 teens, including four from a juvenile detention center, learned about Jesus at a camp sponsored by Churches of Christ in this northern European nation.
Hosting the four youths required a lot of time and paperwork, and a supervisor from the detention center had to be present at the camp, said Vladimir Rancev, a missionary with the Kaunas Church of Christ in Lithuania.
But the work was worth it to give the kids their first Bible camp experience, Rancev said. Fifteen of the camp’s counselors came from Kaunas and 10 came from the U.S. he added.
“This year we had 25 teenagers from Kaunas,” Rancev said. “Most of them participated in the camp for the first time. Some of them were from a Kaunas daycare center that serves teenagers from poorer families. The camp made a strong impression on them as they experienced God’s love.”
Kremenchuk — Doug Berry labored from 2002 to 2008 to win souls in this industrial Eastern European city of 232,000 on the Dnieper River.
Many young people were baptized, but in the years since, many “have drifted away from the church,” Berry said. The city has only one Church of Christ of mostly retirees, he added.
Berry plans to return to Kremenchuk early next year to work with a Ukrainian preacher and plant a new Church of Christ.
CUMBERNAULD — Alan Highers, a longtime attorney and judge in Tennessee and a renowned author and preacher, taught at EQUIP, a program sponsored by the 60-member Cumbernauld Church of Christ. Highers taught subjects including church history and minor prophets.
“There was a wonderful spirit of friendliness and hospitality,” Highers wrote in a recent issue of The Spiritual Sword, a church-associated publication that he edits.
“One man in the class lived on one of the outer islands,” Highers wrote. “To attend the class he caught a ferry, then boarded a train and finally took a bus to reach the meeting place. He followed the same routine to return home, yet he never missed a day!”
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