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Around the world: Mississippi to Mexico

SAN CRISTOBAL, Mexico — Growing up in Louisiana and Mississippi, Chantel Ervin spent her Sundays worshiping alongside Spanish speakers. Exchange students from Latin America stayed in her home, and she traveled with her parents on mission trips to Venezuela.
Before she was 20, Ervin was planning her own missions, raising her own support and traveling to countries her parents had never visited, said her father, Jerry Ervin, a church member in Iuka, Miss.
For the past two years, Chantel Ervin has served as a full-time worker in San Cristobal, just north of the Guatemala border, with 21st Century Global Missions. The Fulton, Miss.-based ministry operates a ministry training school.
Chantel Ervin keeps records, teaches English, translates for visiting Bible teachers and handles day-to-day activities at the school, her father said. She also works with area congregations, teaching children’s classes and leading women’s Bible studies.
“There is, indeed, a place for all who want to teach the gospel to the lost – especially in foreign lands,” Jerry Ervin said.

Cell phone text messages are one way youths at the Tirana church are keeping in touch with each other — and reminding each other to attend services, missionary Ellen Walker said. Church members got the idea from Kody Speer, youth minister for the Eastern Hills church in Athens, Texas. Speer, whose family served as missionaries in Albania, visited Tirana earlier this year.
The church also hosted a Karaoke party and annual youth day in recent months, Walker said.
— After 20 months of raising funds and building with their own hands, members of the Nu’uuli church dedicated their new facility recently. More than 200 people, representing churches in California, Hawaii and the Samoan islands, attended the dedicaiton. Joseph Stewart of the Waipahu, Hawaii, church conducted a gospel meeting during the week after the dedication.

The six children who attend the Varazdin church have a flair for the dramatic.
The youths performed a drama about King Nebuchadnezzar during a recent citywide evangelism meeting, minister Mladen Dominic said. The children also plan to sing Christmas carols and perform a holiday drama in their community.
Church members have invited the children of friends to join the production. The church has about 20 children practicing each Wednesday night, Dominic said.

“It was like watching John the Baptist at work,” missionary Dennis Cady said of a recent visit to the island of Nias.
The Gunung Sitoli church baptized 36 people in the waters of the Indian Ocean recently. Many are students at a new, church-supported school on the island, where Cady and Indonesian church members have ministered since the December 2004 tsunami. The small island has about 70 congregations spread out among its 600 villages, Cady said.
The Faith Village church in Wichita Falls, Texas, supports the work.

The Betikara (“House of Lambs”) school opened recently with 34 students, missionary John Ratovohery said. Seventeen of the students live at the Betikara children’s home, a ministry of Churches of Christ in Madagascar. The church in Indiana, Pa., collects funds for Betikara. The ministry’s Web site is www.madagascar-mission.org.

About 380 people attended the 15th anniversary celebration at the Toluca church recently, member Roberto Zepeda said. Former missionaries John Dyas and Barry Galindo, who moved to the Mexico City suburb with teammate Jody Jones in 1991, spoke during the anniversary celebration.

Church members from the United States, Canada and South Africa have contributed funds for the Tsumeb church’s new facility, missionary Jerry D’Alton said. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for April 2008.
The congregation, which recently experienced four baptisms, is renovating its former meeting place into an orphanage and school, D’Alton said. The orphanage will house 10 children.

More than 9,000 students have enrolled in World Bible School correspondence program since workers set up an office in this West African nation, said Isaac Daye, a missionary in nearby Gambia who makes regular trips to Sierra Leone. Workers plan to establish a part-time Bible school in the country’s Kono district to assist future outreach efforts in Sierra Leone and neighboring Liberia, Daye said.

Bren and Cheryl White of Operation French World filled in for Geneva workers Doyle and Barbara Kee while the Kees visited congregations in the United States recently. Bren White preached for churches in Geneva and Lausanne and taught a mission course for teens. Church members expressed interest in assisting with a church launch in Colmar, France, Bren White said.
The Castle Rock, Colo., church, which oversees Operation French World, plans to send a team to Colmar and Geneva next year, Bren White said.

After “a time of testing and faith,” the Vinograder church has a new meeting place, missionary Jim Noyes said.
For three years, the church rented a government-owned facility. Church members remodeled the facility in exchange for free rent through May 2008. But the club changed hands, and the new director ordered the church to vacate, though he allowed the church to use the building while looking for a replacement.
The church’s new facility cost $200 more per month to rent, but may be used by the church seven days a week, Noyes said. The church seeks funds to cover the increased rent. For more information, e-mail [email protected].

Filed under: International Staff Reports

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