Ukrainians, Iranians share testimonies
ATHENS, Greece — This European capital, where Paul once proclaimed…
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): “The church is the only institution that does not exist for her members only,” Mojima Etokudo says. “She exists for those who are yet members, and she also exists for those who are out there.” Etokudo, an evangelist from the southeastern Nigerian city of Uyo, spoke on “Effective follow-up that grows the church” during the World Bible School Great Workshop at the Orodu Street Church of Christ in Lagos, the largest city in this West African nation of 206 million souls.
The annual workshop drew 386 participants from Nigeria, two from Tanzania and two from the U.S. Six participants were baptized.
OLOMOUC — After 16 years of mission work, “we know the struggles and joys missionaries face,” Mitch Anderson said. “We know how tough — yet rewarding — it can be to start and grow churches.”
Anderson, a native of Arkansas, and his wife, Monika, a native of Slovakia, served on a mission team in this Central European city. Their teammates have returned home, and the Andersons have launched Caretakers, a ministry focused on serving missionaries, church leaders and workers.
Cross-cultural stress is on the rise in Europe as churches struggle to serve refugees from the Middle East and Ukraine. The Andersons have housed Ukrainians fleeing the conflict with Russia. Across the continent, Europeans struggle with inflation and an impending energy crisis.
In addition to offering online services and spiritual formation retreats, the couple has set up an apartment in their home “to host missionaries for times of rest, renewal, debriefing, spiritual formation, fitness training and more,” Mitch Anderson said.
“The goal is to keep church workers fresh and connected to God so they can be healthy, happy, resilient and effective.”
SALZBURG — In recent months this small congregation near the German border has experienced five baptisms, including two young men from Iran. The church, like many of its sister congregations across Europe, serves refugees from the Middle East.
“Many in our congregation are sending the Gospel back home to Iran and Afghanistan via the internet,” said Bill McDonough, who works with the church and serves as director of Arkansas-based Partners in Progress.
SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS — About 200 kids in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state participated in a recent National Children’s Gathering. Hosting the event was Peke-Cánticos, a ministry comprised of members of Churches of Christ from across Mexico and the nations of Latin America.
Christian doctors, nurses, physical therapists, dentists and hair stylists provided services for the children. Church members led songs, Bible studies and games for the kids.
The event was “a very beautiful experience” after a year of planning, organizer Samuel Medina said.
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