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In the western Kenyan town of Bondeni, representatives of 13 churches gather for a meeting with Shawn Tyler, missions coordinator for the Quaker Avenue Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas.
Photo provided by Shawn Tyler

Around the World: Post-pandemic visitors and hugs, seaside refugees, burning idols and more quick takes

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): In the western Kenyan town of Bondeni, representatives of 13 churches gather for a meeting with Shawn Tyler, missions coordinator for the Quaker Avenue Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas. Tyler and his wife, Linda, served for more than 30 years as missionaries in Kenya and neighboring Uganda. Tyler is on a visiting tour of congregations and ministries in both nations. Many churches have not received visitors since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accompanying Tyler are Mason Darter and Alexandria Cooper, missions majors at Lubbock Christian University. Also along for the journey is Nkima, Tyler’s plush monkey, who has been photographed getting into all sorts of mischief during the trip.


DURRES — Like congregations across Europe, the Adriatic Church of Christ is reaching out to refugees from the war in Ukraine.

In the port city of Durres, the Albanian government is housing Ukrainians in a seaside hotel not far from the church’s building. Minister Alfred Zike spoke with Ukraine’s ambassador to Albania about assisting the refugees. There are about 170 children among the refugees, Zike said, though a few recently returned to Ukraine after they turned 18 “to obey their law of war,” he said.

Zike asked for prayers for the refugees and for the church’s efforts “to comfort and assist them.”


Gambela — A tower of smoke dominates a photo sent from this western Ethiopian city.

People are gathered around the flames, but not to keep warm.

New converts burn their idols.

The Ethiopians are burning their wooden idols, which they used to coat with oil and butter before bowing down to them, said evangelist David Mayian Thot. Hence all the smoke.

After hearing the Gospel message, “these idol-worshiping people were cut to their hearts and said that those gods should be burned,” said Thot, who works with a partner school of Sunset International Bible Institute. “Now they are converted to Christ and are born again.”


DZIBALCHÉN — Although it’s just a few miles from the Mayan ruins of Hochob, this small town in the interior of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula doesn’t get a lot of visitors.

Nonetheless, Alonzo Bayron and his family made the more-than-six-hour journey from the tourist city of Cancún to Dzibalchén to help the Iglesia de Cristo (Church of Christ) there conduct a weekend singing workshop. Bayón is a minister for the Cancun Church of Christ.

“We are a church that believes in brotherhood harmony and joint work with the Churches of Christ,” workers with the Cancún congregation said in a social media post. “God bless our brethren.”


THE HAGUE — Five churches and three languages were represented at a fellowship day hosted by the Church of Christ in this western European city. Luk Brazle of Ghent, Belgium, called it a day of “numerous songs, excellent talks and priceless post-pandemic hugs.”

Filed under: Africa missions Albania Around the World COVID-19 Ethiopia International Kenya Lubbock Christian University Mexico Netherlands News Quaker Avenue Church of Christ Russia Ukraine conflict Sunset International Bible Institute Top Stories Ukraine

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