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Around the World, September 2011

Despite financial crisis, ‘there is hope for Croatia’
The Church of Christ in Varazdin, Croatia, recently had more than 50 people in attendance for Sunday worship, the minister said, adding that the church is outgrowing its facility.
Churches of Christ in the Central European nation hosted an annual conference recently. A Croatian TV station covered the event, focusing on the churches’ efforts to help the unemployed, impoverished and elderly as the country suffers — along with much of Europe — through a prolonged recession.
“Those who belong to the Churches of Christ in Croatia are aware of the responsibilities of the times and community in which they live,” the report says. “They believe that there is hope for Croatia and a way out of the financial crisis. What’s most important is to find faith in Jesus Christ.”
ZINVIE — Fifteen Christians from the U.S. and native church members conducted a two-day youth seminar in this West African nation. About 250 youths attended the seminar on a satellite campus of the Benin Bible Training Center, minister George Akpabli said.
The mission team also hosted a workshop for the Nukafu Church of Christ in neighboring Togo, attended by more than 200 people, Akpabli said. The team also participated in a graduation ceremony at the Benin Bible Training Center.
Fifteen students graduated, including Emmanuel Sanogo, a 70-year-old retired military officer who was named “Most Motivated Student.”
CHENGDU — Believers from Russia, China and the U.S. conducted a retreat for people of the Sichuan province, which suffered a devastating earthquake in 2008.
About 35 people attended the retreat, said Gary Jackson, a church member who lives in Beijing. Two members of a Church of Christ in Moscow conducted lessons, translated from Russian to Chinese. One young man asked to be immersed, Jackson said.
“This event made a powerful impact on the teenage men,” Jackson said.  “There were a number of good questions from them about becoming Christians.”
VUNDESWARAPURAM — Church members hosted an “eye camp” for people in this rural village of southeastern India. About 140 people came to the camp for testing, said Ricky Gootam, a minister in Kakinada. Twenty patients received eyeglasses, and 40 were referred for surgery.
Medical professionals from the city of Pitapuram conducted the eye tests. Five church members from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., also attended and sang for the patients.
LIMA — About 200 people attended the first annual “Gran Fiesta” — featuring inflatable air castles, soccer games and lots of free food — hosted by church members in this South American capital.
The event was the culmination of a “season of outreach” by the Mission Lima church-planting team, said team member John Mark Davidson. Now the team enters a “season of discipleship,” with the goal of establishing “mission-minded communities of faith in Lima,” supported and led by Peruvians, Davidson said.
Peruvian Christians took lead roles in organizing the fiesta, Davidson added, with help from a team of Aggies for Christ, the campus ministry of the A&M Church of Christ in College Station, Texas.
KONGOR — When John Gak sees a Christian school in his hometown, “I will be dancing,” he told a TV reporter.
Gak, a who grew up in this East African village, is a member of the Swope Parkway Church of Christ in Kansas City, Mo., and founder of Brother’s Organization for Relief, a nonprofit that helps the people of South Sudan, which became a sovereign nation on July 9.
A Kansas City TV station followed Gak on a recent visit to Kongor, where he is building a Christian school. To see videos from the trip and for more information, see www.swopeparkway.org/gak.
Church members from China, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan gathered for the sixth Chinese Asia Bible Lectureship, hosted by the Jurong Church of Christ in Singapore.
John Yo, minister for the Taichung Church of Christ in Taiwan, was a featured speaker.

Filed under: International

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