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Danielle and Randolph Joseph at the Caribbean Lectureship.
Erik Tryggestad

Around the World: Serving God as Aruba recovers, refugees serving refugees and more quick takes

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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): Danielle and Randolph Joseph at the Caribbean Lectureship.


SAN NICOLAS, Aruba — When Randolph and Danielle Joseph came to this Caribbean island in 2018, the Church of Christ had 27 members. Through baptisms and restorations, that number grew to 55.

Then came the pandemic, and “a good 90 percent of our members became unemployed,” Randolph Joseph said.

Related: ‘You feel like you’re in heaven’ — Caribbean Lectureship honors Botham Jean

Despite the hardships they faced on this tourism-dependent island, church members Julia Richardson and her daughter, Imelda, “recognized that they had some neighbors and colleagues that were affected to the point that they did not have any food,” Joseph said, “and so both of them began feeding them up to three times a week. And they did that out of pocket.” The congregation joined in, and soon the church was feeding 60 people.

“Today, we are still recovering,” Joseph said. The church continues to feed 18 people, including senior citizens. The church also has distributed groceries to about 500 families. During the pandemic Aruba experienced a rise in substance abuse just as programs were cut. The church hopes to help. In addition, the congregation’s building has deteriorated to the point where it’s no longer a safe place to meet.

The island has two Churches of Christ, the English-speaking San Nicolas congregation and the Tamarijn Church of Christ, which worships in the island’s indigenous language, Papiamento. Church members in Aruba host the annual Caribbean Lectureship for Churches of Christ in 2024.

TO CONTRIBUTE to the San Nicolas church’s relief and rebuilding efforts, contact the Broad Street Church of Christ in Lexington, Tenn., at
broadstreetcofc.org or (731) 968-6688.


POYSDORF — Middle Easterners who came to Europe as refugees five years ago now serve Ukrainian refugees with food, medicine and the Word of God.

Reggy Hiller, of the Pohlgasse Church of Christ in Vienna, and new Christians Jamal, Narges, Saba, Zahra and Mahmoud made a return visit to this northern Austrian town recently.

“Almost half of those we used to meet with had returned home to Ukraine or were moved to other shelters much farther away,” Hiller said. “Some left messages behind … to let us know how much they appreciated how we had cared for them, providing them with physical necessities as well as spiritual nourishment.

“We repeated our lesson on the Armor of God from Ephesians 6 and reminded our friends about God’s plan of salvation for us.”


FOYA — As they sang “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus,” students, teachers and the director of a new ministry training school marched through the streets of this West African village holding a banner advertising the school.

The parade preceded a graduation ceremony at the school, directed by J. Fallah and associated with Mississippi-based 21st Century Global Missions (21stcgm.com). Donald Roberson attended the graduation and similar events at schools in Liberia’s Lofa County and Gorblee. The graduations had large turnouts and resulted in new enrollments at the schools, Roberson said.


MBARARA — “Being In Jesus Christ and in His Ministry” was the theme of the Churches of Christ National Conference, hosted by the Mbarara congregation and attended by more than 200 believers from across the East African nation.
“It was a great conference that was loaded with lots of lessons to learn,” said Kampala, Uganda, minister Isaac Sanyu.

Filed under: Around the World Aruba Austria caribbean Churches of Christ National Conference COVID-19 pandemic International Liberia News Russia Ukraine war Top Stories Uganda Ukrainian refugees

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