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Around the world: Sweatin’ to the gospel

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — For missionary Kirsty Baird, spiritual outreach can be a real workout. Baird, a former instructor for the YMCA, launched a women’s fitness class at the Victory Church of Christ recently. The 25 spots filled quickly, and visitors outnumber church members by a 5-to-1 ratio.
Bairdasked her students to supply their own exercise mats and a set of lightweights, but some showed up without any equipment — or shoes.

“Iwas amazed at how the women of our church rallied around these visitors,” shesaid. The church members shared their mats and weights and pitched in to gettennis shoes for the visitors. “These ladies are now at the church twice a weekbeing ministered to and cared for (by) great examples of Christian women.”



Carlton Freeman ofNew York City, and Acie Sanders of Jacksonville, Fla., traveled to this Caribbean island recently to host a workshop titled “TheChristian Race.”

Missionary CarltonRamsubhag reported one baptism and several prospects for Bible studies as aresult of the workshop.

The Marigot churchand other congregations on the island host the Caribbean Lectureship from July9-12. For more information, e-mail [email protected].


“I never thought thatto do mission work in Franceit would one day become important to know the Quran,” said missionary CharlesWhite.

But the recent riotsin France’s low-incomesuburbs, dominated by immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries in North Africa, have highlighted the country’s problems ofracial integration and religious differences.

A few cars wereburned in the suburbs of Lyon during theNovember riots. Local Christians and Muslims denounced the November riots,White said.

As the number ofMuslims increases, “we are trying to teach the members of the church about thefaith principles of people they work beside every day.”


About 125 churchmembers from Europe and the United States— plus Cambodia, the Philippines and Guatemala — attended the 42nd annualEuro/American Retreat in Rothenberg Nov. 19-23. Most were missionaries andtheir families, but some were U.S.church member stationed on military bases in Europe.

It was the 39thretreat for longtime minister Franz Weiss, who preaches for the Warzburg, Germany,church.

Missions ResourceNetwork, Bedford, Texas, coordinated a program for childrenduring the event.



Missionariesdistributed four large suitcases of shoes to church members in this remotevillage recovering from the effects of Hurricane Stan. Hawatthia Jones, ByronBenitez and eight members of the Linda Vista church also gave away food, waterand clothing. Churches in Liberty, Mo., and Cheyenne, Wyo., donated the shoes.

“We had enough shoesfor everyone in the congregation to get a pair as well as a lot of the childrenin the neighborhood,” the missionaries reported.

About 1,600 churchmembers attended an annual conference for ministers, missionaries and churchmembers in Central America. Churches in Guatemala City hosted the November conference, whichincluded a gospel meeting and training sessions designed to encourage churchmembers and to “exchange ideas about evangelistic projects,” said Juan Garcia,a minister in Costa Rica.

Garcia launched the seriesin 1985. Next year churches in Lima, Peru, will hostthe event. The Cameron Roadchurch, Austin, Texas, oversees his work.


Church members insoutheastern Indiapurchased rice, cooking oil and tea to distribute to families in the Chennaiarea whose homes were destroyed by months of heavy rain. The membersdistributed 1,500 packets of ready-to-eat meals and supplies for up to 400families, said Dr. P. J. Alexander, a church elder and chief of surgery atPhilips Hospital in Tambaram.

Nurses in thehospital loaned money for the project.

“Most of those wholoaned the money are Christians worshiping in hospital every Sunday,” Alexandersaid.


The Pasay City churchmarked its 20th anniversary recently with a gospel meeting, medical mission anda Ladies’ Inspiration Day, said evangelist Bonifacio Patricio. About 90 peopleattended.

Jeanette Greer, aformer member of the Pasay church who now lives in Arkansas, coordinated theactivities for women after the service. Church members Deling Aguilar and BingSico also spoke at the event.


The Cunningham Streetchurch in Basseterre, on the Caribbean island of St Kitts, reported sixbaptisms in recent months. Cliff Dillas, a businessman from Bermuda, moved tothe island in late 2004 and teaches Bible classes for the church. Members ofthe church on the neighboring island of Nevis were scheduled to visitCunningham Street for its Dec. 11 worship service, Dillas said.



About 300 adults and50 children attended a “Super Sunday” gathering at the Jinja church, saidminister Grace Nyanga. The monthly event is designed to strengthen fellowshipamong congregations.

“Churchesin Uganda are rooted in relationships (and) community,” Nyanga said, “and fellowshipis an important tool, both in evangelism and leadership development.”

Filed under: International Staff Reports

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