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Around the world: The youngest missionaries

CHENNAI, India — High school student Xavier Allred and college freshman Stephanie Tomberlin stayed busy during a recent trip to India. The members of the Travis Peak church in Marble Falls, Texas, taught Bible to students at a computer college and children at orphanages, spoke about faith to hospital patients, Bible college students and more than 500 church workers and assisted a mobile evangelism team. Their work resulted in at least 11 baptisms during the trip, minister Paul Renganathan said.
“These are the youngest missionaries we ever had,” Renganathan said, “and they shared with every Christian here encouragement beyond measure.
About 200 people attended the second annual South Pacific Lectureship in American Samoa, missionary David Willis said. Congergations represented at the lectureship include the Tafuna, Nu’uuli and Leone churches in American Samoa; the Vaimoso church in Apia, Samoa; the Cleveland and Hunter Valley churches in Australia; the Waipahu church in Hawaii; and the university church in Abilene, Texas. Lessons were offered in English and Samoan, Willis said.
Interest in the gospel is on the rise in this southern African nation, recovering from a 27-year civil war, said John D’Alton, a missionary in neighboring Namibia. Louisiana-based World radio sponsors a program in the Benguela area, featuring speaker Luis Sachilombo.
Many people have responded to the program and have asked to study at the Tsumeb Bible Academy in namibia, D’Alton said, but study visas are expensive and difficult to obtain.
Church members are sending World Bible School correspondence lessons in Portuguese, Angola’s official language, into the country, which has no significant Church of Christ presentce, D’Alton said.
Members of the Sabanilla church were happy to be on their feet during a recent Sunday service. The church ran out of chairs to accommodate its visitors, said Rachel Cortez, a member of a missionary team in Sabanilla.
The team teaches English using the Bible, and an increasing number of students are attending church services. So are construction workers who are completing a house for Cortez and her husband, Hector.
In this West African nation, divided between the government-controlled south and rebel-controlled north, more than 200 members gathered at the Deux Plateaux church recently to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Churches of Christ in the Ivory Coast.
Some Ivorians in the rebel-held part of the country cannot travel to bidjan, so a mission team from teh United States traveled from Abidjan to Danane and Bouake, in the rebel-controlled zone, to meet with church members there. The team conducted workshops for preachers, teachers and their wives in both the rebel-and government-held zones, said mission coordinator Barry Baggott.
Members of 25 congregations in central Malawi attended a two-day training program for leadership and evangelism, hosted by workers with Abilene, Texas-based Herald of Truth. Church members also distributed 5,000 pieces of gospel literature during a two-day evangelistic campaign in Kasitu, attended by more than 3,500 people. Moses Banda, Herald of Truth’s field representative in Malawi, is coordinating follow-up studies, said Bill Brant, the ministry’s president.
Herald of Truth collaborated with The Malawi Project, a church-supported ministry, in coordinating the event.
Naeem Sabir asked church members around the world to pray for the people of Pakistan. Insurgents have attacked military installatins in northwest Pakistan, according to news reports. The Red Mosque in the capital, Islamabad, was the focal point of recent clashes between militants and Pakistani forces.
Despite the uncertain times, the small church in Sahiwal has baptized 13 people in recent months. Seventeen students also are enrolled in the Sahiwal Bible College, where Sabir serves as principal.
“By the grace of the Lord we are trying to reach more people and trying to let them know that God wants them to be saved and loves them very much,” Sabir said.
About 10 couples attended a recent seminar on shared church leadership. Lou Seckler, director of Harvest Ministries at the University church in Abilene, Texas, spoke at the seminar, hosted by the Porto church. The purpose of the seminar was to prepare men of the congregation to become elders, Seckler said.
Seckler and his wife, Teresa, served as missionaries in Porto in the 1970s. Adelino and Alice Silva serve as ministry leaders for the church. Their son, Pedro, and his wife, Aline, are considering future mission work in Portugal, Seckler said.
About 125 church members, mainly from the Samoan islands, attended the 20th annual All Samoa Workshop, hosted by the Goodwill church in Aleisa.
“Growing a Healthy Church” was this year’s theme, said Randy English, a missionary in Pago Pago, American Samoa, who spoke at the event.
Forty-four students graduated recently from the mapepe Bible College, missionary David French said. The college, in its third year of operation, trains self-supporting church leaders and missionaries, teaching them agricultural skills in addition to the Bible, French said.
“During these first three years, our students have planted 10 churches as part of their leadership training,” he said.
Zambians comprise the school’s governing board, and several churches support the work. The Sycamore View church in Memphis, Tenn., sponsors the college and French and his wife, Lorie.

Filed under: International Staff Reports

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