Christian Chronicle

‘It’s not about bringing people to a building anymore’

At a Virginia church, older women overcome their technological fears to share Jesus around the world.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

FAIRFAX, Va. — It’s just before 1 p.m. on the East Coast as Jerri Harrington hits the play button on a video about Jesus.

Roughly 7,500 miles away, it’s almost 8 p.m. in the capital of Kenya as six African girls watch the film, part of the “Story of Redemption” series.

The teacher, a longtime member of the Fairfax Church of Christ in this Washington, D.C., suburb, and the students, served by the Made in the Streets ministry in Nairobi, connect each Thursday via Zoom videoconferencing.

“It’s not about bringing people to a building anymore,” Harrington said of sharing the Gospel. “The church is going into the world, which is what Jesus told us to do.”

Fairfax County, where Harrington’s home congregation is located, ranks as Virginia’s most diverse area, the county’s economic development authority notes. 

Three out of 10 Fairfax County residents were born outside the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

For years, Fairfax church members — including older Christians such as Harrington, Jan Johnson and Juanita Wheeler — have connected in person with immigrants through FriendSpeak. 

That program, the domestic version of the popular international ministry Let’s Start Talking, helps foreign-born neighbors improve their English skills by reading the Bible.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown came in the spring of 2020, face-to-face studies with friends from China, El Salvador, Syria and elsewhere became impossible.

Read the full story.

This story appears in the online edition of The Christian Chronicle.

Featured photo by Paulsen Asitiba

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