Projects and Missionaires in Europe/Middle East
Recent Stories from Europe/Middle East

WE’RE GOING ON A TRIP!

Joe and Christina Byrum serve Church of God World Missions as parachurch missionaries to England, where they will be ministering to the Chinese who have immigrated into the United Kingdom.

The Byrums have had a bit of a rough start in getting to the mission field as first their home took especially long to sell, and then before the holidays, Christina had a car accident that prevented them from making the trip home for Thanksgiving, but they managed to get there for Christmas. On the way back home, God also protected them from two separate car wrecks, even the car malfunctioning! But now, England is definitely on the horizon and they will leave in February for a three-week vision-casting journey. Part of the Byrums’ initiation will be immersing themselves in the culture of the UK, and learning the ins and outs of daily life there.

The trip is a great opportunity and affords them the blessing of being involved in the ministry firsthand with their teammates.

As with any missions effort, funds are a vital part of preparation. While praying for guidance from the Lord, the Byrums are also praying for monthly partners to help them follow the course to which God has called them. Pray that God will continue to open doors for them to speak with churches in the area.

To partner in ministry with the Byrums, click here.

 

EUROPEAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY ACTIVITIES

As with most college campuses, activity is usually rampant and that is no less the case with our European Theological Seminary in Germany.

Youth Experience Overwhelming Presence of God

Finding themselves in a remote village on top of a mountain, the ETS community was full of life and action during a special youth emphasis day. One event the students prepared for recently was the Holy Spirit Night. Coordinated with the Crossroads International Church in Freudenstadt Germany, the group of young people and staff experienced the overwhelming presence of the Lord like never before and were grateful to God they were enabled to do so.

Extending ETS in Rwanda

ETS teachers Kenneth and Valerie Hamilton had an opportunity to teach an intensive course in Rwanda, Africa. The group of 50 pastors and leaders who attended came from Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar—many of whom traveled a day or more by bus to be there. The students’ eagerness to learn was matched only by their willingness to sleep on the floor for two weeks or putting up with the frequent water and power outages. Many of these students came from war-torn countries where they live in daily fear of violence and the lack of basic resources. Because of the lack of educational resources, the students were excited about the information covered in class and were anxious to return with it to their own congregations.

“… Keep them close …”

Experiencing God’s joy and blessing upon the last semester, ETS asks that you keep them close to your heart, as they share their joys, achievements, and needs.

Click the number to give online #710-0058. Be sure to include the number in the gift description.

ISRAEL INITIATIVE: A FINISH COMMITMENT

Not only did World Missions focus on finishing the Great Commission where it started … with the Israel Initiative … but World Missions continues to strengthen the Church of God there.

Five key areas of emphasis have been Children, Care, Construction, Communication, and Connections—all of which are vital elements for completing the Great Commission. Partnering has also taken place with YWEA, Ministry to Israel, and a Middle Eastern Christian television network, as well as numerous donors.

Recently, Senior Representative of Church of God’s Israel Initiative Bishop Shawn Baker visited the Jerusalem School of Bethlehem to tour the property, meet the faculty, staff, and students. Founder and principal is Grace Abu Muhor.

The students and staff members send their thanks and appreciation to all who supported the Israel Initiative by helping the Jerusalem School of Bethlehem purchase their much-needed curriculum. Their hearts are full of joy at knowing the Church of God is participating in history in the making through advancing the gospel via education.

This next generation of leaders in Jerusalem is the hope of the Middle East!

To Give Online: Project Number 102-9427

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A NEW VISION IN PRAGUE

Just as autumn ushers in a new season, so it is with Missionary Sabrina Evans … a new semester, a new English class, new counseling clients, a change of location for the church, and a new vision to accompany the changes. Transition is never easy, even in the best of circumstances. The challenge is to lean further into eternal things, which do not change—God’s steady and unfailing love.

The Czech Evangelical Alliance hosted a gathering of representatives from different missions agencies presently active in the Czech Republic, and Sabrina was honored to represent her team. Discussion was how to better cooperate on points of common vision and further strategize cooperation and Kingdom work.

Sabrina was invited to attend a special retreat of American missionaries serving in Europe which was held in Leysin, Switzerland. Describing it as a mountain-top experience, Sabrina stated the purpose was to provide a place of spiritual renewal and encouragement.

In a recent national conference’s workshops, Sabrina and teammate, Michelle, both participated in a children’s program in the morning, and also co-led a workshop in the afternoon for adults with the pastor’s wife on walking with others through crisis. Sabrina also meets twice a month with an English-speaking prayer group for prayer and spiritual support.

While many changes are taking place, for Sabrina God’s Word is her foundation: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).

Project number 065-0463

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SEND THE LIGHT TO PRAGUE, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic, has been added to World Missions’ emphasis on “Send the Light to the Cities.” Your Christ’s Birthday Offering will in part go toward a ministry center there.cbo-border-graphic-2016

Prague, the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, is situated on the Vltava River, and has a population of 1.26 million, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of nearly 2 million people. The name “Prague” is a derivative of an old Slavic word and means “ford” or “rapid,” undoubtedly referring to the city’s origin at the river’s crossing point. Others names for her are the Golden City; the Mother of Cities; and the Heart of Europe. Prague has been a political, cultural, and economic center of Central Europe during its 1,100-year existence.  According to Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) studies, she is classified as an “Alpha”-global city.

Spiritually, Prague has one of the least religious populations in the world; the country with the third most atheistic population by percentage is indifferent towards religion. Only 16 percent of the citizens respond that they believe there is a God. Catholics are the largest Christian group in the Czech Republic, yet a significant falling away and fading of religious influence in Czech society is taking place. However, small congregations, house churches, and cell groups all fare better than top-heavy structures.

Prague is a harvest field ripe for harvest!

Project number 020-0803/Christ’s Birthday Offering

Moscow, Russia, is originally on the list of 10 cities, but due to recent laws effected by Russia’s president against Christianity, Moscow will now be a focus for extensive prayer. Resistance is great toward any spiritual advances by evangelicals.

LUXEMBOURG CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY

img_1883The Church of God in Luxembourg celebrated its 25th Anniversary October 15-16, 2016. The church was organized in 1991 by European Field Director Dr. Douglas LeRoy and France Overseer André Weber with seven adults and eight children. Led by Pastor and National Overseer Graham Kettle, the church has grown to over 400 believers from 47 nations. The diverse group is united in their worship and commitment to Jesus Christ.

Luxembourg is the banking and insurance center of the European Union. It is also the home of the European Court. The small landlocked country has a population of 585,000 and is surrounded by Germany, France, and Belgium. It is a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch. It is headed by the grand duke and is the world’s only remaining grand duchy.

Graham and Chris Kettle are natives of England and have lived in Luxembourg for 27 years where Graham has worked for Goodyear. They planted the English-speaking church, but their ease of working with other cultures opened the door for many nationalities. The celebration services featured music in English, French, and Spanish.

At the conference, a new pastor was installed for the English-speaking (Oasis) church—Pietro and Giovava Colaci. Both are ordained ministers in the Church of God and recent graduates of the European Theological Seminary in Germany. Pastor Adami leads the French church (El Shaddai). He immigrated from the Congo in 1987 and teaches at the Bible College in Brussels, Belgium. A Portuguese church (El Faro) has also been established. Overseer Kettle believes that the way for the church to expand is to establish language cell groups leading to churches. A Nepalese cell group has already begun.

The scriptural theme was highlighted from 2 Samuel 7:12: “Hitherto has the Lord helped us.” The Church of God in Luxembourg believes that God is going to continue to help them reach their nation for Christ.

Dr. Douglas LeRoy

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