(If you haven’t read Part One of my report, click on this link here.)
A typical Roundtable consists of 3W missionary updates, country updates, Project Link updates financial updates, and case studies. Also, there are site-seeing and site visits from the host church and missionaries.
3W Missionary Updates
There are currently six missionary families on the field in the Europe and Middle East Region. In my last post, I spoke about the Nachtigall’s and Langford’s. Also serving in the region are the Philip’s, Oldham’s, Kihm’s, and Weiger’s. In addition, the de Francisco’s are hoping to join the 3W Team next year.
The 3W team is uniquely different from other regions because each family is regionally based. What I mean by this is that while each family has a local responsibility, i.e. Berlin, Birkenhead, or Cairo, they also have regional responsibilities; this allows the entire Europe and Middle East region to gain access to the 3W team. For example, while Bulgaria, a country we have partnered with in the past, no longer has missionaries living in-country, the Kihms, based out of Holland, visit and stay connected to the young, Bulgarian leaders. Therefore, all 14 countries that have a Church of God presence receives support from the six missionary families.
Currently, the Church of God has a presence in 14 countries in this region. Some countries have dozens of churches while others may only have one or two. There are conversations to connect with believers in other countries to plant new churches where there is no presence.
Overall, these countries are doing very well. While there will always be issues and obstacles, many of these churches and countries have a bright and optimistic future. There is a resurgence of young leaders who are ready to move the church forward in their respective cities. I am excited that County Line has an opportunity to be connected and involved.
Of the 14 countries, County Line has been involved relationally, or financially, in nine of them. Those countries are Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Currently, we are directly involved with France, Italy, and the U.K.
It is impossible to turn on the news, open your device, or read the newspaper and not read about current events in the Europe and Middle East region. Politics, acts of terrorism, refugees, immigration, climate and environment issues, and sex trafficking have become the norm for these countries. In many cases, these missionaries, pastors, and churches are putting their safety on the line to advance God’s Kingdom. Please pray for them, for their families, and for their ministries.
Egan Road Church of God
As I mentioned in my previous post, our host site for this Roundtable was Egan Road Church of God, located in Birkenhead. Birkenhead has a population size of 90,000 people. Egan Road Church is located in the Bidston/St. James Ward, which has a population of about 13,000 people. Within this ward, there are only three active churches – Church of God, Anglican, and a Baptist church. All three churches average around the same number in worship attendance, which is about 20 people. The average age in the Anglican and Baptist churches are 70 years old; the Egan Road Church is 45 years old. Furthermore, Egan Road receives around 35-50 children and youth in their Tuesday and Wednesday night events.
Unfortunately, this area is destitute with over 50% of the families receiving government assistance. Also, Zach shared that 56% of girls will become pregnant before the age of 18. Working with and ministering to the children and youth is a top priority for the church.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Egan Road is going through a major transition as they figure out how to navigate through the current events, cultural issues, and community needs. With the leadership of Three Worlds, the church has agreed to be lead by an advisory board made up of pastors and ministry workers in the U.S. along with some of the leaders from the Egan Rd. church.
County Liner Mike Stetzel, who is a Director for Youth for Christ Northern Indiana, is serving on this advisory board. He brings personal and ministry experience to the advisory board that is much needed. Please pray for Mike, the Langfords, and Egan Road Church of God as they move forward.
County Line Influence
It energizes me to think that County Line has had a hand in helping churches and leaders restore their communities in the Europe and Middle East region. Where the church has seemingly lost its influence and Christianity has become an afterthought, is now beginning to flicker and spark. Through the efforts of the 3W Team, this region will begin to soar and become a model for other countries, churches, and leaders.
Mission Advancement Pastor