Is there a way to help the Church of God be more inner-connected, more effective at creating support for people in ministry, and a more intentional way of engaging people? Our Three Worlds team believes that the answer is "Yes," and we have designed our whole Europe-Middle East strategy and team to achieve those goals. So four years after the team was launched, how is Three Worlds doing?
Just in the past two-weeks, you can get a glimpse at how effective the team approach has been. Last week, Daniel and Christy Kihm moved into their new permanent house in the Netherlands. They were helped by 3W Teammates the Philips (3W-Berlin) and XZ Berlin intern Catherine Groeber from Germany. Previous interns have come from the U.S.A, Hungary, Singapore, Spain and other countries. Just a few days before, Christy Kihm (3W-Netherlands) had been busy setting up the first ever Europe/Middle East European Youth Network which will meet for the first time in Interlaken in October of 2015 bringing top youth leaders from 16 countries together. Audrey Langford (3W-Liverpool) is also the co-organizor.
Now the Kihms take a group from the Netherland CHOG to Belgium for the annual Paris Church of God Retreat which was moved to Belgium this year to welcome French-speaking people from the Netherlands. Among this group, will be a number of French-speaking Africans that are part of the Church of God in Europe, including Kenneth Morikang of Bulgaria/Cameroon, Emmanuel Zivo of Germany/Senegal and many from the Geleen Church of God which includes people from the Congo, Ivory Coast, and Angola. An "Africans in Europe" network is starting to take a form which could lead to lots of exciting possibilities both in Europe and Africa.
Meanwhile, Kelley Philips (3W- Berlin) and Ken Oldham (3W-Middle East) went to Frankfurt, Germany to meet with the National Ministry Leader of the German Church of God to make sure that the excellent relationship between Germany CHOG and USA CHOG continues to grow as we expand our inner-connectivity in European-Middle East ministry. Relations have never been better between the two countries. Three Worlds team members will be presenting at the next European Theological Meeting in 2015. Ken Oldham now sets off to co-organize the tri-annual Budapest Lectures that were started in 2012 along with 28 year old National Leader Peter Kiss. and 33 year old Pastor Laszlo Debreceni. The Budapest Lectures are open to all CHOG people. This latest set of lectures will be the first led by the Russians from Chelyabinsk and will have attendees from Lebanon, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Previous presenters have been from the USA and Germany.
The Simpsons (3W Bulgaria) were at the at a 3W Seminar in Rome for the Italy Church of God, which was in partnership with Healthy Growing Churches Network and County Line Church of God (Auburn, Indiana). It's part of our Italy Expansion Initiative which has helped launched 2 church-plants and preparing for a third as well as a new, highly-innerconnected Italy youth-group. The Simpsons now prepare to meet up with Ken Oldham in Budapest along with a group from Bulgaria.
The Langfords (3W Liverpool) just landed in the U.K to take up residence in Birkenhead, England, reaching out to youth in one of the countries most difficult and economically-depressed urban areas.
Last, Patrick (Regional Coordinators) was in Western Canada and Ohio meeting with regional partners that are interested in supporting this healthy way of missions continue to expand in Europe and the Middle East. While not every team member is mentioned in this past 2 week summary, all of them are constantly doing this type of work.
Everyone works for the common good and women are highly-empowered on the Three Worlds team and are often the key leaders. Keli Oldham (3W-Middle East) travels to the region on her own without Ken (and drives through Cairo traffic)! Our most important 3W event ever is in the hands of Christy Kihm and Audrey Langford, and Rhonda Philips is spearheading the establishment of the Pink Door for women caught in sex-trafficking. These two weeks are an accurate snapshot of how the Three Worlds team is trying to help the Church of God at the dawn of the 21st Century. It's a new day in the Europe-Middle East Church of God. This is a totally new approach and we are glad to see God blessing it. Thank you for supporting our team!