Tag Archives: international

Côte d’Ivoire: From 25 People to 25 Pastors 20 Years Later

An early member of the church presenting a gift of a photo of the first congregation in Abidjan.

By Carl Stagner

Twenty years ago, the picture of the Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire looked nothing like it does today. Roughly twenty-five individuals, mostly English-speaking immigrant Christians from other African countries outside of French-speaking Côte d’Ivoire, composed the new fellowship. Near the end of November 2017, the Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire celebrated its twentieth anniversary, and the incredible kingdom gains that have taken place approximately twenty-five pastors—and two thousand believers—later. Missionaries Larry and LeAnn Sellers have been there since the beginning and were present at the anniversary. To mark the occasion, we offer the Church of God beyond Côte d’Ivoire a brief look back at how God has been at work over the past two decades in this West African nation, as well as a glimpse of where the ministry is headed. Continue reading

Paris, France: Revolutionary Ministry Celebrates First Anniversary

@home Church’s first anniversary celebration.

By Patrick Nachtigall

When Samir Salibi moved to Paris, France, as a twelve-year-old, non-Christian immigrant from Lebanon, little did he know that one day, two decades later, he would be coming to the rescue of many migrants and displaced people himself. But that is exactly what happened, and on December 2, members of the Three Worlds missionary team of the Church of God in Europe and the Middle East were in Paris to celebrate the first anniversary of this revolutionary new ministry. Continue reading

God is On the Move in Egypt

Jim Lyon speaks to leaders in Egypt.

By Ken Oldham

The birth of the Protestant Reformation is attributed to Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church (Germany) on October 31, 1517. All across the region, this 500th anniversary has been remembered, and the evangelical churches in Egypt began planning months ago to have a special event of their own, encouraging each church group to seek international guests to join the celebration. The Church of God in Egypt was delighted to have Global Strategy regional coordinator Patrick Nachtigall, U.S.-Canada general director Jim Lyon, and Pastor Marcus Archer of Crosspoint Church (Natchez, Mississippi) accept their invitation to join the celebration, November 17–19, in Cairo. Continue reading

With Grateful Hearts

By Lori Dixon

The Thanksgiving and Christmas season is here and many are already deep into preparation for the arrival of family and friends. Seemingly endless to-do lists are being created to ensure that nothing is missed for the picture-perfect meal to share with those we love. Shared traditions include ushering in Christmas with decorating and Black Friday shopping strategizing as soon as the last fork-full has been consumed. In all the busyness and the desire to get things just right, I wonder if we spend as much time preparing our hearts, beginning with entering in with a grateful heart. Continue reading

Doris Dale: A Tribute to An International Leader

Doris Dale, Global Gathering 2013.

By Bob Edwards

As we read the short obituary of this magnificent woman, we saw a couple of areas that were untouched about Doris Dale, the international leader. This must be mentioned, because her leadership, at both the Women of the Church of God (now the Christian Women Connection) and the Missionary Board of the Church of God (now Global Strategy), was phenomenal. Continue reading

India, Bangladesh Ravaged by Monsoon Floods

Devastating flooding in India.

By Carl Stagner

According to AccuWeather, 24 million people across India, Bangladesh, and Nepal have been affected by “the worst flooding in more than a decade.” While annual monsoon rains are nothing new to the region, the situation is compounded by unusually persistent rains and, in some locations, the release of water from local dams. Homes have been swept away, businesses and schools have been damaged, and families have been displaced. As the floodwaters rise, so does the incredible need. Another disaster abroad once again serves as a reminder that a swift disaster relief response requires the generosity of people like you. Continue reading

School at the Shelter Prepares to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

Photo: Shelter Primary School girls

By Carl Stagner

In 2014, the Church of God was reintroduced to the Shelter at the Church of God Convention. That year, the ministry, which began housing unprotected orphan girls a hundred years earlier, held a grand celebration of God’s goodness and provision. At the same time, the Church of God rallied around the Shelter and Church of God Trafficklight in the preventative role it plays in the fight against trafficking. A few years have passed since the spotlight was shone brightly on this life-giving work in Cuttack, India, but now they’re gearing up for another celebration with similar significance. This November, the Shelter Primary School, on the same grounds as the Girls Shelter Home, will set aside three days of centennial ceremony and activity to commemorate its impact on the church and community. Continue reading

Freedom Fight Takes Aim at Root Causes of Trafficking

By Carl Stagner

In 2014, the Church of God reintroduced its longstanding commitment to freedom with the launch of CHOG Trafficklight. Since then, the Movement has galvanized around the cause of advancing freedom for the enslaved, the overlooked, and the oppressed through awareness and through support of established organizations. On the heels of Church of God Convention 2017, the first-ever Church of God Freedom Summit not only celebrated the success of CHOG Trafficklight, but also turned our attention to the root causes of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Trafficklight 2.0: Freedom Fight will help us fight a global scourge at an international, domestic, and local church level, even down to our own homes. Continue reading

Tapan Borman: Making Jesus the Subject in Bangladesh

Photo: Tapan Borman speaking in Bangladesh.

By Carl Stagner

When only about 1 percent of your country’s population identifies as Christian, little else matters. Does the Muslim majority really care about the description over the doors of the church? Are the Hindus concerned with the church’s longstanding Christmas or Easter tradition? Do believers have time to spend arguing over the style of music—or dance? Tapan Borman says No. Jesus is the subject, the focus, the target. Making his name known is what matters, and any method by which they can accomplish that goal is on the table. Since receiving a call to ministry in 1992, the national leader of the Lalmonirhat Church of God group in Bangladesh has been in the change-the-world business. A closer look at the life and focus of Tapan Borman offers a snapshot of transformative ministry possible only when everything points back to the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

When Teachers Become Learners: Barefoot and Humbled in Bangladesh

Photo: Cross-cultural footwashing in Bangladesh.

By Carl Stagner

If you’ve ever been on a mission trip, you know it’s a mistake to think you’re going to another country only to teach and bless someone else. More often than not, you end up learning more than you could offer. Instead of leaving feeling impressed by all the good you did, you feel humbled by the good people you met. When a group from Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana; First Church of God in Marion, South Dakota; and Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana, came together for a missions trip to Bangladesh this year, the teachers once again became the learners. Continue reading

Missions, Generosity in the DNA of Wyoming Congregation

Photo: One of many Highland Park mission teams.

By Carl Stagner

When missions and generosity are uttered in the same sentence, Highland Park Community Church in Casper, Wyoming, is one Church of God congregation that immediately comes to mind. These values are a part of the church’s DNA, as evidenced by over half a century of giving way above and beyond regular tithes and offerings. While the church’s missions budget of over $500,000 and financial support of more than thirty missions projects is impressive, it’s the heart of numerous individuals and groups within the congregation that astounds the most. The perspective of a few of these individuals sheds light on why the state’s largest church, of any denomination, chooses to invest so heavily in what God is doing around the world. Continue reading

Join Us in Wichita, Celebrate Movement’s International Reach

Photo: Missionary commissioning prayer in Philadelphia last year.

By Carl Stagner

The Church of God is so much bigger than most of us can imagine. With nearly 900,000 believers around the world, attending nearly 8,000 churches in 89 different countries, the international reach of the Church of God is both broad and diverse. It can be hard to visualize the magnitude of that which God has allowed us to be a part, especially when our only consistent interface with the movement is from fifth pew back, piano side, once or twice a week. One of the best things about the Church of God Convention is the opportunity to see, hear, and participate in what God is doing outside our regular sphere of ministry. Church of God Convention 2017 will once again celebrate the international reach of our movement during worship gatherings and extra events. Continue reading

On a ‘Vision’ Trip to Africa

By Kyle Hayes

When we finalized the plans to join other Church of God leaders on a “vision” trip to visit Mike and Heather Webb last year, I was excited. But I was also completely unaware of how transformational the trip could be. Though my wife and I had traveled internationally, we had never been on the African continent. We were very much in over our heads. Continue reading

Gathering Connects, Trains Young Leaders Across Europe, Middle East

Photo: Multinational prayer at the gathering.

By Carl Stagner

Across much of Europe and the Middle East, evangelical Christians compose only 0.25 to 4 percent of the population. While young Christians in North American have been given the opportunity to experience worship and fellowship with thousands of other believers—such as IYC—many Christians across European and Middle Eastern countries have never been in the same room with more than a dozen young adults who share their faith. The presence, support, and comradery of other believers is often a breath of fresh air among those for whom isolation is the norm. The second gathering of the Three Worlds Leadership Network commenced in beautiful Switzerland in early May this year, bringing with it that much-needed breath of fresh air. Continue reading

Introducing Kaitlin Smith, New Missionary to Uganda

Photo: Kaitlin Smith

Global Strategy is delighted to welcome Kaitlin Smith to the Global Strategy family. In March, Global Strategy approved her appointment as a medical missionary to Uganda, where she will be partnering with the Church of God in Uganda to work as a medical coordinator for the five medical clinics run by the church and staffed by Ugandan nurses and doctors. Kaitlin has, over the course of the past four years, developed a close relationship with Tim and Colleen Stevenson, Global Strategy missionaries who recently celebrated thirty years of ministry in Uganda. Continue reading