Pastor Kevin (far right) hosts the dedication of the children/youth area.
By Carl Stagner
Compared to some of the major metropolitan destinations across Canada, the isolated city of Swift Current, Saskatchewan—population 18,000—may seem insignificant. But there’s really nothing insignificant about the community, home to Eastside Church of God, a thriving congregation actively making Swift Current a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Under the visionary leadership of Pastor Kevin Snyder, and without compromising their Jesus-centered message, the church has dealt a serious blow to the forces of darkness as they’ve reclaimed territory—including actual property—from the clutches of hell. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life
Tagged Be Bold, bold, building, Canada, Canadian, children, children's ministry, church growth, church health, Eastside Church of God, expansion, Give Life, Kevin Snyder, kids, mental illness, next generation, playground, Reclaim, reclamation, refugee, Saskatchewan, SK, students, Swift Current, teens, young adults, youth, youth center
Samir Salibi with wife Joanna, sons Maxim and Liam.
By Carl Stagner
The Church of God in Paris, France, is relatively new. It wasn’t until 1989 that the Church of God came to Paris, and not by way of the Church of God in the United States and Canada. The Church of God in Lebanon planted the Church of God in Paris. So when the refugee crisis of 2015 resulted in more than a million Middle Eastern refugees arriving in Europe, the Church of God in Paris was uniquely qualified to respond. Samir Salibi, leader of the Church of God ministry in Paris known as @home, was once an immigrant, himself, also from Lebanon. As you might imagine, the Church of God is especially looking forward to what God has placed on his heart for Convention 2019 & General Assembly. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Church of God Convention, Global Strategy
Tagged aid, assimilation, AtHome, camp meeting, Campmeeting, campus, CHOG Convention, Church of God Convention 2019, Convention 2019, Convention 2019 & General Assembly, Convention 2019 and General Assembly, culture, discipleship, Europe and the Middle East, Europe-Middle East, evangelism, featured speaker, FL, Florida, France, French, Global Strategy, home, humanitarian, immigrants, immigration, Lebanese, Lebanon, migrants, missional, missions, multi-site, multisite, NAC, nontraditional, Orlando, outreach, Paris, Patrick Nachtigall, profile, refugee, refugee crisis, refugees, Samir Salibi, speaker, World Center Marriott
Tim Stevenson preaching under the fig tree.
By Carl Stagner
With continued expansion in northern Uganda, the influence of the Church of God on South Sudan is also on the rise. Though South Sudan achieved independence in 2011 when Africa’s longest civil war ended, tremendous socioeconomic and political struggles persist. Clashes between clans, tribes, political parties, and religions have left behind widespread destruction and hopelessness. It has been reported that over 1.2 million refugees have fled South Sudan for Uganda, the country where Global Strategy missionaries Tim and Colleen Stevenson have worked for thirty-four years. Their work is having a direct impact on South Sudanese refugees as the Church of God establishes “centers” of hope, each noted for its congregation, school, well, and other programs for physical and spiritual health. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Global Strategy
Tagged Africa, Canada, child sponsorship, Children of Promise, Church of God centers, Church of God centres, Colleen Stevenson, fig tree, Germany, Missionaries, missions, northern Uganda, political, refugee, refugee camp, refugee crisis, socioeconomic, South Sudan, South Sudanese, Tim Stevenson, Uganda, war, well, wells
Fairfax Community Church baptism celebration.
By Carl Stagner
On September 18 and 19, Fairfax Community Church in Fairfax, Virginia, will host the fourth Church of God Regional Convention of the year. Though they look forward to this opportunity to welcome a cross-section of the Movement to their campus, their day-to-day ministry will not come to a halt. At any given moment, life-giving ministry is made possible somewhere in the world because of this congregation. Their work with refugees at home and abroad, the twenty churches they’ve planted or restarted across the globe, and their bold neighborhood-by-neighborhood reclamation in and around the nation’s capital, are only three of numerous areas of incredible impact. Convention-goers will be inspired to see and hear more of Fairfax’s story in person with their stellar staff, but a recent interview with Pastor Rod Stafford offers the entire Movement a glimpse of just how they give life to their city, state, country, and world. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Church of God Convention
Tagged 2018, CHOG Convention, Clarksburg, culture, D.C., District of Columbia, Fairfax, Fairfax Community Church, global, international, LifeFairfax, Maryland, MD, missional, missions, refugee, refugee crisis, regional convention, regionals, Rod Stafford, VA, Virginia, Washington
Photo: Refugee teen having a blast at camp.
By Carl Stagner
“You accepted us like family. Here we weren’t the foreigners—the refugees. We were part of the group. Thank you.” When the Church of God is willing to work together to advance the kingdom, people notice. Lives are touched. Hearts are softened. Seeds are planted. History tells us many of these seeds not only germinate, but bear fruit and spread more seeds. This summer, moved by the refugee crisis in our world today, Church of God leaders in Germany committed to invest in six refugees from Afghanistan. Each one separated from family and friends after fleeing dangerous living conditions, these refugee youth with a background in Islam would not only hear the gospel, but feel sincere love and grace from peers who humbly bear the name of Christ. IYC students helped make it all possible. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Global Strategy, IYC: International Youth Convention, Youth Ministries
Tagged Afghanistan, camp, crisis, evangelism, Germany, Islam, IYC, Josh Weiger, missions, Muslim, refugee, sponsor, Spread the Word, Teenfreizeit, teens, thank you, underwrite, youth
Photo: Ostia Church of God in worship.
By Patrick Nachtigall
Can they inspire North American Churches?
A massive refugee crisis, an aging population, economic challenges, and political upheaval are hitting Europe all at the same time. The world does not stay the same. Consequently, the churches that can survive and even flourish are those that are willing to change, take risks, and use crisis to create opportunity. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Global Strategy
Tagged awakening, church growth, Europe and the Middle East, Global Strategy, Greece, Hungary, Paris, Patrick Nachtigall, refugee, revitalization, revival, risk, risk-taking, Rome, transformation
By Christy Kihm
It’s hard for many of us to imagine what a refugee looks like in everyday life. So our definition is created for us by the media, Facebook posts, and stories that catch our attention. Daniel and I have been lucky enough to get to have that definition shaped by personal experience. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Church of God Ministries, Global Strategy
Tagged Christy Kihm, crisis, Daniel Kihm, Global Strategy, Middle East, missions, refugee, Syrian, the Netherlands, Three Worlds
By Carl Stagner
Millions of innocent people are displaced in what has been called the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Homes are broken and families are being torn apart as a result of civil war in Syria that has lingered on into its fifth year. Many caught in the middle have crossed the Syrian border into neighboring countries and beyond, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and parts of Eastern Europe. Millions more, stuck within the Syrian border, have been left homeless and hopeless. Instead of simply putting a Band-Aid on the escalating refugee crisis, the Church of God is seeking long-term, holistic approaches. Ken Oldham, pastor for Global Strategy to Egypt, cuts through the confusion to the heart of the matter. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Disaster Relief, Global Strategy
Tagged crisis, current events, Disaster Relief, Global Strategy, Middle East, missions, refugee, Syria, war