Tag Archives: Three Worlds

New Initiative Invests in Young Pastors, Church Planters Across Europe

First meeting of Europe X in Budapest, Hungary.

By Carl Stagner

Ministry in Europe and the Middle East looks very little like ministry in other parts of the world. While churches in parts of the world preach and teach the message of Jesus in cultures already somewhat receptive to Christianity, the experience of pastors and church leaders in countries like France and Spain can be drastically different, difficult, and confounding. As a result, limited support structures have existed in recent generations to encourage and equip young men and women called into ministry. To come alongside these developing leaders, the Church of God in twelve countries came together to launch the Three World Leadership Network (3WLN). Since then, Church of God missionaries and young leaders have made strides toward revitalization of the church through partnership, awareness, networking, and encouragement. Earlier this year, they took the next step to invest specifically in young pastors and church planters passionate about multiplication in the midst of a challenging post-Christendom reality. Continue reading

Young Leaders Answer the Call in Italy

Nick and Suellen Lovaglio

By Patrick Nachtigall

One of the great thrills of working in the Europe-Middle East Church of God is seeing how many young leaders are emerging that are committed to stay with the Church of God in the future. Though the Three Worlds Leadership Network (3WLN), young pastors and others between the ages of twenty and forty-five who are working for the church can stay in contact with each other, do ministry together, and be a source of encouragement and synergy. At our latest 3WLN, our newest pastor couple were Nick and Suellen Lovaglio, who have answered the call together to ministry in Treviso, Italy. 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

Refugees Find Community through the Church of God in Germany

Ken & Keli with extended family of John & Rhonda in their home.

Over the last couple years, the Church of God Disaster Relief fund has provided matching funds to the German national church to support strategic refugee initiatives launched by local German congregations in response to the refugee crisis there. At the invitation and hospitality of the German Church of God, Ken and Keli Oldham (Global Strategy) were able to follow up with a few of these ministries this summer. They witnessed the German church developing significant relationships with refugees as they have sought not just to serve their needs, but to include them into their fellowships. 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

New Ministry Reaches Refugees in Paris

By Patrick Nachtigall

This February we visited Paris to see the new work that has been established. Our Three World Leadership Network (3WLN) leader, Samir Salibi (Paris Church of God), has launched a new ministry and church called @home. This amazing new ministry is both a community of faith and a network of Christian refugee assistance. The faith community is in the process of becoming an officially recognized church and comprises people deeply committed to doing ministry to the refugees populating Paris, other parts of France, Greece, and elsewhere in Europe. Already they have been actively involved in Greece, which is a significant refugee entry point for Europe. Energetic young people and new converts enjoy being involved in a church that has such an active, missional DNA. Continue reading

International Outreach to Refugees Growing Fast

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Photo: Cultural differences fade when Christ is in view.

By Patrick Nachtigall

The global refugee crisis continues to affect Europe greatly. North Africans are continuing to make the dangerous journey toward Italy. Refugees are entering into Europe by way of Russia, and nearly one million continue to live in temporary housing in Germany. Many governments are reacting with anti-immigrant hostility, and racist and nationalist parties are gaining ground across the continent. Fortunately, the church is different than the world. Continue reading

Church of God in Canada, Germany Partner to Help Refugees

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Photo: Cultural differences fade when Christ is in view.

By Audrey Weiger

“You fear that which you do not know.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

The Three Worlds team in Europe and the Middle East entered into a partnership to help German Church of God congregations ministering to refugees. They brainstormed ways to make this partnership happen and decided to connect Glamorgan Church of God in Calgary, Canada, to the Bad Segeberg Church of God in Bad Segeberg, Germany.

Standing there nervously at the airport, not sure what to expect, I waited. Texts were flying back and forth—it felt a bit like I was meeting a blind date. But really I was waiting on the ministry group to arrive from Calgary, Canada. Continue reading

A Bold Move in the United Kingdom

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Photo: Zach and Audrey Lanford with the Egan Road youth.

By Zach and Audrey Langford

As most of you know, we work in a very difficult, post-Christendom context where very few choose to go to church or even know about Jesus. Our neighborhood in Birkenhead has just over 15,000 people and only four evangelical churches—each with about twenty people and no youth. The exception is our church, Egan Road, where we have very few adults, but a consistent and growing fellowship of children, youth, and young adults. Continue reading

Alejandro and Carmen De Francisco Announced as Missionaries to Spain

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Photo: Carmen and Alejandro De Francisco

In this week of the Midwest Regional Convention of the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana, Global Strategy and Church of God Ministries are pleased to announce the appointment of Alejandro and Carmen De Francisco as missionaries to Spain, working with the Three Worlds team in Europe and the Middle East. Alejandro and Carmen will be commissioned on Tuesday, June 21, in the evening service of the regional convention in Anderson. Continue reading

CHOG in Germany, North America Partner in Response to German Refugee Crisis

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With nearly a million refugees slated to seek asylum, Germany is struggling to deal with the largest refugee crisis since the end of World War II. The country has received more requests for asylum than any other country, and the strain on the country’s social services has been tremendous. Fortunately, the German Church of God (Freikirchlicher Bund der Gemeinde Gottes) has congregations that are mobilizing to assist those in need. However, the scale of this crisis is so great that the Church of God in Germany and the Church of God, through the Disaster Relief Committee at Church of God Ministries, have decided to tackle the crisis together. Continue reading

The Italian Connection: Church of God Developments in Northern Italy

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Photo: 70+ youth attended a recent event in Arco, Italy.

By Christy Kihm

The Church of God in northern Italy in many ways is a miracle. In a region where evangelical Christianity is an unpopular minority religion, the two Church of God congregations are drawing dozens of young people to their doors. You may hear dozens and lose interest. But in Europe and the Middle East now, the average size of a church can be twenty. And the average age of those twenty people could be fifty or higher. So dozens of youth who are desiring to be disciple is a very big deal. Continue reading

Disaster Relief: Europe’s Refugee Crisis

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By Stephen Lewis

Around our world today, 1 in every 122 humans is either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. It may well be the greatest humanitarian crisis that the world has seen. The conflict in Syria alone has displaced 12,000,000 people, half of whom are children. Of these, 7,600,000 are displaced within Syria; more than 1,000,000 are in camps in Turkey; another 1,000,000 are in camps in Lebanon; and nearly 1,000,000 have made their way to Europe. Continue reading

European Refugee Crisis: From Strangers to Family

By Audrey Weiger

“We boarded a rubber boat and went out in the night. After just ten minutes, we had to turn back because the waves were so high. I tried again, on another rubber boat. We were just an hour from our destination when a battleship arrived. We quickly crossed over their path to get out of the way. Then flood lights were on us and four masked men with machine guns dropped down in a black boat. They came to us; got in our boat. We were terrified. They kept shouting at us to put our hands up and don’t move. Then they opened our boat’s engine and cut all the power and gas lines and left. We were just floating there until we could get through to the Turkish coast guard to come and rescue us. I tried again, on another rubber boat, but during the day. But the same thing happened. A battleship and its men stopped us. So, I took out a loan—2,500 Euros—to buy a place on a big ship to take me. And finally, I made it.”

Late night—it’s past midnight and I sip chamomile tea and talk with Syrian refugees about their faith in Christ and what has sustained them. One young man speaks passionately, “Because there was no justice on the earth, God sent Jesus to give us justice. Heaven was shaking when Jesus came. But the earth was not awake to receive him.” It’s inspiring to speak with those who have lived so much life in such a short amount of time. Continue reading

My Refugee Encounters

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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