EE moves in the face of a difficult climate posted by jwatson on Jun 30, 2011
EE Vice President for Europe, George Verzea, and his wife, Rodica, have dedicated most of their lives to coordinating EE on this continent. Europe is a spiritually dark, post-Christian continent with an increasingly secularized youth culture, 25 percent of whom are unemployed. It’s no easy task, yet that will not stop George and Rodica from their calling.
George and Rodica use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to teach and mentor the EE national and regional leaders and organize training events. This year alone, they have plans to conduct 120 EE training events in churches, Bible schools, and seminaries across Europe. They train future pastors and church leaders who will have the opportunity to multiply the ministry and train their congregations. In their home country of Romania, they have trained more than 10,000 pastors and leaders in EE.
One of their goals is for mature EE nations like Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany to adopt other less mature European EE nations to open doors for EE ministry. Germany, for example, has adopted Austria in order for Gospel roots to establish and deepen. Other mature EE European nations like Great Britain and Finland are also adopting and assisting other countries in Europe. George and Rodica ask for prayer “that the Lord will raise up more workers for His harvest in Europe and encourage the existing ones to never slow down!”
Spain is known as the “graveyard of missionaries.” It is difficult to motivate believers for evangelism in western Europe and especially in Spain. EE field workers Miguel Llagostera and Juan Diego Vallejos are exceptions. They have introduced EE in 30 churches across Spain and hope to double that number by the end of 2011.
During a seminar in San Pedro del Pinatar, province of Murcia, two men and a woman joined the workshop one hour before it ended. They were non-believers, but they were invited to assist in a role-play situation. They accepted. They were atheists, yet they followed the Gospel presentation with interest. When they were invited to accept Christ, all of them prayed. They understood the Gospel. Of course, witnessing this success firsthand, the other participants wanted to implement EE as soon as possible.
Mission to Go
EE students in Switzerland were given their orders in a special event of faith called “Mission to go.” They would go exactly as Jesus sent the disciples, with only the clothes on their backs. They would take no money, no credit cards, and use no cell phones to share the Gospel and trust in God for guidance including their needs for food, water, and lodging. Cell phones could only be used in the event of an emergency.
During the two weeks of faith, many people professed Christ as Savior including many Swiss people, and Muslims from Morocco and Mauritania. No one suffered. All found food and lodging, and all of them learned how to trust in God on deeper levels.
XEE goes Greek
EE Vice President for Europe, George Verzea, teaches XEE each year at the Greek Bible Institute in Athens. Last fall, George had the opportunity to train two people from Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) who wanted to learn the XEE training. Following the training, CCC staff declared XEE as the best tool for personal evangelism, and they desire to equip others on the CCC staff.
After three days of XEE training, they were ready to implement the ministry. Students on staff with CCC and other students of the Greek Bible Institute shared wonderful accounts of sharing the Gospel and connecting with people on a spiritual level. One Greek woman felt abandoned by God because her friend died in a car accident. The students expressed much love and compassion as they told Neli of the love of Christ.
Luke, age 20, thanked the EE teams for his training. The son of an American missionary in Greece, Luke had never shared with anyone until going through the training. Luke shared the Gospel and was surprised to see the person make a profession of faith in Christ.
Clear, easy, practical Gospel approach
“For years, many pastors preached to us but they did not tell us how to be practical. This EE seminar taught us very practical lessons. Now we know how to talk to people in a clear, easy, and practical way about the Gospel.” Comments like that were heard across western Romania in places like Bilead, Banloc, Dolat, and Giera, where EE seminars were conducted. In Romania, during the last 20 years, thousands of church leaders and believers have been trained to share the Good News.
EE field worker, Daniel Cociuba, works in this area and is diligent to visit with pastors across western Romania. He communicates the importance of these pastors equipping their people for evangelism, and then comes alongside them to help them implement the EE ministry. He implemented the ministry in more than six churches in three months.
Stojche’s father was in a bottomless pit. Years of his life were spent wrestling with his addiction to alcohol. It seemed like a pit from which he would never escape. But God makes the impossible possible. He heard the Gospel and professed Christ as his Savior. That was ten years ago. His life began immediate change and, over the years, it impacted every member of his family, especially Stojche.
Today, Stojche studies Theology in Novi Sad, Serbia. He demonstrates a great heart for service, a passion to win souls, and a desire to train others with the Gospel through EE.
Currently, Venco Nakov, an EE field worker in Macedonia and Serbia, mentors Stojche. Venco has visited most of the churches in Serbia, and God has enabled Venco to train others who are training others, so that churches in Macedonia and Serbia will reach the country with the Gospel. EE field workers across Europe are a key strategy in reaching more and more of this continent with the Gospel.