Category Archives: From the Executive Director

The Church Reclaimed – Commitment and Connection

by Dr. Dave Coryell, Executive Director

God’s work is never in jeopardy. He works through our human efforts even when they are flawed or incomplete. He touches lives through the modern day form the church has taken; however, it is critical for us to pause and consider whether something has been lost that needs to be reclaimed. Taking this step will allow the church to truly live out its core purpose instead of being re-purposed for our modern times.

About five years ago I attempted a task that pushed my creative limits. I am not what people call a “handy” man. My home projects often become greater disasters than what needed fixing in the first place. On rare occasions the Lord smiles upon me and my projects work out. One example is when I decided to take an old desk and turn its drawers into rustic looking shelves. These shelves would then hold antique sports equipment in our basement family room. I saw beyond the dilapidated drawer condition and imagined returning them to their original purpose in a totally new, unique and beneficial way. I could have decided to “Re-purpose” the drawers by painting them and using them as flower pots or fire wood. This act would have found a new purpose and use for the drawers while preventing me from reclaiming why the drawers were originally made.

Today people have attempted to re-purpose the church instead of reclaiming its core purpose. Departing from the church’s core purpose leaves a significant void in people’s lives. Allow me to provide some scriptural evidence to hold up against our current cultural setting.

Commitment

First is a call to Commitment. Acts 1:8 says “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” I have heard this verse used by teachers numerous times. Normally it serves as a motivator for people to think about reaching others for Christ that are close to home, in the broader city or region, in neighboring states or countries, and in all the different parts of the globe. What people do not normally embrace is Acts 8:1- “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout . . .” wait for it, wait for it- where were they scattered? “Judea and Samaria!” The Holy Spirit’s power rapidly grew the church as mentioned in Acts 1. This came to fruition following the persecution and ensuing rapid dispersion of Christians as they spread beyond Jerusalem.  Today, Christians are challenged to spread the gospel without a significant call to sacrifice- essentially turning drawers into flower pots. This kind of challenge has good intentions but lands us on the 2 Timothy 3 list, which concludes with verse five, “Having a form of godliness but denying its power.” Reclaiming the church requires commitment through sacrifice.

Connection

Second is a call to Connection. Today, many churches grow rapidly by having campuses, live streamed messages, and excellent EVERYTHING including music, teaching, children’s programs, and clearly marked information or welcoming areas. None of these items are bad; in fact most of them are really good. The challenge comes when we study Acts 2 and recognize what regular activities the early church was instructed to carry out. In Acts 2:42 we find that, “They devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.” Verse forty-four continues by saying, “all the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” Today when people say they have attended “church,” most people mean to confirm that they have attended a worship experience. This experience involved them driving, or in some cases walking to a church building, sitting in a sanctuary or auditorium, listening to some of the setting’s customs (announcements, recited prayers, special music) and watching a program that allows occasional group singing before hearing a motivational message.  Two thousand years ago the early church grew because it had to flee for survival. Then non-Christians began witnessing the incredible lives of believers as they supported each other in their new nurturing communities. The non-Christians recognized what they were missing and so the church grew. Reclaiming the church requires intimate connection.

Here is a painful reality- to be a Christian means to be close enough to a small group of people acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that can be mutually accountable to one another. At the same time this group is vulnerable about and willing to meet each other’s needs spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically. By this definition, how many people in the US actually attend “church” on a regular basis? How many Christians have one to two close friends that can support and challenge them in this way? Begin with you- do you currently have the close connections to support you as you commit to sacrificially bring people to Christ?

Everywhere I go in the world I meet people who are praying for revival or a second Reformation. God may choose to work in this way. But maybe, just maybe both of those things will happen once we reclaim the true core purpose of the church- Commitment and Connection!

Faithful Journey: Part 4

by Dr. Dave Coryell, Executive Director

On April 29th following ten days in Germany, I boarded a plane for Manchester, England. I met Harry Wedekind, Vice President for Christian Endeavor in Europe and the Middle East. Harry and I drove with videographer Nathan Robb to the Beechwood Courts Christian Endeavor Holiday Centre in Conwy, Wales. The car was a manual transmission that Harry needed to drive on the opposite side of the road. Harry did a great job but this added to the overall journey and adventure that was about to take place. The purpose for this trip was to gather with twelve people for the first European Leadership Academy.

After a meal of arguably the best fish and chips on the planet, we went to sleep anticipating several full days ahead. The next day everyone began arriving. Our group included people from England, Germany, Hungary, Romania and the US. The concerns around Brexit prevented anyone from Ireland attending. Interactive learning elements continue to be the teaching method that spans cultural boundaries. Learning activities with ropes, tent poles, tennis balls and dominoes all helped share leadership principles and reinforce transformational Biblical values.

The last evening we shared together, a gentleman from Hungary named Zsolt (I tried to pronounce this correctly for three days and failed miserably) started asking me deeper questions about Christian Endeavor. What I learned is that C.E. for many years has been a tool used to offer camps and conferences but few churches actually use the discipleship model to impact young people’s lives. He became more and more excited about the idea to translate the core Christian Endeavor equipping materials into his native language. He and his friends plan to work on this project during 2019 in hopes of equipping pastors and youth workers with the C.E. model in the years ahead.

Also on the last day, I spoke with Katrina from Germany. Katrina leads a small C.E. state union in western Germany. Her comments and insights were so valuable because she did not grow up in Christian Endeavor but has been learning the powerful impact it can make when properly used in churches.

Following three great equipping days, we enjoyed a morning driving around North Wales. The castles and scenery are truly a gift from God. The next day Harry flew to Ireland to visit with and encourage the Irish Endeavorers while Nathan and I flew to reconnect with our families. Sixteen total days were invested in speaking, teaching, networking, praying, listening, and growing. It was a great journey, and God was faithful through every step.

Faithful Journey: Part 3

by Dr. Dave Coryell, Executive Director

Following the intense five day “DC Tour” we boarded a train for western Germany. After a few hours we disembarked and were greeted by Simon Schuh, one of the leaders for C.E. Germany. Simon drove us to Flensunger Hof. Flensunger Hof is a camp where the 29th World Christian Endeavor convention will be held in July 2022.

Imagine young people coming together from at least thirty-three countries where C.E currently makes an impact. They will attend to make friends from around the world, participate in small group Bible studies to directly experience how different cultures react to various Scripture passages, be challenged by choosing one of several workshop tracks, and see the Holy Spirit impact lives through heartfelt worship with so many cultures involved. This will be the 29th time a gathering like this has taken place. God has certainly been faithful on the journey.


Simon Schuh, Bjorn Steinhilber, Nathan Robb and Dr. Dave Coryell.

Flensunger Hof director, Bjorn Steinhilber, provided a tour that showed us potential workshop areas, places for large group venues, fields for activities, as well as all the options available for housing. People will be able to have their own hotel style room with private bath, sleep in a tent while using public shower facilities or choose multiple options in between these two extremes. Over two hundred beds are available in camp buildings but the fields are large enough to have one thousand campers.

Three years from now we will gather at Flensunger Hof. The camp is close to one hour by car to Frankfurt, making it easily accessible for people from around the world to join this gathering. May God continue to guide us as we look forward to the 29th World Christian Endeavor convention in July 2022!

Faithful Journey: Part 2

by Dr. Dave Coryell, Executive Director

Following several intense days of speaking and connecting at the 2019 Osterkonferenz, we embarked on a five day “DC Tour” across Bavaria. The purpose of this tour was to meet with people to celebrate the 100th C.E. Anniversary in Bavaria while awakening people to God’s work through C.E. around the world.

Group of youth workers who showed
Dr. Dave and Nathan Robb around Augsburg.

Each place that we visited had both beautiful sites and amazing people. Everyone thought their city was the finest in Germany. On the first day we stayed near the city of Kempten. Kempten is Germany’s oldest city being founded by the Roman Empire. The gathering at this church was the smallest of the five days but had an excellent group of people. The fifteen people represented Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq, Italy, and Syria. The next four nights we traveled to Munich, Augsburg, Ingolstadt and Nuremberg. The groups seemed to get larger every day ranging between forty in Munich to eighty on the last two nights.

The actual window where
Martin Luther was standing as he was handed the letter with the ultimatum of recant or stand trial.

One moment on this journey that gripped my heart was when we toured Augsburg. At one point we were taken to the Fuggerei. The Fuggerei is a mansion for the Fugger family as well as a home for children. Jakob Fugger was essentially the Bill Gates of the 1500’s in this region. He hosted significant dignitaries when they traveled through Augsburg. Martin Luther was staying with the Fugger’s when he received the letter asking him to either recant his views from the famous 95 Thesis he had nailed to the Wittenberg door or stand trial at the Diet of Worms. Luther did not know his decision would start the Reformation. He had no idea what path the Lord would take him down. It was just one more step on the journey where God would display His faithfulness. I had the opportunity to challenge people to see how God was faithfully working in and through Christian Endeavor to prepare us for His next Reformation.

One exciting component of the trainings was sharing about the strategic objectives God is carrying out through C.E. Being able to explain how these steps forward are changing lives awakens people to the real work God does through C.E. I opened each workshop by having people turn to their neighbor and check their shirt tag for the manufacturing country. The group was broken into teams and quickly wrote all of their countries on a white board. Following this exercise I explained how many of the countries have C.E. operating in them. Next, I led the group in an exercise to pray for the person who made their shirts. Imagine meeting a person in heaven someday that introduces him or herself and says, “I was waiting for you. I am the one who made your shirt!” This interactive beginning helps start the workshop, but it also helps establish how the workshop will end. The last activity we did was to break into two teams and at my signal have a team representative begin writing all of the countries in the world where team members knew someone well enough to have a conversation with them. One night sixty countries were listed, another night forty-nine countries were listed. The largest night over eighty countries were listed. I closed by challenging the group. God has used C.E to impact their lives and grow them as His disciples. Yet, they have connections literally all over the world but they have not shared about Christian Endeavor with them. God used this moment to challenge people to consider the next steps that could be taken.

I am not sure how God is going to build His Kingdom. I believe He plans to continue using Christian Endeavor in this process through the strengthening and growth of this ministry. We are trusting Him to have another five people start C.E. in their countries this year (at least Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Puerto Rico and Rwanda). I even learned about C.E. in Brazil from a German pastor that was a missionary in that country for two years. God is strengthening our network and growing it in His timing. I do know this, God will be faithful on this journey.

Faithful Journey: Part 1

by Dr. Dave Coryell, Executive Director

The title of this blog does not refer to my own faithfulness. It refers to God and the trust we can place in Him. I will tell of my journey to Germany and Wales in four parts.

On April 18th I flew to Munich, Germany. I was then transported to Gunzenhausen for the annual Osterkonferenz (Easter Conference) where I was the keynote speaker. Osterkonferenz began decades ago when numerous small Christian Endeavor churches decided to come together for a conference on Easter weekend including workshops, worship and fellowship. It began small and eventually grew. Today nearly four thousand people attend the events that include a large exhibit hall, children’s programming, a traditional worship track, numerous workshops on relevant topics, scores of food trucks, and large venue worship times that are live-streamed to people watching around the globe. Pretty solid work by forty-eight small C.E. churches in Bavaria. God is faithful!

The first message I delivered spoke to this faithfulness. The conference theme was “The Whale, Jesus, and You” and had the aim of using the book of Jonah to deliver a relevant message for today. Jonah means “dove” in Hebrew. He was the son of Amittai which interestingly means “faithful.” Jonah was literally the faithful dove. I explained how God has an intricate database. This database includes all the skills, talents, personality traits, and experiences for each person alive. This database includes all of our strengths and deficiencies. He then chooses people suited to carry out His various tasks. There was no greater match to take words of warning to the Ninevites than his faithful dove, Jonah. What does God have in His database for you? Will you make yourself available to carry out His mission?

God used this message to launch into several days of networking, long conversations with young people about spiritual things, a powerful Easter morning celebration and then finally Monday morning’s concluding message. First the leader of C.E. Bavaria, Samuel Haubner, spoke a message thanking God for His faithfulness over the last one hundred years. This centennial celebration was an opportunity to give thanks for all He had done. Then a song was sung before it was my turn to share. I finished teaching on Jonah which ends with Jonah’s remorse due to God sparing the repentant Ninevites. Most people walk away from Jonah and believe that the Bible’s Ninevite story ends there. However, one hundred years later, the prophet Nahum speaks to the Ninevites again because they had returned to their evil practices. Nahum warns that the Ninevites would be totally destroyed. The wall surrounding Nineveh was believed to be one hundred feet high and nearly fifty feet thick. This wall had a circumference according to some historians of 85 miles. The Ninevites believed their wall was virtually indestructible! Forty years after Nahum’s prophecy, the Tigris river flooded its banks and left a huge hole in the mighty wall. The Medes and Persians then combined forces and annihilated the Ninevites before carrying away every last stone. For centuries Nineveh was believed to be mythological along the same lines as the lost city of Atlantis. In 1845 remnants of the city were discovered. I shared this with the people and then asked- what will people say about Osterkonferenz’s centennial anniversary? Will they look back and say that this was their greatest hour before the spiritual pulse of the Bavarians began to wane? Or would they say that Osterkonferenz 2019 was the beginning of a new spark that lit a fire to grow the Kingdom of God for His glory to unprecedented levels? The message concluded with a call for people to enter missionary service. By God’s grace at least forty people responded to that challenge. An older woman later that day with tears forming in her eyes looked at me and shared in her broken English, “Over three thousand missionaries were called to service through Christian Endeavor in Germany . . . But we had stopped challenging young people to serve! Thank you for bringing the challenge again.”

We must not stop! Call young people to serve. God is faithful on this journey called life. He has a mission for us to fulfill. He is going to His database to look for those who will carry it out. Will you be His faithful dove? Will you be available?

Are You Living on the Edge . . . Or Taking Up Too Much Space?!?

3 Ways to Evaluate and Act

by Dr. Dave Coryell, Executive Director of Christian Endeavor USA

My kids have endured learning various leadership and life lessons from me. The one I call my second Leadership Law is, “If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space!” Translation: look to God for His leading and go after it with all your might. Here are 3 ways to evaluate where you are and act!

#1 See a Better Future

While recently on an equipping trip to Nepal, I was able to hear stories about people who have trekked the Himalayas, the world’s largest mountain range. No one wants to be the person who dies or experiences “extremis”, a condition where the body is taken to extreme circumstances and flirts with death. However, this is a distinct possibility for people who choose to make the climb to Mount Everest or the world’s other highest peaks. I learned that people in extremis have a far greater chance of survival when their horizons are formed of projected images that their mind can envision, instead of being limited by what they can physically see. By believing that a better future is possible, a person can be pulled through their current challenging circumstances. Now, before people write me off as a “self-help” guru, pause and realize what we know as Christians. The future that we can envision is promised. We are promised eternity with God in heaven with the inexpressible love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are even told by God in Ephesians 3 that He will do more than we can hope or imagine through the Holy Spirit’s power. This requires us to imagine a better future for God’s glory. Are you living a life on this kind of “edge” or are you taking up space with everyone else? People taking up space are seldom encouraging. The negative news causes them to be swept along towards doom and gloom instead of remembering the promises of God and the calling we have as believers in Christ. Live on the edge!

#2 Life’s events do not surprise God.

Whether it’s news of deteriorating health for yourself or those close to you, job loss, relationship challenges or financial woes, God is not surprised. Natural disasters, political turmoil, shortages of important resources: God is not caught off guard! The question is how will you react to the news? You can shriek and cry out in woe. You can also join the people who will line up to blame or complain about the situation. However, you can also trust that God is in control with full knowledge of the situation. The way to the edge is through trusting God and that He is in control.

#3 God brings good out of challenging circumstances.

Across the pages of the Bible, in worldwide events and even in the simple day to day, we can see God’s power working. As humans we grieve with discouraging news. Remember, in John 11:35, even Jesus wept when he heard his good friend Lazarus died! However, the God that grieved for Lazarus . . . ALSO BROUGHT HIM BACK FROM THE DEAD! God can heal the lame, bring sight to the blind, rain down manna from heaven, and you better believe that He can take your challenges and turn them into blessings. Moving from taking up too much space to living on the edge does not ignore your emotions. Living on the edge means being real with your emotions while maintaining an expectancy that God is going to work.

Action

Has complacency crept into your life? Evaluate and Act! Into the lives of those you love or those you serve? Evaluate and Act! See a better future, know that your situation does not surprise God, and expect Him to bring good out of your challenging circumstances. Peace!

Three Things Christians Can Learn From Muslims: A Trip to Pakistan and Back

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

I recently returned from Pakistan. There has been great discord between Christians and Muslims because of our differences and our history with each other. I thought my readers would enjoy a positive spin on the relationship so below you will read three insights Christians can gain from Muslims before I offer one parting word.

Insight #1: Generosity

I had numerous encounters with Muslims during my stay in Pakistan. Since this is the country’s dominant religion and the country’s name is “The Islamic Republic of Pakistan” you should not find this surprising. Uber drivers, hotel workers, vendors and people serving at tourist attractions tended to be Muslim people. When introduced to these people I was unsure how they would respond to a tall, white, bald foreigner. First I met a family that owns several manufacturing plants including denim clothing, rice mills, bottled water and confectioneries. Following my tour I was given numerous pairs of jeans, boxes of candy, water and many smiling selfie pictures. When I inquired with my host his comment was, “In my experience the Muslims out-give the Christians.” Another day I met a Pediatrician from a local hospital. He learned about medical missions being run by a local Christian pastor. After going through a screening process he began volunteering his time a few times a year to do eighteen hour days, seeing one hundred children patients, and writing numerous prescriptions. This young Muslim doctor was willing to do this alongside Christians because people needed help. A generous spirit runs through the hearts of many Muslim people.

Insight #2: Devotion

The news media has taught us that Muslims are all fanatics lurking at our doors waiting to bomb our public places and fire machine guns into the air. My experience in Pakistan was that Muslim people are very kind and devoted people. Please understand, I believe their devotion is misplaced. They pray five times a day and carry out other behaviors because they believe they need to keep the vengeance of Allah at bay. However, it was encouraging to converse with a taxi driver who gave all the praise to his god for providing his taxi. He also discussed how after he dropped me off that he would be pulling into a parking spot so he could do his afternoon prayers. I silently prayed for this man because I realized that a proper understanding of God could make this devoted person a great asset for Christ and the Church. It is imperative that we look at Muslim people as people. Yes, there are fanatical Muslims just as their are fanatical Christians, but the people I met were kind and devoted to the god that they know.

Insight #3: Innovation

Many people believe that anyone living in a country ending in the letters “stan” must wear a turban, veil, ride a camel, and daily avoid dust storms while giving the middle name Ishtar or Muhammad to all of their children. This is so far from the truth! While I was in Pakistan I walked through three story malls with hundreds of brands. I sat in a food court with most of the fast food chains from the USA. I went through a store that would have rivaled any of the Walmart, Target, or Costco superstores in my home country. Along with this there are trampoline places, mini-golf courses, large cineplexes, amusement parks and more. I walked through a seven story electronics mall with 900 computer stores. Yes, contrary to your thinking, these people communicate with smart phones and not just carrier pigeons and falcons! Our media has caused us to have a false impression of the innovation of places like Pakistan. I am interested to see where this innovation takes them in the next ten years.

Final Thoughts

Now, before I receive countless emails and “unfriend” requests, let me part with this statement. Muslim people do not know the way to God. They believe by doing enough good things that their god, Allah, will be appeased. We worship different gods, but our approach should follow 1 Peter 3:15 where we are always prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ and we will share this with gentleness and respect. Pray for Muslims to have visions of Jesus in their dreams. I have one friend that came to Christ in this way from a Muslim background. May God grow us in our ability to love all people as God’s creatures and then lovingly direct them toward Him with our attitudes, words and actions.

Travel to the Land of Many gods: What a Christian Learned in Kathmandu Part 2: Three Insights

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

*If you didn’t get a chance to see last week’s blog, check that out first for a better understanding of this blog.

While in Kathmandu, Nepal, I observed individuals practicing their spiritual rituals in hopes that doing just enough of the right things in the right way, they could appease their god.  Looking back, here are three insights from that experience.

Insight #1

I have been thankful for God’s grace displayed through the death of His Son and co- equal Jesus Christ since I was a boy. I have grown in my understanding of what it meant for Jesus to come, die, rise again, and prepare to come again, but the fact that grace is integral to Christ cannot be avoided. Ephesians 2 says we are saved by grace through faith, not by all the stuff that we do! No amount of chanting, spinning, painting or jumping is going to bring me closer to perfection. Thank you God for your grace through Jesus Christ that saves those who call upon your name!

Insight #2

I do not have to “Do” in order to meet God, but it is wrong to think that once I know Christ that I am supposed to do nothing! My love for Christ compels me to act. I do not need to scrub lime on an ungodly altar, but I do need to live my life in a way that the world can see me and fully recognize that there is something different about me.

Insight #3

Finally, I came to a much clearer understanding of Acts 19. In this chapter we read about Paul’s work building the church and God’s Kingdom. Miracles occurred and people began coming to know Jesus. Demetrius, a Silversmith, recognized the economic impact Paul’s ministry was beginning to have on their business. People traveled great distances to worship at Artemis’ temple on of the Wonders of the World. Silversmiths made a great profit by fashioning idols and artifacts required for this pagan worship. Suddenly, Paul’s work was bringing the worship of Artemis into question which also threatened their livelihood. Walking around the Boudha Stupa, I was able to picture Acts 19. What would happen to Nepal and specifically Kathmandu if Buddhism was exposed as a truly empty religion? Poor vendors would go out of business. Revenue from tourism would dry up. A country with little income would face an even more impoverishing situation.

Good news! After a week in Nepal and many great conversations in the morning with my waiter, I learned he was a Christian converted by travelers a few weeks before. I was able to guide him in how to read the Bible and connect him with a contact who began taking him to church.

In the Land of many gods- there is still only one God whose grace guides us, gives us life, gives us hope, and surprises us when we least expect. God, YOU, are the one and only true God!

Travel to the Land of Many gods: What a Christian Learned in Kathmandu Part 1: Observations

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

Stories. I thought they were just stories. Tales have been told in books, movies and legends of men and women reaching mid-life crisis only to part with worldly possessions in order to journey to Kathmandu, Nepal or neighboring Tibet, China. The goal is “finding oneself” or discovering some inner peace that had remained unapproachable or at best impossible to attain in the western rat race.

I rose early and ate breakfast. I had an outstanding conversation with an especially joyful waiter at the hotel restaurant before heading into a temple touring day. Each temple had just a few westerners that matched every stereotype my brain had been trained to picture. The majority of the people, however, were sojourners from countries where the Hindu or Buddhist religions are strong. My experience at the Boudha Stupa was especially telling. The Boudha Stupa is a World Heritage site and is the destination point for Buddhists wanting to trek to their most sacred site in the world. I paid my fare (which was significantly elevated for foreigners) and walked toward the large round white structure with eyes painted on top.

I observed a huge festival in process. People were going around Stupa in a clockwise fashion which was apparently important to know. Hands were reaching out to touch and turn numerous prayer wheels that were inset into the temple walls. At a key point I found an entrance into an inner temple ring. I walked through the entrance and saw where lime could be purchased to rub on the temple’s inner ring wall. Just beyond the lime shop I came upon the place where I could pay to write my prayers on colored flags that would be pulled on a string close to the eyes of the Stupa. Large vats with incense were waiting to be purchased so these pungent leaves could be burned in temple fire places for a small fee. I began to walk the inner ring, whispering the name “Jesus” toward any person who walked by.

Reaching the Temple front I looked down upon a special section set apart for people to do spiritual exercises. When I say “exercises” I mean it! Yes, a few could be seen with criss crossed legs and a meditative pose. The ones who surprised me were the ones who were doing what I could best describe as a spiritual burpee (burpees are physical exercises used for intense training). People were going up and down, up and down, up and down.

Physical posture, breathing incense, spreading lime, prayer pennants, spinning prayer wheels with incantations along with groans and moans by monks in orange robes made for quite an experience. Religion- the hope that doing just enough of the right things in the right way while making a god appeased, approachable or even, attainable in a microscopic way. People go through all these steps and celebrate with exuberance when they claim a minuscule amount of calm.

How is the way of Jesus more fulfilling? Be on the lookout next week for part 2 of this blog, which will explore three insights from my observations in Nepal.

CE Partner Update – Nepal and Pakistan Trip 2019

by Dr. Dave Coryell, General Secretary World-CE and Executive Director CE-USA

On January 28th, I left for a sixteen day trip to Nepal and Pakistan. This was my first trip to both of these Asian countries. I thank the Lord for this experience!

Nepal– A mountainous country with an estimated thirty million people, Nepal has world fame for its temples. People from Hindu and Buddhist religions make pilgrimages to these temples while others look to trek the mighty Himalayas. While the Nepalese government says less than one percent claim to be Christian, rough estimates within the country put the number closer to ten percent or three million people. Proselytizing is illegal under the current government. Six months from now changes could occur which will open the doors for the gospel to spread and Christian Endeavor to make significant advances. Please pray for God’s hand to direct the governmental affairs in Nepal!

After a day for my body to adjust to new time zones, we toured the greater Kathmandu area. Seeing some of the world famous temples left me even more grieved for the souls of those who trek to these places. They try to do the correct incantations, burn the proper incense, write their prayers on flags, spin every prayer wheel, scrub lime on the walls, and do the exact spiritual positions for the recommended amount of time . . . all in hopes of capturing a little peace. I am so thankful for God’s grace through Christ and that our lives can be free from doing the right “works” in order to have hope.

Churches meet on Saturday in Nepal. We enjoyed a two hour worship time where I shared the morning message. After a short snack we gathered for a two hour worship time with the Christian Endeavor group where I was also the featured speaker. The next morning we began a two day Leadership Academy. The event was attended by close to sixty people representing fifty pastors and youth workers from the 52 churches connected with Christian Endeavor in Nepal. There are great plans for additional churches to be planted in the next ten years. This step would further open the doors for the spread of the Kingdom and the use of Christian Endeavor across Nepal. Two strong translators were identified to assist with taking core C.E. materials and preparing them in the Nepali language. One person was also identified to join the C.E. Under Thirty Advisory Collective (a group of people under thirty from countries around the world that advises the WCE board and executive council.)

Pakistan– Nearly two hundred million Pakistanis live to the Northwest of India. I learned how Pakistan and Bangladesh had once been part of a British colony that was connected to India. Today there are many encouraging economic signs. Large malls with brands from around the world are located around Lahore. Because so many clothing items are manufactured within the country, the cost of these items is considerably lower (often times only 20-30%) than the prices I am used to seeing in the USA. The government broadcasts that Christianity represents a fraction of the population but it is believed that a more accurate number would be five percent.

Our first three days were invested helping me understand Pakistan during the day before participating in worship celebrations and conventions in the evening. People were incredibly generous and incredibly kind no matter where I traveled. I had the opportunity to tour a denim factory that develops 2.4 million clothing units annually. They showed me every step in the manufacturing process before giving me some complimentary jeans. I later learned that the owners were all Muslim people. A few days later I met a Pediatrician that has done several eighteen hour medical mission days with my host, Pastor Ashknaz Silas. During these days over one hundred patients are examined and given prescription medications. This doctor is a Muslim man doing humanitarian aid work with Christian leaders because of the great need.

The next two days were the C.E. Leadership Academy. I was thrilled that fifty church pastors were registered for the event. A total of over eighty people attended the equipping sessions with many people being youth or young adult age. Pastors do not receive any salary in Pakistan. All of them maintain other jobs as well as having families. The Academy, especially Day two, had an enthusiastic audience with hunger to learn and grow. I received word that a Saturday night C.E. worship experience will be launched in the next few weeks. It will be a collaborative church effort where numerous churches send their young people and potential adult coaches to one site. Along with this, there is already interest in some additional cities to take C.E. to these locations. Pray for the leadership in Pakistan as it begins to form a board and executive team. The group hopes to apply for National Union status later in 2019.

A huge thank you to my hosts Dr. Mahendra Battarai and Pastor Ashknaz Silas for all your efforts in hosting me and coordinating the ministry opportunities while I was with you in Nepal and Pakistan respectively. Amen!!