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.