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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 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.