A hurricane in the eastern end of the Mediterranean in late October is unusual but we arrived in Antalya, Southern Turkey, to see the last few days of its force and to feel its strength. It also served as a reminder of the world’s current struggles with a violent war only a few hundred kilometers away.
The distinction of this year’s annual retreat was the presence of our PAOC world directors for International Missions, Murray and Cindy Cornelius. Both were present to honor and recognize David Boyd as he stepped back from being the Regional Director of our Eurasia Region for the last 10 years. We look forward to Steve Hertzog, the current President of Vanguard College in Edmonton, Alberta, as he brings his experience and expertise to the Region beginning in October of 2015.
Seven new Global Worker families or units have also been added to our region and will bring additional growth and depth to our current focus and strategies for Eurasia. In our itinerary for next year we have been asked to include a visit to the new families locating in Turkey and the Ukraine.
The commitment and love seen between couples was beautiful to watch as an afternoon was set aside for them to focus on their marriage and to interact with each other in the practicalities of communication, expectations, and forgiveness. For some, areas of conflict arose that needed to be recognized and responded to; for others a new assurance to the marriage relationship was verbalized after months of drifting apart.
Encouragement, faith, mercy, leadership, administration, shepherding and wisdom – were just a few of the gifts called out as the Network Seminar students concluded their discovery of how their ministry passion, personal style and spiritual gifts can be used to serve in the body of Christ. As we go through this course there is always a renewed confidence that God has indeed equipped us to daily work for Him. Cornel, a resident doctor of internal medicine, was so motivated as he reflected on all that God has so richly endowed him with, that he took home the balloon on which he had written his gift mix so that the visual would continue to bring him inspiration.
The same diversity of gifts was seen among the Ministry Leadership Team as we brought them together for a special evening meal in a retreat setting. We reminded the team of how God has called and equipped each one to be a ‘beacon of light and hope’ in this increasingly strategic city and nation. Romania’s oil and gas reserves sit between Russia, the Middle East, and the West of Europe.
URGENT NEED! The Bucharest International Church has been given notice to vacate the facility we have used for our Sunday morning gathering for the last 9 years. Schools and theatres cannot rent to a group for the purpose of any religious activity. Pray with us that we find a venue that will meet our needs. This comes at a time when our English hour is thriving and the bi-lingual service is drawing so many new individuals ripe with potential.