Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Helping you make the change so you flourish in mission!
Make the change July 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
After Euro Football Tournament
We wanted the football players to know as much as possible about Jesus who saved them and share that besides football there is a normal, regular life around them of which they are a part. "Be Human - know Jesus" - this is what we shared after each game, which took a long time everyday because we had around 200 players and 12 teams. They played on three different football fields around Ruda Slaska, so we could create the feeling of a big tournament.
Sharing about Jesus after a game
All the Polish teams played in the qualifications to the finals and the best four made it to the quarter-finals where four foreign teams waited, a DTS from England, two teams from Switzerland and one from the United States. Of course none of the foreign teams made it through to the finals, but that wasn't the goal. We wanted to make friendships, show fun and share love from Above. The finals started with worshiping God together which totally surprised the players who never before experienced anything like that before.
During this time we hosted 33 young people from Switzerland, 13 people from Rivertree Church in Huntsville Alabama, 7 people from California from The Father House in Vacaville, one couple from Sweden, and a DTS team of 13 people from England plus around 20 people from Poland. Some of them realized that there is a lot of younger Polish guys who would like to participate in something like this, so they want to help us next year to organize another tournament!
All of the teams together
Our award ceremony took place at the Catholic Church where the whole community showed up to have fun with us. We connected our event with the grand opening of a new social room for the public, therefore we had the privilege to have the deputy mayor of Ruda Slaska, the Director of Social Services and the Principle of the School where we hosted the teams come along. We also announced that in September we will open a public playground with the money the Swiss team collected.
The Deputy Mayor, Principle of the School and the Director of Social Services receive a California Flag from the California Team at the award ceremony
During the tournament we also had a lot of other ministries going on. Every day the teams left to work with the single-mother shelter, the foster house, host a kids' program, do practical works and of course, football. Ministry included cleaning streets, repairing old playgrounds, making a "spa" for women, cooking cookies together with the foster kids, buying 6 new special beds and painting a room in the school we were living in.
Outreach to the children
It was great to meet in evening: gathering and share testimonies of what God did in our and people's lives.
One of the many really cool testimonies is about a 14-year-old girl, Ania. She started coming to our King's Kids club in April, shy and quiet, but ready to help. In the meantime our family was in the States on sabbatical. My wife, Erin, and I were trying have creative worship every day with our own two children, Abigail and Hannah. One morning during our worship time, our 5-year-old, Hannah drew a girl who wants to be happy and is looking for some "magic" land. We kept the picture, but didn't think anything of it. During the "After Euro" event our friend Steve saw this picture and talked to Hannah, and then he realized that he had met someone who looked liked Hannah's picture of the girl, here at the event.
Hannah's picture and Ania
Steve talked to the girl and showed her the picture and Ania just couldn't believe that somebody knew what was going on in her life. She is living only with her dad (and doesn't really talk about her mom) and she tried to find better "magic" place and escape from her bad memories. Now she has found her true magic place: she discovered Jesus and accepted Him as her personal Saviour!
-Greg Skrobarczyk (with Belinda Chaplin)
Today marks the beginning of Ramadan. There is a fantastic prayer booklet available to help us pray for our Muslim friends and neighbours not only in Central Europe, but around the world. If you haven't managed to get a paper copy it is actually available for download (in e-book, kindle and other formats). Click on the image or go here to download it - it is free, with the option to donate towards the costs of producing it.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I spent over 10 years in this region, serving with YWAM, and doing so many different things along the way. Always willing to try something new and never quite knowing how it would turn out. Then something quite unexpected happened. God called me onward. I didn't see that one coming. After some tears and some struggles and asking that all important question, "Is that really you God?" I knew God was calling me into something new, and that I would do that in a new way.
As many of you already know I moved last year to Thailand. It is exciting and sometimes scary to be learning a new language, a new culture, a new YWAM community/ region… and all that comes with a new country. BUT, I believe God sending me there after my time in Central Europe is bigger than just me and my life. I believe that God wants to see more partnerships in Central Europe, not just Western Europe partnering with us to see greater reach… But also Central Europe partnering with others to see His Kingdom come… and I believe I can play a role in that.ling me into something new, and that I would do that in a new way.
This month YWAM Thailand has been focusing on the country of Laos. We have been praying, seeking new connections, and sending teams there. Thailand is still greatly unreached, with less than 2% being Christian, and yet we are already focusing on our border country of Laos. Laos is still a communist nation and "closed" but as I have been praying and thinking, I believe that the nations here in Central Europe that were under communism for so long, may just have some special keys to help reach into Laos. So, can I ask you to pray and think and possibly partner with Laos?
It's possible that God has been preparing this connection for quite some time. I believe that the years spent in communism here in Central Europe… as bad as they were… can still be redeemed and possibly impact a land where communism is still the power that rules.
If you would like more information or would like to share about a prayer time that you have had for Laos, please get in touch with Sam Sarvis or myself Rebecca Gibbons
So to remind us of Carl's challenge: if God is laying on your heart something NEW, done in a NEW WAY, maybe with another nation (even a Western nation or far away nation), people group, YWAM location… anything that you feel you are to partner with… then we as Central Europe should be saying:
"Do it! We love it! How can we help?"
Soaring about the trees,
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Yohanan has been with YWAM since 1998, serving in Lausanne, Switzerland; Budapest, Hungary with the International DTS Center; Sarajevo, Bosnia; and most recently Holmsted Manor, England. He has worked for many years with DTS and loves living and working with YWAM in Europe. Since serving in Budapest and Sarajevo a decade ago, Yohanan's heart has been in Central Europe and he is thrilled to be again living and working in the region.
After meeting Rachel in 2008 and completing their masters degrees in Intercultural Studies at Wheaton College in the USA, they married and moved back to Europe to work with YWAM. They relocated to Budapest in April to coordinate the 5 Cities Initiative and work in the Central European Office with Carmelita Clarke. They love to encourage people to pursue their passions and help equip them for leadership and living missionally. They are settling into their new role and life in Budapest and are enjoying getting to know the people and places in Central Europe.
The 5 Cities Initiative is a project that seeks to see long term, sustainable, transformational YWAM ministry locations in 5 key Central European cities within 2 years. The Initiative focuses on Krakow, Poland; Prague, Czech Republic; Pristina, Kosovo; Sarajevo, Bosnia; and Athens, Greece. The goal is to support and strengthen existing teams in these locations, establish new ministries in locations with no team currently, and help transform these cities for the Kingdom of God.
The 5 Cities Initiative was birthed from prayer and strategic planning by YWAM Central European leadership. Its goal is to respond to the need in Central Europe to see missions increase and to strategically plan concrete ways of describing and responding to that need.
Like so many places in this region, each of these cities is a key cultural and historical location where YWAM has either had significant ministry in the past or currently sees the opportunity for significant new ministry. The 5 Cities Initiative is also a wonderful opportunity for YWAM Western Europe and other parts of YWAM to partner with Central Europe in seeing YWAM strengthened and/or established in our region.
As we have been praying about the 5 Cities Initiative, God gave us a picture of a giant funnel over Central Europe. The sense we got was that God had many people and resources to pour into Central Europe from other places around the world. But there was a second part to this funnel picture too. From the ground the funnel looks like a trumpet. We believe that God is saying that He wants Central Europe to not just receive resources and people from other places but to also give to the world the gifts and callings He has placed in Central Europe. The funnel goes both ways, into Central Europe and then out to the world. This is the vision we believe God has for Central Europe, and the 5 Cities Initiative is one way to help bring about this vision for our region.
For more information about the 5 Cities Initiative and about specific ways to partner through sending teams, prayer, finances, or other opportunities, please contact the 5 Cities Coordinators, Yohanan and Rachel Rempt at The.5.Cities@gmail.com or check out the 5 cities website.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Welcome to our new regular MemberCare column!
Here we want to talk about current issues that affect us in our life and ministry with YWAM in Central Europe.
Now, what would you do if…
- A team member is run over by a car and is killed?
- Your child has an accident in the house and is critically injured?
- A visiting YWAMer is robbed by someone pointing a gun at her?
How DO you react? What to do first? Who can you contact for help? Who needs to know what happened? Medical help, police, insurance, leaders, family members?
- CRISIS RESPONSE -
When we read such a list of horrible scenarios, we often get this sinking feeling in our stomach, together with the thought: “I hope this never happens to me!” and then: “Maybe if I don’t think about it, it won’t happen…”
And so we quickly try to forget about it again. Most YWAM teams and bases that I asked about this had nothing on file to help them in a crisis situation. (Not even the usually so organised Germans!)
Probably the old boy scout motto: ” Be prepared!” is a better response.
Why don’t you take the time to find out and write down things like:
- Phone numbers of: Next of kin for Team members
- Update insurance information incl. Hotline for MedEvac
- Local police, fire brigade, hospital etc.
- YWAM national and regional leaders
- (our MemberCare cell # is: 0049 163 339 2671, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Now print it out and put it in a brightly coloured folder. Tell your team where this will be kept.
We are in the process of coming up with some more comprehensive check lists for crisis situations.
We will keep you informed.
Hannes and Doris Steets
YWAM CE Member Care