The CHE EuroNet annual Gathering of CHE leaders from Central Europe and the Balkans took place September 13 to 16 at beautiful Camp Mrčajevci in central Serbia. Thirty-five workers, staff and board members from Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Albania attended.
Each year the CHE EuroNet network gets together for a time of encouragement, renewal, refreshment, training and sharing of best practices and fellowship. The CHE EuroNet Board also meets to plan out the coming year of cooperative activities. In 2019 we will start nation-wide CHE Vision Seminars and hold a training conference on Disciple Making Ministry (DMM) methods.
One highlight of this year’s Gathering was the presence of Pastor Jimmy Simon and 6 members of the Galilee Foundation of Macedonia who are taking steps to implement Community Health Evangelism in their ministry of evangelism and church planting in poor communities of their country. In the last decade the Galilee Foundation has planted 27 churches.
The Gathering was preceded this year by a very significant two-day Summit of international mission agency leaders and their national workers who are now engaged in CHE work among the poor of Central Europe and the Balkans.
The CHE EuroNet has the vision of having CHE Teams and Programs up and running in all countries of Central Europe and the Balkans by the end of 2020. Up until 2012, Medical Ambassadors International and Fida International operated three teams in the Balkans. Ron and Jeannie Seck brought the North American Baptists into Hungary and Serbia to do CHE in that year. Since then, the Cooperative Baptists, ReachGlobal (of the Evangelical Free Church), World Poverty Solutions (WPS) and Global Hope Network International (GHNI) have also entered.
We are very excited and praising God for all these new CHE agencies who are arriving in our region and for the potential for growth and for learning new models and skills that they are bringing. The Summit was a time to become familiar with each Agency’s personnel, CHE model, strategy and vision. We also acquainted newcomers with the unique cultural features of the Balkans and other former Soviet Satellite Countries as well as the resources CHE EuroNet can make available to them as they begin their work.
We are experiencing great interest in new countries (like Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Romania) to begin CHE Programs. At the Summit we examined many of these opportunities and discussed which agencies are best suited to help them get up and running.
Finally, we discussed how each of our agencies can continue the collaboration, cooperation and communication that has characterized the CHE EuroNet network and helped us expand as we have thus far.
As CHE Central Europe Coordinator, Ron organized and led the Summit attended by Tony Freitas (Reach Global), Andreas Steffensen, Prakash Lal and Ann Kozlyuk (WPS), Daniel Emig (via video, GHNI), Patriot Hoxhaj (MAI), Jon and Tanya Payne (CBF), Ron and Jeannie Seck (NAB). These leaders stayed on for the Gathering and met with individual CHE teams to discuss potential future partnerships. The times of relationship-building were priceless. All of us powerfully felt the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace.