Training

Neighborhood Transformation Training Scheduled for Winnipeg, June 13-15

Housing prices are going up as Filipino immigrants move into Mission Baptist’s mission field.

Rev. Sig Seidel and Mission Baptist Church are in a culturally changing community in one of  the poorest sections of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada …. and they want to be a significant part of it!  Pastor Sig longs to see his church transforming people and their neighborhoods.

They will take a step in that direction when they host a Neighborhood Transformation (or Urban CHE) Training Conference Tuesday through Thursday, June 13 to 15 at Mission Baptist Church.

Ron and Jeannie will join Master NT Trainer Garold Elston from Bakersfield, California in facilitating training that equips church leaders and members with strategies, plans, skills,  tools and resources to begin to penetrate their community effectively.

If you would like to attend this training conference or to have more information on Urban CHE, contact Rev. Seidel or Ron Seck at ronseck@gmail.com

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Keeping “the Net” from Getting Tangled Up

The Global CHE Network stretches across 125 nations, 600 mission groups, 3000 plus communities and over 3 million poor people being served.  How do you communicate across a global network of that size and cultural diversity?  How do you provide members with just the resources they need?  How do you continue to provide lesson plans and materials in their own language?  How do you connect workers in need with the experts they need?  How do you do this with tight security for those working in sensitive areas?  How do you deal with the road blocks that keep the network from expanding to 10,000 new villages by 2020 and then on to one million?

Those are just some of the types of questions that the 9-person CHE Representative Council grapples with in their quarterly meetings.  Ron is a current member of that council and was present for the annual meetings on April 30 to May 2 in Phoenix, AZ.  Many significant decisions were made in those days toward a vision of reaching one million new villages.

I was so humbled to be part of this gathering.  Our work in Central Europe is just taking root.  I was sitting with men and women from many nations whom God had used to spread wholistic community development movements across whole regions and nations of the world for the past 35 years.  I was able to see up-close the kind of faith that truly moved mountains.    What a privilege!

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CHE Team Members Receive More “Need to Know” Training in Belgrade

It’s always good when we have to schedule a TOT2 training course for CHE Team members.  It means they have applied most of what they learned in TOT1 in their village setting and now “need to know” what to do next.

Sixteen CHE workers from Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria met at the Belgrade Bible College in Belgrade, Serbia April 23 to 30 for this advanced training.  It was encouraging that three Roma team members were in this class!  Agron Aga, Director of the CHE Albania team and a 15 year veteran, was the Master Trainer for the course, assisted by Hessel Keuter, Marijana Cizmanski, Eszter, Jeannie and myself.

All of us benefited greatly from the 30 hours of coursework, the discussion times, the sharing of best (and worst) practices and the earnest prayer times for each team.

CHE men at TOT2 in Belgrade strike a “manly” pose

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MEK Hungary Team Facilitates a Workshop for Gifted Students in Romania

Hessel discusses a small business exercise with Romanian High School students

A main focus of our community transformation ministry is imparting training and know-how to the marginalized and poorly educated of Central Europe’s population.  Laci, Hessel, Jeannie and I had quite a change-of-pace from this in April when we did a two-day workshop on entrepreneurship for gifted-talented high school students in Oradea, Romania.

Teodora Chifor, one of our contacts in Romania, has developed a top-notch after-school program for high school students she hopes will be the future leaders of Romania.  Because of this, she wants these students from all or no religious background to be educated in spiritual truth as well as advanced leadership skills.  She counted on us to do a workshop on being an entrepreneur that was based on Biblical truth.  The 25 students were all bi-lingual (Romanian and English), highly motivated, very intelligent and a whole lot of fun to work with.

The gut-level moment came when Hessel Keuter gave a presentation on integrity in business and used his Christian grandfather in Holland as a powerful illustration.  Only two months before our workshop the Romanian people had taken to the streets in mass protests against their own political leaders who had just passed a law that they could not be prosecuted for stealing amounts less than $50,000!  I pointed out that the corruption of the fathers had been passed down to the sons for far too many generations in Romania.  These young people were going to be the new generation of leaders.  Were they going to be leaders of integrity or corruption?  They stood for integrity.  We told them they would need God at work in their lives to stand firm in this commitment.  Pray for our future opportunities with Teodora and these wonderful young people.

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2016 ANNUAL REPORT OF RON AND JEANNIE SECK, NAB Hungary Field Director, CHE Central Europe and CHE Euro Net Coordinator, Member of CHE Representative Council

Our work in 2016 can be summed up in four key words: First-fruits, Expansion, Sustainability and Vision.  In-depth stories and photos on many of the items written about in this report can be found on this “Happenings” page.

FIRST-FRUITS —

210e4b39be9c3a5ecdc90f2a5d91981aThe ancient Israelites were required to present the first-fruits of their harvest to the Lord each year.  With these first-fruits, they looked back, at the great effort it took to clear and break the ground, sow the seed, water and cultivate the plants, and, finally, by God’s gracious work, harvest fruit.  They also looked forward, to the full harvest that would follow these harbinger-fruits.

In 2016 we began to see the first-fruits of our hard labors in Central Europe from 2012 through 2015.  When we arrived 5 years ago, there was some Community Health Evangelism development work being done by teams in the Balkan countries of Albania and Bosnia.  We were bringing the seed to the untilled ground of Central Europe.  After five years of sharing the CHE wholistic mission vision with Roma/Gypsies, church and mission leaders region-wide; holding vision and training conferences of all sizes for those interested; forming national CHE boards and gaining legal standing for their foundations; teaching, mentoring, hiring and finding support for full-time workers; recruiting volunteers; raising funds and purchasing vehicles and equipment; developing home-team support and partnerships in the US and Canada and training teams that can now train and lead others … we still had not won many to Jesus Christ!  We had a lot of plants starting to grow, but not much fruit.

2016 was the year the first-fruits began!  And we joyfully present them to the Lord and give Him the glory (1 Cor 3:6-8).

In February, 2016, we held our largest CHE Training of Trainers conference ever.  Actually we held 2 at the same time: one in Hungarian; attended mostly now by Roma recruited by our CHE-trained Roma; and the other in English, attended by workers from all over the former Yugoslavia, recruited mainly by our CHE teams in Serbia.  In all, we had 26 new graduates, trained to do CHE Christian community development work.

At this conference we also watched the film, The War Room and decided we needed to set up a War Room of our own to engage more effectively in the great spiritual battle for the souls and lives of the Roma in the villages we were targeting.  Each Wednesday morning at 7 AM, our CHE workers who could, gathered in a video-conference call for one-hour of concentrated prayer for God’s victory in their nation and their communities.  God answered (and is answering) by producing spiritual fruit.  Here are some 2016 samples of first-fruits.

  • Our REZ Serbia Team, led by Emil and Klara Kisgeci, has successfully entered the Roma-M*sl*m village of A****, in northern Serbia with the blessing of the village spiritual and political leader.  They will hold a community medical screening in February 2017, have begun a Royal Rangers scout program for boys and girls, are doing in-home visitations and Bible studies and have plans for a CHE women’s program and a  children’s soccer program.
  • Our ZZ Serbia Team, Directed by NAB national worker Marijana Cizmanski, has started two CHE women’s clubs in Novi Sad and have seen 2 Roma women come to Christ already.
  • The Roma Nexus Church in Mali-Beograd has committed to CHE as the strategy to reach their village; has chosen their Development Team which is now being trained by Marijana and their Pastor, Mirko Kiš; and has chosen their first project to work on — to develop an effective wholistic discipleship program for church members so they can be the light and model to the rest of the community to lead them to Christ.
  • In the southern Serbia Roma community of Djorgovska Mahalla, near the town of Lebane, CHE leader, Snezana Randjelovic, is seeing God working in the lives of the youth and woman in the CHE clubs she has begun.
  • Our MEK Hungary Team saw several significant spiritual breakthroughs.  In July, a team of young people from Steamboat Rock, Iowa, held ESL and VBS camps with the Roma youth of Vacegres and Boldog.  They effectively demonstrated and spoke of the love of Jesus Christ and prepared the ground for what came next.
  • In September MEK Hungary held an evangelistic crusade with Roma Pastor Jozsef Kajcza from Oradea, Romania.  In Boldog some 30 Roma, both youth and adults, gave public testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  In Retkozberencs and in Kekcse there were similar responses with 20 coming forward to receive Christ or give public testimony in each place.
  • The follow-up in Boldog, both one-on-one and in small groups, is producing even more encouraging spiritual fruits, including the salvation of several young men and the start up of both a boys’ and a girls’ CHE Teen club, in addition to the Women’s WCL group.  One of the most exciting developments was the enthusiastic participation of the Roma leadership in Boldog in this spiritual revival and their own spiritual development and growth as believers in Christ.
  • In Boldog, community leader, Bela Kadét, completed the CHE wholistic micro-enterprise course and received the first revolving micro-loan to begin his animal farm.  As he works with NAB national worker, Laci Daroczi-Csuhai, he is also growing in Christ.
  • In Hatvan, Eszter Daroczi-Csuhai has begun a fast-growing Community Young Mothers’ and Children’s Group using the facilities of the Hatvan Reformed Church.

EXPANSION — 

Central Europe and the Balkan Countries

Central Europe and the Balkan Countries

The Vision of CHE Euro Net, a network of all the current CHE teams in Central Europe and the Balkans, is to see CHE Teams formed and new CHE development projects begun in all the nations of Central Europe and the Balkans by 2020.  As CHE Central Europe Coordinator, one of my jobs is to facilitate the accomplishment of this vision.

Here are some of CHE’s areas of expansion in 2016:

  • Bulgaria — We followed up a CHE Vision Seminar in the fall of 2015 in northwest Bulgaria (Lom) with Vision Seminars in Sofia (central Bulgaria) and Sliven (eastern Bulgaria) in the spring of this year.  These have yet to lead to enough interest for a Training of Trainers (TOT1) Conference in Bulgaria.  Roger and Gail Dine, CHE-trained workers from Australia have become members of the CHE Euro Net and are now doing preliminary community entry work in Silistra and Kallipetrova in northern Bulgaria.  They have been making crucial connections with Bulgarian church and mission leaders that will probably lead to that country’s first TOT1 in 2017.
  • Montenegro — Two key church and Roma leaders from Montenegro took CHE training with us in 2016.  They are now working with our CHE Euro Net to hold a Vision Seminar and TOT1 in Podgorica in 2017.
  • Croatia — We held a Vision Seminar in Osijek, Croatia in the spring hosted by country Roma mission leaders.  Several Croatians have taken TOT1.  We are waiting to see the first project hatch there, possibly near Osijek.
  • SlovakiaJon and Tanya Parks of the Baptist Cooperative Mission received their CHE training in Hungary in February.  Members of the CHE Euro Net helped them hold the first TOT1 in Slovakia in October.  They are now forming their CHE Team to begin their first community development project, possibly in Košice.
  • Serbia — Many Roma live in communities around Serbia’s capitol city, Belgrade.  We held a CHE Vision Seminar in June for the leaders of Bread of Life of Belgrade.  They are considering CHE’s wholistic strategy for several of their new community development projects.  A second Vision Seminar was held for key Roma church leaders in Kucura.   A TOT1 is on the drawing board for central Serbia.
  • Hungary — A TOT1 was held in February for new workers that are now helping our CHE eastern team, led by Hessel Keuter and Kálmán Hamza, expand their work.  Laci and Eszter Daroczi-Csuhai led a Vision Seminar and training conference in Dombovar, south Hungary for the Hungarian Methodist church, who are contemplating a CHE project in 2017.
  • France — Together with CHE leaders from France, we helped organize and facilitate an Urban CHE Vision Conference in Paris in April.  Sixty participants including over forty church and mission leaders from France attended.  The French team is now following up with those who want to begin Urban CHE projects there.  A second team is following up on English speaking attendees.  Reach Global, the mission arm of the Evangelical Free Church USA, is now exploring utilizing CHE in current and new outreaches in Central Europe.
  • NAB Vision Trip — In August, church leaders from NAB churches in North Dakota took a vision trip to Serbia, Hungary and Romania.  They examined how they could expand the CHE ministry in each of these countries through developing sustainable and mutual partnerships with both churches and CHE teams.  This will lead to a Vision Seminar in North Dakota in 2017.  Those who visited the community of Bangladesh, outside Novi Sad, will not soon forget what they saw there.
  • The Global CHE Network is seeking further expansion.  In 2016 Ron was selected to be a member of the CHE Representative Council.  He is currently working with other Council members to better organize the global network of regional networks and to remove roadblocks hindering CHE’s expansion into new regions.  The Global CHE Network and Representative Council is collaborating with Transform World in the million village challenge, to bring the gospel and wholistic discipleship to a million new villages in the 10/40 Window by 2020.

SUSTAINABILITY — 

In 2016 we began more formally to address the question of sustainability for our growing number of CHE Teams and development projects.  Sustainability is a core principle for our CHE Teams and development projects.  Achieving sustainability is a very difficult endeavor in a region emerging from 70 years of communism and stagnating socialist economies.  In some countries the churches are few (e.g. Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Croatia).  In others they are economically weak and lack missional vision. They have very little money or interest in supporting missionaries right now.  Many are themselves dependent upon western money for survival.

Due to these factors, our national workers have little to no concept of developing a pool of financial resources, volunteers and partners.  They have never thought about or done anything like this before.

Ron trains in Developing Sustainable Partnerships outside Tirana, Albania

Ron trains in Developing Sustainable Partnerships outside Tirana, Albania

We believe that the best way to develop CHE Teams that are sustainable is by teaching and training CHE workers to develop their own sustainable support partnerships.  So, in 2016 Ron Seck and Mark Bennett; businessman, head of his NAB Church mission board and CHE worker in Uganda; co-produced a new CHE TOT Seminar entitled “Developing Sustainable Partnerships” (DSP).  Mark and Ron taught the new week-long course three times in 2016 for CHE national workers, in Hungary, Albania and Bosnia.  The 27-lesson DSP course is now part of the CHE curriculum, available to all CHE teams world-wide, and is in manual form.

Since partnership development is a whole new concept to our European CHE workers, Ron followed this up in 2017 with an on-line weekly review of the lesson material and with team-mentoring.  It will take a while for our folks to develop a sustainable partnership mind-set and practice.  In October, we took a videographer to most of our fields and teams to help them produce a video to tell their story visually to potential partners inside and outside their nations.

In June we hosted and participated in an NAB International Missions Summit that focused on developing conference-wide guidelines for forming church-to-church-or-mission-organization partnerships.  We trust this will help our own NAB CHE Teams in Hungary, Serbia and Romania develop sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships with NAB churches.

A major administrative hurdle to help all our CHE Euro Net teams expand and develop sustainability was to form CHE Central Europe as a legal US non-profit Foundation in 2016.  This was accomplished this fall by making CHE Central Europe foundation (CHE CE) a legal affiliate of CHE’s umbrella organization, the Alliance of Transformational Ministries (ATM).  This will make it possible for all CHE Euro Net Teams to receive financial donations in the United States while the donors receive a US tax receipt via ATM’s backroom services.  CHE CE Partners was also formed as a non-profit affiliate of CHE Central Europe to finance expansion projects to meet CHE Euro Net’s 2020 Vision.  Each CHE CE Team is responsible for raising its own partners and budget.

Finally, sustainability includes finding future NAB workers to continue developing the ministry where our current NAB Teams operate, in Serbia and Hungary.  We envision two NAB couples joining our team in the future, one in the Hungarian-speaking region and one in the Serbian-speaking region.

To facilitate the recruitment of those God is calling to this task, we are now scheduling CHE Vision Seminars for 2017 in regions where we currently have supporting churches.  So far we have scheduled seminars in Winnipeg, Canada for March 7 and 8, 2017 and in Bismarck, ND for February 18, 2017.

Our goals are:

1. to train NAB churches in how to do their own wholistic community development projects. 

2. to train NAB churches how to partner effectively with our CHE teams and projects in Central Europe. 

3. to raise awareness of CHE in NAB churches, of our need for NAB on-field team members and for more partner churches for our NAB teams in Hungary, Romania and Serbia.

VISION — 

img_2048What is on our horizon as we look toward 2017?  Each of our established and emerging CHE Teams are filled with dreams and visions about the future.  These are just a few of the items:

  • In 2017 Jeannie and I will begin to transition into a 3-3-3-3 schedule, alternating approximate 3 month periods in Europe and the US.  As our national workers take more of the lead in expansion, training and community development, we can now focus more of our time on raising up additional sustainable partnerships and finding our own replacements and mentoring them.
  • Winnipeg, Canada — Rev. Sig Sigler of Mission Baptist Church (NAB) will be hosting an Urban CHE Vision Seminar for the pastors of Winnipeg in March, 2017.  He is very serious about beginning Urban CHE.  If there is enough interest, we will return to do a Urban CHE Training Conference in 2017.  This will be for church leaders and volunteers.
  • Northwest US and Canada — We are now planning a visit to NAB churches in northwest US and Canada for May-June, 2017.
  • We will continue to press for the beginning of CHE Teams and projects in Slovakia, Bulgaria and Montenegro.
  • Romania — Our 2016 NAB Vision Trip focused on church and CHE projects in the Oradea, Romania region being proposed by churches of the Hungarian-speaking Baptists of Romania, led by Rev. Zsolt Albert.  NAB Partnership seminars were held in North Dakota and Romania.  We would like to see churches in North Dakota link up in partnerships with churches in Romania in 2017.  First on the docket would be a CHE project in Parhida in partnership with Rev. Albert’s churches.
  • ZZ Serbia will be looking for potential partners to help construct or buy a community center building in Mali-Beograd.  This will provide a worship center and Sunday School space for the Roma church, an office for ZZ Serbia, a training area for CHE community classes, and an apartment for Pastor Kiš’ family.
  • Macedonia — We now have a good contact in Macedonia (Dr. Ture Huhtamaki) who wants to see a CHE Vision Seminar and possible TOT1 there in 2017.
  • Kosovo — We are still waiting for the potential leaders there to schedule a Vision Seminar with our CHE Albania team.
  • MEK Hungary is planning evangelistic outreaches in more Roma communities where our CHE teams work for 2017.
  • Europe, the Cities — We (CHE Training Activist Group — CTAG) will hold a study group meeting in Brussels this spring on Urban CHE.  We will also be representing CHE and Urban CHE at the Movement Day Gathering in London in the fall.

Please continue to pray for us that we will realize our vision for CHE Teams and projects up and running in every nation of Central Europe and the Balkans by the end of 2020.  We are asking the Lord that we will also do our part to reach one million new villages by that date only four years from now.

 

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Bela’s Dream is Coming True Thanks to Christian Entrepreneurs

Laci surveys a field in Boldog with Bela and one of his goats.

Laci surveys a field in Boldog with Bela and one of his goats.

Just over a year ago Bela and Andi Kadét began a new adventure with several other family members from the Roma community in Boldog.  Together they met weekly with MEK workers, Laci and Eszter, to learn how to start savings groups and begin their own successful micro-enterprise, built upon a relationship with Jesus Christ and godly business principles.

Bela has always had a dream and he’s always been an entrepreneur.  After the Communist era, the Hungarian government returned to his father a beautiful two and one-half hectares of land his family once owned.  While other Roma soon sold their newly recovered parcels, Bela’s father kept his and passed

Bela and Andi Kadét stand in their field

Bela and Andi Kadét stand in their field

it down to him.  Bela would not sell it either.  His goal was, one day, when he had enough money, to farm it.  As a believer in Jesus Christ, he also wanted this dream-farm to be a model to show other Roma how they too could break their cycle of poverty.

Bela did something rather rare for many Roma.  He worked hard at a full-time factory job for 10 years, knowing the toxic fumes at the plastic molding factory where endangering his life.  Meanwhile he raised some pigs and chickens at his home.  But there was never enough money to start his farm, build a barn and buy sufficient livestock to be an independent businessman.

When the micro-enterprise course was completed, Bela worked with Laci to write up a business and marketing plan for his farming enterprise on his own land.  Bela soon qualified to be the first entrepreneur to receive a MEK revolving loan provided by American Christian entrepreneurs.

Soon eight pigs became sixteen!

Soon eight pigs became sixteen!

First he purchased the materials to build a temporary barn-shelter and with the new space increased his number of pigs to eight and goats to four.  He also harvested his first crop of feed for his livestock.  Recently, one of his sows birthed eight piglets.  Thanks to the Lord and MEK Hungary, Bela and Andi are on their way to achieving their dream.

How has this affected the Roma in Boldog?  Other villagers are now asking more questions about what MEK and wholistic community development are all about.  More importantly, Bela and Andi took key roles in the community evangelistic outreach in Boldog in the middle of September that saw many receive Christ or rededicate their lives to Him.  Livestock and the Bible: this is what wholistic community development is about.

Would you like to know more about the MEK Revolving Loan Program and how you can help other poor entrepreneurs like Bela?  Please write Ron at ronseck@gmail.com and ask your questions.

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Ron and Jeannie’s Well-Stamped Passports and Summer Teams Reports

This spring, 2016, was the busiest travel and training time of Ron and Jeannie’s ministry.  Their passports have been well stamped.

Here’s a brief rundown of where they went and what they did between February and June.

February 21-26 CHE Training of Trainers Conference in Balatonföldvár, Hungary.
March 1-6 CHE Vision Seminars in Sofia and Sliven, Bulgaria
March 17-20 CHE Vision Seminar in Osijek, Croatia
April 6-8 Neighborhood Transformation Conference in Paris, France.  Ron gave devotions and spoke on the keys to growth of CHE’s ministry in Central Europe and the Balkans to 70 mission leaders investigating CHE’s urban strategy for work in Europe’s cities.
April 15-20 Developing Sustainable Partnerships (DSP) Training Conference at Lake Balaton, Hungary
April 21-27 Developing Sustainable Partnerships (DSP) Training Conference in Tirana, Albania.
April 30-May 6 Global CHE Network Representative Council Meetings, May 2 in Phoenix, Arizona International Wholistic Missions Conference— Ron was the keynote speaker to open the conference.  Ron and Jeannie led a workshop on the new DSP course.  Ron presented devotions several times.
May 16-20 Ron and Randy Schmor of Gateway Teams did NAB Partnership presentations to leaders in Romania and Serbia.
May 22-26 NAB Mission Summit.  The NAB Hungary and Romania fields hosted a meeting of NAB Field Leaders and International Office staff at Lake Balaton.
June 3 CHE Vision Seminar for Bread of Life, Serbia in Belgrade Serbia
June 5 CHE Vision Seminar in Dombovar, Hungary

What’s next?  Ron and Jeannie are putting away their passports and planning some much- needed vacation time for the last two weeks in June.  In July MEK Hungary will be working with a short-term missions team from Steamboat Rock, Iowa to do 3-day ESL Bible Camps in Boldog and Csörög.

In August they will take a Vision Team of pastors and church leaders on a tour of potential partnership churches and projects in Hungary, Romania and Serbia.  If you would be interested in being part of this Vision Trip, contact Ron immediately.

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The Passive Solar Greenhouse Now Has Skin!

When you last saw the greenhouse at Grassalkovich Vocational School in November, It looked like an enormous, metal, whale skeleton!  It was decided at that time to wait until spring and warmer temperatures to cover the passive solar greenhouse framework built by the school faculty and students and our NAB Gateway Fuse Team.

DSC04158

The passive solar greenhouse “whale skeleton” without skin.

The outer poly skin has now been added and the agriculture students and faculty are utilizing the greenhouse to grow vegetables.  In the fall, they will add an inner poly layer as well.  This layer will keep the fall and winter heat in by reflecting inward the infra-red heat rays and providing an air insulation barrier.

IMG_20160607_122903

The skin is on!

One of the agriculture teachers, Magda, expressed her joy with the new, large greenhouse.  “Because of the design, we have plenty of room to stand up, right to the side walls, while we work,” she explained in Hungarian.  The structure provides for efficient use of space for planting and gardening.

IMG_20160607_122844

A look inside “the whale.” The black wall is the heat sink which will collect and radiate solar energy in the fall and winter.

The MEK team is hoping for a few free tomatoes this summer!

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NAB Mission Leaders Visit Hungary for Summit Meetings

Norm Poehlke, NAB Vice President of Outreach, convened a Summit of NAB field leaders and their spouses, May 22 to 26 at the Hungarian Baptist Union’s training and retreat center at Balatonföldvár on Lake Balaton.  Ron and Jeannie Seck, from NAB’s Hungary field, and Paul and Tanya Gericke, from our Romania field, hosted the event.

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NAB Missionary leaders take a ferry boat ride across Lake Balaton during their recent Summit in Hungary.

The focus of the Summit was to give Randy Schmor, Director of NAB’s Gateway Ministry, opportunity to present his Partnership Seminar to Field Leaders.  This was followed by discussion and decision-making about how Gateway would help facilitate future Sister Church Partnerships (SSP) between NAB churches and churches and teams in each of NAB’s fields.

Additional time was given for sight-seeing, fellowship and intercessory prayer.  All of NAB’s fields were represented as well as Norm, Randy, Caryn Young and Stu Streeter from the International Office.

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Our National Missionaries and Teams Trained to Develop Sustainable Support Partnerships

Ron and Jeannie recently spent two weeks in Hungary and Albania watching a vision from the Lord become a wonderful and significant reality.

As NAB Hungary Field Leader and Community Health Evangelism (CHE) Central Europe Coordinator, one of Ron’s key goals is to develop long-term sustainability for the national workers and community develop teams Jeannie and he are raising up around Central Europe.  This includes our own NAB teams in Hungary, Romania and Serbia.

Joska Temesvary shares a funny thought with the MEK Hungary Board as they work on a DSP assignment.

Joska Temesvary shares a funny thought with the MEK Hungary Board as they work on a DSP assignment.

Although CHE and wholistic community development are not aid programs, requiring a great deal of money and people, they still need some sustainable resources of volunteers, short-term special project teams and finances to do their work.  These important resources must come through sustainable partnerships with churches, businesses and individuals within the country and abroad.

However, many of our national team members in Central Europe, do not know how to develop these important sustainable partnerships.  So, Ron teamed up with Mark Bennett, California businessman, CHE leader in projects in Uganda and head of his local NAB church’s mission board to produce a new course that trains CHE Teams, Boards and workers in how to develop essential, sustainable partnerships.

Mark at dinner with members of ZZ Serbia's Board

Mark Bennett at dinner with members of ZZ Serbia’s Board during the DSP training week.

Ron discusses principles of sustainable partnerships with Roger and Gail Dine of CHE Bulgaria

Ron discusses principles of sustainable partnerships with Roger and Gail Dine of CHE Bulgaria

Mark and Ron came to realize that individual and church partnerships do not always endure, but Christians workers, who know how to make sustainable partnerships, do.

They set about to create a course that would teach national workers Biblical principles of raising up individuals and churches that would partner with them to transform communities and plant new churches among the poor and marginalized.  In the process Mark and Ron wanted to help participants learn how western churches think and operate; how to communicate with them effectively; how to utilize webpages, social media, email and video to develop deeper relationships and how to follow the examples of Jesus and the Apostle Paul, both of whom needed partnerships to do their ministries.

Together, they pooled Ron’s 45 years in church and missions ministry and Mark’s extensive experience as a businessman, CHE worker and church missions board member as they created lessons plans.

After six months of collaboration, Mark, Ron and Jeannie launched the week-long course for the first time to 24 eager members of our teams from Romania, Hungary and Serbia April 15 to 20 at Balatonföldvár.  Then they flew to Tirana, Albania to present it to 15 members of our partner Christian community development teams working there, April 22-27.

Members of REZ Serbia, ZZ Serbia, CHE Bulgaria and CHE Romania work as Boards on a partnership project.

Members of REZ Serbia, ZZ Serbia, CHE Bulgaria and CHE Romania work as Boards on a partnership project.

The training struck a deep chord with many of the participants, who confessed that they often feel like orphans as they persevere in reaching out in Jesus’ love to the poorest communities of the old Soviet satellite countries.  Most of their home churches and denominations do not yet have a missionary-sending mindset and do not cooperate in their wholistic work with the Roma and the poor.

During the week of training and visioning, they all learned new ways to approach potential partners both in their own countries and abroad.  This created new hope and encouragement plus many ideas that are now being put into action.

Ron also introduced this new course on Developing Sustainable Support Partnerships at the International Wholistic Missions Conference on May 4.  We pray that it will be an effective new tool in the CHE toolbox for reaching a million new villages for Jesus Christ by 2020.  We praise the Lord and pray for our recent students to find faithful partners like you.

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