LET HOPE ARISE
THE CHURCH IN EUROPE IS PERSEVERING
LET HOPE ARISE
THE CHURCH IN EUROPE IS PERSEVERING
Europe has been the face of Christianity and Western civilization for the last 2,000 years. The Church grew from the streets of Europe and spread to the four corners of the earth. Empty cathedrals now share the streets with a wildly secular culture, largely abandoning the churches. Faith has been replaced by materialism and vices of the flesh. Churches are no longer attended; they are toured. Many who have given up on
faith are still searching for something true. In a stark contrast to its history Europe has become a dark continent that desperately needs Jesus. But hope is not lost! As believers in Europe continue to pray for the nations, the Church is rising up to reach their people for Christ. Many leaders and volunteers are joining in the cause to tell everyone about the Good News of Jesus.
Prague, Czech Republic
EHCâ€™s Central Europe Campaign is a new push to reach the capital cities of Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. While large urban cities can be hard to reach, EHC is using whatever means necessary to make sure every home has an opportunity to receive the Gospel.
workers take time to share the Good News, to pray and to be a positive influence on every person. However, sometimes a home cannot be reached in person. For these homes EHC is using specialized messages in the mail, advertisements, and web pages to provide additional ways to share the Gospel.
EHC is partnering with local churches to Starting in Slovakia, teams have created conduct home-to-home campaigns using a stunning set of websites in multiple modern and upbeat gospel literature. The languages designed to provoke thought.
These websites can help someone begin to think about the bigger questions of life. As they engage online they can connect with a local church via a team of volunteers who respond to emails and other messages within the site. This provides another chance to reach people where they are, and to begin the follow-up process to disciple those who have received the Gospel.
Through this common project we have already begun to distribute thousands of gospel messages and have seen thousands visit the websites. We are beginning to see the fruit of this work as we send Bibles and gospel literature to some, create online and personal relationships with others, and work to make disciples of all nations!
GOSPEL LITERATURE DISTRIBUTED IN CURRENT CAPITAL CITY OUTREACHES
CZECH REPUBLIC - 284,771 SLOVAKIA - 137,401 AUSTRIA - 124,456 HUNGARY - 36,059 Left page: Peter Sztano, National Director of Hungary, shares the Good News over the fence (above); Ondrej Garaj, National Director of Slovakia, displays EHC gospel literature inventory (left, middle); Vladimir Ksikal (pictured right in photo below), National Director of Czech Republic, in Prague with his daughter and two men from the EHC international office; and Gerti Holzer (right), National Director of Austria, along with Ondrej navigate through the subway system (right, bottom). Right page: The detailed documentation regarding homes reached with the Gospel (above); and the team members involved in the online web project (three photos above right).
Every Home for Christ is talking to some interested people about an intensive doorto-door work in the United Kingdom. This won't happen tomorrow as it will take some time to put this in place but we are receiving donations toward the project.
There are millions of houses in the United Kingdom with people who have never once heard the Gospel. It is true Africa needs Christ but the church is growing fantastic in Africa where as in the United Kingdom the church is hardly growing at all...and possibly declining. This is a most incredible opportunity in the United Kingdom...the land that once took the Gospel to India with William Carey, Africa with C.T Studd and China with Hudson Taylor now needs someone to take the Gospel to the United Kingdom. Yes,telling the United Kingdom the Gospel is an eternal issue. I hope you can help. For your convience you can use the enclosed reply slip and envelope to make it easy for you to send your gift.
Shutterstock: Anthony Shaw Photography
LET HOPE ARISE
Where No Church Exists...
EHC workers in Serbia were excited to reach severaltownsandvillagesinthesouthwest,where some of the people had never been touched by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. National Director Ivica Stamenkovic says, “We’re very grateful God gave us the opportunity to reach seven regions with the Gospel. The time we spent visiting and evangelizing was very blessed. We’re convinced that the distribution of gospel messages at Easter time has contributed to the spread of the Gospel in our country and is helping people who live in regions where there literally is no evangelical presence in existence.” People encountered at Easter were polite and met the pioneer missionaries at the door with a measure of curiosity about Christ’s resurrection. Some wanted to order additional gospel messages and some even expressed amazement in the fact that these gospel materials, mostly discipleship books, were being distributed for free! This is unheard of in Serbia. One of the things the EHC workers discovered during this Advance was the need for mature believers, whom God is calling to go into these remote areas, to disciple those who express interest in the Gospel. Many new believers contacted EHC Serbia immediately and were interested in follow-up and discipleship. They just need a “further step in their faith.” Pray for those responding to the Gospel that they would become rooted and grounded in the Word as they are followed-up by EHC Serbia workers.
Enlisting the Partnership of the Church
During Easter time, EHC France is in the center of evangelization activities, which took place over several weeks, in three major areas, the Ile de France, Levallois and Burgandy regions. National Director Pierre Clément says, “The first major victory is the mobilization of churches in prayer and witness.The new programs of evangelization of EHC are encouraging more French Christians to move out from their churches and proclaim the Good News, home to home.” One testimony from EHC workers described an outreach where gospel flyers were being inserted into mailboxes (which is legal in France). One of the workers said, “We also had the opportunity to talk with people we met on the street during the distribution. One of the new converts who joined our team was actually a former Jehovah’s Witness. She was able to testify to others about what the Lord had done in her life.” One church has used the postal system as a means to distribute to 23,000 homes a gospel booklet called “Finding Hope” during the EHC Easter Advance. The campaign became a blessing for the church, as members mobilized for prayer for 21 days, a week before and during distribution. Each day, church members also received text messages reminding them to pray for different topics throughout the day, including facing depression and marital problems.
PrayforEUROPE. Dr Pierre Clément (pictured here), EHC’s France Director, & Europe Regional Director says, “The important thing is to sow with faithfulness and perseverance, and let God act!”
A Letter From Lorraine Leach "This note is to especially thank you for upholding me in prayer over the last 6 weeks; I am humbled and grateful for your love and intercession on my behalf. How wonderful it is to be part of the family of God. Great news!! On Monday I went back to see the surgeon and he said I had a remarkable recovery!! I told him that many people were praying for me and he just smiled!! Anyway, it seems that I am OK – no brain damage, no loss of memory, no change in personality, no movement or coordination problems, no permanent problems. In May I have another MRI and in 5 years I have another test to make sure no new aneurysms have occurred. Otherwise, although a little tired, I am in the clear!! What an amazing God we have!! He has been so gracious to me and I wonder why he has blessed me so greatly. I have been surrounded by prayer and the love of “brothers and sisters” for the last 6 weeks with many physical reminders of their love through letters, sms messages, emails, meals, flowers, cards, phone calls, coffee, visits and “baby-sitting” when I couldn’t be left alone and I am so very grateful. Thank you too for your support of Eric, Elizabeth and Katherine during this traumatic time. As John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Thank you for proving this verse to be true. Thank you for being such an active part of this healing process through your constant prayers and love. James 5:16 says– “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (NIV) ” The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (New Living translation) “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (King James) Eric and I are forever grateful. Love ……… Lorraine
from the President
To Go Forward - Go Back! By Dick Eastman Hebrews 12 begins with a reminder that we have a “great cloud of witnesses” urging us on in our earthly journeys, including a vital caution to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in all we do (verse 2). The chapter then ends with a description of how God plans to “shake” things up in the last days and do some “house cleaning” in our lives, and no doubt the church and interchurch ministries, as well. You may recall these following words from The Message Bible. I mention them so that I can explain what the Lord showed me in prayer in more recent days about a vital key to doing some of this house cleaning. Note these words: So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time — he’s told us this quite plainly — he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.” The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered (verses 25-27). The writer then concludes: For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is fire! (verses 28 and 29). What the Bible writer referred to as "the Esau syndrome." It's worth repeating: Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing — but it was too late, tears or no tears (Hebrews 12:16-17).
A KEY TO CLEANING HOUSE So, having those words as a backdrop, is there a particular “key” to cleaning house — spiritually speaking? That was on my mind as the weeks began unfolding in the new year. Because I’ve started again through the Scriptures for 2012, I’m now a good way through the first five books of the Bible (the books of Moses). I soon noticed something important tied to this theme of house cleaning as I made my way through Genesis. It provided an interesting answer to the question: How do we clean house spiritually? I was struck by a decision Jacob made later in life, as recorded in Genesis: 35. Jacob’s decision was the result of a specific directive from the Lord. Interestingly, this decision also was accompanied by some “house cleaning” of its own. Notice the first several verses of Genesis: 35: God spoke to Jacob: "Go back to Bethel. Stay there and build an altar to the God who revealed himself to you when you were running for your life from your brother Esau." Jacob told his family and all those who lived with him, "Throw out all the alien gods which you have, take a good bath and put on clean clothes, we're going to Bethel. I'm going to build an altar there to the God who answered me when I was in trouble and has stuck with me everywhere I've gone since" (Genesis 35:1-4, The Message Bible).
One way to get rid of the "junk" in our lives is to simply walk away from it. We need to let go of some of the things we hold so dear. Quite simply, we need to go back to our first love - Christ alone. I've met some Christian leaders who I think have fallen in love with their ministries, reputations, accomplishments and the like, when Jesus seems to have been left in the dust. God told Jacob to go back to where he had first encountered His awesome presence, and to rebuild an altar so He (God) could do it again. This, I feel, may well be the key to getting rid of the junk in our lives. Sometimes to go foward we must go back. Jacob saw this key and realised that in order to go back to Bethel for a fresh encounter with the Lord, everyone associated with him (he and his entire family) had to get rid of the idols they had accumulated over so many years.
TAKE A GOOD BATH For many of us, our idols may not be little statues we can see sitting on shelves, but things we harbour in our hearts. These can even be our achievements, accomplishments and spiritual victories. Note again these words of Jacob to the people: Throw out all the alien gods which you have, take a good bath and put on clean clothes, we're going to Bethel (verses 2-3). Read that passage again and particularly emphasise the word "all." Jacob’s family did it and so powerful was the revelation of God’s presence that Jacob received a new name. From now on he would be named for a nation. He would be Israel. Note the continuation of the Genesis 35 passage and a key pronouncement from God: God revealed himself once again to Jacob … and blessed him: “Your name is Jacob (Heel); but that’s your name no longer. From now on your name is Israel (God-Wrestler).” God continued, I am The Strong God. Have children! Flourish! A nation — a whole company of nations! — will come from you. Kings will come from your loins; the land I gave Abraham and Isaac I now give to you, and pass it on to your descendants (verses 9-12). This all happened because the people cleaned house and headed with Jacob back to Bethel. There Jacob did, indeed, rebuild an altar in the place where God had visited him in such a remarkable way so many years earlier. The entire text of that first Bethel “power-encounter” is found in Genesis 28:10-19,22.
LIGHT THE FIRE Yes, indeed, we need to “go back to Bethel,” and “to go back we must let go.” Perhaps the greatest danger awaits those truly used of the Lord in dramatic ways. The Lord Himself once wrote a personal letter to some in this category. Actually, it was to a specific ancient church. You’ll recall His caution to the church at Ephesus in His letters to the seven churches (see Revelation 2 and 3). He wrote: I know your works, your labour, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil…and you have persevered and have patience, and have laboured for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:2-4, NKJV). Something was missing. It seems to "trump" all the rest of those good qualities. "Your love and passion for only Me has gone!" Robert Murray McCheyne once wrote, "No amount of activity in the King's service will ever make up for the neglect of the King Himself!" Every Home for Christ Australia: PO Box 168 Penshurst NSW 2222 Telephone: (02) 9570 8211 Facsimile: (02) 9570 4738 New Zealand: PO Box 31-260 Milford North Shore City 0741 Telephone: Free call 0800 900 200 Facsimile: 0061 2 9570 4738 www.everyhome.org.au firstname.lastname@example.org