DREAM n e x t
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Unit A, Grovelands House Longford Road, Exhall Coventry, CV7 9NE United Kingdom
PO Box 21157 Maple Ridge BC, V2X 1P7 Canada
+44 24 7664 3415 +44 24 7636 5135
+1 604 505 1205
New Zealand Office
PO Box 69184 Glendene Auckland 0465 New Zealand
PO Box 10148 South Bend IN, 46680 USA
+64 21 538 117
+1 574 485 2301
‘It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.’ Wait, that’s been used. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...’ Oh! That’s been used too. Where were you twenty years ago? Some of you weren’t even born. Some may have been in school. Some still single. Some just married. Others were already grandparents. Our lives can change drastically over the course of twenty years. The same holds true for the nations of Europe. In 1991 the winds of change had turned from stormy to cyclonic. In the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall we saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the Velvet Divorce, which peacefully divided Czechoslovakia. In 1991 the population of Europe was approximately seven hundred million, with thirty or so nations. But over the next ten years these numbers would change so often it would be hard to pin them down. It was during this time of upheaval and change that Ian Green took his first trip into Central and Eastern Europe. Whilst travelling across Europe Ian was able to see the spiritual needs of people, the vast potential for positive change, and the incredible amount of work that needed to be done. It was too much to ignore. A ministry was birthed. Ian discerned that the primary need was to develop and empower new leaders, and so NLI began offering leadership development conferences in Poland and Hungary. These conferences were attended by over a hundred delegates, but this was only the beginning.
James Dyson is an inventor. In 1978 he noticed the air filter in the spray-finishing room at his factory was constantly clogging with powder particles, just like a traditional vacuum cleaner bag clogs with dust. He solved the problem using a method called cyclonic separation, and then set about applying this to the vacuum cleaner itself. It took Dyson 14 years to get his first product into a shop. It wasn’t until 1993 that the ‘Dyson Dual Cyclone’™ appeared. It became the fastest selling vacuum cleaner ever to be made in the UK and was the first breakthrough in technology since the invention of the vacuum cleaner in 1901.
Dyson likes to make things work better. When some everyday product lets you down, Dyson is the sort of guy who thinks, I could have designed this better myself. But Dyson had to overcome many difficulties. He made 5,127 prototypes of the vacuum cleaner before he got it right. That meant 5,126 ‘failures’. Dyson never gave up. He saw the possibilities of invention and was driven to find the solution.
The Eastern of the early 90’s remained steeped in and suffocated by the dominance of Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, and stifled by the shadow of oppressive Communist regimes. A different kind of church was required, and with it, a different kind of leadership. One pastor in Slovakia observed, “Everything falls and rises with leadership. That was the key issue to build upon and NLI stepped into the position to raise new leaders; new fathers in our country.” Throughout 1992 and 1993 Ian made several further trips into Europe and quickly realised he needed help. The challenges were huge, but so was the vision. Why? Like James Dyson, Ian saw the possibilities. Europe was ripe with opportunity. He was driven to find the solutions. NLI needed to find like-minded people to come alongside, forming catalytic partnerships, which would increasingly impact Europe. Maybe it sounds bold to say NLI believed they had the solution, but if it’s that which drives us on, then so be it. We believe that faith and obedience will release God’s provision to complete what He has called us to do.
First YLTC in Romania with 60 attendees: will grow to over 2000 within 4 years
Much ground was covered in just three short years. There was great progress. Leadership conferences were growing, more short-term mission teams were being mobilised into Europe, and the flame was being rekindled in some of the darkest corners of the continent. But with progress came new challenges. It became evident that training leaders was just the first step. Once trained, where do they go? What do they do? With our new friends we needed to discern what the Holy Spiritâ€™s strategic direction would be. With this in mind another facet was added to the ministry. In 1994 planning began for the first church planting initiative, in Budapest, Hungary. As well as church planting, leadership development and short-term missions would continue. As the ministry evolved, this trio would become the tools used to fulfil the vision to,
â€˜Empower a whole new generation of radical leaders to equip, transform and expand the church in Europe.â€™
First NLI church planting project begins in Budapest, Hungary with one mother church and eleven church plants
Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, on 26th August 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. According to one biography, in her early years Agnes was fascinated by stories of the lives of missionaries in Bengal. By the age of twelve she was convinced that God was calling her to be a missionary, to spread the love of Christ.
Aged eighteen she left her home and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns. She never saw her mother or sister again. Agnes taught in India for over twenty years, but became increasingly disturbed by the abject poverty that surrounded her in Calcutta. On 7th October 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the ‘Holy See’ to start her own order, ‘The Missionaries of Charity’. Their primary task was to love and care for those nobody was prepared to look after. The Society of Missionaries has since spread all over the world, including many Eastern European countries. Mother Teresa’s work has been recognised and acclaimed throughout the world and she received a number of awards and distinctions, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She died in 1997 after a lifetime of sacrifice. NLI staff members are asked to come with a spirit of sacrifice and giving in all aspects of their lives. Will you join the NLI team with a ‘Mother Teresa’ spirit? firstname.lastname@example.org
A promising swimmer by the age of 12, Lance Armstrong’s sporting career really took off when he abandoned swimming-only competitions and won his first triathlon, aged 13. He became a professional tri-athlete aged 16. It soon became clear that his greatest talent was for cycling, and he competed in the 1992 summer Olympics. The following year saw him win his first stage honours in the Tour de France. You probably know the story from here. In 1996, whilst seemingly at the top of his game, Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer, which had already spread to his lungs and brain. After surgery and chemotherapy he only had a 40% chance of survival. Against all odds, Armstrong competed in the 1998 Tour de France, but had to pull out of the race. He persevered and entered again the next year. This time he won! Armstrong went on to take six consecutive Tour de France titles. He has been awarded virtually every sporting honour there is. However, the story doesn’t end on the finish line at the Tour de France. Armstrong has unleashed the same passion and drive that he has for cycling in the fight against cancer. The ‘Lance Armstrong Foundation’ has become one of the most influential organisations of its kind, and continues the revolution for healthy living and individual empowerment. The story of Lance Armstrong continually improves.
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Almost ten years on, and with thousands of pounds invested and countless miles travelled, was it making a difference? Was it all worth it? We could simply use a load of statistics to show our ‘successes’. For example, in 1998 NLI mobilised almost one thousand people from amongst our partners into ministry across Europe through short-term mission teams. We could point to ongoing leadership development conferences, pulling together thousands of eager emerging leaders from nations such as Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. Or there was the strengthening relationship with the leader of a national youth organisation in Bulgaria, which set the scene for sustained partnership and impact across that region? Then there were the 1995 ‘exploratory’ trips, now bearing fruit in Belarus through leadership training. It’s not always easy or wise to quantify ‘success’ in these terms. The fact is, every pound or dollar spent, every mile travelled is worth it; is making a difference. Our influence might not be on the same scale as Lance Armstrong’s ‘Live Strong’ revolution, but year by year, the story of NLI continually improves.
Church planting begins in Czech Rupublic. 11 church plants begin in Chomatov area
T h e whole world watched and waited for the end to come... It didnâ€™t! Who would have thought two little zeroâ€™s could create so much effort, cost, news anticipation, terror and attention. The cost of fixing the Y2K bug has been estimated at over $300 billion (as reported by the BBC). All over the globe hundreds of millions of lines of computer code were being checked, adjusted or replaced. It created such a diverse range of responses, some people stockpiled, built bomb shelters, sold homes in cities and moved to rural areas. While some ignored the hype and in general carried on as normal. Here in the UK over 10,000 cash machines failed in the three days leading up to the 31st December, making those last minute apocalyptic purchases a little more difficult. At NLI we spent the year finalising the preparations for two new church planting projects that would run concurrently in Poland and were succesfully launched in early 2001. Weâ€™re not scared of two little zeros....
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In 2001 a new word found its way into our vocabulary ….wiki. It is a virtual environment where collaboration isn’t just encouraged, it should be the culture. Think ‘Wikipedia’, constantly being expanded by an ever-growing community of contributors. Unpaid contributors. Volunteer contributors. These are real people with real lives and real jobs and real families and real responsibilities, giving personal time to be part of something bigger than themselves. Devoting a piece of their lives to improve some part of the world. These are people motivated by purpose.
advo Church planting among the Roma gypsys of Serbia
ins ix c w it h s hu es rch
“I’ve heard of this Wikipedia thing. What’s the big deal?” “what does this have to do with ministry?” “Oh, you’re saying people should be involved. But how?” By seeing that the work of NLI is always being enhanced by new talents and abilities. Not superhuman or gifted, but caring people with passion. Willing to share the dream. People like you. willing to accept the challenge. Are you ready to take on new and exciting opportunities to reclaim Europe for Christ? Involved in something which is changing nations. You’re becoming an advocate for NLI. This connects you with others, to people who want to be part of the solution, people who care for others, Will you be a voice for the spiritually lost people in Europe?
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Even with the constantly of Europe, formation of new countries, changes in government, and expansion of the European Union, reports have been coming in from pastors about how God is making his presence known throughout his church. Congregations are meeting in rented halls, shared church buildings, homes, schools, and in some cases are having to be very flexible indeed:
The church meets in a former brothel. The building is packed with people hungry for God. The worship is vibrant and the sense of expectancy from people is great. We believe that God is going to continue to do great things among them in the days and years to come.
Another Serbian church plant is meeting in a tent, although they face constant harassment by local politicians and the community courts who have tried to force them to remove their tent. Recently, the authorities actually turned up to forcefully remove the tent, but the believers were determined to hold their ground. They stayed in the tent all day, praying and worshiping God. The authorities retreated and the people were allowed to keep their place of worship. They continue to meet there regularly.
The wars were over. The iron-fisted dictators had been toppled. But you didn’t have to look far to see that racial tension still ran high. Mistrust lingered in the hearts of many people. “While there is a move of God amongst the gypsies, the hearts of Serbian people are often hard. You can feel the hardness and resistance all over this land. Generations of war and strife have certainly taken their toll on the hearts of this proud people. A humble heart is what Serbia needs.” In this environment, God began to melt stubborn hearts.
The church started to grow in numbers, not only adults, but also youth and children. In one youth meeting nine people gave their lives to Christ. Four of these used to be drug addicts. We bought a keyboard and a drum. One musician gave his life to God, so now we have music. Praise the Lord!
Despite advancements in Europe over the last twenty years, opposition against Christians continues, especially in those nations where the ‘state’ church remains powerful within government and within the mindsets of people. By engaging the local church across Europe, NLI supports those who face opposition, and helps raise awareness amongst the global Christian community.
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As with all endeavours, you gain ground and see success, but you also gain greater insight into the communities you work in. Those successes can sometimes highlight not only the wonderful progress, but also the distance yet to go. In Ukraine, Igor, the church planting director, remarked...
â€œChildren are not usually considered part of the church. If a church had 50 children and only 10 adults, they would say they are a church of only 10 people, not 60.â€? This mindset was and still is very typical across Europe, hence the vital need to communicate the absolute value of children and the importance of reaching them. Training leaders of children and helping change mindsets is a long term initiative that requires more than pointing out flaws. What does it take to
change a mindset? See previous page.
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We believe that each person has a God-given . We are committed to developing the potential of our staff and those enrolled in our cause. We aim to strategically position them in an environment that will provide them with challenging and inspiring opportunities to grow in ways consistent with their gifts and calling. There is no doubt that one of the growth highlights in 2008 was the remarkable impact of prayer teams both on team members and those receiving ministry. “The first day was the hardest for me. I was just a little uncomfortable, not knowing what to expect, but it was all very good. I was very excited to see how God spoke so specifically through us into the lives of the pastors we ministered to. We came away knowing they had been uplifted and encouraged; their vision re-ignited.” “I had never done altar ministry before. I was terrified! I sat and tried to figure out if I really had to do it. Then I decided to join two of my teammates who were ministering to a young woman. I figured I could blend in! The woman was sharing about her need for a job. I realised I knew a scripture about that. I shared it with her. And there you go, I was ministering!”
People like this, who step out in , who are prepared to be stretched and challenged, are a vital part of the NLI journey in Europe: in church growth, impacting communities, and the expansion of God’s Kingdom.
In , astronomers announced the discovery of 32 extra-solar planets, some just five times the mass of Earth and others five times heavier than giant Jupiter. The findings significantly boost the number of planets closer to Earth in size, and will also help astronomers understand what types of stars birth what types of planets. The new alien planets, which take the ‘known’ count beyond 400, were found with the HARPS spectrograph in La Silla, Chile. The ‘High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher’ program surveyed about 2,000 stars over five years, with the particular aim of looking at solar-type stars for low mass planets. Given the technology used to find them, it is not known if any are Earth-like. With this announcement, the amount of planets I knew about had increased by 400%. Finding out there wasn’t 8 or 32, but actually 400, blew my mind. That’s an increase of 5,000% in just one day! Now that’s
At NLI, there is a clear need to develop catalytic partnerships between individuals in order to multiply their impact. Simple mathematics informs us of the possibilities. If, instead of having 3 partners we have 10, then the opportunity for catalytic partnership increases dramatically, from 6 to 3,628,800.
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A massive ash cloud is formed by the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull (bet you can’t say that) on 14th April 2010 grounding flights across North West Europe. Scientists began recording volcanic activity there in 2009, which continued to increase culminating in the second phase eruption in April. Needless to say many of us at NLI have funny travel stories that didn’t seem funny at the time.
You don’t have to be named ‘Eyjafjallajökull’ or ground airplanes all over Europe, but you can help change a