News Report from Europe
In 2015, the European Coordination Center (ECC) was established and started to coordinate the holy work in continental Europe. In the beginning, we had to think about how ECC can support the local churches and their members. What work should be done by the ECC council? How can we get brothers and sisters in so many different countries to get close to each other like one big family in Christ?
Thanks to God, He gave us wisdom, strength, and peace to bring all the brethren closer. Although we have different cultural backgrounds and speak different languages, we are one family and take care of each other, just as the Bible described in Ephesians 4,15-16. Many brothers and sisters visit other places during their local spiritual convocations or special services. In the past, our members only went once a year to visit other churches, but now many brethren travel several times to attend the service at other churches in Europe. This helps our brethren at smaller places to grow. Everyone can share their testimonies and experiences in church work to strengthen the faith of each other.
In 2017 ECC started a newsletter. Because ECC is a multi-language area, this newsletter is written in four languages (English, French, German and Mandarin). Although it requires much effort, the benefit is very high. It is a very good way to share past events and church activities including their good memories. People will also get a forecast of upcoming events so that they are able to plan ahead and attend. A very important part of the newsletter is the section for intercessions. Especially if brethren who live far away and have worries, or are weak in faith and need our intercession. Then everyone in Continental Europe will be informed through the newsletter and can pray for them. Some are not able to visit other places, but the newsletter still connects them with one another within Christ.
Another strong pillar is our Continental Youth Fellowship (ECCYF). It is an event mainly for the second generation of TJC in continental Europe. They already became young adults and are very active in evangelism. The youth in Europe had to grow up quicker than in other areas. Some of them have already taken responsibilities such as church board members, preaching during the Sabbath service or leading Bible studies. ECCYF also organizes convocations, training and visits to different churches. Our younger generation is also very active supporting the holy work in the pioneering area of South Europe. As for the volunteer team, they help to teach the RE classes in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Hungary. May God continue to support their holy work and keep their strength.
For two places, 2018 was also a very special year in a different way. After a very long time, Heidelberg house of prayer finally found a new church building. With God’s grace, the church could buy a suitable building in Mannheim (a city close to Heidelberg). Currently, there is a lot of renovation work ongoing so that the new place can be ready to use as a church for the continuously increasing number of brethren in 2019.
Another great event was the church dedication last August in Madrid. Although Madrid belongs to the pioneering area of Europe, the number of brethren increased in the last years to over 60 people. Everyone who attended the dedication could see the blessing of Christ. Nevertheless, the care team of ECC will continue to go to Madrid on a regular basis and help the church continue to grow as with the whole pioneering area.
Since 2017, we have also added a new place of worship in our European pioneering area. Some families who live in Budapest (the capital of Hungary) started to have regular Sabbath services. Our care and volunteer team already visited the families two times last year. In 2019 we will increase the number of visits not only to Hungary but also to Greece, Italy, and Spain. The goal is to establish Sabbath Service and Religion Education at all the places so that the holy work increases and the gospel can be preached throughout Europe.
All glory and honor to our Lord Jesus.