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Mission Developers conference in Chicago

This update is from Rick Shallenberger who was a guest at the conference.

Nine International Mission Developers (MDs) – many with their wives – along with other GCI administrative leaders and church pastors recently attended two days of meetings in Chicago, IL (held prior to the U.S. Regional Conference).

Each MD shared highlights of what is happening in their respective areas. Here are highlights (given in the order, left to right, of the picture above):

  • James and Shirley Henderson serve the UK and Europe. James shared the challenge of trying to build a church in Europe which is anti-religion. Churches are dying all across Europe and Christians are looked upon as simple-minded. In spite of this, our churches are serving others well in many different ways.
  • Charles and Carmen Fleming serve the Caribbean. The Caribbean churches are developing plans to raise funds for growth. Charles shared his training methods for the future leadership of the region.
  • John McClean (and Heather who could not attend) serves in Australia – another country that is quickly becoming anti-religious. The Australian government is getting more and more involved in non-profits requiring more and more paperwork, forms, reports, etc. This causes a work stress among the pastors who are trying to serve their congregations.
  • Tim Maguire (and Marissa who could not attend) serves several countries in Southern Africa. He shared about the growth in Mozambique and the financial challenges the churches are facing in South Africa. Church growth is only limited by financial resources.
  • Kalengule and Nsama Kaoma serve 17 countries in central Africa. Kalengule highlighted a couple countries and shared how he is training leaders and how Nsama is encouraging pastors wives throughout the country.
  • Gary Moore (and Wendy who was unable to come) serves Canada. He shared the challenges of pastoring in another non-religious country. He also shared the focus the Canadian churches have on mission and their many projects around the world.
  • Hector and Paulina Barrero (kneeling in front) serve South and Central America. One of their most popular ministries is to couples desiring to strengthen their marriages. Hector also shared pictures of some of the leaders in South America and spoke a few moments about some of the challenges faced in various countries.
  • Eugene and Lulu Guzon serve the Philippines. The Philippine work has missions all over the world and serve the members and communities in numerous ways.
  • Rod and Ruth Matthews serve Southern Asia and the South Pacific. Rod focused on the ministry in Nepal and highlighted a couple other areas out of the 18 countries in which we have congregations.
  • Tammy and Joe Tkach hosted the two-day MD conference.

Grace Communion International is growing around the world, but each area faces it’s own challenges. Let’s continue to pray for our brothers and sisters around the globe as we work together to share God’s love and life with others.