GCI: Central and Eastern Europe, and Spain


Germany
and Austria

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There are about 130 members attending or affiliated with our five congregations or
small groups in Germany and Austria. In Germany we sponsor a magazine entitled Nachfolge.
There are about 4,600 subscribers, mainly in Germany, Austria and Switzerland,
with about 700 subscribers in other nations. Germany, known as the land of
Martin Luther and the Reformation, has become hard soil for the gospel. We have
been sponsoring the building of a medical center in Togo, Africa, and we support
Eastern European missions.

Santiago
Lange
is
our National Director in Germany as well as one of the Missions Directors for
Europe.

Bulgaria

A number of years
ago we launched a media ministry that eventually expanded to include a
magazine in
the Russian language. The Bulgarian Sviata Istina has a bimonthly
circulation of 4,000, while the bimonthly Russian edition, Sviataja
Istina,
has
a circulation of 1,000. Our readers include Christians from many
denominations,
who have come to appreciate our literature as excellent discipleship
tools. The
magazines also reach many people who live far from existing churches. In
eastern
Bulgaria there is a group of about 30 Christians associated with us that
has
been meeting regularly for worship services three times a week. We hope
to
increase our media operations as additional resources become available.
We
support three orphanages in the towns of Jambol, Elhovo and Kermen.
Eastern
Europe is open to the gospel, and we hope that our work there will bring
many
more good fruits in the future.

Our Missions Directors [MD] fill a vital role for the
denomination. They work in teams to coordinate and superintend our missionary
activities. We are blessed to have leaders with a rich diversity of ministerial
experience. Most of the team members serve as National Ministry Leaders in
their home nations.

The teams are:

  • Gary Moore and Kalengule Kaoma for Africa
  • Rod Matthews, Eugene Guzon and John McLean for
    Asia, the Philippines, Australia and Oceania
  • Charles Fleming and Hector Barrero for the
    Caribbean and Latin America
  • James Henderson and Santiago Lange for Europe

The MD acts as a catalyst and a facilitator for the living and
sharing of the gospel. They respond to new calls to mission from various places
and people. They confirm the legitimacy and viability of a mission call. Once
they involve themselves with a mission, much of their work is engaged in identifying
and training indigenous men and women. The MDs are becoming specialists in
contextualizing the gospel into diverse cultures and situations. This takes
maturity and a great deal of experience, since there is often a thin divider
between the blessing of a contextualized gospel and the curse of
syncretism.

Other priorities of the MD may be summarized as providing pastoral
leadership development and succession planning, promoting personal well-being,
providing pastoral supervision, ensuring biblically sound teaching, spiritual
formation and equipping of pastors, providing evangelism guidance and
coordination, linking available resources from external sources to ensure
greatest gospel value, linking developing missions to the fellowship through
communication, intervening when necessary, being a presence for the
denomination.

The mission of Grace Communion International outside the United
States is funded in three ways. The first is through the donations of members
in the various countries in which we work. The majority of mission work being
done is being funded through this means. The second category is the money that
comes out of the denominational apportionment of the contributions received in
U.S. local churches, and the third source is from individual or congregational
donations that are in addition to the funds made available from the
denominational apportionment. Our Missions Directors and other mission expenses
incurred at the denominational offices are funded from this denominational
apportionment.

The Netherlands and Flanders

We have 140 members attending in six congregations (one of which is in Flanders, the
Dutch-speaking part of Belgium). The sixth congregation was added in 2013 in the province of Friesland, and consists mainly of Congolese and
some Burundese members who speak Swahili. They came from Kukuma refugee camp in
Kenya. The age range of those in attendance in the congregations is between
1 and 91 years. The oldest member (a former missionary) is still preaching
sometimes! In 2014 we celebrated Pentecost with members of all congregations combined
and had some 25 guests from a Burundese congregation from Zutphen.

In November 2009 the Almere congregation was established, with the  purpose of becoming more local and reaching
out to the local community. We have four local congregations
meeting on Sunday (Tilburg, Almere and Tiel and Leeuwarden). Meeting for
practical reasons on Saturday are
Antwerp (Belgium) and Zwolle as long–distance congregations.

The Tilburg congregation is an active member of an ecumenical association,
and participates in a choir in two prisons. The congregation in Antwerp is
associated with the Evangelical Alliance. The congregation in Almere is member of the local Evangelical contact
group, which consists of 22 denominations. We work together in local evangelism
activitities, meet for breakfast and pray together. In the community of Almere we have about 170
nationalities.

The members in the Netherlands are active in a number of mission projects, including street
evangelism and serving locally where opportunities arise. Most members in the
Netherlands are fluent in English. We continue to remain in contact with two
members in Suriname, South America, and a few Dutch-speaking members in
Indonesia.

In
2015 we published a new website, www.gracecommunion.nl
and opened a Youtube channel: GCINetherlands. We no longer publish Lifeline
magazine due to the high cost.

Spain

Spain has a population of over 45 million.
About 1.5 million people have an evangelical background. Most of these
Christians migrated during the last ten years to Spain from South America,
Africa and Eastern Europe.

We held our first worship
service in Spain in 1988. There are about 20 members regularly attending the
Madrid congregation, although there are an estimated 100 Christians, mostly of
Brazilian background, who occasionally also come to our fellowship.

About 35 additional members
are scattered throughout Spain. Most of them came in contact through the old
denominational magazine, La Pura Verdad. Some are also visiting other
Christian congregations even though they want to remain members of us. The
church produces two magazines, Juntos and Verdad Y Vida. Juntos provides
the Spanish members with strong spiritual nourishment. The second magazine, Verdad
Y Vida,
has 500 subscribers. The gospel faces great challenges in Spain and
we would greatly appreciate prayers of support.

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