Ministers' Meetings in the Euro-Africa Division

FOUR important and profitable ministers' meetings were held in Southern Europe during the month of April. They were held especially to give prayerful and earnest study to four basic objectives: first, the study of righteousness by faith; second, the unique mission and message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the world today; third, methods of evangelism that are proving successful; and fourth, the minister and his ministry in MISSION '73 and '74. . .

-Secretory, Ministerial Association, General Conference, at the time this article was written

FOUR important and profitable ministers' meetings were held in Southern Europe during the month of April. They were held especially to give prayerful and earnest study to four basic objectives: first, the study of righteousness by faith; second, the unique mission and message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the world today; third, methods of evangelism that are proving successful; and fourth, the minister and his ministry in MISSION '73 and '74.

The first meeting was held in Interlaken, Switzerland. Leaders from Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and the German Democratic Republic attended. This meeting attracted about 350 ministers and 100 ministers' wives and Bible instructors. Attending this meeting also were the editors of our church and missionary journals and representatives from the new division and our special radio programs originating in Portugal.

A very interesting report was given on the outreach of the radio programs and the number of languages being used to proclaim the three angels' messages. Good coverage all over Europe makes possible the achievement of an objective never before attempted. This full-gospel doctrinal presentation is already proving to be effective in spreading the message. A special appeal was made for all Adventist listeners to invite every person they met to listen to the messages in the various countries and languages in Europe. They were also encouraged to make telephone contacts.

The great contribution of our publishing houses was featured. We can never praise Cod enough for these great centers of truth that send out millions of pages of gospel messages to the various parts of this great continent. Stories of the providential working of the Lord were recounted, and we believe that they will bear their harvest when thousands "will soon be converted in one day, most of whom will trace their first convictions to the reading of our publications." --Colporteur Ministry, p. 151.

R. H. Pierson Participates

We were very grateful for the ministry of R. H. Pierson in the Interlaken meeting. His presentations and his godly life and counsel were a blessing to all. He especially emphasized the unique mission and message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Over and over again it was emphasized that our task is different and far more comprehensive than what is being attempted by any other religious organization. He pointed out that we are a people of prophecy and that our success in God's service and the saving of souls for the kingdom depends on our faithfulness to this mission and the conviction and clearness with which our distinctive message is given. Special emphasis was placed on the three angels' messages and the urgency of preaching them in all the countries of the world in the little time that remains.

One of the much appreciated special features was the series on righteousness by faith presented by Pastor H. Vogel, vice-president of the newly formed division. Each morning at the devotional period the response of our workers to these presentations was heartwarming. Pastor Vogel presented key thoughts from A. G. Daniells' book Christ Our Righteousness to the workers each morning, after which they divided into groups for seasons of prayer. This was a time of spiritual refreshing for all. God blessed in a marvelous way.

Each afternoon the workers were divided into special groups to study the various aspects of evangelism and how to be more effective in the presentation of truth. In these meetings emphasis was given to the importance of lay involvement in the finishing of God's work. Much commendation must be given to our brethren in Germany for having made Pastor Schoen's materials available in German. This plan is being carried out effectively in many places and has become a vital part of MISSION '73.

A number of presentations regarding the MISSION '73 program for Europe were received with great enthusiasm by the workers in these German-speaking countries. Plans are going forward for translating material. Great things are expected as these plans are carried out.

Meetings in Barcelona

The second meeting was held in Barcelona for the Spanish and Portuguese workers. This was a thrilling experience. Pastor Pierson was with us at the beginning of the meeting, and his presence and messages were much appreciated. The newspaper coverage of his visit and the messages that he presented to our people and workers were unusual and brought great encouragement to the workers and members in Barcelona and the two countries. Pastor Arturo Schmidt, from the division, and Pastor Samuel Monnier, union president, were also present and made valuable contributions. All present expressed an eagerness to participate in MISSION '73. A deter mined effort will be put forth to have materials translated and supplied to the workers so that they all may have the help available to them.

One cannot but be impressed with the growth of our work in these two countries and the new spirit of revival, reformation, and evangelism that is taking over. Portugal baptized nearly 500 per sons in 1971 for the best record in its history. Prospects for 1972 are even better. The same spirit is manifested in the Spanish section of this union. Pastor Puyol, the new president, has associated with him an outstanding staff of depart mental and pastoral workers along with a loyal and enthusiastic membership that speaks well for the work in this great country.

Many experiences were recounted of the way the Lord is guiding and blessing in these two countries. The hearts of all present were cheered as we heard the re ports of progress. It is the hope and plan that Pastor Schmidt, the associate Ministerial secretary for the division, will be able to open a series of meetings in a beautiful air auditorium in Barcelona in the summer months of this year. If the plan works out, there is no doubt that hundreds will be won to this message and baptized. Please pray for the work in these two countries.

Pastor Monnier presented strong and enthusiastic plans for the work in this new union. He also gave his full support to MISSION '73 for these countries. Pastor Ferreira, president of our work in Portugal, is a wonderful man of God with great vision. We are sure that his faithful workers will uphold his hands and together they will arise to finish quickly God's work in the earth.

Meeting With Italian Workers

The meeting in Santa Severa, near Rome, was for our Italian workers. What a blessed experience it was! The newly elected president of this mission, Pastor Bueno, led out in a strong way and laid wise plans for the advancement of the work in Italy. The workers from Italy are well trained and deeply consecrated men. They have vision and courage. There is no doubt that with the proper guidance and the helpful example of Pas tor Schmidt in their evangelism they will be able to produce a rich harvest of souls for the kingdom. In talking with the workers there it seems that the field is ripe, ready to harvest. Now it is possible to hold evangelistic meetings almost any where.

It is our hope that the way will be opened for the workers and laity to unite in a program of evangelism that will quickly reach the 55 million people of their country. The contributions of Pastors Schmidt, Monnier, and Folkenberg were outstanding. These are valuable men, and God is richly blessing their leadership. Through the pulpit-exchange program advocated by Pastor Schmidt and the united participation of all workers in MISSION '73 under the enthusiastic leadership of Pastor Monnier and Pastor Bueno we expect a real forward move in Italy.

This meeting was held in a resort area owned by the Baptist Church. We were all graciously received and fed by them, and we are indebted to them for making their facilities available to us.

Our Work in the German Democratic Republic

The fourth meeting was held in Friedensau for ministers of the German Democratic Republic. Friedensau, in a beautiful portion of the country, is ideally situated for the training of ministers. There they also have a lovely home for the aged and a vacation spot for members and ministers who wish to spend a few days away from the busy activity of daily life.

Pastor H. Boettcher, union president, is a man of faith and courage. His wise and steady leadership, backed by a life of consecration to God, is appreciated by ministers and members alike. He was with us from the beginning of the meeting until its close. His helpful messages and counsel brought blessing to all.

The meeting was under the direct supervision of Pastor J. Magar, the union Ministerial secretary. A successful pastor and evangelist, he had a program planned to help meet the needs of our ministers in both areas. The devotional services were especially helpful. Prayer and study of the Word always provide a good beginning for the day, and God especially manifested His presence among us in the early-morning meetings.

Our seminary at Friedensau was the first to be established by Seventh-day Adventists in all of Europe. It is doing an outstanding job of preparing young men for the ministry. It offers a special course to our young people who wish to serve the church in a lay capacity. This is a plan that is meeting with much success and has proved to be a great source of strength to our churches.

The nearly 150 ministers who gathered for this meeting were of good courage and fully committed to the service of Christ. The Lord is blessing our churches in this country. Our members are seeking to prepare in every way for the coming of the Lord. The example of their godly lives and the joy of the blessed hope so evident in their faces bears testimony to the saving and keeping grace of the Lord Jesus. God is doing a wonderful work in this country, and our people are keeping pace with the church round the world in faith and practice.

Throughout the German Democratic Republic an immense building and improvement program is being carried on. In every part of the country progress is being seen. The ministers and church members are uniting in service for Christ and for others. It is possible to hold evangelistic meetings in our churches in these countries, and our members are always happy to have friends and relatives join them in the services.

I am indeed thankful for the government leaders in the German Democratic Republic who made it possible for me to attend these important meetings. May God bless the work in that country and hasten the day when all His children shall be gathered home.


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-Secretory, Ministerial Association, General Conference, at the time this article was written

September 1972

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