The annual mission council’s theme of EBM INTERNATIONAL was “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2. Corinthians 4:5 NIV) where 152 delegates and guests had gotten together in Spain to be inspired and to make important decisions for the future.
The stewardess has an interested look on her face when I keep greeting people on the way to my seat. It’s a rear sight for 25 people from different countries to meet at an airport to fly to Spain together.
At the mission council in Gandia this happy get together continues: hands are being shaken, friends are hugging and laughing and talking in several languages and dialects. 152 delegates and guests from 23 countries have come together to enjoy the mission council hosted by the Spanish Baptists.
On the agenda are budget plans, sending out five missionaries, farewells, and new elections for the board. For the first time, a missionary from the global South, Dr. Leela Serene (India) was called to go to Africa (Baptist hospital in Malawi, Senga Bay) as a doctor. Karin Schwarz from Germany will also be involved in promoting competence as a missionary in projects in Malawi. Even in the new composed board we express equality: the nine-member committee consists of four women and five men from eight countries. Four members are from the global South.
Probably most important decision was made concerning the new structure of EBM INTERNATIONAL: the continental focus will be replaced by team leaders for the areas promotion/fundraising and projects/programs. The representatives responsible in their regions for the projects are going to slide up in hierarchy to the level of the leaders. It’s a consistent implementation of equality and partner-like mission work. During the discussion a few questions came up and still there was a clear “yes” for this step in order to really work eye to eye.
“God didn’t come into this world with the missionaries. He was already here.” That’s what Pastor Jentile from South Africa was preaching and he is right. All stories that were shared are a testimony to that. There is this new missionary that used to be a hairdresser and who now shares her love with children in Equatorial Guinea, or the Indian doctor going to Malawi, or the man from Cuba that experiences challenges in his country in such a matter of course we couldn’t even imagine here in Germany.
What’s the center of EBM INTERNATIONAL was also quite clear at the mission council: we have the same God and we all believe in His love that changes us. He is able to endure all diversities. This God walks with us, no matter how insignificant or great the way may seem.
According to a report by Mareile Gnep