Category

Europe

Ukraine

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It is the second largest country on the European continent, after Russia. According to a popular and well established theory, the medieval state of what is modern day Ukraine (Kievan Rus) was established in the 9th century as the first historically recorded East Slavic state. On December 30, 1922 Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic became one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. Later, in 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the United Nations.

One 2006 survey put the number of non-religious in Ukraine at approximately 62.5% of the population. Evangelical Christians form around 2.19% of the population. Evangelical numbers have grown greatly since Ukrainian independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.

Dale Yerton and I taught two Leadership Seminars and spoke in several churches including the large Central Assembly of God church in Kiev, Ukraine. We toured the headquarters for the Assemblies of God and met some very dedicated and precious leaders.

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Russia

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Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area. Russia is also the world’s ninth most populous nation with 143 million people as of 2012. Extending across the whole of northern Asia, Russia spans nine time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world’s largest reserves of mineral and energy resources and is the largest producer of oil and natural gas globally. Russia has the world’s largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world’s fresh water.

Russia is one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. It is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russia is a great power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council

Various reports put the number of non-religious in Russia upwards of 48% of the population.

The Leadership Conference was in Yekaterinburg, just east of the Ural Mountains and just inside Siberia. One hundred men gathered for their first ever Leadership Conference! What an incredible time with some precious brothers. Ivo Ivanov, the international director of Mission Possible, brings leadership to this group of churches and ministries.

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Romania

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With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the 1989 Revolution, Romania began its transition towards democracy and a capitalist market economy. After a decade of post-revolution economic problems and living-standards decline, extensive reforms fostered economic recovery.

In the late 2000s, nearly 10% of the population was in absolute poverty and of these, 90% live in rural areas.

“I was first introduced to Romania in 2006. It is another beautiful nation, with a rich history and a special people. I’ve been there many times now and have been blessed to form some significant relationships.” Ed is working and strategizing with key leaders to advance the Kingdom of God in this special nation. In addition to church planting initiatives, he continues to conduct Leadership Conferences on a regular basis there.

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2013 2011 2009 2006

 

Bulgaria

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I’ve been to the wonderful nation of Bulgaria many times now. It has found a place deep in my heart. The spirit of the Bulgarian people is profoundly underscored by understanding some of their history.

There is a picture of our family on top of the tower/monument that stands as testimony of the spirit of the Bulgarians. In 1877, on a mountaintop, in a place called Shipka, an outnumbered, volunteer Bulgarian army, fought against the Turks for their freedom. When they ran out of ammunition they threw boulders and even hurled the bodies of their dead comrades down on their enemy. The Turks were so repulsed; they retreated, granting victory to the Bulgarians.

It is this kind of spirit that I believe still resides in many of the Bulgarians today. I believe God will use that tenacity to continue spreading the Gospel in Bulgaria!

In 2009 Matt and I were scheduled to teach a conference in Bulgaria. I just returned from Guatemala and was to be in Bulgaria in two weeks. I had been praying the funds for the conference would come in but they had not. With regret, I contacted Director, Roumen Ivanov and informed him we did not have the money to come. He said, “Brother Ed, we need this teaching. My team and I are willing to give up three months of our salaries if you will come.” I told him that wasn’t going to happen but we would make it happen. After only a couple days of calling friends of Echo, all but $800 came in so we could minister to these leaders!

It is a privilege to link arms with Director Roumen Ivanov and the incredible ministry team of “Mission Possible” to train Pastors and Church Leaders, minister in gypsy communities and plant churches in this nation.

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Fall 2014 Spring 2014 2013 Fall 2012 Spring 2012 2011 2009 2008 2006

 

Armenia

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A landlocked, mountainous country located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. The Kingdom of Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its religion.
A former republic of the Soviet Union, Armenia is an emerging democracy and as of 2011 was negotiating with the European Union to become an associate member.

Seeing Mt Ararat from my hotel window in the capital city of Yerevan reminded me of God’s commission to the second generation of humanity to “multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1) It’s a sobering thought that God’s people have the responsibility of procreation and raising our children in the “nurture and admonitions of God”. (Ephesians 6:4)

On December 7, 1988 a massive earthquake with a Magnitude of 6.9 struck the city of Spitak, claiming the lives of at least 25,000 Armenians. For 40 eternal seconds the earth heaved and rumbled, destroying buildings, homes and lives. It was a sobering experience as we viewed the cemetery just outside of Gyumri that holds many of the 25,000 bodies that were buried as a result of that quake.

The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:46 that the natural comes first, then the spiritual. With this principle in mind, I shared the following: I believe that there were 25,000 “seeds” placed in or swallowed up in the earth in 1988. A 100-fold return on such a seed would be 2.5 million.

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