22 November 2019 | Bečići, Montenegro [Victor Hulbert]
For ninety years, the Trans-European Division has overseen the mission and ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a vast, diverse, and ever-changing territory. Now a new book and a short documentary film highlight a passion for mission right from the early origins of the Church in Europe through to the continued challenges of outreach in largely secularised societies.
A Passion of Mission is a detailed research work. Author and Adventist historian, Dr David Trim, demonstrates that mission is in the DNA of European Adventism, and that while Europe started out as a ‘mission field’, it very soon started sending home-grown missionaries to Africa, Asia and as far as South America. In a lecture that accompanied the book launch, Trim estimated that around 1,000 European missionaries have served overseas.
“Sending some of its brightest and best talent to the mission field has had a significant impact on the world church, but also on the development of the church at home,” Trim stated. This ninetieth-anniversary history tells stories that inspire, provides insights into effective leadership, and draws out conclusions and lessons applicable to the church in Europe today.
Audrey Andersson, TED Executive Secretary, enjoys history herself and strongly endorsed the book during the official presentation and a book signing on Thursday, 21 November 2019. “This book clearly demonstrates mission has always been central to European Adventism,” she stated.
A Passion for Mission is published by Newbold Academic Press and is available from Amazon.
TED President, Raafat Kamal, chose a video format for his 2019 President’s report. Standing on the beach opposite Southampton Docks he focused on four moving stories from TED history, then showed how the perseverance and determination of our pioneers is still active in mission today.
Those stories included the first missionaries to the UK, William Ings and John Loughborough, and their determination in the midst of failure. He then shared the courage of a recently converted Adventist famer in war-torn Finland who, in 1918, saved the lives of ten men who were to be shot as revenge killings for the death of his own son. His act of forgiveness broke the circle of violence and led to the start of a house church in his community.
In the final historic section the film told of two faithful Adventist sisters who hid a Jewish boy during the Nazi occupation of Latvia, and the testimony of the current Polish Union President, Ryszard Jankowski, who remembers how nine of his family were incarcerated in Auschwitz and Ravensbrück because they faithfully kept the Sabbath.
These stories are history, but history is still being made today as the video also recounted modern mission in related locations to the historic stories: a church helping refugees, a café project, a centre of influence in the north of Finland, a campsite that generates up to half the baptisms in Poland, and a camporee that changed children’s lives.
Such accounts, whether historic or current, clearly demonstrate that while mission can be difficult, with perseverance, dependence on God, and a willing spirit, miracles do happen.
The hope is that the book and film will not just be interesting historical documents, but will inspire and charge members across the TED and beyond with a real passion for mission.
While in Montenegro, several of the contributers and sponsors of the book also contributed to a short video report.
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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