EBM Mission Council 2017: Sharing and learning, giving and receiving

EBM Mission Council 2017: Sharing and learning, giving and receiving

EBF press service - May 14, 2017

Vienna and the Baptist Union of Austria have been hosting several international meetings this spring. From 11-14 May it was EBM International that brought its Mission Council to Vienna. The meetings took place in Donauhof of the Baptist Church Project:Gemeinde. Walter Klimt, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Austria and his team once again showed wonderful hospitality, this time to EBMI delegates who had gathered from around the world.

The theme of the Mission Council was "Two way mission - sharing and learning, giving and receiving". Christoph Haus, the General Secretary of EBMI explained, that 'sharing and learning' is also the new format of the Mission Council. Following this, 12 delegates were asked to share a testimony from their area of work and mission. Different stories and reflections from Africa, Latin America, India, Turkey, and Europe brought the reality of many different situations under one roof and enriched participants' understanding of reciprocity of 'sharing and learning, giving and receiving'. Seminars, discussion and prayer times that were built into the programme advanced learning from each other and helped to build relationships that reach beyond different cultures and languages.

One of the important tasks of the Mission Council was to discuss the future strategy and structure of EBMI. The delegates were given a possibility to make comments and proposals to the plans elaborated by the EBMI Executive Committee. These will be considered at the next Executive Committee meeting. The final discussion will be held at the next Mission Council which will hopefully confirm the new proposed structure.

The meeting days were closed with worship services in the evening. Andrea Klimt, one of the preachers, shared the story of Jesus washing his disciples' feet. She elaborated the idea of Jesus turning upside down the worldly structures of power and replacing them with serving love. In order to follow Jesus' example, she called to audience to kneel down before each other, listen humbly and pray for each other. She invited the listeners not to let the pressures of their culture hinder their love, but simply be there for each other.

The plenary sessions were moderated by Lise Kyllingstad from Norway and Vincent Chirwafaith from Malawi. Reports were received from all regions where EBMI is present. EBF was represented by Helle Liht, Assistant General Secretary who brought greetings and shared one of the twelve testimonies.

118 delegates and guests from 25 countries attended the EBMI Mission Council in Vienna. The next EBMI Mission Council will take place from 2-5 May 2018 in Gandia, Spain.

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