Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) is a missions organization that has sent out approximately 450 couples and over 100 single men and women to more than 70 countries.
Every other year or so, ABWE holds a regional gathering for its Eastern and Central European missionaries. It’s a time of refreshment, when these people who have dedicated their lives to serving others in the name of Jesus Christ can take a week to breathe, relax, and be poured into spiritually.
The conference is to be held in Kassandra, Halkidiki, Greece this coming October.
Our church has been asked to provide the worship music for the conference. So, we will join our youth/worship pastor and his wife (who just happen to also be great friends of ours) and possibly a couple more people to be the worship team at this conference. Luke will play bass/acoustic/electric (guitars) and I will play flute/pennywhistle.
This is an amazing opportunity for us. We are beyond humbled to be able to serve these godly individuals in this way. I feel so inadequate, and yet I know God has used leaders in His church to call us to go. So we will go!
Many of these missionaries serve in closed countries, where they cannot worship openly with other believers. Many of these missionaries haven’t participated in corporate worship, then, in years. It will be our great privilege to lead them in worship.
Chad Vitarelli, the worship pastor at Calvary Baptist Church led the team for the last conference. He shared with our church congregation, in video format, about their ministry in Greece. Here’s part of what he said:
That first night, our first service, we were a little disappointed, because we had the sense that there wasn’t as much participation. We questioned whether maybe we’d picked the wrong songs, or if we just weren’t connecting with the missionaries. And as we were talking about that together as a team, one of the missionaries came up to us and said, “Hey, you may have had the sense that we weren’t participating with you.”
We said, “Well, yeah, we did.”
And he said, “Well, don’t give up on us. For many of us that are meeting together here, this is the first time for some of us – in years – that we’ve had the opportunity to worship in our native language with brothers and sisters with this common purpose. So it’s hard for us even to get the words out without choking up.”
We are so excited to help provide this opportunity for these servants of Christ.