From January 13 through February 3, Don and Cindy Currin had the privilege of representing HeartCry across Western Europe. They visited and interviewed many of our HeartCry missionaries, spoke in various conferences, and became acquainted with a new church plant in Switzerland. Although the weather was very cold, the fellowship and hunger for truth from the saints more than motivated them during their travel. The following is Don’s account.
Our first stop was Stavenger, Norway, for the Back to the Word Conference sponsored by Bjorn Storm Johansen and Kilden Baptist Church. Bjorn is a warm-hearted Norwegian brother who has a passion to see the biblical Gospel recovered in Norway.
This year, the keynote speaker was Dr. James White, who covered various issues relating to the inerrancy of Scripture. My wife Cindy spoke on Biblical Womanhood to the women, while I spoke on Biblical Manhood to the brothers. The feedback from the conference was very encouraging.
Interestingly, almost all the invitations for speaking that we receive from Europe are for messages on Biblical Manhood/Womanhood, Marriage/Family, or the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. These topics seem to be at the forefront of the greatest needs list on this continent.
On January 10, we flew to Zurich, Switzerland, for a four-day conference in a house church in Bewangen. The small faith family of Grace Fellowship is made up of eight Christians who meet in the home of Christian and Rebekka Brandli. Marcello Bonagura shepherds this body of believers, whose lives are characterized by reality and integrity. Their love for the Savior is unwavering as they care for one another and treasure the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Brother Marcello shared his perspective on our visit in a recent email that was sent to his prayer supporters:
“The time we had with Don and Cindy Currin was such a blessing to all of us. God used every single time of preaching we had to renew our minds through His Word and teach us His ways. We are very grateful for all the precious things that we learned, such as how to raise children in a godly way, what it means to be a godly woman, and how men can deal with sexual immorality. In the past, we had some issues with legalism in our church, so it was important for us to be reminded that everything we do has to be Gospel-driven. It is all about Christ.”
HeartCry missionary Daniel Noren picked us up at the airport in Gothenburg. From there, we were brought to his apartment, where we had the blessing of living with the Norens for a few days. Their love for Jesus and the people of Sweden was very evident as they conveyed their burden for the people with such endearing affection.
Cindy and I spoke in a conference that Daniel had promoted on the subject of biblical manhood and womanhood. The response was nothing short of incredible. To begin with, the attendance exceeded all expectations, as there were in excess of ninety people at the event. Knowing that Cindy would be teaching the ladies in some of the sessions, a few women who were “pastors” or church leaders came to the conference. Amazingly, the ladies were open to receive the teaching on the “Woman’s Role in the Church.” Here are Daniel Noren’s thoughts on the conference:
“The highlight of this month was when we had Don and Cindy do a conference for us on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It was something that really needed to be heard in this egalitarian country. The feedback was better than we expected. People were so thankful, and many said that they had never heard anything like this before. We have preached and taught about the subject in sermons and Bible studies, but never in a concentrated form like this. This gave us some good momentum in the church plant, and tonight I spoke to a man that came to the conference who was inquiring about church membership.”
Brother Kyle McCartan and his wife Sara are our HeartCry partners in Esse, Pedersöre, Finland. Kyle pastors the Agape International Church, where he faithfully expounds the Word to a group of devoted believers.
Cindy and I enjoyed our time with the McCartans and the Agape church family during the days of January 19-22. Once again, the opportunity was provided to share with the congregation on the importance of being Gospel-driven in humility and prayer.
The final leg of our trip took us to Manchester, England, where Kevin Williams pastors Grace Fellowship of Manchester. This was the second time that we have had the opportunity to be with Kevin, his wife Zoe, and their family. We interviewed the Williams and conducted another conference for the church.
As previously when we were with the Grace Fellowship faith family, we were tremendously encouraged. The church in the past year has almost doubled in size. Their love for Christ and truth is amazing. They are serious Christians, and they aggressively engage the culture with the Gospel in street evangelism. In a church that is made up of more than a dozen ethnic groups, the bond of redeeming love is very evident in the way that they care for each other.
As alluded to in the previous paragraphs, there is a great need for both biblical teaching on the home and what God expects believers to be as biblical men and women. While there is a deficiency of biblical teaching on these critical subjects in Europe, there is also a crucial need for instruction on moral purity. If A.W. Tozer is right when he says that nothing changes the moral climate of a culture any more than genuine revival, then this is the urgent need in Europe, because the cultural decadence across the continent is nearly unbelievable.