With our Partner Spotlights, we get to highlight how God is at work in this city and all over the world through the partners we support!
George and Cathy Brown have been serving with European Christian Mission International for 14+ years. They long to see Europe transformed in the name of Christ, and get to work in partnership with local churches to make an impact on the lives of Europeans.
George shares some updates on what’s happening in their life and ministry right now, as well as some updates from Ukraine…
How did you first get involved with ECMI? What appealed to you about reaching Europe with the gospel?
Cathy and I have been involved in international ministry for more than 35 years. Our burden for Europe in particular grew out of a desire to serve the Lord internationally.
Realizing that Europe is indeed a post-Christian continent with less than 2% of the population considered Christ-followers, we served with Greater Europe Mission (GEM) for 20 years, including 7 years in France as church planters. We also helped GEM launch the shared services ministry of VisionQuest Alliance (now TenFoldbpo).
Appointed in 2008 with European Christian Mission International (ECMI), I served as the Executive Director of the US section of ECMI until 2019. During that time, Cathy and I were heavily involved in leading mobilizing efforts and member care for missionaries.
I currently serve as Global Ministry Consultant. This means I come alongside the workers of ECMI, the Lausanne Church Planting Movement and other global partners. Cathy and I get to use our 35 years of international ministry experience to serve as catalysts and advisors in providing member care, as well as logistical and organizational support for ministry growth and development!
What does coming alongside the workers of ECMI and other partners look like day-to-day?
Covid came on the heels of our shift in responsibility, greatly limiting our ability to travel and provide onsite support and encouragement to our missionaries.
However, many virtual opportunities have arisen, including being part of the Lausanne Church Planting Network team. Their objective is to encourage global national movements through Saturation Church Planting.
Just prior to Covid, I was able to teach a Masters in Leadership course on Ethics with Development Associates International in Uganda. That entailed teaching for a week on location and following a cohort of students for a semester. This was most rewarding and I would love to do it again.
I had done something similar in 1995, teaching a course at the Zaporizhia Bible College and Seminary in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia. (This city is the site of the nuclear power plant recently taken over by Russia.)
I also support Rowland Smith in developing the Pando Collective. We meet weekly to discuss the strategic and logistical needs that will move the mission of coaching churches and identifying and empowering individuals to launch missional expressions in their context. This leads to the planning of events and deployment of resources to make this happen in Colorado Springs.
Lastly, I consult with ministry boards on a regular basis who need help in moving their ministries forward. I have held several board positions in the past, including chair of the Pulpit Rock Elder Board, and am currently focused on helping the board of Desert Light Ministries, who provide pastoral care and resources to those in ministry.
What are you involved in right now that you’re excited about?
Our hope is to be able to start traveling internationally again and come alongside the ECMI missionaries. Our Lausanne Church Planting Network team is meeting in June for a day and a half retreat. We continue to prepare for the Lausanne Global Congress that will take place in 2024 somewhere in SE Asia.
I am also greatly burdened by what is happening in Ukraine, having been part of supporting the team as US Director of ECMI-USA. I have been to Lviv and have worked with our team on the ground, and I am looking to see what we might be able to do encourage them in their current efforts to help the refugees.
Are there any ways our Pulpit Rock family can come around you to support you in what you’re doing? And ways we can be praying?
We need prayer for discernment, to know what to focus on as we emerge from Covid. Opportunities abound. As potential ministry trips emerge, we may need additional funding to cover those costs.
Any other stories you want to share?
Several in our Pulpit Rock small group have helped financially with ECMI’s efforts to help Ukraine, and for that I am very grateful. I received this from friends in Ukraine a few days ago…
“The humanitarian aid that the ECMI team had bought, gathered, and engaged partners to deliver to Lviv, arrived.
Jaroslav and Petr from Slovakia brought food, hygienic supplies, and 10 mattresses in the 50 seat bus to take 48 refugees on the boarder to Poland and Slovakia. The aid was a significant relief for our teams in Lviv as it’s getting more challenging to make bulk purchases in the stores. They sell only a limited amount (two bags or packages per person) of food like grain, pasta, sugar on those rare occasions when they have them. The beverage drinks (tea and coffee) sections are empty in most of the grocery stores in Lviv.
Two men came to Lviv to get food and medications, including insulin for a nine-year-old boy. It is very personal for Irene as she’s had diabetes for more than thirty years. She shared the insulin needles, and we bought an insulin pen package for this boy to survive.
While having our brothers from Kharkiv here, I noticed an odd thing. While they were talking on the phone to their relatives or friends, I saw no fear in their eyes when they said that the Russians had bombed the city again.
They were unusually calm when the third air-raid siren (of four that day) went off. They said the words that uplift every one of us, ‘When God is for us, who is against us?’
This truth we hold on to firmly. This truth enables us to keep working and serving, even having little rest during the night. Even when we feel exhausted physically and emotionally, we have no right to complain, knowing about those many who are suffering enormously. We only pray for God’s protection for them and do everything we can to ease their burden.”
If you would like to learn more about ECMI’s Ukraine Crisis Fund, you’ll find updates, ways you can be praying, and ways to financially support their efforts here.