And I'm leavin’ on a jet plane (any other closet PPM fans out there?). The day has finally arrived. Today, I am off to Dallas, TX for ARC’s AllAccess2012 (and to spend some time with one of my favorite aunts)! There is much excitement and anticipation amongst the EA team and our church planters for all that is going to unfold this week! We are looking forward to spending time with some of our church partners, and excited to make new connections in the crowd of 3,000+ that will be gathering at Gateway Church this week. I even made a video in anticipation of it all. Check it out! [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxRZ5HnrG0I]
At AllAccess, we are going to launch my baby: the Internship Xchange Program. While I traveled across Europe this past Christmas and New Years, I kept thinking about how we have so many resources in churches across the U.S. that could potentially be really beneficial to share with churches in Europe. One of the main resources I kept thinking about was people. In the U.S., there are so many more Christians than there are in Europe, not too mention trained Christian leaders. At Substance Church alone, we are currently training up 37 interns through the Excelerate Intern Program. The majority of churches in Europe have 37 people. So, why not invite some of these up and coming leaders to intern at our EA churches, where Christian leaders are still sparse? Okay, we will!
Things in the US office are also coming along. This past week we re- launched our website (www.europeadvance.org)
(we are especially grateful to Gina, from Sebastiaan’s church in Hilversum, Netherlands, who spent many many hours helping to design the new site!). And we got a few packages in the mail: our new business cards and Internship Xchange promo postcards!
Personally, I want to thank many of you for your prayers and support for my friends that have experienced quite the traumas in the past few weeks. Yesterday, we launched a Tiedeman Recovery Fund website to begin to help raise support for Chris and Sara (the two that were in the awful car accident 3 weeks ago): www.TiedemanRecoveryFund.com. Chris will be having surgery tomorrow at the U of M and Sara remains at HCMC in critical condition. The road to recovery is going to be a long one, but it's a road nonetheless. Last week, I started the Couch to 5K in honor of Sara – if she could run a half-marathon last fall, the least I can do is run a 5K (I ran one before, but this time I’m actually going to train so I don’t hate the experience quite as much afterwards).
I've begun to read a fascinating book about the affects of WWI and WWII on European culture, but I will leave those interesting findings until next time. Plus, I'm sure I will learn more as I read on the plane this afternoon. I'm off to the homeland!