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Dear Family and Friends,
Jeannie and I are currently in the United States. April 28 to 29 I had the opportunity to participate in the Global CHE Network Representative Council meetings in Kansas City. (The CHE Network has teams working in 134 countries of the world.) I have had the privilege of serving on the Council for the last 6 years as we grew the Community Health Evangelism network (now called CHE EuroNet) in Central Europe and the Balkans. We were blessed now to see Agron Aga, an Albanian and director of CHE Albania, take my seat on the Council.
After this we participated in the 6th annual International Wholistic Missions Conference in KC where we led two workshops with Agron Aga and Marijana Čizmanski, our NAB national missionary and director of ZZ Serbia.
We are now on tour visiting partner churches in Kansas, Arizona, South and North Dakota, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, introducing them to Marijana and the outreach and community development work she and her ZZ team are doing in Serbia.
1969 was a very significant year in US history: the Viet Nam War was raging, college campuses were the scene of many protests and shut-downs, we landed on the moon for the first time, and Woodstock became a legend. It was also the year I graduated from Princeton, Jeannie and I got married, and I began seminary and Christian ministry.
It’s fifty years later and time for us to celebrate these events, so we will be taking some time off this summer to do so, beginning with my Princeton 50th Class Reunion, May 30 to June 2 in Princeton, New Jersey. Please pray that Jeannie and I and our Christian classmates will have open opportunities to tell of the wonderful things Jesus has done in our lives over the last 50 years.
We will then have a reunion with folks from the youth group we pastored at our first church in Pennsylvania. (You know you’re getting old when the members of your former youth group are all retirement age!)
In July, we will have a family gathering in Utah to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Jeannie and I rejoice in our 50 very blessed years together. It’s been awesome.
We will head back to Europe July 30th after fulfilling a promise to our granddaughter, Moxie, to be at her 7 birthday party. I’ve had to miss the previous ones while in Hungary.
When we return we hit the ground running with two summer camps and two mission teams arriving in August.
Please remember us in your prayers with all of our traveling.
Ron and Jeannie Seck
Jeannie and Ron Work with New Community Outreach Projects in Romania, Serbia, and Macedonia
A very invigorating part of our ministry as CHE Central Europe Coordinator is mentoring new teams and strategizing and launching new development and outreach projects in poor Roma communities. In April we went on an 18 day eye-opening trip to explore 8 new projects.
We started in Romania where Pastor Zsolt Albert has planted a Roma church in the community of Parhida from which he would like to begin a community development project. As I was presenting to the church group that Sunday, a family burst into the room announcing that their daughter had just given birth to a still-born baby. (The infant mortality rate among Roma is twice as high as among Romanians.) It was encouraging to see the close-knit body of believers share in the family’s shock and grief. This is a solid core for a CHE project. Pastor Zsolt needs NAB church partners to launch his dream program here.
In Serbia, we surveyed the site in the small Roma community of Donji Petrovac, where Marijana Čizmanski and her ZZ Serbia team are now working, where a community center will be built out of shipping containers this September. A short-term team from North and South Dakota will be assisting Marijana and the villagers in this effort. The community center will be used for CHE trainings, community events, children’s meetings, and church meetings.
Our main objective was to spend 10 days gaining a vision of the new CHE projects being started by members of the Galilee Foundation in Macedonia. Since their first CHE training last year, team members have begun door-to-door visitation and surveying in five very challenging communities both urban and rural.
Let me tell you briefly about just one community that represents the others. It is a Roma squatter-community of 1000 sprawling up the side of a mountain on the outskirts of Prilep, Macedonia. It has no running water or sewage system. The water supply is contaminated and most of the children are sick because of it. No children go to school because of the distance. The community is illiterate. The only work is illegally collecting wood from a distant forest and selling it in the city for a couple of dollars a day. Allit, from the Galilee Foundation, has been visiting this community. The leaders are ready for CHE to come with the gospel and with training and sustainable solutions. But we have a closing window of opportunity. Radical Islam with its tactics of intimidation is encroaching rapidly in the nominal Roma Muslim communities, courtesy of Saudi Arabia. They are already a problem at some of our CHE sites in Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia. Allit has already had a gun held to his head.
Our job now is to help find sustainable individual, church, and mission agency partners to stand with these faithful, hardworking nationals during the process of personal and community transformation.
Want to know more? Visit our website justaseck.wordpress.com and go to the “Happenings” page.