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Greater Middle East Union Mission

Greater Middle East Union Mission

The worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church's officials, represented at the General Conference (GC) Annual Council, voted to accept a recommendation to realign the mission fields of the Euro-Africa Division (EUD) and the Trans-European Division (TED).

October 11, 2011 | ANN/CD-EUD; Pictures A.Olivier; E.Diez

11 Oct 2011, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States – ANN/CD-EUD. The worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church's officials, represented at the General Conference (GC) Annual Council, voted to accept a recommendation to realign the mission fields of the Euro-Africa Division (EUD) and the Trans-European Division (TED). This means that the Middle East countries will be joined together with other fields in North Africa to form a new Union called Greater Middle East Union (GMEU), and it will be placed directly under the oversight of the GC. The restructuring will also add other countries that currently belong to another division but have a shared border with those countries from the two divisions mentioned above. These changes will take effect on 1st of January 2012.


Data from the church's Greater Middle East and Mediterranean Survey Commission (October 9 report to the Annual Council delegates), presented that despite more than the 100 years of outreach in the region, the church faces great challenges to its mission. The restructuring will then provide more resources for the needs and mission challenges to the Middle East and North Africa territories and keep countries with similar cultures together. In addition, this decision will also give the two European divisions more time to focus on their own mission challenges.
The desire for move was evident in several comments mentioned.

The Middle East is part of a region called the 10/40 Window, where two-thirds of the world's population lives but only one percent is Christian. Commission members said the Middle East "should be the focus of the entire church." President Ted N. C. Wilson asked delegates to “think of the incredible challenges in the Middle East” and to give “full credit to the workers already there.” The proposal had a few parts that some had reservations about. However, BertilWiklander, president of the TED, said he and his team would fully support it. He added, "We have personal ties to our people in this area and we have spent much time in prayer with and for them. We have thoroughly enjoyed working in our attached fields and have poured our best time, talents and resources into it."

EUD President Bruno Vertallier said that in recent years, the region has redoubled its work in the Middle East and that the administrative shift would be considered difficult for some people. He added, "Our recommendation is to strongly emphasize the training of local people. We have some wonderful people working there right now and we must add to them. The great challenge will be to train more people in local fields and to give them the best tools possible to meet the needs of Adventists and community members. We thank all the people who have worked in and for these countries and we wish the many blessings from the Lord to the new team.” Reynolds Agathe, former president of the North Africa Countries Association, also expressed words of thanks for all who are ministering in these territories, as well as to the Division’s officers for the support received. Agathe wishes for the new administration to carry out God’s plan for His glory.

The restructuring included appointing new leadership. Homer Trecartin (former world church Undersecretary), was appointed to serve as president of the newly formed Greater Middle East Union Mission. Trecartin has also previously served as secretary-treasurer of the former Middle East Union and planning director for the world church's Office of Adventist Mission, among other positions. Leadership also voted to reappoint Tibor

Szilvasi, who will continue in his capacity as church secretary for the region. Regarding the union treasurer, World church Secretary G. T. Ng said church leaders will review possible candidates and announce their nomination at a later date.
In concluding the GC Annual Council session, President Wilson said, "The Middle East is a unique place. We have to take this area of world field as a special burden. We're also grateful for what the Euro-Africa and Trans-Europe have done to foster and nurture Adventist mission in those areas of Middle East."

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