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A report to call

A report to call

Norbert Zens, Mario Brito, Barna Magyarosi, EUD Officers

The report of the president called the attention to the essential

November 14, 2019

Bern, Switzerland. [CD-EUDNews. C.Cozzi]. In his report presented to the Executive Committee of the Inter-European Region (EUD) of Seventh-day Adventists, President Mario Brito presented some important points that highlighted the mission of the Church as supported by different EUD countries and called the attention of all to live out the mission with coherence.

“First, let me say that we do not succeed if we do not pay attention to the needs of the society that surrounds us,” President Brito introduced his report. “We have to be attentive to how to gain the heart of the people we contact. Some are not open to the message, while some are concerned and in search of truth.” To this society, Brito affirmed, the Church must give a concrete answer, especially here in Europe—the most secularised region of the world. And the results are not missing.

“This is my fifth report in this quinquennium, and this is a team report,” Brito said, sharing with the Executive an interesting list of programmes and projects elaborated in the different local contexts. “In doing so,” the president affirmed, “I would like to share some joys that have been transmitted to me.”

He started with the 10th anniversary of video broadcasting of Stimme der Hoffnung, the Hope Media centre situated in Germany.
“I saw the joy of the employees, but also the joy of the donors that are giving more and more because they [identify] with the project.” People that have different religious background are regularly watching the Adventist programmes.  

Following up his point, Brito cited many interesting projects related to refugees, Muslims, and other targeted people in search of spiritual support. He presented the success of evangelistic campaigns, especially led by lay members. Particular attention was given in the report to the large number of training opportunities for lay members. “All the unions involved in training lay members can see results,” asserted the president.  

One example among many is Spain, where the lay members are involved in small action groups, giving birth to other churches.

In Romania, the mission is supported by many schools putting a good emphasis on education in this quinquennium, mainly secondary and primary schools. Many people got baptised because of the good work of the schools.

“As a Division, we are investing a lot in global mission projects, especially in the Centres of Influence,” Brito confirmed. “We have them in almost all our countries, and we can see how they help to foster the message of the gospel.”

Animated by his report, Pastor Brito encouraged the participants, mainly the presidents, to see the Holy Spirit working within their countries, despite the apparent reduced results.


In the second part of his report, President Brito was clearer in considering some of the most debated topics in the Church at all levels in these last years.
“It is very important that we remain united. We have to remember that the work is the work of the Holy Spirit, not ours. If we want to succeed, we have to work in cooperation with Him.” To claim the Holy Spirit has been a leit-motif of the report of the President.

Finally—calling the attention of the Executive members—Brito emphasized, several times, that working in cooperation with the Holy Spirit is much more than praying for each other, meeting on pleasant occasions, or working on wonderful projects: it is the experience of an attitude of unity.

“Not everything is easy, no. We have discussions about some issues, but we are united here,” Brito affirmed, adding that “it is a pleasure working together, but we are aware that we [will not] have the same opinion for everything. What makes the difference is that we try to listen each other.”

Unfortunately, today, in the Church, we are facing a big polarisation, and at each extreme end of this polarization are people who think that those on the other end are our enemies.
Liberal people against conservative people. In society there are similar attitudes. People are divided. A lot of examples confirm this trend.  But why is it also found in the Church?
“If we [focus] on ourselves, our reasons, our arguments, we [go] nowhere. We have to be attentive to each other, we have to be careful with the way we deal with the differences, being respectful of the opinions of the others,” President Brito declared. Unity is not uniformity!

God introduced “otherness” in order for us to complement one another. Human beings were created different but complementary, and in this perspective, we can accept that we need each other; we can learn from the other.
 
“We, as a Church, have to see ourselves as an orchestra,” challenged the president, “because we can be different but united. The orchestra can harmonize the different timbres of the different instruments. As a Church, we have many challenges because we have people thinking completely different from one another,” but we cannot judge the position of the other. We are called to love each other as Jesus tried to impart to the disciples before leaving.  With this attitude, the dialogue becomes edifying.

“We will never be able to finish the work if we are not able to believe that the Holy Spirit can work in our heart and in the other’s heart,” Brito explained, “because if you are a sincere believer, I have to trust you because each one of us is accountable.”
 
“My dream is to see the Holy Spirit use men and women that trust in God; let’s dream that this day can come very soon,” the president challenged. “When we grow in maturity, respecting each other, loving each other, trusting that the Holy Spirit can work in my brother even if he thinks differently, then we are ready to receive the promised latter rain.”

“I praise the Lord for everything we are doing in our territory; there are differences, but God is blessing us,” the president concluded his report as he invited the Executive members to not be afraid of the future. “I’m confident that God will continue to bless the work in our territory, and we will see [that] we are going to grow, in quality first, then in quantity.” 

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