INDO-EUROPEAN BRETHREN CONFERENCE, HUNGARY – 2017
Purpose of the conference
I had no such thought lingering in me until the Lord suddenly dropped into my heart a full-fledged idea of convening a “European Brethren Conference” while I was in Hungary during my 43rd Overseas Missionary Journey in 2015. I was in doubt and fear praying for over 6 months. When I decided to embark upon it, the Lord revealed the main purposes of the Conference:
1. Fellowship: As in any Christian Conference, EBC also will be a time of Christian fellowship between the European brethren of East and Central Europe.
2. Indo-European Fellowship: I expect 50 or more Kerala brethren mainly from Overseas to participate as observers. This will activate Indo-European fellowship.
3. Establishing Brethren Distinctive: Most of the Brethren assemblies in East and Central Europe were started well before the Second World War. But Brethren assemblies were prohibited from gathering independently during the Communist rule. Brethren had to be an integral part of a church consisting of Baptists, Pentecostals and some independent groups for 50 years. Although the Brethren regained independence and started gathering as independent assemblies after the fall of Communism by the end of 1980s, some of the wrong practices like speaking in “tongues”, Lord’s Supper only on alternate Sundays, etc. remains in some of the Brethren assemblies. I hope this Conference can help guiding in such areas.
4. Theme of the Conference: The Lord has laid the THEME directly in my heart – “All ye are brethren” (Mat. 23:8). I am prayerfully considering the following messages (papers) on:
i) History of the “Brethren Movement”
ii) Brethren Distinctive
iii) Brotherly Love
iv) Brethren Unity
v) Lord’s Supper
5. Indian gift to the Europeans: I roughly estimate that 100 Europeans may attend from about 12 countries. Also I expect 50 or more Malayalee brethren to attend as observers. Malayalee brethren are to meet their own expenses in subsidized package on hotel accommodation and food. Even then the Conference may cost about 20 thousand Euros (about 15 lakh of Rupees). The cost will increase proportionally to the increase in European attendance. Nobody has promised me any aide. I do not expect any financial help from Non- Indians. I look to the Lord to provide the whole financial need from Indian brethren mainly living overseas. As such, in one sense the Conference will be a gift from Indians to the Europeans. Type your paragraph here.