From January 13 – February 3, Cindy and I had the privilege of representing HeartCry across Western Europe. We visited and interviewed some of our HeartCry missionaries, spoke in various conferences and became acquainted with a new church plant in Switzerland. Although the weather was very cold, the fellowship and hunger for truth from the saints more than motivated us during our travel.
Our first stop was Stavenger, Norway, for the Back to the Word Conference sponsored by the Bjorn Storm Johansen and the Kilden Baptist Church. Bjorn is a warm hearted Norwegian brother who has a passion to see the biblical gospel recovered in Norway.
This year, the keynote speaker was Dr. James White, who covered various issues relating to the inerrancy of Scripture. Cindy spoke on Biblical Womanhood to the women, while I spoke on Biblical Manhood to the brothers. The feedback from the conference was very encouraging.
Interestingly, almost all the invitations for speaking that we receive from Europe are for messages on Biblical Manhood/ Womanhood, Marriage/ Family or the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. These topics seem to be at the forefront of the greatest needs’ list.
On January 10, we flew to Zurich, Switzerland, for a four day conference in a house church in Bewangen. The small faith family of Grace Fellowship is made up of eight Christians who meet in the home of Christian and Rebekka Brandli. Marcello Bonagura leads this body of believers whose lives are characterized by reality and integrity. Their love for the Savior is unwavering as they care for one another and love the gospel of Jesus Christ. Brother Marcello shared his perspective on our visit in a recent email that was sent to his prayer supporters:
“ The time we had with Don and Cindy Currin was such a blessing to all of us. God used every single time of preaching we had to renew our minds through His Word and teach us His ways. We are very grateful for all the precious things we learned, such as how to raise children in a godly way, what it means to be a godly woman and how men can deal with sexual immorality. In the past we had some issues with legalism in our church, so it was important for us to be reminded that everything we do has to be gospel driven. It is all about Christ.”
HeartCry missionary Daniel Noren picked us up at the airport in Gothenburg from where we were transported to his apartment where we had the blessing of living with the Norens for a few days. Their love for Jesus and the people of Sweden was very evident as they conveyed their burden for the natives with such endearing affection.
Cindy and I spoke in a conference that Daniel had promoted on the subject of Biblical Manhood/ Womanhood. The response was nothing short of incredible. To begin with, the attendance exceeded all expectations as there were in excess of ninety people at the event. Knowing that Cindy would be teaching the ladies in some of the sessions, a few women who were pastors or church leaders came to the conference. Amazingly, the ladies loved the teaching on the Woman’s Role in the Church. Here are Daniel Noren’s thoughts on the conference:
“The highlight of this month was when we had Don & Cindy do a conference for us on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It was something that really needed to be heard in this egalitarian country. The feedback was more then we expected. People were so thankful and many said that they never heard anything like this before. We have preached and taught about the subject in sermons and Bible studies, but never in a concentrated form like this. This gave us some good momentum in the church plant, and tonight I spoke to a man that came to the conference that inquired about church membership.”
Brother Kyle McCartan and his wife, Sara, are our HeartCry missionaries in Esse, Pedersöre, Finland. Kyle pastors the Agape International Church where he faithfully expounds the Word to a group of devoted believers.
Cindy and I enjoyed our time with the McCartans and the Agape church family during the days of January 19-22. Kyle gave us an interview and update on the ministry. Once again, the opportunity was provided to share with the congregation on the importance of being gospel driven in humility and prayer on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
The final leg of our trip took us to Manchester, England, where Kevin Williams pastors Grace Fellowship of Manchester. This was the second time that we have had the opportunity to be with Kevin, his wife, Zoe, and their family. We interviewed the Williams and conducted another conference for the church.
As previously when we were with the Grace Fellowship faith family, we were tremendously encouraged. The church in the past year has almost doubled in size. Their love for Christ and truth is amazing. They are serious Christians. And they aggressively engage the culture with the gospel in street evangelism. In a church that is made up of better than a dozen ethnic groups, the bond of redeeming love is very evident in the way they care for each other.
As alluded to in the previous paragraphs, there is a great need for both biblical teaching on the home and what God expects believers to be as biblical men and women. While there is a deficiency of biblical teaching on these critical subjects in Europe, there is also a crucial need for instruction on moral purity. If A. W. Tozer is right when he says that nothing changes the moral climate of a culture any more than genuine revival, then this is the urgent need in Europe. For the cultural decadence across the continent is unbelievable.
What I saw and heard during my brief visit reveals a landslide of moral degradation. The following is a Facebook post that I wrote after my return home.
Perversion of Shocking Proportions
During my recent trip to Europe I was stunned by the moral firestorm that is occurring on the continent. The moral decay of the culture is unbelievable. Strict laws forbidding the discipline of children, the amalgamation of sodomy deeper into the culture, and the public schools’ encouragement of students, as early as 9 and 10 years of age, to identify their gender bent by experimenting sexually with both genders, are among some of the worst moral atrocities from suppressing the truth of God (Romans 1:18).
A missionary in Sweden said that one city during their gay pride parade passed out condoms with I Corinthians 13:13 on the wrappers which particularly emphasized the words, “The greatest of these is love.” At present, there are organizations in some European countries that are pushing to legalize pedophilia. One columnist reported, “Sadly, child sexual exploitation and child pornography in particular, is shockingly extensive worldwide. It is a multi-billion dollar industry aided by the use of the Internet with the ‘thirst’ for younger victims growing.”
And You Think it Won’t Happen Here
As appalling as these crimes of nature are, believers in our North American culture should never think that these perversions won’t arise among us. The moral fiber of our society is eroding with such rapidity that in only the twinkling of an eye we will witness a complete moral collapse. As Proverbs 29:18 warns, “Where there is no vision (vision of God) the people perish (cast off moral restraint), … “
It would do us good to remember the words of Edmond Burke who said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Paul’s exhortation is a fitting challenge when he appeals to us “to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
This is the moral decadence that our HeartCry missionaries and fellow gospel ministers face in Europe. Pray for the protection of our brothers and sisters. Pray that the persecution that many daily endure will only embolden them to preach the gospel with greater resilience. And pray for another spiritual Reformation in Europe that will transform the moral climate.
Don is serving as the HeartCry Coordinator for Eastern Europe. As an itinerant evangelist, his pulpit ministry is directed toward preaching on the inner life of the believer and the spiritual need of the lost. With HeartCry, his ministry includes organizing Bible conferences and corresponding with the HeartCry missionaries in Europe. He and his lovely wife Cindy live in Tuscumbia, AL.More By Don Currin