Statue of John Knox
We attended a conference in Scotland last month at which most of the MTW teams in Europe were represented. It was very encouraging to hear about the different ways God is working in such varied cultures as Greece, Bulgaria, Latvia, Scotland, and Germany. Although these cultures are widely separated by language, history, and tradition, they share much in common spiritually. They are all places in which Christianity has been more prominent at some period in the past. Today, only a very small minority in each of these countries has any interest in Christ and his kingdom. Like the Czech Republic, several countries where MTW is working today were dramatically affected by National Socialism and Communism. During the long period of moral scorched-earth policies in the 20th century, the Eastern European conscience was purged of gospel ideas and is still largely sterile today. Freedom has returned, but to an empty house.
The messages at the conference were delivered by Neil Macmillan, mission development officer for the Free Church of Scotland. Neil spoke about rebuilding the temple from the book of Haggai and applied that to rebuilding the church and our personal lives. Although the church in Europe is a faint shadow of what it was in former times, it is nonetheless God’s church and we must give careful attention to it. Just as God was very interested in the smaller, less-glorious temple that was being built in Haggai’s day, he is very interested in the struggling European church that is emerging from the ashes of physical and spiritual warfare in this part of the world.