Wednesday, November 25, 2009

EMERGE Women's Conference... COMPLETE!

Over the past year I (Amber) have taken on the role of European Conference Coordinator for Next Level International's WD (Women's Development) department. The goal of WD is obvious, to develop women in leadership across Europe. This is done through three phases of the EMERGE conference where women are encouraged and challenged to be exactly who God made them to be and fulfill the calling that God has placed on their lives.

I had the privilege of working alongside Marta Tóthová (a member of our lead pastoral team here in Nitra) while planning this conference. We chose the hotel, picked the food, handled all the registrations and finances, had pages of teaching material translated, and even more pages printed. We hosted the Short Term Missions team from the U.S.A. together and we also both had the opportunity to teach a workshop. Working alongside Marta has been one of the many highlights of our time here in Slovakia. She's an incredible woman and a great friend.

As mentioned, I taught a workshop at the EMERGE conference. Anna Armitage and I lead the workshop on the "Fundamentals of Influence" together. It was a great chance for both of us to further hone our teaching skills and a fun opportunity to collaborate. The workshop went well, garnered positive feedback, and I'm finding that I'm gaining confidence in my teaching ability with every opportunity I have.

I did find it quite challenging to plan the conference and write a workshop simultaneously. It turns out that two very different parts of my brain are used for these two purposes and I found it hard to engage them both at the same time!

I count it a privilege to be involved in the EMERGE conferences. It's so amazing to see women come together for the purpose of seeking God, His plans, healing, and relationship. To be a small part of what God is doing in the lives of women in Europe is an honour.

There are 5 EMERGE conferences planned for 2010. I can't wait to see what God is going to do in and through the women that gather.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We've Been Rev'd

The annual Eurasia Regional Conference is a time for international workers to get together, talk shop, build community, tackle some house keeping matters, and encourage one another. It is a highlight for us every year and being part of community is a high value for us. We know that for some workers, in isolated contexts, this conference is even that much more life-giving.

This year the conference was held in Tunisia - the Slovak contingent was spoiled with a flight time of 1 hour and 45 minutes and no time change. There was a different feel this year as our Regional Director was not able to attend for health reasons (from which he is recovering nicely) and several big personalities have transitioned into the newly formed region for workers in restricted access countries. Moreover, Tunisia is a highly Muslim country and the law forbids religious activities outside of religious facilities. So while at the hotel we had to limit our Christian-speak (which is OK with us), but it did limit our ability to share and worship together. Bibles and schedules had to be hidden, even inside our hotel rooms. The reality of this was driven home when the religious police came to ensure we were adhering to the rules.
30 minutes on a bus not only showed us how people actually live, but got us to the nearest place of Christian worship: a Catholic Church. The acoustics were bouncy and the murals plentiful, but this was the site of our ordination. We were both ordained in one service - apparently it is a rarity for husband and wife to do this simultaneously. It was remarkably encouraging and we were thrilled to be surrounded by friends and people who genuinely want us to succeed.


the reverends Price (we have to milk it while it is still novel)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Today Slovakia celebrates, with a national holiday, the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the end of Communist rule in what was then Czechoslovakia. The Gentle Revolution, more widely known by it's Czech name, the Velvet Revolution, began on November 17, 1989 when a group of students gathered to commemorate the murder of Slovak students (50 years earlier) on International Students Day. The Communist government responded harshly and their use of force catalyzed a sentiment that had long been brewing. In the following weeks peaceful protests and mass strikes led to the resignation of the regime and the first democratic government in over 40 years.

During our time here in Slovakia people have shared with us what it was like before the revolution - the secret police, the informers, the shortages, the air raid sirens, the hiding of faith. They have also shared with us what it was like to stand in the main square of Bratislava in 1989 and sing songs, join hands with people, waive flags: what it was like to change history. The look on people's faces - the refusal to actually let the tear run down their cheek - as they describe what it was like to sing songs about Jesus publicly for the first time in their lives.

As a Canadian it is a reminder that freedom is precious.

Today the Slovak Central Bank issued a unique 2 Euro coin bearing the words "17 November. Freedom. Democracy. Slovakia." with a picture of keys on it. During the protests people jingled their keys to symbolize the unlocking of freedom.

For more about the Gentle Revolution visit The Slovak Spectator, Wikipedia or for images from the protests visit a website dedicated to the day.