What a joy to see seventy women from nearly twenty European countries gather recently at the beautiful coast of Crikvenica in Croatia for the Hope for Europe Women’s Conference. Women of different languages, ages, cultures and church backgrounds met to celebrate the hope they have in Jesus Christ to transform Europe.
Bible teachers at the conference were Noor van Haaften and Reona Joly-Peterson. Emily Voorhies from Women of Global Action and I spoke at plenary sessions and held seminars.
The highlight of the conference was listening to the country reports. As this was the sixth European Women’s conference, we were able to look back and see how God has used these meetings to plant interdenominational national movements among women.
We heard again how influential Christians had been in the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. We saw our sisters from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia standing together for unity and reconciliation.
We also shared the prayer requests of our countries and were able to identify similar problems: high divorce rates, alcoholism, single moms, moral issues, post-modern thinking, trauma from the recent wars in the Balkans. Because some of us personally knew one of the Christian workers killed in Turkey recently, we spent a lot of time in prayer for the persecuted Church in Turkey and Iraq.
The last day we invited women from the area for an evangelistic outreach. The Logos II ship was in the harbour of the nearby town of Rijeka and was used to host this women’s day. About 250 Croatian women came and about thirty responded to the invitation to become Christians.
What a joy for all of us at the conference and what an encouragement for the women in Croatia, who had never before been invited to such a day! Hope for Europe was founded as an initiative to join forces of the European Evangelical Alliance, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and the AD 2000 Movement. It has continued in working groups and at annual European Roundtable meetings. The meeting of the women’s track takes place every two years.