To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.Mike Krzyzewski
Abante International serves in France several times during the European segment of the colleagues’ journey. Vauréal, France is one destination the team has looked forward to serving at for the past five years. Pastor Emmanuel Gugliemi and his family have become dear friends of the program, and his congregation always receives each team with open arms, and eagerness to learn.
On the weekend of April 28-May 1st, a team of Abante colleagues, European Theological Seminary Instructors, and Delmarva (USA) Youth and CE Directors came together to teach several workshops, and serve the wonderful people of the Vauréal Church of God. ETS Instructor Kenneth Hamilton taught two workshops on Spiritual Gifts highlighting that believers are called to use their gifts to bring maturity into the body. Professor Kenneth Hamilton stressed the ideas that; The gifts and the fruit of the spirit, though different, they complement each other. He also stated that It is dangerous to operate in the gifts of the spirit without producing fruit. Perhaps one of the most powerful statements he made was that “If we neglect the spiritual gifts, we are neglecting loving people.”
The team, also heard from Delmarva Youth and CE Director Landon Roberts and his wife Lorinda Roberts. They spoke about Ministry to children and youth. The workshop was meant to inspire and encourage the volunteer workers of these ministries, as well as those interested in volunteering. The information was relevant to the audience with practical tips that can be implemented in each area of ministry. Lorinda Roberts highlighted the fact that Children are future brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore ministry to children should be grounded in the gospel. She also stated that parents and volunteer ministry workers need to model to children a healthy relationship with Christ.
Director Landon Roberts shared a list of “how to’s” for a successful youth ministry; he stated that parental involvement is important and necessary. He also stated that students need to be shepherded, volunteers need to be recruited to join the team, and that the ministry has to adapt an inter-dimensional model in order to reduce “island time,” or alienation/distance.
On Sunday morning, Founding Director Brian Schlottmann presented a challenging message on being holy. He stated that holiness in a believer is represented in relationships, and that if not careful, his or her walk becomes about doing things rather than being. Brian challenged the congregation with his statement that beyond idols and sacrifices, a holy life requires a very human practicality; a lifestyle of compassion!
For the Abante colleagues, the weekend of ministry in Vauréal was instructional, inspirational, and well balanced with a day off to enjoy the sights in Paris. The team also enjoyed good food, and great fellowship with those ho attended the workshop, and the service, as well as Pastor Emmanuel and his family, who have now become like family to Abante International.