Engage Europe http://www.engageeurope.com Mon, 23 Mar 2015 08:49:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Netherlands Trip Update http://www.engageeurope.com/2015/02/20/netherlands-trip-update/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2015/02/20/netherlands-trip-update/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:12:18 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=930 Read more →

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Thank you so much for praying for my first trip to The Netherlands. I say first, because I’m already scheduled to go back for another conference in April!

Crossing the border into The Netherlands was surreal. I had all kinds of ideas of how my life would be impacted, half expecting some kind of sudden revelation or vision or something miraculous. Instead, I just prayed as I enjoyed the pastoral beauty. Maybe I’d just been building it up in my head for so long, and I needed to manage my expectations better.

I definitely enjoyed my time there. But it is hard to know what to say partly because I have no significant stories to tell of lives radically changed. However, I was definitely in my element with like-minded people. I made some good friendships that have a good chance of turning into future ministry partnerships. And I was also able to encourage and exhort a couple of guys in their calling and ministries.

Hold on for a second.

I just wrote that I did nothing significant, while at the same time saying that I formed some relationships that have a good shot at becoming ministry partnerships, and that I was able to encourage a couple of brothers in their walk’s with the Lord. That’s exactly what I’ve been called to do! I’m half writing to myself here. I’ve been thinking that my first trip to The Netherlands was a bust because I didn’t suddenly turn into Billy Graham to the Dutch, but that’s not what I’ve been called to do.

Don’t let the enemy do that to you. He seeks to minimize you, and to belittle you. If you’re following him and doing your best to be obedient, with a yielded heart and mind, body and soul. He’s gonna use you and be with you and fulfill his purposes through and in you. Again, I’m mostly writing to myself. Submit to Him. Put Him first in everything you do. And then what? He’ll make your path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6) and lead you to the good and great things He has for you!

I didn’t set out to write a devotional here, but take it for what it’s worth. If God is moving you in a direction, go for it. Don’t let the enemy minimize or sideline you. Even if you feel like you’re God’s third string… So what! When you get on the field, He’ll use you in the most ordinarily awesome ways!

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The Netherlands’ Significance http://www.engageeurope.com/2015/01/30/922/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2015/01/30/922/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:56:31 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=922 Read more →

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Netherlands BadgeOn New Year’s Eve day in 1987, I was a freshman in high school and I was growing and maturing in my walk with Jesus. God had put it in my heart by then that I was going to be a missionary, but I didn’t know where. Through reading biographies and school research projects, I had become fascinated with three cultures: Asia in general, Japan specifically, and the Dutch in the Netherlands.

Asia in general because I had heard about a YWAM base in Montana that I was curious about and they sent missionary teams to that general area. (Interestingly, my sister Grace did her DTS there and wound up moving to Taiwan.) Japan because I had heard stories about how difficult it was there to tell people about Jesus. Plus, the movie “Gung Ho” that came out in 1986 contrasted with stories I’d heard about WWII peaked my curiosity. Lastly, the biography of Brother Andrew (God’s Smuggler) and other biographies I’d read, contrasted with a research paper I had written about modern-day Netherlands, broke my heart for the Dutch people. The same country that sent missionaries around the world in decades and centuries past, is also the first western country to legalize drugs, prostitution, and euthanasia.

Getting back to the eve of 1988…

I had a long conversation with my parents about these three missionary destinations that afternoon. That evening, I went to the local amusement park, Knott’s Berry Farm, where they were having a different Christian band playing at every venue in the park. They called it “Knott’s Jubilation.” That night, while listening to The Allies, still one of my favorite bands, I somehow suddenly knew that God had a plan for me in The Netherlands. With tears, I dedicated my life to following Jesus to whatever He had for me there. His call was not specific, but it was clear and every major life decision I’ve made for the past 27 years has been filtered through that call.

Which leads me to next week. On Monday, February 2nd, I and the rest of the eDOT team will be driving to The Netherlands for a tech ministry conference called ICCM-Europe (International Conference on Computing and Mission). I’m part of the preparation team for the conference and I’m in charge of the website and online conference schedule. The road here has been full of twists and turns, but God knew so long ago how He wanted to get me here, and what skills he wanted me to have so that I could fulfil His purpose in His timing!

So pray for me. I feel like I should be more emotional than I am about my trip next week. If it were in any other country, I’d still be excited for it, but this one’s special to me and I don’t know what to expect.

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2014 Year End Update http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/12/30/2014-year-end-update/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/12/30/2014-year-end-update/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 14:22:46 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=935 Read more →

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2b29b2ac-b250-414a-bae6-406467f1becc[1]Here’s the email we just sent out. Hope you had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

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Three Months! http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/11/05/three-months/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/11/05/three-months/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:12:24 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=909 Read more →

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Time sure flies when you’re having fun! Here’s an update on how we’re doing!

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At the Car Wash http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/08/27/at-the-car-wash/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/08/27/at-the-car-wash/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:15:39 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=899 Read more →

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13035682107294d6cd845d253886ff40a1be4d5c46[1]This past Sunday—August 24—marked one full month since we moved to Germany! The honeymoon phase hasn’t worn off yet, but there have been moments—like the time when we borrowed a car for three weeks while the owners were out of town on vacation. At the end of the three weeks, we went to get it washed before returning it and encountered a few surprises.

For one, it was an automated car wash machine at a gas station. Everything’s normal and I (Jeff) have done this dozens of times until we watch the driver ahead of us. He pulls into the machine, gets out of his car, puts the code in the key pad, and proceeds to stand there and watch as the machine washes his car. Not wrong, just different, right?

Then when I pulled the car around to the vacuum station I had to wait while the person ahead of me finished with the vacuum. Again, everything’s normal, right? The kicker came when some [insert polite adjective] person pulled in to the newly vacant spot while I was putting the car in gear. Carrie and the kids were standing there waiting for me to pull in while we all just watched in dumb-founded astonishment as this car I thought was just pulling through proceeded to pull into my spot!

Such rudeness is not uncommon in the States, but inside I was seething and I didn’t know what to do about it. I didn’t “do” anything I regret, but fight-or-flight definitely kicked in. I wanted to chew the guy out or make some snide remark, but in what language? I let Carrie take charge and gave myself a time out while she and the kids took care of the vacuuming.

Had it been a normal day in Colorado Springs I might have vented a bit toward the guy, but I would have let it slide off my back a lot more easily and just laughed. As I’ve had a chance to process that event, I see that my reaction was definitely evidence of cultural stress. It had been a long day full of situations where the newness of everything and the language struggle made the simple difficult and the difficult just plain overwhelming. We were told there would be days like that and I’m grateful for that education.

The next time we go to the car wash I now know what to do. I’ll be quicker and claim my rightful territory! :-P

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. We know this is a process and we’ll have moments like that at the car wash. It is only Jesus who is going to get us through this adjustment without us completely losing our sanity.

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“We’re Here” Video and Pictures http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/08/25/were-here-video-and-pictures/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/08/25/were-here-video-and-pictures/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:14:38 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=896 Read more →

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Can you believe we have been living here in Germany for more than three weeks!

The past few days sure have been full and there’s so much we’d like to say. So much, in fact we’re not sure where to start! We’re going to try to keep this video short, but at the same time we want to pack it with pictures of our new life, so please excuse us if we go a little longer for this one.

Also, this is our last email newsletter until the beginning of October. If you want to pray for us and you’re not already getting our monthly prayer emails, let us know and we’ll add you to that list.

In above video…

  • Our life here in Kandern
    • Language Brain… Sometimes when we go to speak German another language comes out. Then sometimes when we go to speak English, we find German instead.
    • Autobahn Fun… We’ve had some interesting experiences already on the famed German Autobahn. Carrie was riding with a new friend at 180 kph which we later found to be about 112 mph! Jeff was riding with a friend when speed limit dropped from unlimited to 120 kph (75 mph) but he didn’t see the change. He found out when the speed camera flashed!
  • Jeff’s ministry plans so far (ICCM-Europe and Spain)
    • ICCM-Europe… Jeff is using his skills to revamp the ICCM-Europe website.
    • Spain… Jeff will be attending a conference about ministry to an immigrant people group we can’t name. He’ll be looking to form partnerships between some of those ministries and eDOT.
  • The story of a tree
    • We couldn’t be here without you… Jeff went for a hike and took a picture of an apple tree that reminded him that we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for so many people supporting us.

Thanks again for walking with us. We’re so excited to be here, serving God with our gifts, talents, and all that we are! You’ve been an integral part of this process with your prayers and your financial support. We trust that Jesus Christ has a plan and we’re eager to see what it is!

Jeff & Carrie Gage

PS. We’d love to connect if you have the time. It is expensive for you to call us, but from our apartment we can make calls to the States for free. Contact us (facebook, twitter, or email) and let us know when would be a good time to talk.

We can receive mail at:
Greater Europe Mission
c/o Jeff & Carrie Gage
Hammersteinerstraße 49
79400 Kandern
Deutschland

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Don’t Drink the Water (in Public) http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/08/25/dont-drink-the-water-in-public/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/08/25/dont-drink-the-water-in-public/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:24:37 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=881 Read more →

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You Can Drink the Water—Just Don’t Do It in Public!

042143a6-994e-4b21-ad5c-8a10613afe4c[1]The tap water (Leitungswasser, Trinkwasser) in Germany ranks among the healthiest in the world. However, most Americans who somehow learned the German phrase for “Tap water, please.” (“Leitungswasser bitte.”) rarely use the phrase a second time. The puzzled look of disgust on the server’s face is usually enough to discourage all but the most emboldened diner from making any second attempt. It is a look that says: “Ordinary water is fine for bathing, but only a barbarian would drink it!”

Why don’t Germans drink perfectly safe water? Theories on this topic abound, but the reasons for their reluctance—more like a phobia—may go back to a time when public water sources were truly hazardous to your health. This tap-water angst is not just a German thing, either. Most other Europeans also avoid drinking tap water—except perhaps accidentally when they brush their teeth—despite its high quality. German drinking fountains are a rarity.

If you want to see stares of disbelief and horror, just pour yourself a glass of water from the kitchen sink in front of your German hosts. Their expressions alone will tell you that you have just violated some cardinal rule of German culture. Your shocked German friends may tell you that tap water is for washing the dishes and bathing, not for drinking. In a restaurant, if you ask for water (and you do have to ask!), it will come in a bottle and will usually be carbonated, mit Gas (if you don’t want carbonated water, ask for stilles Wasser).

Another reason for Trinkwasser-Angst is the taste of some local water. While there are exceptions, much of the water coming out of German taps, despite its safety, just doesn’t taste that good. Often das Wasser may be hard and heavily calcified (verkalkt—also a derogatory term applied to people), another reason for the popularity of filtered or bottled water.

Although beer, wine, coffee, tea, colas, and even fruit juice are certainly popular with Germans, the biggest-selling beverage remains good old Mineralwasser (sparkling mineral water)—a steadily rising trend over the last several decades. Germans drink more of the sparkling clear liquid per capita (in 2000) than any other beverage, including the German staple, beer—downing 101 liters of mineral water per person (In 1970, the rate was only 12.5 liters per German.

from When in Germany,Do as the Germans Do
by Hyde Flippo (2002)

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We Are Here! http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/07/29/we-are-here/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/07/29/we-are-here/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:47:26 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=873 Read more →

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Less than a week ago (Thursday, 24 July, 2014) we arrived at the Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport dazed and jetlagged after more than 20 hours of travel. Every day since we’ve had to pinch ourselves to see if this is real.

Willkommen s

Our apartment is beautiful. It is on the ground floor of Jeff’s office building and its easy walking distance from every necessity of life—from the small, Trader Joe’s-like grocery store to the kid’s bus stop. Over and over again during these past four years, the Lord has brought us back to Psalm 23. It might be cliché, but truly He has led us to green pastures and still waters.

Have there already been moments of frustration? Yes! Just dealing with trash alone has been a huge learning curve and seems extremely inefficient. We’re sure it will become second nature, eventually. After all, why doesn’t everyone have five or six different trash bags in their kitchen?

Starting this Saturday, someone has offered to let us borrow their car while they’re gone for three weeks. What a gift! We’re looking forward to spreading our wings a bit and seeing more of the area before the kids start school Monday, 1 September, and our language learning officially kicks off. Even now, we’re motivated more than ever to dig into Rosetta Stone and Duo Lingo. We so want to start talking to the people we meet on the street and in the stores!

Thank you for your prayers as we do our best to get our life set up here and start getting to know our neighbors both in and out of the GEM community. As Albert Tate said—at Mount Hermon four years ago—goodness and mercy are following us; we don’t have to chase after them. Pray that we are His instruments to redirect that goodness and mercy to those around us!

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Rapid Fire Updates! http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/06/24/rapid-fire-updates/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/06/24/rapid-fire-updates/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 05:30:57 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=848 Read more →

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One month ago (May 23rd) we announced that we had a date to move to Germany: July 23. At that time we announced that in order to move we’d have to raise $1,800 a month, or 72 bites of $25 each. Since then, the Lord has done some remarkable things! Now, with twelve days to go before we are scheduled to fly, we are fully funded for the first year of ministry!

Every Friday we’ve been documenting this whole process through weekly update video emails. Here they are so far! Please keep praying as the rest of the bites are taken!

Email Video
Special Update, May 2014
8 Weeks to Germany!
7 Weeks to Germany!
6 Weeks to Germany!
5 Weeks to Germany!
4 Weeks to Germany!
3 Weeks to Germany!
2 Weeks to Germany!
1 Week to Germany!

Even though we’re fully funded for the first year, we still need to consider the years after that. If we’re on your heart, don’t think you’re too late. Please visit www.bit.ly/engageeurope!

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Opportunities to Serve with eDOT http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/06/02/opportunities-to-serve-with-edot/ http://www.engageeurope.com/2014/06/02/opportunities-to-serve-with-edot/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 22:30:11 +0000 http://www.engageeurope.com/?p=835 Read more →

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Greater Europe Mission just released its newest tool to help people find where they’re needed on the European mission field. Check it out at www.GEMAdventure.com.

I’ve listed eDOT’s opportunities below.

I hope I’m able to fill the first and second positions listed. Also, I’m going to do some on-the-job training to learn how to do the third position. Knowing the huge need for the sixth and seventh, I know I’ll be helping with those until someone else comes along who really knows what they’re doing and has a passion for it.

Depending on her availability and ability, Carrie will help out with the fourth position. She might even wind up doing some of the fifth, but we’ll see how everything works out!

  1. eDOT Web & Mobile App Designer
    Design mission-focused websites and web/mobile applications for various audiences across Europe, North Africa, and beyond.
  2. eDOT Technical Project Manager
    Work with short term teams and interns to complete technical projects that connect and/or disciple people.
  3. eDOT Web and Mobile Application Developer
    Create and maintain web and mobile applications that connect and/or disciple people.
  4. GemStone/eDOT Graphic Designer
    Design for mobile applications, the web, and print publications in a culturally sensitive fashion.
  5. eDOT Office Administrator
    Organize travel, help process expense reports, general office management, and keep information current and up to date.
  6. eDOT Systems Coordinator
    Administrate our various servers and systems and help our ministry partners use our servers and systems as we all multiply and accelerate the Kingdom of God.
  7. eDOT Technical Systems Administrator
    Develop and maintain several servers and infrastructure that are housed locally, in remote locations, and “in the cloud.”

All of this serves to show how incredibly we’re needed on the eDOT team! Help get us there!

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