Serving in Europe
Jeff and Deann serve with CBM in Europe, based in the Czech Republic where Jeff is Youth Ministry Training Coordinator and Advisor for the European Baptist Federation (EBF), an organization comprised of Baptist federations and unions from across 51 countries. He is also a faculty lecturer at the International Baptist Theological Seminary where he developed youth leadership courses for the Masters and Certificate programs. As part of his responsibilities Jeff created Horizons, an online training course in international youth leadership for volunteer youth workers. The program is offered in numerous languages and is available in over 20 countries.Jeff is from Nova Scotia but spent his early childhood years on First Nations reservations in Northern Manitoba where his father was a schoolteacher and principal.
Jeff attended several Urbana mission conferences which quickened his interest in global mission service. Before launching into missions, Jeff served as Christian Education Director at First Baptist Church, Charlottetown where he discovered his love for youth work and subsequently formed Sonrise, a performing arts youth ministry. Later as a staff worker with Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, he created a performing arts group called ‘Street Lights’.
Deann is also from Nova Scotia. She served in several pastoral roles, was Chaplain at Mount Allison University, pastor of visitation/youth at Moncton First Baptist Church, Pastoral Care Director at Spencers nursing home and part-time chaplain at two hospitals prior to joining Jeff in international missions work. She is a licensed counselor and therapist and operated a private practice in Canada while working with the Stratton Inquiry as a counsellor to victims of institutional abuse. Jeff enjoys the arts, music and painting. Deann enjoys reading and cross-stitch. They have two sons, Zachary and Matthew.
Latest Ministry Updates
This past fall, Deann and I were informed by Canadian Baptist Ministries that our time in Prague and with the EBF must come to a conclusion after sixteen years of a fruitful and rewarding partnership. The primary reason for this decision is due to a core value of CBM, which believes in establishing healthy partnerships, and yet allowing, after a period of time, for a natural movement from interdependence to independence. This is simply good missiology. Tony Peck (EBF General Secretary) has been most affirming and supportive along with ALL the staff and national leaders across the EBF. We could not
This past July, Jeff was privileged to lead the daily devotionals for the youth leaders and hosts of the Hungarian World Youth Gathering in Debrecen, Hungary. Each day the leaders would meet early in the morning to worship, testify and prepare themselves spiritually for the long days of service to this impressive gathering of Hungarian youth and leaders. In the middle of the week, the Hungarian language version of Horizons (Horizontok!) was released to the delegates and Benjamin and Barbara Bascó (the national leaders for the Hungarian Baptist Youth promoted the program which will be started on October 20-24th at their
Over a year ago I had the privilege of teaching a young man in my pastoral training course at the University of Bucharest in Romania. Dragos (Andrei) Hogas (pictured left) is the youth pastor at the Filadelfia Baptist Church. He shared with me the challenges of his youth work, and we spent long discussions talking about possibilities. Eventually, he took the Horizons (Romanian) course and had since become a mentor for the program. I had the privilege of helping him organize a Horizons LIVE leadership retreat for the youth leaders of Bucharest and to preach in his church.
This past March we saw the culmination of three years work, towards a joint conference of the EBF Youth and Children’s Committee and the EBF Mission Committee. There were several things that were an encouragement to us. A couple of unique things took place: First, it was the largest gathering of leaders from across Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East with 75 in attendance. Secondly, we were hosted by the Austrian Baptist Union in their church being renovated in an old ballroom (circa 1905). This church has reached out to 100’s of refugees, and they now have congregations
In July, Jeff was invited to roll out HORIZONTES (Horizons Spanish) to the Latin American world at the first gathering of young Baptists from countries across Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. JUBLA (the Baptist Youth Organization of Latin America) had issued the invitation to present Horizons and for Jeff to conduct seminars to the 800 delegates in the host city of Cancun, Mexico. He was warmly welcomed and since he has had a relationship for the past five years with most of the planning committee, and through his work with the Baptist World
It was a privilege once again to return to Serbia to conduct another Horizons LIVE (II) in Novi Sad a few weeks ago. It has been rewarding to see the impact that Zlatko and Jarmila Sebesta are continuing to have in their church. They work so hard for so little “monetary” reward, yet the impact of their young lives on the young people and camps in Serbia will be long lasting. This particular Horizons Live focused on development skills and looking at faith development of children and youth. More than one youth leader came to me and