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 hope to have left the ministry in better shape than now.
First, it must be said that we have not found it easy to accept this decision. As a family, we have put down deep roots in our beloved Europe, both with our lives and ministry. We have deeply appreciated how completely embraced by the EBF family of Baptists we have felt over the past sixteen years. It is equally amazing, to me, as the youth leadership training coordinator, how my cooperation was embraced with such enthusiasm with nary a conflict, this in itself is something I consider a miracle and of God’s doing.
Secondly, I (Jeff) have already begun proactively working on a proper transition plan, and I have committed to building a team to continue the work of equipping youth and children’s workers in particular as it relates to Horizons in the care of the EBF Youth and Children Committee. This is my one of my chief concerns and I will be working on this until our departure this summer for Canada. There is still much work to be done over the next six months; there are Horizons Live events in various countries, seminary courses to teach and languages to complete, and a Summit to prepare for in April of the mentors of the EBF Horizons program. As a family, we understand and accept the rationale of our mission (CBM) to wind down our time with the EBF, and therefore we are willing to consider moving on and embracing the possibility of a new and exciting ministry, currently being worked on by CBM. This new ministry will enable an even broader context and scope for influencing and equipping youth and children leaders in the global setting.
Finally, we are asking you, our faithful financial supporters and prayer warriors, to consider continuing your partnering with us through this transition. At the very least we will be in Europe until this summer. Beyond that, we will inform you in the weeks to come.
As we look forward to the future and the doors God will open for us it is our prayer that you will become excited with us for what lays ahead. In due course, CBM will be making an announcement to this effect, regarding our new role, and we will be able to share more of that vision as it unfolds in the weeks to come.
Prayer and Praise
- Praise God for a wonderful Youth and Children’s Conference with 23 countries and 45 delegates representing their ministry and nations. The theme of teamwork was timely and helpful for many!
- Please pray for Jeff as he teaches his final course at the University of Bucharest in early February.
- Pray for the sale of our house which we have had for 10 years. Pray that the markets will stay stable and that all will finish up before we have to leave Europe in July.
- Pray for transitions for us as a family and for adjusting after 16 years living in Prague. It has very much been our home and to start over again is a challenge but one we pray God is going ahead to prepare the way.
- Pray for Jeff who will have his gall bladder removed in mid-February and a repair of a torn ligament in his hand before coming back. There is a lot to do with moving and travel still so hoping there are no complications.
- Pray for our efforts to continue to encourage people to continue to give stable financial support as we transition to Canada and to a future ministry opportunity through CBM at some point in the fall.
Some kind words…
EBF General Secretary, Tony Peck says: Jeff and Deann will be greatly missed in the life of the EBF. ‘Jeff’s ministry has been hugely appreciated and valued right across our EBF family and the HORIZONS training course has been one big success story that goes on multiplying. We are thankful to CBM for its very significant investment of human and financial resources over so many years. Deann has played her important part in all that too, and has also worked as a member of the EBF admin team. We wish Jeff and Deann God’s leading and blessing wherever their journey takes them from here.’
Bob Morris, Chair of the EBF Youth and Children’s Work Committee commented” ‘The EBF Youth and Children’s Committee are very grateful for the immense contribution that Jeff has made to the ministry over the years and will miss him sorely. His commitment to the annual conferences and Horizons, our online training programme have been diligent and consistent and we wish him God’s best going into the future”
Terry Smith, General Secretary of CBM also highlighted Jeff and Deann’s contribution: ‘Our partnership with EBF is one of mutual blessing and I am excited to see the impact of Horizon continue to grow throughout the entire EBF region and beyond. Jeff and Deann have helped crystallize this strong partnership and as we now we move to a new phase of collaboration, those who have benefited from their ministry can move it ahead with a new generation of leaders. As Canadian Baptists, we celebrate this shared journey.
About Jeff & Deann Carter
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. Deann has 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.