A thwarted terrorist plot in Europe complicates missionary travels.

By August 11, 2006

International (MNN)–A foiled terror plot in the United Kingdom brought with it increased security and formidable delays for air travelers.

Authorities uncovered evidence pointing to a sophisticated plan to simultaneously blow up several aircraft heading to the U.S.

The suspected terrorists hoped to smuggle volatile liquids on board in carry-on luggage. Security was raised to its highest level in Britain, and carry-on luggage was banned on all flights.

As the domino effect widened and more flights were cancelled or delayed, huge crowds backed up at London’s Heathrow airport. The result: gridlock.

With the mounting frustration and tension building at the air hub, no one is going anywhere soon. It just so happens that Greater Europe Mission is hosting a missions conference today in Hungary.

GEM’s Natalie Roth says the situation probably won’t stop their personnel from coming, but she acknowledges the complications of getting 400 people to Hungary on time.
They will eventually arrive, but, in light of the timing, “My main concern is just that all these Christian workers are coming together and I just think that it’s interesting, the timing of these events–it’ just seems like something that the evil one would like to discourage our missionaries with.”

Spiritual warfare? Not as odd as you might think. Radical Muslims have called jihad or ‘holy war’ on Europe, and appear to be doing their best to call down anarchy and fear.

GEM’s Rick Bravine says security problems may effect future ministry plans. “It may, as a matter of fact, curtail some of our outreach ministries, depending on what happens, and what the threats are, and how high the terrorist alert is.”

However, ministry won’t be cowed. Bravine hopes their teams will take advantage of the opportunity. “Our people, of course, are not going to put into harm’s way any team at all. We’ll do our best to avert that kind of situation.”

What he means is that when fear takes root due to terror or instability, people begin asking questions dealing with the eternal issues. Their hearts are more open than ever to hearing the Gospel. Please pray that the teams will be ready to answer when, not if, the questions come.

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