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Iceland volcano interferes with missions

By April 21, 2010

Iceland (MNN) — Iceland's volcanic eruption is teaching a
global "lesson in chaos." The ash cloud from
Eyjafjallajokull snarled Europe's air traffic and stranded thousands in the
airports. 

Even as some flight resumes, there are warnings of another
eruption and a second awakening volcano, Katla. Authorities say a Katla eruption would be 10 times stronger and shoot
higher and larger plumes of ash into the air than its smaller neighbor, which
has already cost the airlines over $1 billion in lost revenue.

The domino-effect around the globe has been stunning. Disrupted commerce in many countries will
prove costly in the long run. Rotted unshipped
produce now could translate to higher prices and scarcity later on. Stranded travelers are looking at thousands in
lost wages.

Greater Europe Mission president Henry Deneen confirms
the interruption of their work. Several
short-term teams had to stay home because they couldn't get an international
flight out of a main hub.

Deneen also cancelled a busy European visit with colleagues
this week. Instead, he's meeting them via Skype or
through other electronic communications. "We're all trying to talk in a pro-active way about the best way
possible to deal with this. It's like an emergency for which you can never
prepare." The one thought that has
re-emerged to Deneen this week: "God is sovereign." 

GEM missionaries traveling within Europe found ways to get
where they needed to go. Even while GEM
team members cope with the inconvenience, Deneen acknowledged it's not the
first time their evangelism work been disrupted, and it won't be the last.

Deneen began contacting other ministry leaders in Europe inviting
them to join him on a conference call so they could collectively rethink their
approach. The work of the Gospel shouldn't
be so vulnerable to the unexpected.  

He says, "Maybe
all of us who are working in Europe could work together perhaps in better ways
than each of us working individually. It's just bigger than any one agency or
any one group of people."

If they can find ways to work toward the Gospel together,
more effectively, the lesson in chaos will reveal the strength of the body of
Christ in unity. Pray for wisdom for
the missionaries whose work is delayed. Pray for open doors and for good ideas to flow at this meeting of
the minds.

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