Eurasia conference unites South Asia, India fields
The Eurasia Region hosted the second installment of its regional conference, The Invisible World, in Hyderabad, India. The January conference had 334 attendees, representing 17 countries and speaking 21 different languages.
The vast geography of Eurasia led to the decision to host two full conferences in different locations—Kyrenia, Cyprus, in November 2019 and Hyderabad, India, in January—to make it more accessible. As a result, total attendance was 870 across the two conferences, up from the 640 who attended the single conference location in 2015.
According to *Milon, the Eurasia Region coordinator for Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries, the regional conference offered a rich opportunity for cross-cultural learning through the stories, perspectives, challenges, and ways to pray that were shared.
The two conferences featured twin programs and the same keynote speakers for the main worship services. Each service developed The Invisible World theme by exploring one of the region’s five priorities: prayer and fasting, identifying with the poor and marginalized, pushing our boundaries, learning to be disciples, and discovering and developing leaders.
“It was wonderful seeing the excitement, commitment, and love of our Nazarene brothers and sisters from South Asia and India,” said David Graves, general superintendent in jurisdiction for the region. “They make you feel right at home.”
The conference featured a service of lament in recognition of the reality of the persecuted church. Pastors who have experienced persecution for their faith solemnly stood and shared testimonies.
“This conference shows the vibrancy and warmth of the faith of our Nazarene brothers and sisters here,” said Regional Director Arthur Snijders. “We were part of the worship of a courageous church.”
The conference emphasized intergenerational church leadership through the active participation of the region’s youth. It challenged generational division, moving the region towards creating community together. In a testimony to that community, young and old celebrated, laughed, prayed, and ate together.
Eurasia’s Nazarene Youth International (NYI) presented Snijders with the Timothy Award. Diego Lopez, regional NYI coordinator, noted the influence that Snijders has had on the region’s youth through a presentation about Snijders’ intentionality to invest in grassroots ministry. Lopez called him a “great mentor to many people.”
In addition to the conference, meetings and conferences were hosted in Hyderabad before and after, taking advantage of the presence of so many Nazarene lay people and leaders.
The schedule was full of meetings between various ministries in addition to a well-attended theology day, and a day for missionaries to meet, a superintendent’s training, and the first-ever women’s ministry conference for that part of the region.
Called History Makers, the women’s conference saw an attendance of 159 South Asian and Indian women. Two workshop tracks made it possible for women who are called into pastoral leadership to focus on ministerial development while other women found encouragement for supportive roles in ministry via the second track.
“Leadership development was happening at every stage of the conference,” said Central Maharashtra District Superintendent Rajiv Yangad. “Not only were South Asian and Indian leaders fulfilling their jobs, but they were finding others to fill roles as well. It was so encouraging to see the next tier of leadership being developed.”