New Leadership Couples’ Retreat in Budapest

 From May 4-8, nine new leadership couples from various parts of SEND’s world joined our International Director and his wife, our Europe Regional Director and his wife, and Bertha and me at the Walzer Hotel in Budapest for training and orientation to their new leadership role.  Each of these new leadership couples is now responsible for SEND’s ministries and teams in a particular country, and a few of them are actually responsible for ministries and teams in two countries.   Most of the leadership couples are serving in Europe, and thus Budapest was selected as the venue for this training.

The topics we addressed included transitioning to the leadership role, the leader profile, the leader’s vision, the role of the wife, dealing with loneliness, keeping your marriage strong, delegation & empowerment and managing area finances.   The complete list of topics can be seen on the SEND U wiki.

Our Europe Regional Director, Rex Durham, led a session on “Your communication as a leader” in which he asked Warren Janzen (our ID) to describe a Lego model to one of the wives who could not see the finished project. She then had to pass on the description to another leader who sought to follow her instructions to build a duplicate model.

Fortunately the messenger was the mother of 4 boys, and clearly understand Lego construction.  Communication was slowed by various false assumptions about the nature of the project that was being built.   Nevertheless, the duplicate model construction was going in the right direction, and complete success in communication was only limited by the time factor.

Budapest was an excellent venue for this type of training, not only because it was a convenient and central location for so many of the participants.   In the past, this training has been done in our International Office, but Detroit can hardly compare with the the sights of this historic European city.  Each couple was given a taste of authentic Hungarian food and music, as well as an opportunity to take a dinner cruise down the Danube in the evening.

The last topic we discussed was “Sabbath rest”.  So many leaders struggle with exhaustion, because work seemingly is never done.  Our own experience and observation point to the great need for this “stop work order” in the midst of our busyness.   The last day of the training event was devoted to worship and practicing “Sabbath”, followed by a great sharing and prayer time at the end.

Probably the highlight for everyone was the opportunity to spend time with other leadership couples, sharing frustrations and joys, and learning together how to better lead the missionary teams that God has entrusted to us.

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