Forty Years of Shared Ministry
This year, Covenant Players celebrates our 40th year in Europe and 30th year in Scandinavia!
On August 22, 1971, Covenant Players’ first playdate in Europe was held in Wiesbaden, Germany. During our first years in Europe, CP performed regularly for the U.S. military.
In 1977, our first non-English unit was established. This was a German speaking unit which performed first in Austria, then went to Germany and eventually to Switzerland. Then in January, 1981, Schy Gleason, Nanna Nielsen (Ward), Tracey Lloyd & Michael (Kapp) Brown became the first, full-time unit of Covenant Players to Scandinavia! Over the past 30 years, Covenant Players has continued to serve throughout Denmark, Norway, Sweden & Finland, performing in English, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish & Finnish!
Many Scandinavians caught the vision to be part of Covenant Players. Nearly 100 people from Sweden, Denmark, Norway & Finland have served full-time with Covenant Players!
Two of the early Norwegians to join (in 1982 & 1983), Siri Ueland (Chancy) & Jorunn Knudson (Goriaczko), continue in Covenant Players to this day!
In 1989, Leslie Dillener & Lars Mörk were the first unit into Poland. Since that time more than 15 people from Poland answered the call to full-time service in Covenant Players with over 10 others joining from Lithuania and Estonia.
The ministry of Covenant Players in Europe would not be possible without the support of you, our European friends and supporters.
One area of dedicated support is from our translators.
Most of the first plays into Swedish were translated by Brita Rudberg, and the first plays into Norwegian were translated by Gro Nøstdal (Dahnson). Both Brita & Gro were travelling full-time with Covenant Players at that time!
Later Eva Brekke Voss and CP alumnus, Hilde Pedersen translated many more plays into Norwegian.
The first plays into Danish were translated by Nanna Nielsen (Ward) while she was in Covenant Players. Then years of dedicated service by Lis Nielsen added many more plays into the Danish repertoire.
Bogumila Więciorek translated more than 75 plays into Polish!
Many others from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Poland and throughout Europe have made significant contributions to translate hundreds of plays into 15 different European languages.
A large number of CP’s alumni continue serving as translators, contacts & representatives, performing with the units and much more.
Invaluable support has also come from many of you, the wonderful people who host the traveling Covenant Players. Many others of you have given indispensable logistical support – repairing vehicles, arranging programs, medical assistance, and a wide variety of other vital support ministries.
Thank you for 40 years of shared ministry. Your heartfelt participation has made the ongoing ministry of Covenant Players possible.
Now We Solicit Your Support for the Next Chapter...
We are committed to continuing the ministry of Covenant Players in Europe.
It is our hope and plan to purchase one large house this year that will combine office space with residence for the six staff (plus two children). In addition to much needed storage space, the new house will include guest rooms for visiting Covenant Players.
For most of our time in Europe, Covenant Players has been renting a house in Untergruppenbach, Germany, as our European Continental Office and residence for the European Supervisors. A second smaller house in the nearby village of Auenstein was purchased in 1990 as residence for the rest of the ECO staff. A barn on the same property has provided the needed storage space. It had been our hope to convert the barn into more rooms for Covenant Players but we were not able to accomplish that dream.
Although the CP house in Auenstein is in need of major repair, we have a buyer who is prepared to purchase the property as is at a good price. Being able to sell that property at this time provides us with a down payment towards financing the new house. Bank financing, plus the sale of the Auenstein house will provide most, but not all of the funds needed.
Will you support us once again in our long-term commitment to ministry on this continent by donating towards the purchase of a new base of operations for Covenant Players Europe?
Please pray for the Lord’s direction and our discernment in finding the right property.
Please consider how you or your church might participate in making a gift towards the down payment on the house. At this time, we are seeking an additional €15,000 — €20,000.
The enclosed response form indicates how you can help. Please contact us if you would like further information.
The purchase of this house as a European Headquarters and home for Covenant Players will provide stability and support to continue the ministry in Europe for many years to come.
Joe and Karin Medley
Virgin London Marathon — 17 April 2011
On 17 April 2011, Covenant Player Robin Goettl completed the Virgin London Marathon!!! Robin’s accomplishment occurred one year after he was originally scheduled to run the marathon. No, it didn’t take him a year to complete the race!
If I can take you back to last spring, you may remember that Covenant Players was granted one of the highly coveted places in the marathon on a “once in every 5 years” basis. Robin was set to line up last year for Covenant Players alongside the world’s elite athletes, para-atheletes and members of the general public — running for thousands of good causes.
A certain “volcanic incident” meant that Robin was unable to fly and so a team of 5 Covenant Players walked the 42 kilometre course a week later in Robin’s stead. Robin simultaneously ran 42 kilometres on a running machine in the States. (He completed it in a much better time but couldn’t match the views of London!!)
Last year, through your participation and support for this event, we raised over €1,430. The monies raised are already being used to help fund performances; supporting churches, outreach programmes, and disadvantaged groups and organisations across Europe.
Since Robin was unable to attend last year, a place for Covenant Players was rolled over to this year. He was delighted to be able to return to England for the marathon and to Europe where he served with his wife, Suzanne, as European Supervisors from 1988 to 1992.
Robin completed the marathon this year in a blessed way. In the final stretch, he stopped to encourage a despondent marathoner who, discouraged by her slow time, was proceeding at a walk with her head hung low. However, with Robin’s encouragement and uplifting words, they ended up jogging across the finish line together. Robin’s time of 4:48 could have been some minutes faster, but he chose instead to take the time to run the race as an ambassador for Christ.
Please pray for the Lord’s continued direction and inspiration as we seek to be a resource to the needs of the church and society throughout Europe. Amidst the increasing turbulence throughout the world today, we ask for your prayers that we may shine the light of Christ more brightly through these dark and difficult times. We pray for renewed vision, and for stamina, deepening faith, increased opportunities, passion to serve and an ability to recognize and respond to the needs before us.
We appreciate your prayers for Covenant Players’ leadership including International Director, Bobbi Johnson-Tanner, and European Supervisors, Joe & Karin Medley, as they seek to guide the Covenant Players in God’s plan and purpose for the future of the ministry.
We also ask for your prayers for Karin and Joe as they anticipate the birth of their child in early July!
Please pray for those considering joining Covenant Players in Europe, as well as for new missioners in North America, Australasia, and Southern Africa. We pray and hope for two missioners to join in Europe now and for several more to join in August.
Please pray for the Lord’s guidance in the house search for CP Europe’s office and home. We pray for the house that will best fulfill His long-term purpose for the ministry of Covenant Players in Germany and Europe. We ask for prayers for God’s provision for the financing of the house and any additional donations that will be needed for it to become a reality. We also ask for God’s guidance and provision for a new office and home for the Australasian office of Covenant Players.
We give thanks for the Lord’s protection and ask for continued prayers of protection over the Covenant Players as they travel, as well as His provision for the maintenance of our vehicle fleet. We thank God for the generous donation of a much needed mini-van this past January.
We ask for your prayers for health and healing for Covenant Players. In particular, we ask for prayer for Dale Sieber’s complete healing from cancer and for God’s provision for the medical bills. Please also pray for the healing of Debbie Allen, co-supervisor in the British and Irish Office from continued health problems and for the health needs of all Covenant Players and their families.
Our deep and heartfelt thanks go to all of you who support us and participate with us in so many ways – most importantly – with your prayers.