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GREATER EUROPE MISSION - SHIRLEY UNGER

LATEST NEWS

Here is the latest news from Shirley Unger.

Subject: update from Shirley
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2017 00:03:12 +0200
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Shirley Unger <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Hi there.

It's evening here in Germany. The air has cooled down a bit from the mid-thirties of earlier today.

Today started with a few startling things. I was almost in Kandern, and a beautiful deer dashed in front of my car. So glad he was in a hurry and my brakes slowed me down quickly. Once in the office I discovered the desk surrounded with balloons. As a coworker brushed against one, it burst - another thing that made me jump! After a while others came in with cake to help me celebrate the start of another year of life.

The last few weeks have come with some unexpected challenges. My refrigerator gave out on me one night - the next day happened to be a holiday, which I ended up using to clean out food items that had thawed out. That meant an expense I hadn't planned on, and some time spent trying to figure out how to purchase a new appliance. I'm still making payments on the car I got last year as well.

Also, a few weeks ago my sister Gladys let me know she'd found a new lump and learned it was cancerous. She will be having a lumpectomy on July 11th, so I'd appreciate your prayers for her.
I had considered heading back to Canada for a couple of weeks during this time. It is a busy time and would be a more expensive trip. The situation with the refrigerator, challenge to find good options for flights and some things at the office led to my decision to stay here. It was a hard choice to make. Yet I know that God is in control in all of this. And I'm thankful one of my other sisters has chosen to take some time off work to be of assistance.

I'd appreciate prayers for the ministry at the office as well. As the supervisor for the administrative department, there are some challenging things my director and I need to work through in a certain situation.

Our GEM conference is a month away now. I continue to assist with that. I've got some help this year, but am still responsible for a lot of the logistics with the location we will be at in Slovania. Our service and worship team are coming from Canada, as well as our speaker. We're going to have a record number of attendees this year - about 400 adults and 100 kids and 50 teens.

Next week we're having a social time with some of our English outreach group. We had a good spring session again, and it will be exciting to start again in Fall. Many are returnees who are so thankful for these evenings to practice English and spend time with us.

Thanks for praying for me when I went to Greece in spring. It was an eye-opening experience. When I was there the refugee camp was largely filled with men. It has changed again in the past months with the warm weather - many new refugee families have come in and have no place to go but this camp. We just had two groups there helping, and three more groups will arrive to help this weekend, along with another team next week and another the following week. It means a lot of logistics, especially for my coworkers Kim and Jenny who are supervising. But some exciting things are happening. Kim just asked me to have the teams bring in some English Bibles, as there are requests for them. A Greek lady who is about my age was an atheist - she now attends the evangelical church and has asked to get an English Bible. Pray for these people, both Greeks and the many nationalities of refugees who are becoming babes in Christ.

I'm seeking to work out when it will work out for me to take a few months back in North America. Right after conference I need to take care of renewing both my passport and my visa to be in Germany. If things work out, it could be this fall yet that I'd come back for a couple of months to connect with you all. I'll keep you updated. My totalization agreement that needs renewing every five years comes up in February, so it should be sometime before then.

I may not connect as often as I'd like, being on a computer each day to connect with our mission teams and missionaries, but please know how much I am thankful for you all in your prayers and contributions to allow me to continue to be of service with short term team ministry throughout Europe. Thanks for partnering alongside me in this work.

Well, it's now way past the time I should be getting rest for the night. Thanks again.

In Christ,
Shirley Unger in Germany

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Subject: Greetings from Germany
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 22:23:03 +0200
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Shirley Unger <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Hello there.

It has been a while since I last connected with you all. I do appreciate your faithfulness in prayer for the work we do in Europe.

It's hard to believe we're at the end of the third month of 2017. Where has the time gone?

In January most of us on staff traveled to the French Alps for some time together as a team. We got to try out making pottery, take walks in the woods, have times to rest and times to fellowship as a team, including the families.

Later that month most of the team went to Landau, Germany to help with a renovation project. It was also a time to develop as supervisors, as the staff took turns leading each day. Many from the church that was worked on came out to help. I had planned to participate, but ended up staying back at the office to keep up with correspondence for teams.

A couple of weeks ago my coworker Matt and I were back in Portugal for our final training in Leadership Development. We each presented our philosophy of leadership. I used a jigsaw puzzle to help illustrate some principles. It's nice to be done, and the principles will continue to be applied in what we do each day. In some ways it was sad to realize the two groups probably won't connect in the same way unless we plan a reunion at some point.

English evenings started up again a few weeks ago. Many have returned from previous times, and we have a few new folks. The older gentleman who came last year passed away in December. The class members who knew him met together to have a time to look back at our time with him. Unfortunately, I was sick that week and missed the evening.

Spring has shown itself in many ways. The daffodils are everywhere along the roadways. Trees are beginning to bloom, and the birds are singing sweetly. I hear the sheep calling out each evening, as there is a flock just behind our apartment complex.

While Matt and I were in Portugal, we had teams out in many places. A small team of 3 was in Belgium helping to do some electrical work for a refuge center. A college team helped out in Ireland with service to the homeless and assistance to the Dublin Christian Mission. And a couple of colleges sent teams to help with the work on Lesvos in Greece, working with refugees. At one point there were only 2 people at the office keeping up with things.

Tomorrow I will travel to Greece. I'll have a night in Thessaloniki before I arrive on Lesvos to assist with a team coming from Alberta. I'll be there for 2 weeks. I'd really appreciate your prayers for this time away. I'll be driving some of the team around to the center and back, and we'll be serving 8 hour shifts at various times of the day over those 2 weeks. Pray that we will keep healthy and get the needed rest for the work we'll be doing. On one hand, I'm thankful for this opportunity to go, as I'll be better prepared to talk with others who contact us about coming to serve, and I'll discover what my coworkers have about the great needs among the refugees and the Greek people there. On the other hand, the long days and change of pace is a little daunting.

I'd also appreciate prayers for the administrative side of things while I'm away. My coworker Crystal is in the Netherlands helping with a conference during this time, so other staff are striving to keep up with the emails and phone calls while we're away. Pray for Crystal and I to be at peace that we're able to serve in other ways, and pray for our coworkers to feel comfortable doing administrative things they're not used to handling. And pray that those waiting for some responses will have some patience and grace in possibly waiting on some things for a couple of weeks.

It's hard to mention, but please pray at this time related to the declining Canadian dollar. That's making quite an impact on finances when the funds are moved from Canada to Europe. I remind myself often that God knows about this and has supplied my needs each year that I serve here, and He won't stop now. So many of you bless me in what you are contributing, and I thank you.

I'll update you as I'm able to on my time in Greece. Another team heads for the Athens part of Greece next week to do some teaching English, and another team will do other ministry among the refugees around Athens. We trust that each of these teams will be covered in prayer as they seek to share Christ among the refugees and the Greek people.

Thanks again.
Shirley Unger

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Subject: Greetings from Germany
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2016 17:09:19 +0100
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: MEFC <office@mefree.ca>

Greetings to all.

Trust you're doing well.

It's been a busy couple of weeks. We had some leadership training on leading, developing and caring for those we're responsible for. I participated last week and helped with logistics both weeks.

I hear you have plenty of snow over there. It was a sunny day here - no snow. Now the sun is down for another day. Temperature is just above 0 Celsius. That's supposed to continue through Christmas.

I made it to one of the school's Christmas concerts on Sunday - very nice. Then we had our mission Christmas party - a lot of fun. Our Bible study group had a lovely dinner together last week. Monday our own group will head for a Christmas market and then some French food for dinner.

We've had a lot of illness going around - some cold & sinus, others a stomach bug. I felt a little achy this morning, but otherwise am staying away from it so far.

Our coworkers from Greece started their drive back to Germany this morning. It will be nice to have them back in this area. Their car has some issues, so we're praying the travel will go well.

Thanks for your faithfulness in prayer and giving - it's a great support for my being here to serve. Attached is my end of the year update.

May you have a blessed Christmas and a good start into 2017.

In Christ,
Shirley

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Subject: Greetings from Germany
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2016 13:09:44 +0100
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Greetings from Germany.

This morning our team is spending time with the Lord. I thought this morning I'd send up prayers through email, so I've been writing prayers to groups of people who have an impact on my life in some way.

Each of you who are copied are special to me for your commitment and partnership in prayer and giving so I can serve here. Take this prayer from me to the Lord for you as an update through prayer, but also as a prayer of thanksgiving for your part in this.

Hello, Lord.

The morning is almost over. It's a grey day outside, but it's a joyous day in serving you.

It's hard to believe that almost 27 years ago I was in Illinois to be appointed for service with GEM. What a journey you've taken me on in ministry and spiritually. Some of these people have seen me through this journey the full time, and others you have brought to assist along the way. I'm so thankful for each one of them.

Thanks Lord for using me in Vienna for a good portion of my time overseas, and for transitioning me a little over 12 years ago to serve in Germany.

Lord, thank you for so many blessings in these past years. A couple of years ago we were a smaller team, and you've brought so many great people to assist in this work. Thanks for the variety of talents that are in this office to help us serve through short term teams.

Thanks for the blessing we could be to our missionaries in France last month as they had their retreat. I was glad to be used as a tool in the kitchen so that the group was well fed each day, and to learn from the chef who planned out each meal.

Thanks for the time we spent as a team to strategize what our ministry looks like for the years ahead. We're going through a lot of our materials to prepare to serve even more effectively.
Thanks for our GEM president, Jon Burns, who is enabling us to serve our mission as a whole in our short term team service. Be with us as we seek to help our missionaries in using short term teams as a tool.

Lord, thanks that GEM provides avenues to help us grow. I'm thankful for the things I'm learning through the FUEL training to develop as a leader. Thanks for the training that will be provided next month in Lead/Develop/Care as I work with my administrative team.

Thanks for increasing our team in the office administration from one to two to six! You've provided so many talents to add to what I once was responsible to manage. I'm so glad for the time each can give, whether it's a couple of mornings or each day.

Thanks for the teams that have come and served this year, to Germany, France, Greece, Sweden, Ireland.

Lord, thanks for the opportunities to serve and learn outside of the office as well. I'm excited to be at English outreach again tonight. Thanks for each German speaker that attends each week, and the time we can share with them. Be with Helmut, who can no longer attend and is not well.

Thanks for my time with my Bible study group each week, sharing our praises and prayer requests, learning from the life of Gideon. Thanks for challenging me in my relationship with you through our times in the Word.

Lord, thanks for your provisions each month. I'm blessed to have a lovely home to live in, and this year to have a vehicle that runs well. Continue to provide the finances to make payments each month. Thanks for those who have contributed so I could make four payments so far.

Thanks for my health, Lord. After a couple of years of health challenges, I don't take that for granted. Help me to care for myself to keep well.

Lord, you have blessed me in so many ways. I truly thank you for each church family who is receiving this email. Thank you for encouraging them to be a part of my ministry.
Thanks for the pastors who shepherd the flocks of these churches. Thanks for the supporting staff who serve on the mission committees, and in other ways. Bless them in their service, and in their family lives. Thanks for the church family as a whole, as they pray for us as missionaries overseas and contribute financially to allow us to be here.

Thanks, Lord, for this time to reflect a bit and share my heart with you. You're an awesome God, and I praise you for the tools and gifts you have given me, which include each person receiving this email.

Your servant,
Shirley

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Subject: greetings from Germany
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2016 21:20:55 +0200
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Shirley Unger <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Hello there.

Sorry it's been a while since I last wrote.

It has been very warm and humid here for a couple of weeks. Fortunately it does cool down from that in the evening - I'm able to enjoy my balcony in the evenings. My flowers certainly don't appreciate all that heat! Trusting that rain will head our way soon, which would be refreshing.

I'm sure you hear the news of different attacks in Europe. The events in Nice, France stunned me, as I had taken a pleasant vacation in that area a couple of months earlier. The unrest in Turkey is resulting in more refugees coming over in Greece. It's sad to have these events occur, yet we know it doesn't take God by surprise, and through times like this we see people looking for an eternal hope.

We continue to send teams to Lesvos to serve and assist with the refugees who have been detained there. Our coworkers Kim and Jenny are back in Germany for a month & a half, and will return to Greece for four more months. We're also preparing to send teams to the Athens area to reach out to refugees there.

Summer teams have been in full motion. We had a youth team we diverted from Marseille, France to a village near our office. There were some challenges that are still being worked through, even after the project.
We have a TEFL team in Bad Kreuznach right now. Please pray that campers would be reached for Christ this week.
Another team is presently in Constance, Germany (where I led a team last year). Pray for hearts to be open to hear about the Lord.

Our own building is getting some renovation work done - the guys are moving and rebuilding some walls to move the kitchen to a more accessible area, and to build an office for our finance guy. Things are a bit dusty as we walk through it to get to our office spaces.

Annual conference is less than two weeks away now. We'll be in Willingen, Germany one last time and try somewhere different for next year. Lots of last minute details to take care of.

One more team heads out to help with renovations in Holsby, Sweden about a week after our conference. And in September my coworker Matt and I will travel to an area outside of Madrid for our next leadership development session.

Please pray with me for our teams out right now, for our conference and all those who will travel and participate there, and for times of ministry & learning after conference. Pray for spiritual protection on all of these ministries.

After 10 years of assistance in getting me around, my Honda Civic was sold on Saturday. And a week ago today I signed off on a newer vehicle, a Kia Ceed. A dear family has loaned me funds to cover a good portion of the cost for this purchase.

Im paying 300 euro a month for 2 years. For my Canadian friends, thats $435 a month; and for my American friends, thats $330 a month.

Id love for you to pray about helping me to pay off this loan by two years from now, or even sooner. Would you consider a onetime gift to cover a month or two for me? Or possibly consider a monthly gift specifically for car payments?

I'll attach a form with information to send funds in. Thanks for your prayerful consideration.


Thanks for your prayers and financial contributions for this ministry, and my role in it. I couldn't be serving in Europe without it.

In Christ,
Shirley Unger

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Subject: Greetings from Germany
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2016 21:06:44 +0100
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Shirley Unger <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Hello there.

I apologize that a couple of months have gone by since my last note.

The snow on the ground late last week came as a surprise to us - the signs of spring were all around us with the daffodils and crocuses springing up. But winter poked its head back. Most of the snow has melted and gone, but the temperatures are in the single digits above in Celcius. And we expect some more snowfall today or tomorrow.

January started with some moments of wrestling through some things personally. Through all these things I was reminded again that the Lord is with me always and wants me to trust Him in all things
- Our ministry structure went through some changes. Change always means some adjustments to how things were, yet I have learned to work through it and see the good things in it.
- A car to replace my present one was available through my mechanic. It was in mint condition and could have been a great replacement. I didn't have a peace about taking it, especially with not raising sufficient funds yet for a different vehicle. That same week some coworkers ended up with their muffler dangling from their vehicle, which is 4 years older than mine. With 2 children, their need was greater, and I realized the Lord was providing for their need. And for now my vehicle appears to be doing fine for its age.
- Every few years, because of an agreement between Canada and Germany related to social security, we are expected to spend time back in Canada. For some reason I hadn't been tracking that. Under the old agreement, it should be every 3 years, which meant technically I should have returned to Canada last month for a few months. I spent some time looking at whether it was even possible to go back or request an extension. With all the new folks on the field, and our ministry leader Bob in the US for his year away related to the same type of agreement, this just wasn't a good idea. Again, the Lord showed He had things in control. Because the laws have changed to every 5 years, I was able to get an extension and have more time to prepare for a later home assignment.

My coworkers Kim and Jenny moved temporarily to Lesvos, Greece early in the new year. Four teams of Canadians and 4 teams of Americans have been there to help the refugees when they arrive. And we've sent some interns as well for longer periods of time (there are six of them over there now). In spite of all the news reports on stronger border controls, the people keep coming. Each of them has a story to tell, and our teams are able to be there. They may not always be able to speak in the same language, but God's love is a strong communicator. And those who come over are so thankful for that love and care.

My coworker Crystal and I are kept busy at the office processing the many applications of church & school teams, as well as individuals that want to come and help for a short time or a few months time. In spite of all these applicants, and the uncertainties at times of whether the need will continue, we welcome more teams and individuals to come and serve. If you're at all interested, drop me an email, and I'll send you more details.

Working on teams to Greece takes a good portion of my time. But other things are happening as well. We are preparing for two summer TEFL teams, our annual conference in August, a couple of outreach teams in France during the EuroCup, and helping with registrations for training seminars and leadership meetings.
We've also done some rearranging in our office to prepare for the time that our newer folks are no longer in language school. The Johnsons finish in a couple of weeks and the Toews finish in late April. And another couple with another organization, Gene & Melissa Harter, are working with us part time now. Matt has been doing some supervisor training with everyone when they're not in language school, to help prepare them as project supervisors on teams. I've been able to come alongside him to explain the administrative aspects of preparing for a team. It's exciting to be having a fuller office again.

English outreach started up again last week. We had almost as many English speakers as German ones. We have a lot of returning participants and about 4 new people. We're in a new location for now - the restaurant we were able to use previously had some smoke damage from a small fire.

I've enjoyed a great Bible study group the past few months - we've studied the armor of God. We've had times to challenge each other, yet encourage each other. We're at different stages and in different ministries, yet we can come together each week and grow together. The study has just finished, but we hope to continue to get together and possibly start a new study in the fall.

A week from today my coworker Matt and I are headed to Portugal. This will be our 3rd session working through some leadership development with others in our mission and with folks from Christian Associates, another mission organization. As we meet, a new group from both missions will be going through their first session of training at the same site.

Well, that's a lot to share at one time - guess that's what happens when I wait a couple of months to write! You see a lot of the praises within what I've shared.

And how can you pray?
1. Pray for my coworkers as they finish language school and get directly involved in the ministry of short term teams.
Pray for Elizabeth as she continued in language school (she just arrived at Christmas, so has just been in class for a month).
2. Pray for my coworkers Kim and Jenny, leading the many teams and individuals coming to serve among the refugees. It's tiring but fulfilling work.
Pray about coming to help by bringing a team or joining one.
3. Pray for our other short term teams as they prepare to serve in other parts of Europe. And pray for avenues of service for the individuals/teams that are asking about opportunities in Europe.
4. Pray for this time of training in Portugal. For the group starting the process, for our group that will be at the midway point (there are 5 times we meet, and this will be our 3rd.) And for the group coming a week after us that is on their last training session.
5. Pray for the relationships and interactions we have in our English evenings. Often there are opportunities outside of this one night for getting together to more fully share about Christ.
6. Pray for funds to come in for a newer vehicle in God's timing. I'm now trusting the car will make it till Fall, so my goal is to raise enough funds and get something different by then. The car goes through a check up every two years - the next one is in September.



Thanks for your faithfulness to hearing about how God is working in Europe through our short term ministries and our local activities. Thanks to those who are praying, who take a moment to write a short email back or send a note in the post, and thanks to those who are giving financially to allow me to be serving here. You are all vital partners in this ministry. Though I may not say it as often as I'd like in writing or in a personal note, I couldn't be in ministry in Europe for all these years without your partnership! And I look forward to what we can do together in Christ for the rest of 2016 and beyond.

In Christ,

Shirley Unger

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Subject: Christmas greetings
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2015 16:11:44 +0100
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Shirley Unger <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Greetings from Germany.

Only a little more time today, the morning tomorrow, and Christmas break will be upon us. Our office will close for the afternoon for a Christmas party among our GEM family tomorrow, then be closed for next week. Lots of different events, and times to help our latest co-worker, Elizabeth, get settled in to her home.

I trust each of you will be blessed this Christmas and into the new year. Thanks for all your prayers and continued interest in my ministry in Europe. Attached is a letter to reflect on this past year and look ahead to what may be in 2016.

Shirley Unger

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Subject: update from Shirley
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 23:23:19 +0100
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Shirley Unger <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Greetings from Budapest, Hungary.

I enjoyed a quiet morning before I headed this afternoon for a few days of leadership training. Arrived yesterday afternoon and enjoyed the time at some dear friends and colleagues, Mike & Nancy Elwood.

I've meant to write sooner, but our ministry has taken a few turns the last few months that have kept us quite busy at the office. Not a good excuse for neglecting updates, but a reality.

Our GEM mobilization office had some changes this summer that have resulted in our office in Germany now being responsible to process all short term teams. It's meant some scrambling to catch up with what opportunities are no longer applicable and which ones are still going forward. It's meant catching up with those who have interest in opportunities who haven't heard from anyone in a while and keeping up with the daily new ones that come in. For a few weeks last month my coworker Crystal was away, so I worked on keeping up as best as possible. We'd appreciate your prayers for this important first step with groups and individuals interested in serving in Europe on short term teams.

I'm sure you've been hearing about the refugee situation a lot in the news. It's very real to us over here. My coworker Kim leaves this weekend to lead a couple of teams in a row in Lesvos, Greece. He and his wife Jenny will relocate there for six months in the new year to give direction with teams coming. GEM is working with EuroRelief to assist. If you're at all interested in coming to help, I can send you more information. The main need right now is people - donations are filling space and need people to help go through them to even make use of them.

English outreach has been going well. This week the group will be attending the play at Black Forest Academy. It's an Agatha Christie story. In leading up to that, we taught the group some vocabulary related to the theme - they loved doing something a little different. There are two more weeks left after this one until we stop till spring. It's always a joy to interact and assist in this ministry.

Our two new families are doing well and are active in language school. The Johnsons moved into their home this weekend and the Toews move into their home next week. That's great, as it's not always easy to feel settled in temporary housing. Next month another gal joins us, Elizabeth Simmons. She'll be in temporary housing for a couple of weeks till she can move into her place at the beginning of January. She'll start language school then as well. Pray for these folks as they adjust and settle into life in Europe.

Appreciate your prayers for the days ahead as our group learns from each other on developing our leadership skills. About half the group are with GEM, the other half from Christian Associates. Pray that I will give my full concentration to this time and not be concerned about what had to be left behind at the office.

Our euroteam group is meeting as a group in a couple of weekends from now (except for Kim, who will still be in Greece) to see what our strategic plan could look like for the year ahead. Bob is coming in from the US this week. Appreciate your prayers for this.

Thanks for your continued interest in what's happening over here. I'm so glad for your prayers and giving.

Shirley Unger

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September 2015
Shirley.unger@gemission.org

Greetings from Kandern, Germany.
Its a mixture of times of rain and sun here in Kandern. The office is quiet since three colleagues are on a project in southern France and another is in the US for Home Assignment.

Our team has grown since I last wrote. The Johnsons arrived at the end of August and will begin language school in a couple of weeks. And the Toews will be arriving at the end of this month. Housing is a challenge at this time the Johnsons are in a guesthouse for a couple of months till their apartment is ready, and the same is likely for the Toews. Elizabeth is getting closer in her support as well we trust shell make it over this year yet.

This summer was a very full and exciting one for our ministry. We were able to do ministry in Ireland, France, Greece, Sweden and Germany. We were able to teach English, do renovations, provide for the homeless and immigrant populations, share Gods love in many ways.

The time I had in Constance was full of amazing stories. In planning for it there were times of uncertainties, discouragement, questions. Yet in the days of ministry it was thrilling to see God work. In spite of the heat we were able to set up a bike maintenance station one member of our team and a local German (who is a part of the church plant; each had a stand. Alongside we did juggling, parachute games, painting nails. There were opportunities to pay it forward paying for folks drinks or ice cream at cafes. A couple of mornings were spent doing service painting at the local refugee center and weeding/cleaning at the local elementary school. All of these ministries were an encouragement for Eddie and his team to open doors and build relationships that can continue. We were blessed that though it was hot, any rain that came didnt occur while we were doing ministry. The team was great and are open to returning and continuing a partnership.

Then it was time to travel to our GEM annual conference. Our board chairman, Rob Bugh, encouraged us in Gods Word. We heard reports from our different fields of the struggles and joys in the varieties of ministry. At one point we celebrated years of service it was a time for me to look over the past 25 years with GEM. And it was great to work alongside the team from California that served in so many ways.

So whats up for the fall? Well, English evenings begin again in October. Also in October some of us will go to the camp in the French Alps to assist during the GEM France field retreat. In November FUEL training will continue theres plenty of reading to do in preparation for that. And theres seeing what can be done through euroteam and personally in the refugee crisis. I was able to visit one refugee center in the area on Saturday. Im waiting to hear more about the one in Muellheim and how to help there. Things are changing daily in the situation throughout Europe. If any of you are interested in helping financially, GEM has a donation page, www.gemadventure.com/projects/refugee-crisis-response. If youre interested in finding out how you can physically help, drop me a note. Were learning more this week on how and where best to have individuals and teams come to help.

Thanks for your continued prayers and giving to my ministry with euroteam. What an encouragement that is.
In Christ,

Shirley Unger

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Subject: a note from Shirley
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2015 22:48:16 +0200
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Hi there.

Thanks so much for your prayers for the ministries of Euroteam last month. There are so many stories to tell of how God was at work in Greece and Germany and of the work that was done in Sweden. My time in Constance was a challenging one at times yet at the same time a very full and rich one. All of us, both the German team of believers and the Colorado team, were encouraged seeing the different ways we were able to reach out to non-believers. I wish I had time to share now of all that happened, but I'll send a more detailed update in a couple of weeks.

I drive tomorrow to get to Willingen, Germany for our GEM conference. Some of the leadership arrived today. I'd appreciate your prayers for those traveling to arrive these next few days, that flights would not be delayed and that those driving will stay safe and cool - it's very warm here again. The conference begins on August 10, and we all journey home on the 15th. Please pray for the teams and speakers coming to serve, and for the missionaries to come ready to enjoy fellowship and spiritual refreshment. Pray for the kids and teens to be blessed and encouraged in their times of building relationships and learning in the programs they will have as well.

We have a lot of exciting things ahead as well. The Johnson family arrives at the end of this month to join the Euroteam ministry. A big prayer request at the moment is to find them housing - it's a challenge in an area where many missionaries are located. They are coming with 2 boys, and they have a daughter who graduated from high school in June and will do further schooling in the UK.
Another family could be arriving this year yet, and a single gal is getting closer to full support. Pretty exciting and a bit challenging at the same time.

Thanks for your continued prayers and interest in this ministry. We're preparing for a team in the fall, and we seek the Lord for teams for the months to come.
As mentioned, a more full update with photos will be coming in the next update.

In Christ,

Shirley

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Subject: greetings from Germany
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:19:15 +0200
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Shirley Unger <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Hello there.

I've gotten ready to drop a note so many times, and something else creeps up to steal that moment. It's a very warm day today, but starting to cool off for the evening.

We've had 3 teams go out in the past month. A group from Liberty university went with Matt to Dublin to help the Dublin Christian Mission with outreach to the drug addicts and to the immigrants, as well as do some renovations for the mission. They had a good time of ministry.

Kim took a team from his home church in Texas to LaPastorale camp in southern France. There is always renovation work to be done, so they kept busy helping to get various things improved for the camp ministry. If you're interested, we're forming another team to go in September to help some more !
Bob led a team from his home area in Arizona to work with some GEM missionaries in an area of Frankfurt. It was a new team, a new ministry opportunity (they used teaching English, providing a program for the kids and for the adults). There were hurdles in preparing for this project and in getting the English classes going, but in the end, it was a great opportunity. It opened doors, and they have been invited to return next year! Matt's wife Esther, who leads our TEFL department, was able to participate, and Bob brought along his 12 year old daughter, JJ, to help. Bob and his family leave for a year in the US soon, and the church that sent a team is providing them with housing, so it was good to have this time to work together in Europe.

July will be another full month.
Bob and his family leave tomorrow to help out at a GEM camp, Camp of the Peaks, in the French Alps. His wife Elena is going to be the head cook for one of the camps.
Matt and his family leave for Holsby Brunn in Sweden next week to help with renovation work there. One of our appointee families, the Rahns, will be on that team as well. Matt and his wife first met at this Bible school/conference center, so it holds a special place in their hearts to serve there with this team.
Kim leaves for Greece in a couple of weeks to work with the refugee population. They do Bible studies, provide meals, do renovations, etc. It's a challenging yet exciting ministry.
Crystal will be attending a retreat for those in their first term for a week.
And typically I'm left in the office to hold down the fort. Well, this year even I'll be out. A couple from another organization, Gene & Melissa Harter, and I are working with one of their supporting churches in Colorado to help with outreach in Constance, Germany in two weeks time.

I'd appreciate your prayers for all these areas of service. I'd ask an extra prayer for our time in Constance. We will be stretched, as we have already been in preparing. Even with just two weeks left there are many details to be finalized with the German believer, Eddy and his team in Constance. This is ground breaking work - a new site, a new team, a new partnership with other missionaries. We know God is in all of this, but it's hard at times not knowing what each day will hold. Our desire is to be an encouragement and blessing for this team of believers and help in starting to open doors in this spiritually dark area. Pray for good weather as well, as a lot of the outreach we hope to do is outdoors.

I also continue to be on the GEM annual conference committee. Things are coming together - we've been having weekly skype calls in preparation. I'm trying to get as much done now since I'll be away for almost two weeks. The conference is in Willingen, Germany again, August 10-15.

And thanks for your prayers for my sister Gladys for almost a year now. She had her last chemo treatment last week. She's now working towards recovery after this hard path.

Thanks for your continued interest and prayers. I'd also appreciate prayer that others will come alongside financially. Last week I got news of two supporters who need to stop giving monthly. God has faithfully provided for my needs this last 25 years with GEM, and I'm trusting Him to continue to do so. If you are not presently partnering financially, perhaps you'd like to know more about how to do that. I'd love to hear from you.

Shirley Unger

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Subject: Greetings from Germany
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2015 20:21:44 +0100
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Shirley Unger <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Hello there.

It was a lovely sunny day here in Kandern. Last week was on the cooler side and cloudy/rainy, but the weekend was amazing. And the sun has come out to brighten the days. I've enjoyed seeing the crocuses and the snowbells, and the nest of storks on my drive to and from work.

I got ready to send an update early last week, then wanted to write at the end of the week about the full week of adventures. So now I'm taking a few moments to reflect on it all.

I started the week with things like tending to the finances for the past month, catching up on emails & other correspondence, etc. As the week went on, more activities came up.
On Tuesday after work I had the opportunity to have dinner with my neighbor who lives right beside me in our apartment complex. She's originally from Portugal but has lived in Germany a long time. She has two children, one adult and another a teen (who lives with his dad). She seems to be lonely, so it was good to spend time with her. I'm not sure when we'll meet again, but it was a start. Appreciate your prayers for her (Annabella).

Wednesday after work my coworkers had me join them for a quick dinner before my Bible study. We're studying on 'The Life of God in Us', a short Beth Moore study.

Thursday was a full day. My coworkers and I traveled with some other missionaries to the city of Constance, about 2 hours away. We walked the streets of this tourist area, getting an idea of what might be possible for an evangelistic outreach there this summer. We have a team preparing to come, and a German fellow, Eddie, with a big vision of what might be done. Constance is an area that was preserved from the war because of its location alongside Switzerland. It's an area where the locals are skeptical about anything spiritual. When a church starts up it's either filled with believers who come from other churches (there's a Hillsong church in the area like that) or it's seen as a sect. It has been this way for many years. Eddie is striving to find a way to reach this city through avenues that are less 'regular church' and has a heart to try less traditional methods as 'doors' to sharing Christ. Please pray with us as this project comes together. The first prayer item is whether to focus in an area with just the local people or to do activities in the more touristy areas. I may be going on this project to assist, so I'm excited about the possibilities.
The day didn't end there. Our English outreach started up again in Schliengen, with about half the attendees from our previous classes and half who came for the first time. This is always a highlight of the week, interacting with the German community, sharing our English language with them. Appreciate your prayers for the next seven sessions to come.

Friday evening was kind of fun. The missionary community opened up five homes for the ladies to come and see a movie together. Five different options were presented. So I saw 'The Good Lie' about the Lost boys. It made for good discussion after about the refugee populations around us - I learned that Germany takes in the most refugees in Europe. What a challenge, yet another avenue to share God's love with those who have less than us.

We had an International Sunday at church - sang songs in various languages, dressed in different cultures, sampled foods from various countries, prayed for the teams going out from Black Forest Academy during spring break. A good reminder of the diversity God created.
Later I enjoyed getting out for my first ice cream of the season. Most places are closed for the winter months - the warm weather drew people out to enjoy.

I guess I covered a lot - not all weeks look like this, but there was a lot to share from last week. I so appreciate your prayers as I continue to serve here. Most of what I've shared was about things after hours, but the days have been full with keeping up with upcoming teams and conferences/training sessions. We just got an email about one summer and one winter team cancelling - we had another summer team cancel earlier. Pray with us to fill some of those gaps and thank the Lord with us for the teams that are coming together. Our first one goes out to serve at a conference a month from now.

And next week Crystal completes her language classes and will be in the office full time with me - a praise, and a prayer as she works alongside me, learning the various administrative tasks to our short term teams.

Thanks for your continued prayers for my family in Canada as well. As I write this note, my sister Gladys should have had her second treatment of chemo. She struggled after the first one, so my prayer is that she does better this time around.

In Christ,
Shirley Unger

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Subject: A happy new year to each of you
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2015 05:57:39 +0100
From: Unger, Shirley <shirley.unger@gemission.org>
To: Shirley Unger <shirley.unger@gemission.org>

Greetings in these last moments of 2014. I trust it has been good to you. The first half of this year had its challenges for me personally and the second half brought some challenges to other family members. Yet the Lord was there each step of the way to give us the strength for each day. I don't know what 2015 holds but I do know He will be with us through the challenges and the joys it will hold.

Thank you to each of you for the blessings you give in your prayers and financial gifts. You are the reason that I can continue on in my ministry in Europe. Thanks also for your prayers for my sister - she's doing quite well. It's been good to be here in Canada for a few weeks to be with my family. I head back on January 9 to Germany, arrive on the 10th, and fly out for leadership meetings in Greece on the 13th.

It was good to see some of you in the Winnipeg area while I've been back. Sorry I wasn't able to visit with many of you. Feel free to give me a call.  I might even manage to fit in a time for tea, though time is slipping away.

Thank you again for your partnership in sharing Christ to people in Europe and assisting the ministries there through short term teams. I look forward to your continued partnership in the year ahead and beyond. May you be blessed in the year ahead.

In Christ, Shirley Unger

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