Teen Challenge directors, workers, students, supporters and cheerleaders, past and present, gathered near Amsterdam, Netherlands, on April 1-5, 2019, for the Europe Teen Challenge (ETC) 50th anniversary celebration. The “family” came from around the globe.

Nearly 450 people representing 44 nations, including 36 European countries and New Zealand, spent the week celebrating God’s faithfulness to call and equip workers for the harvest and His amazing love that transforms lost and broken lives.

ETC’s faith-based centers work in 37 nations to help those marginalized by society and with life-controlling problems, bringing them hope through personal relationship with Jesus Christ and ultimately helping them integrate into society to live full, productive lives.

Over the three days of celebration, the visionary men and women who founded the first Teen Challenge ministry outside the United States were also honored.

It was a blessing to have Howard and Pat Foltz, who founded ETC in 1969, share the week with us. They and other members of the early leadership team ministered God’s Word. Like senior statesmen and godly fathers and mothers, they shared from their lives of faithful service in God’s kingdom, service that has continued and expanded in the time since they passed the baton. Their memories of praying, living, and working together in God-honoring unity deeply touched everyone who listened.

Phil Hills, Chief Executive of TC United Kingdom, addressed the rightness of considering the example of these godly saints when he shared from Hebrews 13:7 (NIV), “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”

Not many things in this world last 50 years. We ought to pause and celebrate such a lasting legacy covered in God’s fingerprints. Those of us who watch God bring healing, hope, and purpose to broken and ruined lives have the greatest job on earth. Let us be busy about displacing the darkness and seeing God’s kingdom come on earth.

For more information about Europe Teen Challenge, please visit https://www.teenchallenge.eu

For more information on Teen Challenge in other parts of the world, please visit https://globaltc.org.