Two years ago, we prayed, prepared, and sent Robbie Haddad off to Berlin. The then 23-year-old Foxboro, MA native was heading overseas for his first international assignment as an apprentice in a refugee center. He was a recent graduate of the Moody Bible Institute and filled with a peace that his calling was to the mission field.
That two-year assignment is now coming to an end. But it is really just another beginning for Robbie. The time he spent in Germany simply confirmed his commitment to international missions. We’re excited to share his accomplishments while overseas and announce his next steps and how our Alliance New England district can continue to support him.
A Thriving Arab Church Plant in Berlin
When Robbie arrived in Berlin, one of his initial goals was to foster outreach within the Muslim refugee community. What began with just two people, has now grown into a regular gathering of more than 20 believers of Arab-descent. This church-plant is growing and establishing deep roots, in part because of Robbie being the only full-time American worker in the Arabic church and the numerous media resources he created for the center to use in their outreach efforts. “I was able to build relationships with unbelievers and watched as they turned to Christ because of God’s work here,” Robbie adds.
In addition to personally becoming fluent in German and completing his ALME, Robbie recounts all the other Kingdom opportunities he was able to be a part of in Berlin. This includes leading children’s programs and grassroots evangelism efforts among teenagers, spear-heading vision trips, connecting ministries to the Lighthouse program, and witnessing true multiplication of disciples occur. “While here, I have travelled and learned from some of the most skilled missionaries the C&MA has,” Robbie continues. “I’ve dealt with the harsh realities of missionary life away from home, but now know that it is all doable!”
Returning to New England
With the completion of this assignment, Robbie is now preparing to return back to New England at the end of this summer. When he arrives, he will spend the next year as a Site Associate at the Envision Providence location and assisting the International Alliance Church, which are perfect fits for Robbie’s current skill sets and an ideal training ground for his future assignment. “My experience working with a team of ministers is very useful to understanding how programs like Envision work,” he explains. “I now also have a greater understanding of the need for community among internationals. Since I grew up in the area surrounding IAC and have a deep openness to other cultures, I feel confident I can create an inviting atmosphere and cultivate community through home groups and organic hangouts.”
Adding another full-time staff member at Envision to support Robert and Amy Childs will dramatically increase the site’s ability to serve short-term mission teams over the next year as well, while also providing Robbie with training on leading teams and developing people who have a heart for ministry.
This sabbatical back in New England serving at Envision and the IAC are intentional. We are thrilled to announce that next summer, Robbie is considering a return to Europe where he is exploring the possibility of being stationed as an international pastor at a church in Toulouse, France. “So much excites me about this position!” This posting is “part of the C&MA’s vision to create international communities of faith in medium sized cities. It’s something I think we have the capacity and God’s blessing to do very, very well.”
For the district, Robbie’s potential posting in France will provide a ministry track for people in our churches feeling called overseas. “Robbie could also serve as a liaison for Alliance New England churches who wish to partner with the international church in Toulouse. This would be a great opportunity for churches to have an English speaking contact and facility where they can send interns and those looking to get experience in global ministry with the Alliance,” explained Andy Geffers, ANE Director of Global Mobilization & Church Development. Simply put, it would provide a pathway for future ministry leaders to experience international missions within the context of a western and English-speaking environment. For those feeling called to missions, partnering with Robbie and his international church can provide opportunities to get experience abroad without having to dive head-first into more complex cultures with significant language barriers.
It should now be clear why Robbie leading short-term mission trips at Envision and growing the international community at IAC will be time significantly well-spent and fruitful for this future assignment opportunity.
“If I am sent to France, I have the goal to increase the church’s numbers, improve the evangelical impact, engage the intellectuals, and grow both the worship and prayer ministries,” Robbie concludes. He also added, “Plus, I can’t wait to learn French!”
Ongoing and Future Support
His return to the northeast and his anticipated posting back to Europe require multiple levels of ongoing support. Financial contributions can be sent directly to the district office. Contact Andy or Sue for more information on how. In the immediate short-term, Robbie knows he’ll be in need of a vehicle for the roughly nine months he’ll be state-side. Ideas or opportunities to assist with that can be sent to us as well.
We encourage all of the churches in the district to take advantage of Robbie’s time here to visit with your congregations and share his testimony from his time in Berlin, his goals for this next year here locally, and his future plans in France. To coordinate having Robbie speak at your church or to your missions teams, contact the district office directly and we will help facilitate the arrangements.
Finally, continue lifting Robbie up in prayer. The next few months will be busy as he concludes his time in Berlin and leaves the church plant he helped establish, packs up, and prepares for his new positions at Envision and IAC. He will also need prayer support for his integration into the Providence international community and that he will be able to continue honing his leadership development skills. And last but not least, please pray that the financial support needed when it becomes time to head off to France.
Take a minute and welcome Robbie home! Then join us in preparing him for the next steps in his calling to serve international communities here and globally.
For those feeling called or with more questions on missions and the international field, consider joining us at the Called Ones Gathering August 10-11, where we explain the various opportunities and pathways for serving in ministry.