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A wide range of expertise: The International UEM Co-Worker Conference

22 international co-workers from Africa, Asia and Germany attended a conference in Wuppertal. Photo: Sarah Vecera / UEM

Twenty two (22) international co-workers from Germany, Asia and Africa attended a conference prepared and held in UEM Wuppertal. What follows is a brief report on the week’s proceedings.
It has been a fruitful interactive week between former and current UEM co-workers. The UEM General Secretary, the Rev. Volker Martin Dally shared the intercultural aspects as important elements in the co-workers’ life and appreciated how the UEM work is a result of a close and cooperative relationship between member churches, where the co-worker’s role is crucial.
Talking of the UEM achievements in the last period, the programme covered in a detailed way the following areas: the UEM corporate identity, personnel effectiveness, transparency/reporting/fundraising, the impact of 500 years of the reformation and training/education aspects.
What is the International UEM Co-workers Conference?
Co-workers learned about the UEM corporate identity, reflected on their work during the past and mapped prospects for the next period in the UEM activities within UEM members in the three regions. The conference offered an opportunity for co-workers to know one another and to learn from one another, to learn more about the worldwide community of churches in UEM, but also about church life and church traditions in the churches/communities they are serving in the hosting countries.  
Co-workers represent a wide range of expertise: Pastoral work, Education, health, social/development/partnership workers and financial managers... This forum is to enrich each other and permits to see the UEM work in a more visible way.
The conference started with an opening worship. Participants shared their activity working reports and received those from all the UEM departments, officers and interacted in intensive working groups.  
One of the highlights was the encounter with former co-workers who shared the past challenges are the today’s opportunities. It was presented a film of the very first German missionaries who went to Africa and Asia. Moving testimonies were given by retired co-workers who shared why they went into mission, the challenges they faced but also the great learning opportunities they enjoyed working in Africa and Asia churches. Their message was a comfort to current UEM co-workers working in the today’s difficulties.
Donations from member churches, supporters as well as people who donate funds for specific projects were gratefully acknowledged for their support to the mission work. A tribute and high appreciation was given to all former UEM co-workers who paved the way to the today’s UEM mission work.
Perspectives Discussion
The conference offered an opportunity to ensure that all co-workers engage with new contacts directly and in a timely manner. Participants committed to a continuous commitment to their work, implementing strategically the UEM work using the new impulses and inspiration gained from the international conference.

by the UEM Africa Executive Secretary, the Rev. Dr John Wesley Kabango

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