The annual Eurasia Regional Conference is a time for international workers to get together, talk shop, build community, tackle some house keeping matters, and encourage one another. It is a highlight for us every year and being part of community is a high value for us. We know that for some workers, in isolated contexts, this conference is even that much more life-giving.
This year the conference was held in Tunisia – the Slovak contingent was spoiled with a flight time of 1 hour and 45 minutes and no time change. There was a different feel this year as our Regional Director was not able to attend for health reasons (from which he is recovering nicely) and several big personalities have transitioned into the newly formed region for workers in restricted access countries. Moreover, Tunisia is a highly Muslim country and the law forbids religious activities outside of religious facilities. So while at the hotel we had to limit our Christian-speak (which is OK with us), but it did limit our ability to share and worship together. Bibles and schedules had to be hidden, even inside our hotel rooms. The reality of this was driven home when the religious police came to ensure we were adhering to the rules.
30 minutes on a bus not only showed us how people actually live, but got us to the nearest place of Christian worship: a Catholic Church. The acoustics were bouncy and the murals plentiful, but this was the site of our ordination. We were both ordained in one service – apparently it is a rarity for husband and wife to do this simultaneously. It was remarkably encouraging and we were thrilled to be surrounded by friends and people who genuinely want us to succeed.
the reverends Price (we have to milk it while it is still novel)