Our Crisis Pregnancy Center Partner

Lydia – A Beating Heart is the first and only pro-life crisis pregnancy center in Macedonia.  The Lydia Center is dedicated to counseling and helping women while promoting the value of life and the baby’s right to be born.

Our goal is to love, support, and assist women facing unplanned pregnancies, post-abortion trauma, and other family-related crises.  We also aid impoverished women who choose life for their babies by giving out donations of clothing, diapers, and other baby necessities. There are multiple ways you can get involved! These include financial support and networking (tell your friends about us!).

To contribute, please click here.

Educational Initiative in Macedonia

“Koreni” (Roots) was established in Skopje, Macedonia in November 2014 to serve as a catalyst for change through education development.  At Koreni, we see 3 types of education opportunities in Macedonia: empowering local teachers, working with local students, and connecting with our community. Our primary focus is working with teachers and administrators, equipping them to improve their part of the education system.

We also seek opportunities to build up students directly, exposing them to modern teaching standards and techniques, with a purpose of bringing local teachers alongside us to see these techniques in action. Lastly, Koreni seeks to connect with the community of Skopje and all of Macedonia by meeting educational needs as we discover them.

Frankfurt Trauma Basics Conference

Celia Deneen and Dr. Leah Herod presented a one-day trauma basics conference, under the auspices of CGS, in Frankfurt, Germany on Friday, October 7, 2016.

73 were in attendance, representing a cross-section of people in the Frankfurt area, all of whom have been interacting with refugees, at least over the past year. Prior to and following the conference, Dr. Herod and Celia Deneen had the opportunity to counsel with refugees, listen to their stories, and help them in their difficult journeys. People of many different nationalities are now in Germany and are searching spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and physically, as their foundational beliefs about life have been shaken, due to war, uncertainty, loss, etc. Needs of the refugees can be seemingly overwhelming – many people are reaching out and welcoming refugees, but the refugees are legally unable to work, have few resources, are in crisis, and often do not know the language

People assisting refugees need encouragement and additional manpower to continue the efforts. Refugees are often under tremendous pressure from family members and others to find jobs, learn language, and assimilate into the German culture, and workers who are helping them in these endeavors often find themselves traumatized by their stories, difficulties, and perplexing problems. Finding genuine community and people upon whom refugees can depend is one of the key aspects of their assimilation into the German culture. The clash of cultures will continue – but we believe there is an opportunity for mutual transformation with the blending of different cultures.

Will you continue to stand with us to see acceptance by the German people of this influx of refugees; a desire by the refugees to become a part of the receiving culture; and flourishing of all who work with refugees?

Trauma Counseling Seminars (Frankfurt, Germany)

According to recent statistics, 65 million people in the world today are displaced.  Much of that people-moving has come as a result of war and violence in their home countries, and though the survivors may be physically safe in their new environment (as least compared to their home environment), they often experience great emotional and mental upheaval as a result of their experiences.

With a million new immigrants coming into Germany in the last year, that nation is laboring to welcome  and assimilate the refugees into German culture.  CGS is working alongside the church in Germany, as the German people know that understanding refugees’ psychological trauma and how it affects them is a key part of providing that welcome.  German colleagues have invited Leah Herod, Ph.D.,  and Celia Deneen, M.Ed., to present a one-day workshop in Frankfurt on Trauma Basics for them and other interested participants across Europe.  The workshop will address such topics as trauma and its anticipated effects, the interplay with cross-cultural adjustment, how the church can help, and what caregivers need to do to be prepared for the long haul.  Dr. Herod and Celia also plan to meet with refugees in groups, including mothers and their children, in an effort to give them tools to deal with trauma.

NEW POST: Frankfurt Trauma Counseling Conference

Refugee Crisis: Farsi and Arabic speakers needed

One of the greatest needs in Germany and across Europe is for Arabic- and Farsi-speaking young men to engage with our colleagues who are working in refugee camps. The refugees have time on their hands, as they do not have jobs, are unfamiliar with the native languages of Europe and with European customs, and are looking for friends and people who either speak their language or are at least willing to spend time with them. If you are interested, will you let us know?

Good News In Vietnam

On October 5, 2015, the United States and 11 other countries, came to an agreement after 5 years of negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Some note that TPP, which still requires ratification in each country, is controversial among various constituencies. This is to be expected as with all trade agreements there are some who benefit greater than others.  Nonetheless, TPP provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate how engaging in trade also promotes mutual understanding, human rights, peace, and development.

One of CGS’ founding principles is that by building bridges, whether economic or friendship, developing countries will prosper and minimize the possibility that these countries might become instigators in the world’s conflicts.

Vietnam is not only one of the 12 countries as a signatory of the TPP, it is a country which CGS has maintained interest and engagement since its inception in 2005.  It is remarkable that this country has gone from being relationally and economically estranged from the United States 20 years ago to being on the cusp of participating in the most ambitious trade agreement ever with each other.

In the last 20 years, the US has grown to be Vietnam’s largest market and US exports to Vietnam are becoming a success story for many US companies.

Probably one of the most interesting recent facts comes from the Pew Research Institute’s study which notes that Vietnamese have one of the most favorable opinions of America in the world with an 80% favorability rating.

US Secretary of State John Kerry notes that no two countries have come further in their relationship in such a short amount of time compared to the US and Vietnam. This is a wonderful example of the value and success of many US citizens, companies, and organizations like CGS who have been consistently investing in Vietnam.

In a time when we are bombarded with bad news and negativity… enjoy some good news and thanks for your contributions to being a small part of the story.