As part of our Missionary Care Program, our International Missions Team schedules a regional retreat every other year in a different region (combining regions when possible).

On February 17th, a Highlands team travelled to the United Arab Emirates to spend time with our missionaries that we are supporting in Europe and Middle East. This year, a total of 53 participants gathered and for 5 days spent time reflecting on God’s Word, praying, sharing reports and stories from the mission field, encouraging one other and networking with other missionaries in their region.

After we completed the conference, some of us went to visit our missionaries in Al Ain, a smaller town that Highlands has been investing in for more than 40 years. We were humbled to see how God is working through our missionaries to provide a location and protection for over 39 congregations of different ethnicities to have a place to worship in a country where worshipping God looks much different from the way America is used to. We were blessed to be a part of a few services, where we brought greetings from Highlands, and encouraged and prayed for the churches.

We also visited the Kanad Hospital, which was planted by Christian missionaries at the request of the ruler in 1960’s. He invited Christians to help and provided them with land to build the hospital, because at that time more than 50% of babies and their mother were dying at birth, and he heard about how Christians love and care and decided to donate a piece of land for them to build a hospital. Over the years that land and the hospital have served as an oasis for 39 ethnic congregations to worship God. And we have four missionaries there who continue to maintain that relationship with authorities and provide a bridge for other ethnics group to proclaim the Gospel.

“I take a lot of things away from this retreat, especially feeling part of the HCC family. Also the contacts with other workers that will surely help us to continue working committed to the mission of the kingdom of God.”
- Missionary Participant

Missionary Reports & Opportunities

United Arab Emirates: (Our host country): Praise – the government has a level of tolerance for religious activity and allows for registered churches for expatriate communities. Opportunities – there are many lonely expatriates who have left hardship at home to earn money and live outside of the cities in poor camps.

One story was shared about a Pakistani woman lost her job and was at risk of deportation. Her husband is in a prison work camp in Pakistan because of his Christian testimony. God provided for her a new job, but her families struggle continues, and there are many similar stories like this that the church center in Al Ain helps with. The missionary asked for prayer for this and the work being done in Al Ain—spreading the gospel and building up churches among the nations.

Morocco: There are 5 new handicapped centers opening in the south in the mountains. God has provided a “man of peace”, but there is also a burden to build up leaders in the work. The government in Morocco is allowing work Visas for Intentional Workers, which they have not allowed in almost 20 years.

Spain: Our ministry partners have started a home to help trafficked women. Spain is a hub country for trafficking; Two missionaries who are currently on an international internship in North Africa, have a passion for working in this type of ministry. They were able to connect with the work and are making plans to visit the center in Spain. We are uplifting their futures in prayer.

France: 2024 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the church plant in Chevry-Cossigny (outside of Paris). Due to acts of terrorism in France the last several years, the government has been stricter about religious freedoms, but evangelical churches have been voicing their concerns and the government is reconsidering their approach. The missionaries were grateful for the retreat and fellowship provided.

Romania, Poland, Ukraine: The missionaries in these countries have spent their last year working non-stop helping Ukrainian refugees who temporarily stay in their countries and many of whom move on to other places. Seeing missionaries succeeding with God’s help in such a hostile environment was a true blessing for all of us and especially for our partners from Eastern Europe.


“May God bless you and reward you!!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!” – Missionary Participant
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Eph.3:20-21