I enjoyed seeing all the pictures and hearing all the first-hand accounts of the total eclipse in our hometown from last week. The accounts of this event made me miss the warmth and beauty of the place I called home for my whole life up until this point. As the stories of God’s incredible beauty streamed on to my Facebook page, my mind was taken to the reminders that God has placed for us in nature that He is closer than we can imagine. The sun, moon and stars obey His command and in them we see evidence of His authority over us. We see the brilliance of the sun more vividly in certain places. Even in the midst of a Carolina summer, we can be reminded how God can take it away while all creation watches in amazement. It is this thought that as the sun is eclipsed in parts of our world, so there are places that are in darkness from the light of the Son.
So watching from afar my confidence and my determination grows even stronger because I see in my own new city God calling it out of the total eclipse that has long encompassed it. I see fellow workers busy about the work of making disciples from all nations. I see the movement of the Holy Spirit in my own family’s lives guiding and directing us into opportunities that could not have happened unless He had orchestrated them. And once again I am reminded that:
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Pray that God would continue to draw the nations out of darkness and into His marvelous light here in Berlin.
At the heart of our ministry we had hoped to have opportunities to disciple new believers and create opportunities to study God’s Word. We thought this would take a long time, but in our first month here have been presented with opportunities we thought would take years to accomplish. There have been a number of people saved out of the Arabic community here in Berlin over the past two years. Many of these new believers come to Christ, but have no direction to what the Christian life looks like from that point. I have attended a Bible study the past two weeks with an organization that is working with refugees and was asked this past week if I could begin to disciple a young Egyptian man that has a heart to reach his own people. Please pray for me as I began meeting with him this week.
Our apartment is located in the heart of our church community and Cherry has been asked to host a mother’s morning Bible study in our home. She is excited about this opportunity to connect with mothers from our church and the community. She also has an opportunity to visit a refugee center once a week with the same refugee ministry I have been attending Bible studies with and minster to the women in the center. Please pray for her as she steps out of her comfort zone in these areas, while also trying to run a household.
Opportunities to begin soccer outreach are abundant here and wisdom and discernment will be required to determine the most effective places to spend my time. The refugee ministry we have decided to partner with has an ongoing weekly outreach to Afghani refugee boys in a local gym. They are in need of men to help lead this ministry and have asked me to be a part of it. This will be a good bridge into this community and allow me to work alongside others while I am learning the language.
We also plan to start a weekly ministry in the north of Berlin alongside the partner that I have pursued short-term trips with in the past three years. We have developed a strong relationship with the local authorities here and have a field we can use once a week. We plan to begin ministry in September on Friday afternoons where we will have a weekly training session and then a devotional time at the end. I participated in a camping trip this week as a male leader with the kids from this area. It was a reminder of the incredible influence men have in a fatherless culture. Two of the boys on the trip made professions of faith during the trip. Please pray that Lucas and Daniel will grow and the seed planted in their hearts this week will flourish.
We are thankful for the bond we have developed with Crossway International Baptist Church over the past month. We are excited about working out of Crossway and reaching our community in Zehlendorf. We had the opportunity to do this the second week we were here with a youth and teen camp. This was an incredible time of getting to know our fellow church members and working alongside an incredible youth group from Olgetown Baptist Church in Delaware. Please pray as we have a community fun day event coming up this weekend. We are thankful for how God has directed us and encouraged us in both the big and small things over the past month. Cherry’s mom joined us this week and we are excited to introduce her to our church family this Sunday!
We had the opportunity to explore different parts of Berlin over the past month and take a day trip to Wittenberg. We are thankful for an apartment that is exactly what we needed and in a great location for reaching our community. We have been blessed to have bright, sunny days the past month and we are thankful to have a bright and cheery apartment. We celebrated Gracie's birthday on August 15th and the girls had fun swimming in a pool and going to a summer festival downtown! Quinn started school last week and Gracie started this week. They both have very kind and experienced teachers. Please pray for them as they continue to make new friends and adjust to their surroundings. Cherry's mother joined us this week and we are thankful to have her here. We have been able to register our residence, setup our bank account, phones and utilities this month. Please continue to pray as we apply for our visa. With the refugee crisis it is a very long process and we need discernment in the steps to take.
Praise and Prayer
- Praise for our church bells! They ring everyday when its time to head to school. The girls think they are just for them:)
Praise for friends that have come alongside us and helped us through things we could not have done on our own.
Praise that Cherry’s mom arrived safely and that she would adjust well to the new environment.
Prayer for the girls as they start school in a new place.
Prayer for wisdom and discernment in pursuing the most effective ministry.
Prayer that the gospel would take root in the hearts of a couple of children who made professions of faith this week. Please pray for Lucas and Daniel.