This past weekend we found ourselves sitting in a small memorial service in Carthage, NC. Looking around the sparsely attended room you wouldn’t think there was much remarkable about the life being honored.
We associate greatness with those on whom life shines its spotlight. Those that feel most comfortable on the biggest stages of life. But sometimes the most remarkable people are those we know little about. There are few who live truly remarkable lives. Lives of conviction that leave a legacy for others to pursue. Lives that leave and inheritance that defines generations. I would believe that Cherry’s grandmother, Pam Slaton, was one who led this life. This was the beautiful life we honored last week. Her legacy is not one of riches and fame, because in fact, these things were of little value to her. What she sought was an inheritance that does not compare to the riches of this world.
60 years ago this little woman heard Jesus’ call and never looked back. The evidence is etched in the stories of her life. Stories that led her from a life of ease, to a life of hardship. Many would call her foolish for walking away from a life of riches and fame to something they see as lesser, but the day she picked up her cross and followed Jesus was the day her life began. It was the day joy and gratitude were born in her heart and anyone who knew her could not help but recognize this new identity.
We look back on her life as a stone of witness to the Cornerstone. I see others building on this same foundation. A family we reunited with in New York this past month that spends their summer vacation sharing Jesus with a lost city. The man in our home church that wants people to know the good news so bad that he will not rest until he has knocked on every door in our hometown. The family with the gift of hospitality that believes the Spirit could be leading them into better fishing grounds for men. The couple that has for years poured themselves into the children of the roughest places in our city to give them a glimpse of the One that can rescue them.
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
I Peter 2:5
The list goes on, you probably don’t know who these stones of witness are. They are content to shine the spotlight on their Savior. In fact you may never know their names, because their lives are not about themselves. They are just one of many gathering around the Cornerstone and laying witness to Him. May this be our hearts desire, to live in a way that puts our hope fully on the Rock that will not fail.
My heart is full of gratitude for having the opportunity to witness these examples over the past month. We are thankful for those that hold up gospel endeavors across our world. Thank you for those of you who are reading this and support our gospel endeavor in Berlin. We are blessed to work alongside you in laying witness to His greatness.
The past two months have been filled with ministry opportunities on two continents. Through June we continued our work in Reinickendorf and Wilmersdorf working with young men, women and families. There were many good conversations, especially in our monthly Open Table. This continues to be an opportunity to bring men together for the purpose of having deeper conversations.
We had the opportunity to help some friends with a workshop they were doing in the Tempelhof community we hope to continue bridging into over the next year. It was encouraging reuniting with these friends that were back in the city for the purpose of sharing Christ with refugees.
We were also able to spend time around the table in fellowship with our church as well as refugee families we have gotten to know. It was a busy month of having people in our home and visiting others homes. We are excited about the coming fall and the opportunities we have to use hospitality to build community within the church as well as the opportunities this presents to reach into communities.
In July, we had the opportunity to participate with friends and our Spreadtruth family in New York sharing Christ in the city. These times over the past ten summers have been instrumental in shaping our path to Berlin and it was a tremendous blessing to be with people so passionate about sharing Jesus. We participated in helping facilitate a soccer camp and I had the joy of accompanying a team onto the New York City streets one day. Seeing the number of people who were willing to stop and pray with us and talk about Jesus was eye opening to the number of people who are searching for hope.
The past weeks have also been filled with opportunities to reconnect with many of those who give us the opportunity to shine the gospel in Berlin and we have been encouraged by those investing in us.
We have been blessed to have some really fun times together as a family this past month. From visiting sights together in NYC to spending time together at the beach! We are thankful for the opportunity we have had to be in the States for the past three weeks. We have enjoyed being with family and having an opportunity to reflect on all that we are blessed with. This time has given us a chance to reconnect as well as plan for the future.
As we return to Berlin next week we are thankful for the people that God has placed around us. We are loved well by so many both near and far. We find comfort in knowing that even though our lives are filled with goodbyes, we are knit together for eternity by Christ work.
Praise for a wonderful time with friends and family over the past month.
Pray for wisdom as we start the fall that we would be effective at encouraging and motivating the church in Berlin to multiply.
Pray for strength as we jump back into the different outreaches across Berlin that we lead.
Pray for wisdom as we search for a new living space that would help us encourage young families in our church.