We have been a little busier during the months of September and October.
Our little Jonathan has been growing MUCH. TOO. FAST. He now responds to his name (not so well when he is touching things that he is not supposed to). He has figured out the secret of crawling and since his discovery, he has been inching his way across our apartment from one end to another and is gaining speed by the minute! We are convinced that he is making us chase around the apartment to help us burn off the extra pounds that we have gained from eating German chocolate 😉
We cannot and do not want to imagine life without him and his presence has made our start much sweeter.
With the change of leaves and season, the weather in Syke has cooled down. We cannot quite say it feels like fall because it honestly feels more like winter here. We got all of our winter jackets out and they are already in good use.
It has already been four months since we have left the States. There are days that feel as if we have been here longer, but there are other days that feel as if it was yesterday. Even though we are still going through the transition of living in a different country, we feel more and more at home here and we praise God for that. Though things have not always been easy, and it will still take much more time for us to get used to this new setting, we are sure that the Lord wants us to serve Him in Germany and He is with us.
By God’s grace, despite the language barrier, Ji has been able to connect more with some of the ladies from the church and was even able to have couple of them over for coffee and snacks. She continually understands more and more German and hopefully will be able to start a German language course in the near future.
In September, Niklas preached a sermon that was part of a series on the “Solas” of the Reformation. The topic was “Grace alone” and we were happy to have Niklas’ parents here with us. This was their first visit to Syke and it was exciting for us to show them a part of our life here in Germany.
We also had a replica of the “Gutenberg printing press” (the first printing press, invented over 500 years ago) in town to serve as a means of reaching the lost. Niklas had the opportunity to participate in the events first-hand, as he dressed up and gave tours, telling the historical background concerning the printing press to those who were interested. The primary purpose of this event was to share the gospel with those who came by and God provided several opportunities for Niklas to do just that.
Close to the end of September, Niklas was able to go to Berlin, to meet with some representatives of the German biblical counseling network. He did see the “Brandenburg Gate” on his way out, but the rest of his time was spent in meetings. This was an important opportunity to get to know some other pastors and those who have a heart for biblical counseling. This was especially helpful since Niklas works for this biblical counseling network on the side and he was able to meet those whom he is working with.
The month of October was an exciting and interesting month for us.
Even before we came to Germany, Niklas agreed to play the role of Jesus in a special theater about the Gospel of Mark. This required a lot of focused attention and time for Niklas, as he had to memorize the words of Jesus in the Gospel. The unique thing about this theater is that none of the actors were professionals, no one wore a costume, and no artifacts were used. There was not even a stage. The seats were arranged in circles with the focal point being the center of the room. The scenes took place between the people who came to watch. This unique setting helped to draw every guest into the story. Most importantly, all who were there left hearing the gospel, including few of Niklas’ family members who came to visit us for the weekend.
For Niklas this was a very special and very rewarding experience. He was able to get to know God’s Word much better and really be drawn into the truth proclaimed by the Gospel of Mark. Acting out the role of Jesus allowed Niklas to be reminded of the hardship that Christ endured for us in a very special way.
As we reflect back on this past month, we are reminded of what a wonderful Savior we have and what He did for us through His life, death, and resurrection! He is worth going to any part in the world to proclaim Him as Lord and Savior.
The church also had a German-Arabic service in October and we were able to attend as a family. This was a unique time of worship as the songs and prayers were in Arabic. Our church holds a service like this about every month to try and reach the growing community of Arabic speakers. We hope that God will richly bless this ministry.
After the service we had some people over, including two Muslim men from Iraq. We were especially happy to host them and hope to build a good relationship with them in the future.
We are also happy to say that Ji has now changed her immigration status and is able to remain with us for at least three years…Niklas and Jonathan hope that we get to keep her around even after that 😀
The month of October has been filled with people coming to our home. This has been a blessing for us as a family, as we love having company and gives us opportunity to get to know others. God has been answering our and your prayers to give us new friends into our life! Jonathan also uses these opportunities to show off his newly found crawling skills, by sneaking under the table and touching our visitors’ feet and chasing around the kids who are willing to crawl around the floor with him 🙂
God also answered our prayer concerning our involvement in a small group. With our little Jonathan, it seemed too difficult to attend a small group due to the late start time. However, after visiting a small group, we just found out that the group is willing to meet at our home to make it possible for us to attend. We will be hosting our first small group starting next week and we are thrilled!
Thank you for your continued support and prayers, it really does make a difference!
- Please pray that we continually seek to host people from our new church and build relationships.
- Please pray that we trust God with our future as we learn more about ministry in Germany and get to know other churches that are or might be looking for a pastor in the future.
- Please pray that Niklas continues to preach faithfully from God’s Word and that he humbly learns more about doing ministry.
- Please pray that we are faithful in loving Jonathan and that we have patience with him.
- Please pray that Ji is able to learn German quickly and well, to connect more with the people.
- Please pray that we have a good start with our small group and that we love and care for the people.
- Please pray our transition to Germany will continually go well.