Where should we start? A common theme that you might have noticed is us mentioning that time has gone by quickly. This is more true than ever before…time is literally flying by and we don’t even know where the time has gone. You can visibly see time flying by when looking at pictures of our sweet little boy, but more on that later.
We are also able to see how fast time flies by, when looking at the most recent developments on the question where we will go after our time here in Syke. It is crazy to think that we are already talking about that…did we not just get here?
As we mentioned in our first blog, our time here was limited to two years from the get go and though we did not look for anything yet, it appears as if God may have opened a door wide for us to walk through.
Lets wind back a little to early January, when the two elders from a small church in Trittau came to visit us to talk about a potential ministry opportunity. We had only read things about this church on paper and it all sounded quite nice. Not knowing what to expect, the evening went by very smoothly and Niklas was able to have some deep conversations with the elders after a time at dinner together. This first evening revealed that the elders are two very nice men and nothing came up that would have kept us from continually considering this church for the future.
What followed was a visit to Trittau and for Niklas to preach a sermon at the church. Only a hand full of people knew why Niklas was preaching that Sunday but regardless, we were received very well, had some nice interactions, and spent the afternoon with the elders and their families. Again, the conversations went very well and both sides expressed interest to continue talking and getting to know each other.
Back in Syke, life did not stop and especially church life kept us quite busy. Our church offered a special indoor playground for young children during the months of January and February. Imagine all kinds of fun toys, bouncy castle, slides, etc. in the basement of our church with lots and lots of kids running, crawling, and playing around with their parents watching from the side.
Jonathan had to get used to some of the toys but ended up liking it very much. Especially being in the bouncy castle became one of his favorite activities. He also learned to slide down the slide (backward on his belly ? )!
Ji helped setting up on some of the days, while Niklas was part of the tear down team. Around 30 or so people from the church were involved while 200+ people came every week. We hope and pray that through this, families learned that the church is a great place to be and that they will consider visiting the church on a Sunday as well.
Ji probably would have visited the playground much more often if she did not start a German language course in January. We were quite surprised – or should we say “shocked” – how sudden the course came upon us, but we also know that we prayed for her to find something quickly…
The course meets five days a week and goes on for around four hours. As you can imagine, it has been a tiring endeavor for Ji, while Jonathan and Niklas have gotten to spend a lot more time together. This has both been a blessing and a challenge at the same time. Most importantly, we are thankful how things have been going and for the progress that Ji has made in learning German. Though hard, this is a vital part of her being able to do ministry in Germany.
February also brought another wave of the flu and colds left and right. Our family was not spared and we actually think one of us is always sick ? At least we don’t remember the last time none of us was sick.
Thankfully, Niklas was spared for the most part, as February was the first month where he preached every Sunday due to sickness among the pastors and another sermon at what might be our future church home.
As we went to Trittau for the second time, the church had been informed of the progress and was asked to take a close look at Niklas’ sermon and at our family. Even though snow made travelling difficult, we ended up arriving on time for the sermon and everything went really well. The church members stayed after the service and we had a Q&A time, with members being able to ask questions they had about us. The overall atmosphere was very positive and the church appeared happy with what they heard.
The church members have the opportunity to vote whether they would like for Niklas to be their pastor until March 4th and a recent update has revealed that technically enough “yes” votes are already in. In the following week we will get the official result and will take time to pray and think about our answer. We want to give the church an answer by mid-March.
As we mentioned in our prayer request on the last blog, this position is only a part-time position and we are currently still looking into the details of what that would look like for us financially.
You can imagine that this is a great prayer request for us and we continually seek for God’s wisdom and insight on this matter. It has been both surprising and very encouraging how smooth this process has been going and so far, nothing appears to be a major area of concern for the church or our family. We trust that God can work out the financially situation if He wants us to move to Trittau to continue our ministry there.
While we are trying to figure out our future ministry, Jonathan has decided that it is time to grow up. He is still crawling around everywhere but he has gained speed and continues to pull himself up on everything and everyone…he is standing freely more and more and most importantly, he took his FIRST STEPS!!
As time has been flying by, we were not able to stop the sun from rising on Jonathan’s first birthday. We were both SUPER happy and also pretty sad because that means Jonathan has already been around for a whole year! What?! We had a mini gathering with family and friends to celebrate his birthday. Jonathan – being the people lover – loved having everyone around.
These past two months have simply been a great testimony to our family of how great and gracious God is in guiding us, teaching us, and sanctifying us through our ministry here in Germany. We are so thankful for all that He has done for us and is continually doing in us.
Also, thank you all so much for your support and your prayers. We truly appreciate them and more importantly, we NEED them so whenever you think of us:
Please pray that…
- we will make a wise and God-honoring decision concerning the ministry opportunity in Trittau. Pray that God would make His will clear to us and that we are not afraid to accept that will.
- God will provide for our financial needs if He decides to send us to Trittau.
- Ji will have the energy and endurance she needs for her language studies.
- Niklas will have the patience and care he needs for his time with Jonathan.
- we will serve God faithfully in Syke until we actually move away to go somewhere else.
- we will have a quick recovery from returning and constant colds.