Newsletter – June 2014

Berlin Bound! – deBruyn Ministry Update – June 2014


Summary points:

  • We’ll be in Berlin in less than a month.
  • Please pray with us for our remaining time together with friends and family.
  • Please pray that God would continue to provide the remaining resources we need for long-term service in Berlin.
  • Our send-off party will be on June 18, from 4-9pm at Wabun Picnic area (details below)
  • Hiawatha Church is commissioning us on Sunday, June 29 at 10 AM, join us!

 
In less than one month, our family will be in Berlin.  Each day, we reflect on much that God has done in our lives over these past few years to prepare our family for life in a new place, and we expect to experience the joy of following Jesus to life in a new place as we see His hand of preparation and providence on our family, even when much of what “life” might look like may be different than it is here.  As I write this, I think about experiencing Jesus’ presence in new relationships, new places, new struggles and trials, and I know we can trust Him to continue to provide, prevail, and grow us as we walk in the thing’s He’s prepared for us.
During our remaining days here in the US, we want to make the most of time with our family and friends, so we’re making an effort to spend meaningful time with as many of you as we can.  If you’d like to see us before we leave let us know by giving us a call or sending us an email.  We’ll be having a send-off party on June 18 at the Wabun Picnic Area near Minnehaha Falls, in South Minneapolis from 4-9 PM.  We hope to see you if you can make it. 

Our excitement continues to grow as we’re closer to our arrival in Berlin.  With each passing month, we experience more of the things we’ve prayed about become answered.  The team in Berlin continues to grow, and the gathering up of God’s people from all different places to bring us together in Berlin for God’s purposes and for His kingdom amazes us. 

This may seem silly to you, but in a personal way it was something that I had wondered about and at times even worried. I wondered if we’d lose and miss corporate worship when we move to this far-away place. Then, last month we were able to join some of our team virtually via an online meeting.  The meeting was running late, and so when we joined, our team in Berlin were worshipping together around this table in a big conference room.  It was totally unexpected, and nothing I’d even prayed about very recently, but at once I was overcome with emotion and the depth and care of God’s love for us and the needs of our hearts.  Worship at our home church is something we truly love, and it was so awesome to experience God’s providing to experience worship in our new home, the city He’s called us to. 
 
Hiawatha Church will be commissioning us during the church service on Sunday, June 29th, at 10 AM.  If you’d like to be there with us to help send us off, we’d welcome your participation in seeing us off that way also.
 
Please continue to pray with us as we finish out our remaining time here, pray for our time with family and friends. Pray as the kids finish school in the next couple weeks. Pray that God will continue to provide the remainder of our financial support for long-term work in the city, we’re not fully funded yet and are hoping the remainder of the resources we need will be committed before we leave. We still need about 15% of our long-term financial support.  Some of our friends say “If you’ve been waiting to partner with us, now’s the time! Don’t miss the boat, jump on!”  Thank God with us for all He has done, and all he continues to do.  Pray for Him to bring about a revival in Berlin and for Him to be glorified in all that we do.  Thank you for your partnership in His work and with us. 

Ministry update – October 2013

Stepping out in faith.

After more than fourteen years of service at the EFCA National Office, Denny had his last day in the office.  October 1st marks the beginning of a new chapter in the deBruyn Family, as we’re now able to fully devote our time to developing ministry partnerships to join the work that God is doing in Berlin. On October 9th, the EFCA National Office had a special time prayer and commissioning for us as we transition.  What a blessing to have many of those who have walked with us for so many years behind us in support and prayer.

Would you please pray with us during this new season?

Here are some things you can pray for:

  • Pray that God would continue to call people to labor for his kingdom in Berlin, both in partnerships and in new workers willing to invest some of their lives in the city.
  • Pray for transition and adjustments in our family as we figure out new rhythms in life.
  • Pray for continued spiritual growth and encouragement for all in our family, and that we could mutually be an encouragement to others as we meet with them.
  • Pray for a full schedule!  That we’d be intentional in this time of partnership development, that we’d be able to schedule appointments and for God’s spirit to guide those conversations.
  • Pray for neighborhoods, relationships, and God’s leading in our witness to the world.  That we (you too!) would be sensitive to God’s voice in how we can share his love in this world.  Ask God for opportunities to pray with your neighbors and see how he responds!

Fruit from meetings.
We’ve had some really good meetings these last few weeks.  Mike Edwards, the Berlin Team leader was in town, meeting with other leadership from the ReachGlobal Europe Division.  One of those days, we spent with existing and future Berlin Team members clarifying the vision and direction for the Berlin Team, and praying for the city.  While Mike was here, we met with some local pastors in Minneapolis, and spent an afternoon discussing what potential for global ministry partnerships could look like and how people from a local network of churches could be involved in partnering to help reach an influential city like Berlin.  We know that to be a part of making a positive impact in Berlin, it’s going to take a cooperative effort with many individuals, churches, and like-minded organizations coming together, and that we’ll be far more effective and have far greater reach in partnerships than anything we could ever accomplish on our own.  In recent weeks Denny has had a packed schedule meeting with individuals, pastors, and even a “cluster” of pastors from different churches in southwest Minnesota.

Progress Update
As of this week, we’re up to 57% of our monthly support need.  We’re praying that we’d reach 60% by the end of October.  That’s another $350 / month that we need pledged in the next 10 days.  Pray with us.

 

The Berlin Team, currently living in Berlin:
(left to right)
John and Judy Westrum, Katie Dudgeon, Mike Edwards, John and Steph Hasler, Jim Baker, Erin Underwood (recently returned to the US), Timo Heimlich

The Adventure Continues- Winter 2013 Update

February is coming to a close, and as we continue on toward the ministry God is calling us to in Berlin we want to take another moment to praise Him for all He has done during this last year.

  • Praise God for the amazing linguistic abilities He has blessed our kids with. Isaac’s teacher didn’t even know he had only been in the immersion program for one year and is amazed with his ability, this is truly a gift from God as he prepares even our children for life in Berlin. Both Isaac and Leah are glad to be done with their weekly tutoring.
Isaac and Leah at their last tutoring session

Isaac and Leah at their last tutoring session

  • Praise God for the wisdom, experience, and new relationships gained from the two classes we took in 2012: New Testament Survey and Multiplying Churches Globally. Both courses were great opportunities to learn more about our Savior and His plan for reaching the nations.
  • Praise God for His continued faithfulness in bringing supporters alongside us. We began last year with just over 10% of our monthly support committed. God brought faithful, generous givers alongside of us to and brought us to 32.5% by the end of December.
  • Praise Him for providing opportunities to share with people about Berlin. Over the course of 2012 we met with 71 different people, families, or church pastors to discuss the ministry ahead of us. We also hosted three Berlin desserts, one lunch, and participated in one mission week at a local church. That is a lot of meals (or coffees) and we are looking forward to sharing many more this year!
P1070925

Denny and Timo presenting at the Berlin Dessert

As we continue on this year we would be honored if you would pray for us. Here is a list of updates with prayer requests.

  • In January we began working on our final set of classes called Pre-field Training (PT) 3&4 and PT Live. The first two are online classes and the third event is live and held in Minnesota so we don’t have to travel. Pray that God would expand our understanding during these classes, that they He would use them to continue to prepare us for life in Germany and that He would grow our relationships with the other people in the courses.
  • We are meeting with churches, mission boards, and other people interested in hearing more about how they can partner with us in ministry. Pray that God would continue to provide in this way. We are hoping and praying that God will provide the last remaining 67% so that we can leave this summer.
  • We are in the process of selling our home. Pray for our family as we wait for God to provide a buyer, pray the buyers would be people who love the Lord and will be a light to the neighborhood, and that God would provide housing for us during the remainder of the transition until we move.

Burnsville Home

We also want to take this opportunity to thank God for all of our faithful supporters. We are encouraged daily by your generosity, prayers, and constant encouragement. We would not be where we are today without you! Thank you for your partnership with Him and us in this ministry effort.

Minneapolis to Berlin

Giving progress update

 

Family update:

We had a wonderful time over the holidays with family in town. Knowing our time in Minnesota is short we have been intentionally taking opportunities to enjoy local places as a family. In January we visited the Ice Castles and the Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens.

Celebrating at the Ice Castle at MOA.

Celebrating at the Ice Castle at MOA.

Isaac 8: He is really becoming quite the helper around the house. He almost always is reading. His book recommendation is The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story.

Leah 6: Leah has been around several babies or kids younger than her lately and we can see her gift towards loving these little ones.  Both she and Isaac preformed in mid-February at the Carnival of Cultures through the Twin Cities German Immersion School.

Micah 4: Enjoys going to Kinderstube (German preschool), but only on the days he doesn’t have yoga. J He is learning German numbers and letters at school and is doing well identifying them and attempting to write them out (in both English and German).

Pressing on and Pressing In.

These last several months have been a rich time full of work and rest, progress and patience, encouragement and growth. God is so good!  We have found this a sweet time as we press on with the task set before us as we also press into God, continuing to learn how to trust Him completely.

Things you can be in prayer with us over:

  • For God to be made first in our family, and extended family, and for unity in the Gospel.
  • For God to continue to grow us deeper together with Him, and help us to wait on him as we work.
  • For our home sale to go-through smoothly.
  • For our kids to finish the summer well, and transition back into the German Immersion school.
  • For God to continue to open doors of opportunity, and direct us to the people He wants to be partnered with in life and ministry.
  • For God to continue to raise up a ministry support team around us and provide for this opportunity.  We’re praying to be beyond the 50% mark by January.

Working toward Berlin: We’ve felt God’s blessing over these last few months in progress and preparation as we move toward Berlin.

At the end of May, we finished our New Testament survey course through the Leadership Development Institute in Minneapolis, thus completing our last prerequisite with ReachGlobal before the Pre-Field Training event we hope to attend in April, Lord willing. The New Testament class was such a good thing for Nicole and I to do together.  We were able to read through the entire New Testament, and get a better overall understanding on the Biblical narrative in the New Testament.

Denny and Nicole teaching on Philippians in the New Testament Group Project

 

A couple of months ago we had a unique opportunity to be part of a “Missions Week” at Trinity Evangelical Free Church, where the focus was on “The Dark Continent of Europe”, and the theme was “Why Europe, and Why Now?”  (Perhaps these subjects interest you, or you’ve asked that same question yourself.  If you’d like to talk about either of those subjects, please contact us, we’d love to talk about Europe with you from a strategic missions perspective.)

Denny and Nicole presenting to a Sunday morning adult Bible study class during Trinity Missions Week.

Isaac and Leah talking to the Trinity Kids at church about their adventure to Berlin. (With ReachGlobal staff, Judy Westrum)

During the week-long event, Nicole and I had multiple opportunities to meet with people from the church, engage in evening focus groups, and present during the Adult Bible Fellowship hours with John and Judy Westrum, and Rich Trca (both fellow ReachGlobal Europe staff). Nicole and I were also invited to come and talk with Trinity EFC’s Youth Group,

Trinity Student Night – We were invited to speak about missions and shared with the students how God used things when we were younger to help prepare us for this season of life.

where my friend and fellow disciplemaker Jeff Conner is the Youth Pastor.  He’s engaged in raising up future leaders and disciplemakers at Trinity. Pray for them!  The week was a very encouraging time, and it’s so good to see another church that displays intentionality when it comes to global missions.

Some of the other things we’ve been doing as we work toward Berlin have to do with making preparations to move.  In June, we listed our home for sale and after six weeks or so we have an offer.

Denny and the kids painting the bathroom in the basement getting the house ready to sell.

We’ve been praying for God to provide the right buyers for our home and so now we’re waiting to see how these people are an answer to our prayers.  I’ve prayed two things; that the people who move into our home would be a light in our city for His kingdom, and would demonstrate the Gospel in the way they live, or that they would be people who need the love of Christ in their life and that they would encounter Him as a result of moving here.  As we were getting our home ready to sell, a few generous people volunteered to help us get it ready.  The times of working with these friends have been a blessing in multiple ways.  First, they sacrifice their time to serve us, and secondly there have been some really good opportunities to talk about intentionality in our lives as it relates to how we live for Christ as disciplemakers.  We are so grateful to God for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

This summer we had the kids involved with a German tutor one morning a week (which just ended a couple weeks ago), and last week they were involved in a German summer camp in which they got to make something different each day of the week.  They made Müsli Riegel (granola breakfast bars), Igelbrötchen (hedgehog rolls), Wurstsuppe (hot-dog soup), Hähnchenschnitzel (chicken schnitzel), Apfelkuchen (apple cake), and Käsespätzle (cheese spatzle).  Check out Nicole’s blog post for further details.  They start school again in just a few short weeks.

Isaac and Leah with their “Hedgehog Rolls”



We’ve been diligently working at developing a ministry team of individuals and churches.  This consists of making appointments by phone or email, then meeting with people and churches to discuss partnership opportunities.  To get a better idea of what that means, in the last two weeks we’ve met with numerous people over coffee, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we’ve met with pastors and missions’ boards from four different churches here in the Twin Cities.

In the midst of this busy summer, we’ve also been intentional about making time for rest and reflection.  I spent four days in the boundary waters with some of my friends from church, and my friend Kris and his brother Jeff.  It was a time of developing deeper friendships and enjoying God’s great wilderness.

Some of my friends who spent a few days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, north of Ely, MN. (We did almost 35 miles in 4 days!)

A few weeks ago, Nicole’s mom came to town, and we enjoyed some good time with her family here, and in Fargo.

Leah’s Grandma teaching her how to needlepoint.

And two weeks ago, I went to Oshkosh, Wisconsin with my Dad and the kids to the Airshow for a few days of fun with Dad (Grandpa for the kids).

Me with my Dad and the kids at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI

Nicole had a few days to herself to rest and enjoy life, and to get a break from our busy schedules.

As we’ve had more opportunities to share with people about what God’s doing in Berlin, and we’ve seen our support level increase from 13% to 23%.  In the chart below you’ll see a map. Where the map is ‘lit’ with ‘dots of light’, that represents evangelical presence in the world. People keep asking ‘how close we are to Berlin’.  I thought a nice way to present that would be in the form of a flight-line of 4,862 miles from Minneapolis to Berlin. As we get ‘closer’ to Berlin, the miles will reduce, and the plane will get closer.  We’ve only got 3,743 miles to go! We are so encouraged by God through the people who have committed to join with us in this ministry effort, and we are grateful to Him for you.  At the same time we are challenged with being patient on His timing.  Waiting for our home to sell, waiting for people’s responses, then seeing God provide.  We feel he’s developing in us a further dependence on Him as we continue to walk with him and patiently wait for His to providence.

 

To contribute to our efforts financially, please click here.