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