It isn’t easy to pull back. It’s not easy to see where we are, much less where we are going or where we have been. Sometimes I just cannot see the forest from the trees.
In 2016 we…
- Staffed a school in Kailua Kona
- Led an outreach to India
- Led an outreach to Berlin
- Established a ministry to refugees in Wedding, Berlin
- Spent 2 months back in Albany, raising support
- Rehabbed an apartment in Berlin that was near completely gutted
- Set up house in a foreign city
- Applied for 2 year visas
- Maintained and increased the work among refugees
- Sent our kids to a fully German speaking school
- Began learning German as a family
- Took on the role of Outreach Coordinator for YWAM Berlin
- Received 6 outreach teams, plugging them into the city
- Made tons of new friends, especially at the base and among the refugee population of Berlin
- visited two other bases in Germany
So what’s ahead for us? We’ve been here for four months now, what will 2017 hold? Here are a few highlights…
- Our ministry to refugees in Berlin will shift. We have already seen one camp we work in close almost overnight, and the other one will likely close soon as well. This is a good thing for the refugees here (bad for refugees in Greece and Italy, more on that later). Over the coming year, the refugees who are in Germany will be moved into better facilities. They will have more privacy and something more closely resembling lives as a result. Container villages are going in around town and especially on the outskirts. Please pray for us as we seek new inroads into newly forming communities.
- Sam is considering taking a Leadership Training School on this Winter and Spring. It will meet for one week at a time in several cities in Europe. It would provide vital contacts and training as we grow our ministry. Please pray for the necessary funding and logistics to fall into place.
- There are seven teams coming this winter, starting on January 6th. Sam is responsible for helping them find meaningful outreach for this practical phase of their training. This has the added benefit of giving us additional help in reaching the lost in the city.
- This year, Germany celebrates the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation, marked by the date that Martin Luther was supposed to have hung his theses on the door of a church in Wittenberg. YWAM is planning some major outreaches around this event, and we are looking into how we can help, including the possibility of helping in Wittenberg!
We are so grateful to everyone who has helped to make all of this possible. We are seeing people impacted by the love of Jesus. We are seeing a city respond to terror with resilience. We see a team forming at the YWAM base here that shares a common goal and is striving to meet it. Our kids are challenged but growing, we are tired, but we are growing too.
Please pray for perseverance for us in our finances, our visas, and our kids schooling. Pray for new doors to be opened in the city. Pray for our existing relationships to grow, even as we make new ones. Pray for the refugees who are moving, that they would not be hindered in their search for a better life, and especially in their search for God.
And pray also for the refugees in Greece and Italy. The new agreements that the EU has made have stopped them from coming to Germany, but they keep pouring into these small Mediterranean nations. And while refugees in Germany are given newer, better facilities, there are many stuck in less than adequate shelters and camps who would love to come to Germany.
Wherever you are, we pray that you would have a prosperous New Year. We pray that you would grow in your knowledge of God, and your relationship with Him. We pray that He would use you in a mighty way in 2017!
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. — Acts 17:26-27