What a gloriously amazing and interesting week this has been! This week a wonderful family from Norway came to visit us and two of the daughters will remain living with us ministering among the refugees. We are so excited for them and their ministry. (Please remember Hannah and Linn in your prayers. Tomorrow Hannah will be meeting again with a person originally from Turkey. She has been sharing Jesus with him this week and will be continuing the discipleship and Jesus conversation tomorrow.)
This week Keri had an amazing time of coffee, tea, and friendship with a young lady from Afghanistan. This is a wonderful family we have gotten to know and we would ask for you to be praying for the whole family but especially this young mother of three.
Also, this week we met with a couple from Serbia with whom we had been sharing Jesus. We had originally met the man when we prayed for his friend with the tumor (see earlier Facebook post). In previous discussions he had spent much time justifying himself to us, and talking about how good of a person he was. We listened and prayed for him. This time he comes and says he has a problem. He says he is ready to follow Jesus and wants to be baptized, but that the women with whom he lives is not his wife. He asks what he should do. The best answer I had was, "I am certain that the Holy Spirit will tell us."
His girl friend was extremely eager to be baptized and follow Jesus. She spoke absolutely no English at all! Through translation we explained baptism and she eagerly jumps up and grabs a bowl of water and brings it to the room. This, obviously, was not big enough to baptize so we brought them to our house.
Upon confessing Jesus as Lord they also confessed that they wanted their addictions to smoking to die with their old selves. They were baptized and after baptism they said, "we would like to make a commitment before God to be husband and wife, will you marry us today?" So we had a wedding ceremony in our house right away! Then we shared communion and prayed and just reveled in the goodness of our God to do such amazing things! The following day, the couple whom we will call John and Nina (not their real names), were in line at the immigration office. They had taken the only bible they had (working on getting a copy of the bible in Serbian). Nina - who speaks no English - picked up the bible I had given them and began to read and understand it! In English!! Praise be to Jesus that no language will ever be a barrier for Him!
The following day we noticed something change virtually immediately. Every refugee camp we came into we began to get shut out of. Even ones that we had relationships established. We were told that we were not allowed to be there and that we must leave the property immediately. So we moved just off the property and allowed people to come out to us. We do not believe for a second that this will hinder the work of the Lord at all. Jesus is far to great to let something like this slow Him down! Please continue to pray for open doors. In fact, we ask that you would pray that we could move freely about with no obstruction from any officials.
What is happening is that there is a tremendous effort underway to segregate the refugees according to religion and country and keep them isolated from too much interaction with volunteers that are serving for normal physical needs. The goal is a noble one in that it is intended to keep wars started in another country from coming to Germany. The effort is to allow interaction with refugees to be only at the social worker level. But we believe we can help foster peace and integration through being friends. We believe that our efforts can significantly increase the chance for peace both in Germany and around the world. If you are isolated from anyone different than you, then you will learn to distrust and fear all those who are different.
This week we intend, by the grace of God, to go about work as usual trusting that Jesus will allow us to move about freely. The men at the refugee camp seem to be encouraged that we intend to come back and we are not going to let the events of this week discourage or stop us.
Thank you for your prayers! It is a joy to be in this with you.