You Were Made to Thrive. by David Campbell

 Moving to a different continent with three children can have a lot of challenges. For the most part, the challenges have been fun as they push us to trust our Lord more and trust ourselves less. And, yes, it has taken a bit of a journey for me to consider the more of Him and less of me to be "fun".

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But, "trust Him more and trust ourselves less"...Yea, that's not too popular in today's society.

I have come to the point in my walk with Jesus where I know that He is always right. His ways are always best. He is always faithful. He is provider. He is good. He knows what I am going through. He hears my prayers. He answers my prayers. He loves me. He cares about even the little things that are bothering me. He is my true comfort. He will never leave me. He does have a plan for me and it is a good, prosperous plan. 

Do I ALWAYS remember these truths? Nope. I am prone to wander. I tend to fall. I often accidentally take the wrong path in the following Him. Usually, it is because I am not following but leading...and, good night, hopefully one day I will learn that I was not meant to lead my Savior!

BUT, the Lord in His sweet grace has taught me the above truths in one way or another.

In our challenges we coukd cry out, "God, what are you doing??!!" But the truth is, whatever He is doing in my life is so that His works, the works of God, might be displayed in me. 

If my focus is inward, I will be discouraged and frustrated. If my focus is on my Savior, I can release whatever fears, anxieties, anger, bitterness, resentment, etc knowing that I will not be glorified in this situation...and reader, that is OKAY. God is the One who gets the glory and I am, and need to be, okay with that.

I have spent far too many minutes being a glory-thief. 

See, too often I look at a challenging situation and wonder what others might think of me. Sometimes it isn't as clearly thought out as that, but my thoughts and actions prove that I am concerned with how others might view my reactions, success, and even my failures.

But, the truth is, I am where I am so that I may seek God. Paul tells me this in Acts 17. I am where I am so that I may seek God. 

If a challenging situation comes my way, do I seek God? Or do I question Him and whine about how unfair it is that this was my chosen lot in life? See, I don't want to make this life about me. It's not why I was created. I want, in every situation, to make it about HIM. THAT is why I was created.

I have three children and there was a time in parenting where I constantly felt like the "No-Mom". I mean constantly! You know that stage between maybe age one year and 12 years where the child seems to just not know what is best for them? (Yes, I stretched that out to 12 years because I just realized it does in fact still happen!) They pick up tools that are not toys and play with them, not knowing the harm this can cause them. Sometimes, when they were really little, they didn't even play with the item...they simply picked it up and held it. As a good mom, knowing what is best for my children, I would take this item away from them. 

What have you "picked up" that maybe you shouldn't? And, has God taken something from your hands or asked you to hand it over knowing it is best for you? Does your response to His request or His taking leave you more like the 15month old child or the 12 year old pre-teen? Or does your response to your loving and all-knowing Father resemble that of Jesus, "...not my will, but Yours be done."

I titled this post "You Were Made to Thrive" and you were. Do you believe it? Do you believe that you are thriving in this life? Maybe the word "thrive" is not in your everyday language and you miss the point of the question. So, I will word it like this; Do you feel like you are growing vigorously? Do you feel like you are advancing? Do you feel like you are succeeding? Do you feel like you are flourishing?

Or do you feel like you are just trying to survive?

Jesus said He came so that we may have life and have it abundantly. He added the abundantly part and I am thankful for that! He could have left it off, but He didn't. Because we were not just made to survive. We were made to thrive! (Thank you, Casting Crowns, for this amazing song!)

I propose that if we are just surviving, there are some things that we might have picked up that we need to give back to the Lord or just simply put down. Because He knows what is best in order for us to actually live. For us to not get hurt or hurt someone else. What might they be? Oh, I don't know what your "things" might be, but here are some commons things: fear, control, comfort, divorce, death, bitterness, offenses, your house, your job, security, that boyfriend that didn't choose you, anything that you "need" everyday, the size that you wish you were, you get my point.

Perhaps today is the day that you put some stuff down. That you lay aside offenses because, gosh darn it, they just don't push you toward the abundant life that Jesus purchased for you on the cross. If you don't know what you are holding that you shouldn't, ask. Ask Him, and I am sure you will hear what they are. 

Be blessed, dear friends. Be encouraged. You are such a delight to our Father! You are so very loved and He wants the absolute best for you!!

Please enjoy this great song:

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SIX MONTH ANNIVERSARY!!! by David Campbell

Guess what??!! The Campbell Family has made it here in Berlin, Germany for SIX MONTHS!! Woohoo!!! At times, it seems that we have only been here about two months or so. Then we start to think of all the loved ones that we miss and it seems like an eternity!!

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We want to give a 6month update, but only to the glory of God. We do not want to sing our praises or dwell on things that do not point to Him. So that being said, here we goooooo!

During the past six months the LORD has allowed our family to trust Him in so many new ways! He is so good and so faithful!! He has trusted us in situations and with people that He loves so very much. We have died a little more to self everyday and in that, He has poured out His great love on the people of this city and started a great work in many lives!! Praise His name!!

We have settled into our home, by the grace of God! We have all that we need and much that we don't need. In His great provisions for our family, He has overwhelmed us and grown our faith in the truth that He IS Provider!! We are so very thankful to all of you who have heard His invitation to be the vessel in which He provides much of our family's needs!! What a blessing you are to us! We pray His rich nearness over you and your loved ones daily!!

During our time here we are reminded over and over again that we have GREAT reason to rejoice!! We have HOPE! We have a SAVIOR!! We have LOVE! We have JOY! We have PEACE! We have a true IDENTITY! We have ALL that we need in Jesus!! He is so kind to remind us of this through the precious souls here who have yet to trust Him as Lord. It is our daily prayer that thousands in this city will come to know that Jesus is Lord and share in the same promises that we have!! We came to Berlin with a limited people group in mind for ministry. However, the Lord has opened up many opportunities for us here among a variety of people groups, including the Germans and Americans living here. What joy it is to follow HIS lead and not our own!! 

God has been gracious in placing persons of peace in our paths that know English. This is another beautiful example of His invitation to our family to join in the work that HE is doing! While we have not felt the language here to be a barrier, it HAS been super fun learning the language!  We don't really take ourselves too seriously, and honestly the language presents a TON of hilarious moments!! David and I take almost private lessons with our friends, Heather and Rob. It is a crazy time that we get to have at least twice a week and we are incredibly thankful for it. Our teacher is a German woman who loves the Lord and is amazingly gracious to us in teaching her language for FREE! 

At this time of the year, we are also celebrating our 1 year anniversary of starting with YWAM. In our five month Discipleship Training School we met many folks who love Jesus and His ways. These friendships have been priceless to our crew. We love these saints and trust that our work together for the LORD has just begun. God has benevolently allowed these sweet friendships to continue and graced us with visits from these friends. Our prayer is that they would be encouraged in the work that He is doing here and that His great name would be made known. We look forward to, Lord willing, many more visits from our DTS family this year!

God, in His grace, made us missionaries on a different continent from which we were born during a time when technology is zooming. We are thankful for that!! He has provided a way for our family to stay in touch, face to face and the ability to HEAR dear voices through FaceTime and Skype. We praise the LORD for these things!! At a time when many abuse social media or look negatively at it, we praise Jesus for it and rejoice that it EXISTS so that we can keep up with our family and friends all over the world. God is so good!!

Today was the first day back to school for the three kiddos. We are thrilled to say that Ben is doing well and walked in on his own today withOUT tears!! You may have to ask David what his manly bribe was for Ben this morning...but regardless, Ben went in and did not cry!! This is HUGE for a mommy~heart!! Praise Jesus with me!!

David and I both have felt that the Lord is doing a work in our lives, a work of building our faith and growing us more into His likeness. In the growing, an insatiable hunger is felt and a true knowledge of Jesus' words "my food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work." Oh, sweet King, please don't let this fade away!!

Thank you!! Thank you for encouraging us! Thank you for praying for us! Thank you for supporting us financially!! We are so very thankful that Jesus had our lives intertwined so that we could all be a part of His work in Germany together. If you are reading this, consider yourself a missionary in Berlin, Germany!! In one way or another you are on our team and we are humbled to have you!!

Happy SIX MONTH ANNIVERSARY, Team!!

Grace upon grace to you and yours.

The Campbell Five

David, Keri, Emma, Jacob, and Ben





Community by David Campbell

Community.

Most would say this is something that they want. Among friends and church goers, it is often voiced as a top priority in the realm of desires. 

For the past year, our family of five has been living in community. We have learned much about the LORD and about ourselves in this style of living. It is good. It is challenging. It is sanctifying. It makes me love Jesus so much more.

When we stepped onto the ground in Kona, Hawaii almost one year ago, this life of living in true community truly began. We got a small taste of it months before while living with my sweet Grandmother. But I will say that true community, "a group of people living in the same place", started on the campus of The University of the Nations.

At first, it was a bit of a challenge. I learned fairly quickly that I am prone to discipline my children out of fear. My own, and fear that I try to impart to them. The room that we were living in did not have windows that could be closed. So, everyone could hear everything that was going on in our room. EVERYthing. In turn, we could hear everything that was going on outside our room.

Beautifully, the LORD had us in a school that would teach us how to get rid of strongholds. How to recognize them and then make sure that they no longer existed. Blocking all obstacles that get in the way of our relationship with Jesus. I was surprised to find so many obstacles blocking the path of my gaze toward my Savior!

I learned that I had obstacles like fear, pride, anger, and worthlessness that were getting in the way of me truly seeing Jesus clearly. I had to deal with those feelings/wounds before I could clearly focus on my Lord.

You might be asking yourself, "Why on earth is she talking about this in relation to community??" I will attempt to tell you!

Holding onto strongholds can keep people from living in full community. It is an action from the enemy that keeps sin in the dark and believers from living a life truly known.

There are times when people think it would be fun or adventurous to have someone live with them. ESPECIALLY, if it happened to be a young single girl and you happen to have three young children. (*smile*) BUT, often the fear of being truly known overshadows that desire and it is never brought to fruition. 

Do you understand what I am saying?

I have had conversations like this,  "How can you have someone living with you? I mean, can you and David have a real argument while someone is living with you?" "What if this person sees what you do all day? What if they think that you are too busy or too lazy?" "What if this person sees the sin in your life?" "What if this person takes advantage of your family?"

I will say that a few years back, I would have had these same questions. Then Jesus freed me from those thoughts. I will also be honest and say that living in community has strengthened my marriage. See, I have a tendency to hurt my husband with my words and tone. Having someone live within our home has sanctified a bit more of that area of my heart. I know that if I have self control when someone is around, and I am talking 5 months to a year or longer, then I can have self control with the way I speak to the man I love for the rest my days. I can. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I will.

The Lord has also used this time in my parenting. Real people see how I mother these three children. Discipline is real in our home. It isn't always fun, but it is there and it is real. I am inconsistent at times. Sometimes I call out the wrong kid and blame him/her for something that someone else (often that someone is ME) did. I have to apologize to my children many times. I get lazy with them. I am not a perfect mother. 

 

Truth be told, I don't know a perfect mother and it is time we all stop trying to be her.

Seriously, stop looking for her. 

See, when we get over ourselves, we are free to live for Jesus and Him alone. If I look to Him for my worth, I am free to have anyone come into my home and I am freed up to be hospitable as Jesus was hospitable. I no longer fear that I will be found in sin, in fact I would desire that the sin that is seen in me be brought to light because I know what that freedom is like. And I want more of it.

One of our family's dearest friends has been staying with us since the first week of October. We met David Watson on January 1st of this year. He was in our class during training for three months, and was on the same team with us in Israel. In Hawaii, he and his roommates lived in the room below our family. David W worked alongside my David and basically spent over 8 hours a day together. We really got to know each other.

We have had the joy and privilege of having David in our home for the past two months. We have lived life together. We have worshiped, prayed, shared many meals, cleaned, chased children, laughed, shared Jesus with others, and walked about a thousand miles together. He is forever a part of our family and we are so thankful for him.

We could have missed this opportunity though. If we had not cleared all of those obstacles out of the way, the abundant life that Jesus promised me in His word would not have seemed so abundant with another person living in our home. Another person stepping in to see who we really are, and what we are really like. 

Why do I say these things? Well, I think because I just truly love Jesus and I truly love His people. I long to see others freed up from the junk the enemy has built up around their heart. I long to see others experience true community. The kind that goes beyond church on the weekends or maybe the casual sprinkling of homegroup/Sunday school too.

There is so much to offer when we get over ourselves!! Are you single? Ask a married couple that you know, trust and respect if you might come and live in their home for a while. Are you married? Consider inviting a single person to come in and see how you do life. If this seems frightening to you, I would encourage you to write down five words that express WHY this is intimidating. Ask the Lord for wisdom, and seek counsel to get rid of those strongholds. 

We were recently asked if having someone in our home, living in community for the past year has been draining or life giving. I can honestly say, the night before our friend David leaves to go home to the US, that it has been life giving. Jesus has been glorified in this time. We have seen a glimpse of Him in David that we would have missed out on if we didn't take the opportunity to invite him in. It has been a joy, and David's presence in our home will surely be missed.

Community. It is a good thing. It is challenging thing. It is a sanctifying thing. If you allow it, it can grow your love for Jesus so much.



Update From The Campbells by David Campbell

When God began to stir our hearts for the people living in Berlin we began to read and do as much research as we could on this place. Every person we spoke to told us of the spiritual darkness here.  It is a place of significant occultic activity.  It has been called the Atheist capital of the world.  We have been told that the people are cold and difficult to get to know.   We have been told that it takes a long time to get to know a person.  We were warned that it could take a very long time of 'plowing' before you see any sort of fruit at all.

When we arrived we spent the first little while getting settled and getting our bearings.  Then we began the work for which God has sent us.  At first we saw exactly what had been told to us.  Significant occultic activity, lot's of people who have no concept of God, difficult to engage people in conversation.  Speaking candidly, this was frustration and a little disheartening.  But then there is Jesus..........

Once Jesus was with 5000 men and maybe three times that amount of women and children.  He told his disciples to give them some food.  His disciples explained that the amount of food they had would only feed maybe one small person.  Jesus took it and gave thanks and it was enough for everyone.  Jesus and the disciples saw the EXACT same thing.  Yet Jesus saw what He had not what He lacked.  

We began to look at the city through the lens of what Jesus is already doing.  He is the one who said that the HARVEST is plentiful and that we need more workers for the HARVEST.  If we see our job as sowers we never look for the HARVEST. If we see our job as HARVESTERS then we see the HARVEST.   As we began to see the city from the perspective of Jesus absolutely everything changed.

 We, literally, are working with so many people right now we are running out of time in the day.   And it is not just immigrants.....we are seeing a significant spiritual hunger in Germans too.  The harvest is truly plentiful!

I was having a conversation with a man who works here in Berlin and he was noticing that there is a 'revival' (of sorts) in virtually every area of the city.  Architecture, arts, government, population, culture, ethnic groups, food, business, and yes even spiritually.  You cannot help but notice the massive amounts of Christian mission workers moving into this city. 

This week we saw a very influential man who is very devoted to his religion take some major steps toward Jesus.   This week we have seen a young girl tell our daughter and her friend she wants to follow Jesus.  This week we have seen a husband and wife from a very difficult country catch a vision for reaching their people in this city and in their home country.  This week we have seen German pastors catch a renewed vision and hope for the work that they are doing.  We got to see it.  We did not do it.  It was Jesus at work, we just got front row seats.

 We would like to challenge everyone who reads this blog to see your city or your context through the eyes of Jesus.  What is He doing?  Do you see the darkness?  That is good!  Because the light (Jesus) shines brightly in the darkness.  When you see darkness you will see Jesus shining.  We also want to challenge the way you pray for your city.  Instead of asking God to 'do something in your city' instead ask Him for eyes to see what He is already doing.  Look at the people God has placed all around you?  Are they believers or unbelievers?  If they are believers then encourage them and pray for them.  If they are unbelievers then tell them your personal faith story, share Jesus with them, and pray for them.

Jesus is the one moving. Jesus is the one working. We are just want to follow after Him.

The Purpose Of A Tree by David Campbell

I was having a discussion with a close friend and mentor of mine this weekend.  We were discussing the nature and activity of disciple making and church planting.  He told me a story that happened to him many many years ago in India.

He and his team had heard of this old Indian man who had planted over 60+ churches in a span of a few months.  It became known throughout the region and mission workers so they made a time to go and meet with this man.

After some pleasantries they got down to the business at hand - what was this man doing that was yielding so much fruit?  The man said that he did not focus on church planting or even try to plant churches but rather only focused on disciple making.  Making disciples was the activity and church planting was the result.  This response was not necessarily strange.  There is no command in the bible to plant churches but there is a clear command to make disciples.  Yet this statement leads to an obvious follow up question - "How do you make disciples?"

The man responded by asking a question of his own.  He said, "Sir do you know the purpose of a tree?"  My friend responded, "I suppose it is to clean the air and provide oxygen.  Perhaps to provide shade and refuge for certain types of wildlife.  Also the roots prevent landslides and mud slides.  The trunk can provide wood, etc."  The older man responded, "these are benefits of a tree, but do you know the purpose of a tree. Do you know what a tree's primary task is?"  My friend, knowing that this story was going in a direction he had not previously consider, said that he did not know the purpose of a tree.

The old man said, "The purpose and primary task of a tree is to reproduce.  To make other trees.  When you have more and more trees all of the benefits you have mentioned are suddenly possible.  The purpose and primary task of a disciple is to make other disciples.  From this the whole world receives benefit and the glory of God is spread to the ends of the earth."

I have been pondering this story all weekend and thinking through it's implications.  It seems like in modern western style discipleship we emphasize doctrine or teaching but seldom obedience.  If we do emphasize obedience we focus on doing good works and other noble activities.  Yet perhaps this is like trying to teach a tree to clean the air, hold the soil together, etc.  Simply benefits the world gets from having disciples in it.  Jesus said to follow Him and He would make us fishers of men.

This has been our conviction from since before we got to Berlin yet this story crystallized it in a way that I had not seen before.  We make disciples by teaching people how to teach people how to make disciples.  In short we teach them to reproduce.  We teach them to share their story and Jesus' story and we teach them how to  follow Jesus by listening to what He is telling them in the bible and to faithfully obey what they hear and read.  If they are in the hands of the savior they are in great hands.  

How many people will hear of Jesus today because of your story?  If you would like practical help in being able to tell your story and Jesus' story let us know, we are always glad to help.

Reflections From Family Discussions by David Campbell

In our family devotions we historically have done catechism questions.  We use a modified version of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  Last week we began to review questions we have done in the past.  One that we spent the bulk of the week on was: 

50. What is meant by justification?  A.  It is God's forgiving sinners and treating them as if they had never sinned.

I find that whenever there is a truth that I am tending to emphasize more forcefully than other truths it is usually something that the Lord is wanting to drive home in me.  I should have paid attention a little more closely earlier this week.

This morning I was reading in Jeremiah 31:4 as God is speaking to His people and restoring them after a time of judgment.  Did you catch that?  He is restoring them after a time of judgment.  If you read in Jeremiah 2 and in other places God has called His people a whore for their spiritual wanderings, but in Jeremiah 31:4 He calls them a virgin.  Pure.  Undefiled.  Untouched.  Unknown by another.  Virtuous.  Clean.  Not just cleaned up.  Not just forgiven.  But restored all the way back to the like new state.  God was 'treating them as if they had never sinned.'

When Israel was crossing the Jordan to come into the promised land, God gave them a specific place and time of the year they were to cross.  The time of the year was when the flood waters were the greatest.  He could have taken them to a low spot in the river but God was painting a picture.  They passed at the highest point and God stopped the river 30 miles away!  Where did He stop it?  At a town called ADAM!! (Joshua 3:16 look it up people!)  God deals with our sin so finally, so conclusively that He rolls it all the way back to Adam!

Rest easy today friends. God has dealt with your sins and He has made you pure.  Walk in your new life....the old one is gone, finished, vorbei.  In Christ you are justified!

When You Have Nothing Left by David Campbell

We live in a city that is exciting and fun, but truthfully it is a city that will suck the life right out of you.  Especially if you are attempting to live for the glory of Jesus.  There is certainly a LOT of blatant, in-your-face, darkness and demonic activity in this city.  We have been far closer to this than we would care to ever do again.  But the darkness in this city is normally something different.  It is a weight and heaviness that just pulls the life out of you.  It is like a large Anaconda wrapped around you just steadily squeezing, waiting for you to let your breath out so that it can squeeze you a little more.

The result of this tends to be that we run into a lot of people who are discouraged and struggling.  Especially those who are here as part of a ministry.  What makes it worse is that we feel it too.  We feel the discouragement and difficulty as well and find ourselves crying out for the Lord to fill us again.  We are like everyone else in that sometimes we just want to sit and let others pour into us.

Yet the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, is teaching us one of the ways that He keeps us continually filled.  He started showing us this from the life of Elijah and the widow from Zarephath in 1 Kings chapter 17.  This widow was struggling through a difficult time.  She had a son to feed, no means, and only enough food left to feed herself and her son and then she would die.  All hope of sustenance would be lost at that point.

At this point, God sent Elijah to solicit the widow for the remaining provision that she had.  What a crazy bold request!  Elijah had been fed by God.  He had seen God come through and yet he was asking this woman to give the last she had.  For the woman, she had just enough faith to see that she could give this away and either God would come through or she would die just slightly ahead of her time table.  So despite what she herself needed.....she poured out.  The more she poured the more God filled.  She always had enough. The pouring out was actually physically and spiritually fulfilling. 

Currently here in Berlin, we are taking a cue from this courageous widow... allowing the Lord to instruct us through her actions. When we are in need and someone comes to us...we pour out.  And the Lord is sustaining us!  We see encouragement grow in us. We see hope grow in us.  We see joy return. And we get to keep going and do not grow weary!

In your life you may be  bombarded with demand after demand after demand.  You may get discouraged and burned out from time to time.  Others may come to you for encouragement or refreshment when you have nothing left to give.  We encourage you to pour out.  To do so tells your own heart that your Father loves you. The reason you can give away what little you have is because you trust Him to provide for you,  just like He is providing for those in need through you.

We love you all and are just so thankful for each one of you.  We hope that we can always be an encouragement to you, sharing what we are learning from our good and perfect Father!

Just Some Happenings In Berlin by David Campbell

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Well a lot is happening in Berlin these days.  It is always a struggle to find time to sit and write about what's going on as things seem to happen so fast.  For me (David) it takes a while to pray about things and process them just to have something to post. 

To say that God is on the move here is an understatement.  We are seeing continuing evidence of God moving in great power. It is amazing the level of spiritual hunger in this place and at the same time so much darkness.  These "random"  meetings of people are beginning to move into us being invited into homes.  We are greatful for The Lord, but sometimes we get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and the need for more workers.  Oh, please pray for these wonderful awesome people The Lord is bringing to us!  I had tried to video some of the amazing things The Lord is doing only to have my camera fail.  It is pretty awkward to ask to video things like this, so perhaps it is for the best.

A little over a month ago we began meeting for church as a team and The Lord has been so gracious to begin to bring other liked minded and like hearted people to join us. It has been a truly wonderful blessing for us and so encouraging.  

This month we have several friends from our DTS in Kona staying with us and spending some time getting their hands dirty with our team.  It has been a joy to see the bonding of teammates and friends together as we all walk through engaging this city together.  It is a sweet joy to introduce friend to friends! 

One of the things we are working on is helping start a new DTS (Discipleship Training School) that will be held here in Berlin this next spring.  We are so excited about how this is coming together and want to encourage you to think about spending 5 months doing your DTS with YWAM Berlin.  We believe this will be a life changing experience  as you learn how to Know God and Make Him Known!  If you and/or your family is interested in knowing more about this please let us know!

As some of you know and have been praying, Ben has been having challenges with anxiety at school.  Keri has been so patient and wonderful helping him slowly transition during this time.  She sits in on his kindergarten class all day with a couple of fifteen minute breaks. I am so honored and grateful to be married to such a wonderful woman of God! 

Our second visa appointment is coming up on the 23rd of this month. Please be in prayer with us that we have all they want and that we get these visas! 

We just wanted to give you a quick update and wish you all could be here with us! 

 

Talking To Michael by David Campbell

Two weeks ago we met Michael.  He claimed that he did not believe in God and called himself an atheist.  He grew up in the former East Germany.  He said he really liked Keri and I and called us 'really positive people.'  I am not sure if that is a compliment or not but I took it as one.

When he said he did not believe in God I told him, 'that is ok because God believes in you.'  This caught him off guard and caused him to laugh a little sheepishly.  Suddenly he began speaking of different things calling attention to times when he has taken the moral high ground on various matters.  

A week later (last week) we met again.  He asked me, "David are you sure you want to stay in the S**t country?  The only thing we have going for us is our healthcare system."  I said, "Michael, there are roughly 80 million people in this country who either do not believe God loves them of think He has forgotten about them. Yet that is not true because Jesus has sent us here to communicate this message to them.  In fact God sent His Son, Jesus, to convey this very message many years ago.  Because God loves these people so do I.  God has given me a job to do and I must do it."

He laughs a little at me and says again that he does not believe in God.  I told him again that God believes in him.  He sees how He created Michael to be.  God looks at the original design and says it is good.  What we see is the part that is damaged and broken by sin and pain and suffering and stuff.  My purpose in being in that chair having that conversation was to communicate that God has determined that He is aiming to reconcile Michael fully back to Himself and what He was originally intended to be.

Michael leans back in the chair and after a long pause says, "I do believe there is a God but I don't know what it is."  I told him, "Michael if you really want to know then the bible says 'you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart."  If you want to know you must come to God on His terms and ask Him if what I am telling you is for real.  He said, "I want to do that."  Michael and I prayed and I left Michael with him telling me he wants to pray for me every day.

Next week we start to explore more of who Jesus is and start helping Michael walk out his faith.  Please be praying for this man.  We are eager to see what Jesus has in store for this man. 

 

An Interaction on a Train and How You Can Pray with Us by David Campbell

How's it going? I have been away from writing on this blog for a while, but don't let it fool you. I have had much to say. I think the gracious LORD we serve has held my tongue for a bit so that I might not cause any of my sweet brothers and sisters to stumble.

And I pray this post does not make any stumble.

If you saw my Facebook post, I mentioned that I needed to pray and repent and pray some more before writing this. I have done that and I think I am ready.

Last November our family moved from our home in Keller into my Granny's home. It was a step in this journey that the LORD has us on, and although the miles were short between the two homes, the gap that was felt was much grander. Because it was a step that symbolized a much larger step going on in our hearts. 

I am going to focus on my mommy heart and Ben. Ben was four years old when we took that step as a family. Constantly questioning, "Oh, now do we live at Granny's forever?" and craving the stability that most four year olds crave, he was working through what we were doing and called to as well as any child his age could.

He's doing a pretty good job if you ask me.

January 1, 2014 our family moved on to Kona, Hawaii for our training. Sounds magical and like paradise, right? Well, not so much for our newly turned five year old. He had not read all the travel brochures equating Hawaii with Heaven and didn't know that many people like to go there to get away. 

All this child wanted to do was get away to his "home" in Texas. 

But he worked through some things, by the help of the Helper and grew to make some friends and settle in.

Then we moved on to Israel. It was dark. It was tough. It was definitely a challenge. Ben wanted to go "home" just about everyday, and let's be honest, I did too.

But we were being trained, prepared, disciplined. And all of those things are good. I have to believe it for myself and for my children.

Then we moved back to Texas for a month. Back to "home" according to this, our youngest child.

I think he thought our "journey" was over. That we had reached our destination.

Just when he got settled, we hopped on a plane for Germany. The place we would stay for quite a while.

At first it seemed like a vacation. Really, the first two weeks in a new place can feel like that. A gracious family allowed our family to live in their home while they were in the States. We lived there for about a month while things got situated with the home that we are now in.

Here we are. Home. A settling started to take place. Ben got his own bedroom, for the first time in almost 10 months. He picked out his own bedding and began to understand that this is home. 

This past Monday school started. Our three children were accepted to an American School here in Berlin. It is a tuition free opportunity for our family, and the blessing is not lost on us. We are so thankful to be there.

But, I may be speaking too quickly for Ben. He has not been to American kindergarten, and cannot begin in the Entrance class here in Berlin as he turns six years old before the year is over. (December 17th, he barely makes it!) So this means he jumps right in to 1st grade. 

Somehow, the Lord saw fit to gift our family with an amazing teacher who knows Him and loves Him. 

The LORD loves Ben more than I could ever dream of loving him.

And I love him a lot.

Ben has cried and thrown a fit every single morning as I drop him off. A full on crying fit where he is so distraught that he cannot even make sense as he is so lost in his situation. See, he is required to walk into the school building (a HUGE school building!) without a parent and find his way to his classroom and get all set up for the day by himself.

All five years of him.

It was overwhelming and I walked him in on those mornings this first week, despite the desire of the other teachers in the hall. (On a side note, watch your facial expressions, friends. They are soooo telling of what you are thinking!) But, Ben's teacher never shamed me for walking him in and reassured me that we will "get this".

I called out for prayer on Facebook after day three. I need you all. I needed you to breathe for me as it was so hard to take breath in and exhale it out. This task seemed too much, and my instinct was to catch the first train to the airport and fly "home" to Texas.

Which brings me to the train situation. We don't have a vehicle here, so we take public transportation. This has been a source of frustration for the past two months for our family. Much of our time is wasted on just getting to a place. Ministry, school, language class, church, you name it. As our ministry is actually all over this city, just getting there is a huge challenge and can be extremely frustrating if we miss our train, subway, bus, or metro.

We began praying for a vehicle and were not quite ready to make that prayer request known. We don't want to look extravagant in our life here. We are able to do what we do because others have sacrificed and given to the God they love and serve. It is such a gift for our family to be supported by so many that love us and support us, but we know that the love and support is first and foremost to our King. We always want to be cautious and responsible with how we live including what we purchase.

Back to day four. The day after many of you spent our sleeping hours, your daylight hours, praying for our family. Praying specifically for our Ben and a good start to his day.

He started off strong. I was confident that this would be the day he successfully entered the school without tears!

The train can sometimes be very crowded. Especially in the mornings as folks are heading to work and school at the same time.

As we were on the train, Ben was in one seat and I was behind him. He turned around upon my request so that I could document this successful day with my phone. He smiled big! He was so excited! 

In his excitement, his little foot brushed the man in front of him twice.

This man took it upon himself to spank my son on the thigh.

I am just going to pause and let you take that in. A stranger who does not love my child, spanked him. Loud enough for me to hear and turn in disbelief. Hard enough to get a reaction from all in our train car.

A pop that would have landed this man in jail in the US. 

I wanted to slap him. I wanted to speak words of death over him. I wanted to kick him. I wanted to curse at him and tell him what a worthless piece of...

But God would not have me to do this. Instead, I took my crying, shocked son into my crying, shocked arms and tried to hug away that pain. David was in the same train car as me, but did not see what happened. He saw me crying and came over. I told him what happened and he said, "Who did that?!?!" I nodded with my head to the man. The man was nonchalantly playing on his phone with earbuds in. The man looked up at David and was kind of like, "What? You want a piece of me?" (He didn't say that with his mouth, just his body language.) Then German words came out of his mouth that I don't understand, but can only imagine to be "His foot touched MY knee TWICE!" When this man spoke those words, about seven Germans on the train went at him. Yelling at him, explaining that you cannot do that to a child. That Ben is JUST A CHILD. I am not sure what else they were saying, but I knew they were on my side. On Ben's side. It was loud. We had no place to go. We were on a moving train. When it stopped, the others were still going after this man and one followed him off the train and I am not sure what happened after that...but I know what I was hoping would happen.

I cried. I was angry. I was in shock. I couldn't stop crying. I needed the nearness of God, and thankfully I felt Him and asked for His nearness to surround Ben. To wipe from his memory what just happened, because I believe He can and I believe it's okay to ask that. This man had no clue if Ben had been abused before, or if his legs were healthy, or that he was on his way to his big first grade class where he was going to be brave and try for the first time to enter a giant building all on his own away from his mommy and daddy. This man knew nothing about my son, but still hit him in frustration of Ben's little foot touching his knee twice.

This event proved pretty traumatic not just for a mom and her little son, but also for Emma and Jacob. It was hard to shake, ya know? We had never encountered something like this, and never thought we would.

We all got along with our day. I walked Ben into his classroom and cried to his compassionate teacher whom I just adore. She was gentle, loving and encouraging. 

I know this is just how it is. I know that this behavior is not "typical" or really okay. I know all of this. I know this man probably does not know Jesus as Savior and will more than likely spend an eternity of being frustrated and hurt. I know this. I care about this. It is not lost on my heart to pray for this man. Not anymore at least. I had to work to get here. I had to pray. I had to ask the LORD for His eyes. I had to repent. I thought some really nasty things about this man and what I hoped would happen to him. 

This is why we packed our family up and moved here.

There are so many people here who have never in their whole life heard of a Savior. They have no clue who Jesus is and what He did for them. No clue. 

So, I forgive. Because that is what my God does when I lash out at Him for brushing against me, twice...sometimes even once. 

He showed me a picture that day of His great love for me. For you. He loves us so much that He left His perfect home. That He dwelt among sinners that had no clue who He was even though He told them constantly. He loved them and they spat in His face. He fed them, gave them drink, and they called him names, beat him. hung Him on a cross to die a gruesome death.

When we punch God in the face, figuratively speaking of course, when He brushes against us...He loves us. He is unshakable. Our little fit doesn't phase Him and I can only imagine He is pained to see us in such pain.

This man on the train has to be in pain to hit a five year old for touching his knee. He has to. So, confessing with my mouth, I want to speak blessing over this man. That when he saw tears from my mother's eyes, me comforting my son with an embrace and love, and NOT lashing out at him, he saw a glimpse at our Savior. I was paralyzed in that moment, and I think the Lord was doing a work. I think He held my tongue because it is not fitting for His daughter to physically abuse one who uses physical actions in anger. Does that make sense? The Lord could save this man. I pray He does. I ask for the Holy Spirit to bless him. For him to walk in peace and love and joy. For his hands to prosper. For his family to flourish and grow. For his needs to be met and even some of his desires. Lord, bless him for Your great glory!

So, here is how you can pray with us;  Will you join us in praying for a vehicle? Now, not only for the timely arrival to our ministry destinations and school, but also truly for the protection of our children. I do not think it is an extravagant thing anymore. And I am ready to share this prayer of my heart with you all now.

In His timing, we learned of a vehicle in Hamburg for sale that seats five. I learned of it last night from a friend. We are not sure it is the answer to our prayer, but we are sure willing to ask the Father. It costs 6,000 Euros ($7,900 USD) and we don't have that available right now. But, I know my God will supply our every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. He hears our prayers and He responds. This is not a desire for a more comfortable life. It is a mom's plea to her King for a tool to serve Him better and in turn, to serve and protect her children better. He knows that. He's got this.

This was a long post, and I am sorry for all the words. Thank you for reading through it and thank you for praying as the LORD leads. I am truly excited to see what He does. To give Him glory in all circumstances!

By the way, Ben walked into the school building on his own today. Not crying, not worrying, but chatting with his friend. Never looking back.

My God is Redeemer, Healer, Almighty, Provider!

What We Are Doing And How You Can Pray by David Campbell

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Currently we are working through the details of acquiring Turkish/German Parallel New Testaments.  This project is in the works and details are being worked out.

How you can pray:

1. Funding for the project. It should (comparatively) small but please pray for more provision. 

2. Pray for a massive hunger among our people groups that they would crave the Word of God.

3. Pray for the smooth and effective distribution of these New Testaments and those who will receive them. 

Thank You For Your Many Prayers

 

 

Don't Let Me Miss This Lesson by David Campbell

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 My friend, Doug, used to have a common phrase that he would use on me all the time; "don't miss the lesson."  The Lord is teaching me through this time and it is my prayer that I do not miss this lesson.

This week we were in a different city and doing a lot of walking.  The children were getting restless so we all decided to find a specific park and let the children play for a while.  We rode the tram-line (think light rail) in the direction of the park but the tram-line abruptly ended forcing us all to get off.  As we got off, the sign notified us that we must wait for 12 minutes before the next bus that would take us to our final destination.

As we settled into wait we could hear a voice being raised over a loud speaker.  I looked around to find where it was coming from and noticed a Muslim man speaking into a bull-horn while a man stood behind him filming him with a camera.  This appeared to be a GREAT opportunity to speak to this man and his colleagues about Jesus.  So my friend and I headed over choosing to take a different route to the park when we were finished.

To make a long story short we had a pretty significant discussion about the glories of Jesus with one of the most radical men (and his crew) in all of Europe.  In the end we prayed over him asking Holy Spirit to reveal truth and wished him well.

As a westerner, it is easy to look at people like this through the eyes of fear or hate as we see people as part of larger groupings.  We can make all of the political statements and threats we want but it does no good.  In the interaction with this man I began to get a glimpse of a man who is desperately trying to please God and making a mess at the same time, even at the cost of human life.  This has been the story of my life to some degree.  I want to please God but in my efforts to win His (already given) favor I make a mess and hurt people.

This week I began to get a first hand glimpse that perfect love truly does cast out all fear.  I know this man's name and he is now the subject of many of my prayers.  I want to see God touch him.  I do not want to see him harmed but I want him to know the true peace that is only found in Jesus.

I found myself telling this young man that it is not enough to know that God loves people in general we must know that He loves each of us, in specific.  Yet I had been so guilty of isolating myself from individuals and lumping people together as 'blocs' or 'groupings of people.'  The same thing I said he was guilty of was exactly what I was putting on him.  I, personally, did not see him as a person but as a part of a radical group with beliefs different from my own.

May the Lord Jesus grow me in the discipline of loving people specifically and not falling into the trap of generalization.

One of my favorites quotes is from Rees Howells:

"If you can love one, then you can love many, if you can love many, then you can love all."

New Teams Arriving Soon by David Campbell

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We would love to ask you to be in prayer for a YWAM team coming to Berlin on August 12.  This will be a Photogenx team and will be assisting us in our research and foundation building for this ministry. 

While we are grateful for their willingness to come and assist with this work we want to remember that these are people made in the image of God.  We want to be a blessing to this team and lift them up in prayer and encouragement. 

A Quick Recap of a Really Busy Month by David Campbell

We are almost done with our first month in Berlin.   It has been a great time and really hard all at the same time.  We hope in this blog post is to give you a recap of what has happened this month and then we would like to follow up with a few future blog posts showing what the Lord has taught us in this time.  We hope that it is an encouragement to you.

First we learned that finding an apartment is not as easy as you may think.  Ability to pay and desire to rent have very little to do with actually finding a place.  You can be turned down because you have kids or because you have no kids.  You can be turned down because you have a pet or because you have no pet.  You can be turned down for any and every reason and it really depends on the owner of the building and/or landlord to determine what sort of community he/she wants to create in the property.

But we have landed on the place that we originally thought would be ours!  It turns out seeing the place in person was much better than pictures showed.  That made it much harder when it was all in jeopardy for a while.

We have gotten bank accounts set up and temporary cell phones.  We will likely change phone numbers soon because having a contract in place can be a lot more cost effective.  You trade flexibility for spendable cash.

We have all gotten bicycles, which is a marvelous way to get around the city.  Ben still needs to learn to ride his but we met a family selling an almost new second hand bike and we jumped on the deal.  The challenge is that there are virtually no training wheels in this land so Ben is still limited because of his lack of wanting to learn to ride.  We expect that will come soon and we can be even more mobile.

We move into our new place on August 1 and then what presented itself was the challenge of turning on utilities.  So I was planning on taking a lot of time to go and physically show up to these places hoping someone could help me with the language.  Then I would need to shop for the best prices and make the decisions.  BUT the family moving out of the apartment we are moving into was so kind as to spend several hours with us on the internet helping us get everything set up.  It may seem like such a trivial thing but that literally saved us about a weeks worth of non stop work!  We am so grateful to them.

So then it remains that we needed furnishings.  The Lord orchestrated our steps to various people moving and needing to liquidate items.  This has saved us so much money and we are so thankful!  Tomorrow we will have it all picked up and delivered to the new place.

We also have been set up to begin language classes in August.  This arrangement is such a blessing and I am still in awe of how it works but let's just say that this is a major blessing.

While this blog post can come across as though we have been sitting by watching the Lord take care of everything, that was not the case.  What really happened was that the Lord orchestrated everything and we fretted and stressed and prayed.  You would think that eventually we would default to trusting Him.  We are still growing in that area.

You are all wonderful and we are so thankful for you all!

A Resignation by Keri Campbell

Lots of things do not come easy for me. Like even that sentence. Should I have used the word "easily" or is "easy" the correct word?? Hmmm, I digress...

One thing that does come easy for me is comparing and contrasting. In the area of sitting and comparing my life to others around me, I am pretty much a pro. Too bad I don't get paid for that work because I might just be a millionaire. As mentioned, contrasting is also part of my game. See contrasting is much like comparing...but it involves comparing the things/ways that are unlike each other, the differences. Yep, I am pretty darn good at that!

For some reason, I like to sit and look at successful writers, speakers, singer/songwriters, neighbors, moms, bible teachers, friends, and contrast their lives with mine. By definition, that means that I sit and compare the unlikeness of their life to mine. 

May I give you some examples? Will you promise to still be my friend?

"Wow, I have no idea how she looks that great after having so many kids. Why do I look the way I do and I only have three?"

"Her house is much bigger than mine and our husbands must make the same amount of money. Why do I live in this small home and she lives in that spacious one?"

"She sings with ease and joy. I sing with joy, but there are time when it seems like work. Why did You not give me the same quality of ability as her, God?"

"She has it all together. If I just had a housekeeper and a little more monthly income, I would have it all together too. Why do I have to spend my days raising these three kids AND cooking AND cleaning?"

"She buys her clothes from boutiques and she always looks great. All my clothes come from Target and can only endure one season if that."

"She is filled with words of wisdom and truth. Why do I not have inspiring words to say and encouragement to offer to my friends?"

"She teaches in a way that is led by the Spirit, but when I teach I seem nervous and confused."

"Everyone wants to be around her and others just tolerate being around me."

"Everyone wants to hear what she has to say and my opinions or words really don't matter." 

"When I meet someone new, they really only pretend to want get to know me because they want to get to __________." (insert other woman's name in the blank)

I could go on...but I am beginning to laugh and see the ridiculousness...

I want a new job.

So today, I am going to resign. I am resigning from the position of looking at others and believing that when I was created I somehow slipped through the  "a plan and a purpose" section of the assembly line. . Have you ever thought that? Have you ever thought, "Wow, that person really KNOWS who they are and WHAT they were created for!" Only to follow that up with, "I wish I KNEW who I was and WHAT I was created for..." Doing this, and I am the first to admit that I do, gives the enemy a foothold. Allows lies to creep in our mind, in our heart, that we really do not matter or have any chance at all to glorify the LORD with our lives because we really don't have anything to offer.

Believer, that is a lie.

YOU were created with a plan and a purpose. A good plan and a good purpose. Plans for success and a prosperous future.

Here's the deal. God is perfect. He doesn't forget stuff. He surely doesn't leave things out that will bring Him glory, remember? He is jealous for His glory. Jealous because it is His.

So when God tells me in His word through the writer after His own heart that I am fearfully and wonderfully made; I have no other choice but to believe Him. When He tells me through His word that He has plans for me and that He knows what they are...that they are plans of hope and a future...Who am I to sit and think that the God of the universe, the One in charge of everything,  forgot to put that in me when He created me?

When I quit my job of assisting a retinal surgeon and serving those in need in a way that truly satisfied something in me, I had to get used to my new job. A job of being a mommy to a precious baby girl. It took some getting used to. It was a change in identity of sorts, but I grew to love it.

That is what I plan to do with this new phase of life. Grow to love it. I am sure there will be days, hours, when I will slip back into the role of comparing and contrasting. But, with the help and power of the Holy Spirit, I agree to stop the minute I recognize that I am comparing myself with the created and not the Creator. I resolve to believe that He created me with a plan and a purpose, and it is one that the created being that I am comparing myself with...just can't  do. A plan and a purpose unique to me. Yours, unique to you.

I know there are blogs and articles written about women comparing themselves with others. Women looking to Facebook and other social media outlets only to contrast that which seems perfect with that which is imperfect in their own lives.

I believe the enemy delights and throws a big fat party when he accomplishes this task.

So, let's stomp on his head with our strong and stable feet! No longer looking to others for our own life plan or God-given purpose. Looking only to our Father, and asking Him daily, "LORD, what can I do today to fulfill the purpose you created within me?" And then...walk that out. 

Friend, when you were being knit together the LORD placed within you something that no other person has. No other person ever will. There is a brilliance in a certain area of you that is unique and life giving. You were created for greatness and hope and success. Do not allow the evil one to steal that from you! And if you have let him take it, it is time to get back that which belongs to you....

So, who is with me on this resignation? Anyone else willing to give up a life of comparing and contrasting and start walking forward in the true identity of one created by the King of kings with a unique plan and purpose to glorify Him and Him alone?!?

Blessings to you!

Keri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adventures On A Bike by David Campbell

Two nights ago we had dinner with some new friends and while we were talking it came out that there was a housing project not too far away that housed refugees.  Our friends drove us by the complex as they were taking us home.  We drove into the parking lot but it looked completely deserted.  

This complex stood out in my mind all night long and into the next morning.  As I prayed and sought the Lord He asked me if I was ready to take risks for Him.  As much as I could discern I told Him I was ready to be made ready.  So all day long I waited and watched for the adventure the Lord may be taking me on.  But it was a pretty low key day.  We ran some errands, picked up forms, got a fan (it gets hot in Berlin believe it or not), and ate dinner as a family.  

One of the great things about this part of the world at this time of the year is that it is light outside late into the evening.  Being that it was only 6:45pm and still light I decided I would ride my bike to this apartment complex, pray over it, and see what the Lord may want to show me about this complex.  The complex is only about a 15 minute bike ride from where we are staying.  Technically it is not in the city of Berlin but in the former GDR in the state of Brandenburg (which surrounds Berlin).

I crossed over the canal and left the city and got lost.  I mean lost.  I kept thinking I would pass by the complex and see it.  It was fairly large and certainly in the style of the nondescript East German architecture so I should have been able to find it.  But one hour passed by and nothing.

I rode forever and saw nothing but I had the abiding sense that the Lord brought me here for a purpose.  So I told the Lord that I cannot return home until I see what you brought me to see.  And I kept riding.  

As I rode I asked the Lord what I was supposed to be looking for.  He told me I was seeing with my physical eyes and that I was not looking through spiritual lenses.  He then asked me, "David, what do you see?"  I answered, "Nothing.  I see nothing.  There are houses and streets, but that is it.  There are no people.  This place could be deserted for all I know.  There are no cars.  Nothing.  Nothing at all."

Nearly two hours had gone by of solid riding and I could see nothing.  I just could not understand what was going on.  As I rode I prayed and just sensed an overwhelming sense of isolation.  As I felt this a phrase pops into my mind, 'spirit of isolation.'  I did not know really what that was but I began to ride and aggressively pray against a 'spirit of isolation.'

Suddenly out of no where it seemed I was about 1 block from the complex!  I saw two immigrant men sitting on a bench and I began to deliberate whether I should stop for conversation with them or ride into the complex.  I decided I would ride past, turn around and then perhaps make conversation.  But in riding past them I also passed another man (perhaps early 50's or late 40's in age).  I said hello to him in German and he responded to me in English.  I threw on my brakes and said, "do you speak English?"  He said, "yes of course!  Do you live here?"  I said, "yes my family and I just moved to Berlin about two weeks ago."  He said, "Thank you for coming."

He told me he was from Pakistan and had been in Germany for 1 year and 9 months.  I asked him if he was Muslim and he said yes.  I told him I follow Jesus and he responded with "you are welcome here, would you like to come to my house?"  

I followed him to his apartment in this complex but as we walked up the stairs a very large German man stepped out and tells me very harshly that visiting hours are over and I must leave.  My new friend pleaded my case and asked for 15 minutes, I was granted 10 minutes.  We continued to his apartment and the smells of middle eastern and Asian foods were simply over powering.

As we walked along I sent a quick text to Keri because I was acutely aware of the foolishness of coming here alone - or at least with no one knowing my location.  We stepped into his apartment and he locked the door and my heart sank just a bit.  The enemy used this situation to explain all the reasons I should fear.  But soon the Lord showed me that this was what He was wanting me to see.

I sat down at his table and we began to speak.  He told me about being beaten severely in the head with an automatic weapon by the Taliban.  He told me about his health issues related to the beating.  He is having trouble with his vision and he has constant headaches.  It was then that my time was up and I had to leave.

But I had seen a man who had his physical needs pretty well cared for.  He had an apartment, food, clothing, and medical care.  Yet he was isolated and alone.  His family had either been killed or fled to other countries with no way to communicate.  Could it be that a friendship is what the Lord wanted me to give this man?  I do not yet have clarity on why the Lord wanted me to see and meet this man yet I am certain there is a reason.

As I left the complex I got lost on my bike AGAIN and turned a 15 minute return trip into another solid hour of riding.  Today I am exhausted and grateful.  His mercies are new every morning. 

 

 

 

 

by David Campbell

This fall our kids will attend the John F. Kennedy school in Berlin.  This is an American funded public school teaching German and English.  It is a very good school and we are excited to be able to participate.

We want to ask all of our prayer partners to join us in praying for a few matters: 

1. We are asking The Lord for at least 3 Godly best friends for each of our kids (and us too). 

2. We are praying against any sort of transition anxiety in our kids. 

3. We are especially being diligent to pray blessings on the students, parents, and teachers.  

Our temporary housing in located just around the corner so it was a good time today praying over the school on site.  

Thank you for your prayers. They are a truly appreciated! 

David & Keri

 

Kingdom service, right where you are...and a challenge by David Campbell

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One of the most common things that I have heard in the past two years is, "I really wish I/we could do what you and your family are doing." There is so much to this statement and so much that hearing this statement stirs up in my heart. I want to process a little bit of it here, for you. You know, in the event you have ever said those words to me or to someone else. 

I do not come from a home that was centered around the gospel. I did not hear of the gospel in my home. My parents are divorced and my brother spent 10 years in prison.

The reason for me sharing this information with you is completely purposeful. When people find these things out about me they are often shocked. Usually there is a conversation that follows about how the listener thought that I must have had a "perfect life".

The reality is, none of us have a perfect life. That is waiting for us...but it's not yet here.

Somehow, there is this thing that happens in the believers mind when they see someone taking "bold" steps to follow Jesus. It's a thought that is cast into the mind of the observer that says, "That person is better than you. Further along in their walk than you. They have more faith than you." 

Um, those things are not true. Do not believe those lies.

I know that the LORD has placed you right where you are, so that YOU will seek God and feel your way toward Him and find Him. I know this because this is what Paul says, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, in Acts 17 verse 27.

So, as part of a body that is made up of different and unique purposes and skills, the LORD has a purpose and a plan just for you. One that, if YOU don't do it, nobody else will. YOU were created for excellence and a grand purpose...You were created to bring God glory!

Friends have told us that they do not feel called to get up and go to another continent. I do not think this is light-hearted statement. I agree that the LORD does not call every single believer to get up and move to another continent. But I do believe He has you right where you are so that you will seek Him more. So that you will bring Him glory right where you are.

If you wake in the morning, half asleep make your cup of coffee, get showered and dressed, mindlessly drive to work, have one of the three options you always eat for lunch everyday, complete your daily to-do list, drive the opposite direction you drove 8hrs before, arrive home, eat dinner and get ready for bed...this post might be for you.

I am a mom, so this one's for the moms too. If you are awakened by a hungry, bouncing child. If you feed said child and begin to clean up mess, upon messs, upon mess that this child and others make. If your days are full of phrases like, "What do you say?" "What is that smell?" "Try again." "No, THANK YOU." "Stay in your bed." "Please speak kindly to your sibling." "Wipe your feet, please." "Put your pants back on!" and many more! If you feel like a milk factory, a teacher, a person assistant, a chauffeur, a laundromat, a maid, a personal chef, a biblical counselor...but do not get paid like one. If you wonder if you were really created to sit and meal plan for the next 7 days.This post might be for you.

I have worked outside of my home. I have worked within my home. In both places, I can honestly say that it was often that I wondered if THIS was all that I was created for. ?.?.?

Do not get me wrong. These are VERY important roles and responsibilities. The issue with me and my heart is that I was not doing these things as unto the LORD. I was stuck in the day to day. It was a routine I could do and not really think about it. Not really finding purpose or even thinking there WAS purpose to my day. My actions. My words.

Does that even make sense?

Then one day the LORD clearly called my family to move to Europe and make disciples and plant churches there. So that is what we are doing. Not because we have a grandiose plan to change the world. Not because Keri and David Campbell came to a place in their faith where they had finally "arrived" to missionary status. Not because we are qualified. Not because we have the finacial means to do so. Only because Jesus is already there, the only qualified One, and already completing a great work that He has started and He has invited us along.

What my heart is yearning to share with you today is that you can be a part of this work, not our work but His, right where you are. In your work place. In your home. To the man who faithfully gets up each morning and serves his God and his family by going to work, I say, "Thank you!" We could not do what we are doing if you did not faithfully serve our Lord through your work! You are doing a great and mighty thing for the spreading of the gospel to the ends of the earth! Thank you! To the mom who sits quitely sharing Bible verses and singing songs of Jesus' love to her little one, "Thank you!" Teaching these babes about a God who came to save sinners and redeem that which was broken is HUGE! Teaching them about God's love for the nations, for ALL men is world changing and a dynamic way to serve those who have moved to a different continent to share that same message! Teaching your children the ways of The Lord is teaching obediently, and I trust that it pleases the King greatly.

The verse in Colossians chapter three verses 23-24 reminds me that the work we are doing, is not for men. It is only for the LORD. The work YOU are doing, it's not for men/people. Do you hear that gentle message? It's not for you. It's not for your family. It's not for the missionary. It's not for the poor. It's for God.

All of it.

Heartachingly, friends have told us that they want to support us financially. The struggle comes when they don't know how much to give to our family.

Please, if this has ever been a struggle for you when considering joining our family in this journey or any other family, I would love to remind you of that Colossians verse.

The profit that you make when you work, in the home or outside of the home, should be for the LORD, not for men. While this is easy to say with our mouths, it is not quite as easy to put into action. And what does that even look like?

Last week I spent some time in the chair of an endodontist. In that hour, The Lord spoke to me and gave me a picture.

So, here is the challenge that I present to you if you are up for it; 

1. Consider what you make in one hour of work. For those who are stay at home moms or who do not work for money, this is for you too, it just doesn't involve a dollar amount. 

2. Pray about devoting one hour of work every month unto the LORD. Practically speaking, if you are a surgeon, business man, sales person, nanny, assistant, dentist, pastor, speaker, mom, etc. look at your calendar and pick a day. 

3. On this chosen day, say out loud to the LORD that this day is for HIM and Him alone. Ask Him what He would have you do for Him on this day. Thank Him for providing this time and job for you. Thank Him for allowing you to serve Him. Read Colossians 3: 23-24 out loud.

4. Give away what you make in ONE HOUR to a work that is being done through and for Him. Outside of the work that we are doing for Him in Germany, there are many other amazing ministries that God has His hand on in this world. Pick one. Devote one hour of each month to serving Him, right where you are.

This sounds simple. It is! This sounds like it may not even make a dent in the needs of today. I trust that it will. Remember that time when Jesus was teaching for hours and His disciples realized that the crowds were probably hungry, over 5,000 of them? And our miracle-working God multiplied five loaves and two fish and fed them to satisfaction...with 12 baskets of food left over.

You were created for a plan and a purpose. God has you right where you are in order that you will seek Him and find Him. There is a role for you in sharing His message of salvation. Do not believe the lie that you are not valuable. Do not believe the lie that your contribution doesn't matter. Do not believe the lie that your faith is too small to do anything big for the Kingdom. Then get up and walk in the freedom and provision that the LORD has given you! Marvel in the Kingdom work that He is allowing you to participate in right where you are! Thank Him for letting you play a part...and tell others of what He shows you as you learn more about Who He is in this journey! 

Blessings,

Keri

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