Campbell Update Mid November by David Campbell

There is so much that is going on that it has been difficult to sit and write about it.  It seems that by the time a post/update is written and edited it is then obsolete and more needs to be written.

Last week we met with leaders from across Germany to discuss how the different leaders are working with refugees and gain encouragement about what comes next for this work.   We believe that God is calling us to take much bolder steps than ever before but we want to make sure that we do not take any steps that He is not directing.  

Yesterday we went to a place where thousands of refugees come into Berlin seeking Asylum.  One of our co-laborers and partners in the gospel, Tim Ashworth, brought items to make balloon animals. (click on the link and like their Facebook Page - they are awesome) There was nothing complex about what was happening, our goal was just help people to smile and restore human dignity to people.  

A man suddenly approaches me speaking remarkable English.  He is an Architect from Iraq and he said, "I want to tell you guys thank you for just bringing smiles to these people.  You are doing a good thing."  I went on to tell him that the reason we do this is because of what Jesus has done in my life.  As I share my story he is saying, "Yes yes it sounds like you were given a new heart!"  This man began to understand the transformative power of the Gospel!  He gave us his contact information and wants us to come and visit him in the camp that he lives in......and now God has given us an opening in a new camp.

Then a man from New Hampshire interrupts and says, "I have been listening to what you were saying to this man.  I believe this!  This is great what you are doing.  I came down here just to see what was going on here but I am glad I got to hear."

Then two other men approach asking about what we are doing.  One of the men says, "this is amazing can we interview you for TV?"  Uhhhhhhh, sure......I guess.  So they pull out their camera equipment and begin to interview Tim (if you know Tim, and you should, he has an awesome radio voice).

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Daily we come away from these times amazed that we get to be a part of this.  We follow God and He does amazing things and we get to be along for the ride.  

Truly He is a good good Father!!

The Harvest Is Now by David Campbell

I remember reading "The Heavenly Man" by Brother Yun and thinking to myself - "Wow! This sounds like the book of Acts!"

About 7 years ago, I started a bible reading plan that had me reading through the bible roughly 3.5 times in a year.  In this bible reading plan it required that I read one chapter of the books of Acts each day.  So every 28 days I was restarted the book of Acts.  During this time, there grew hunger in me to have my experience match what I read in the bible.  Not that I make the bible fit my experience, but instead taking my experience and if it did not match what I read in the bible... then I would keep seeking the Lord until my experience matched the bible.  The Lord is giving us tiny little tastes of that now!  Not the full meal, but tiny little appetizers that teach us that there is so much more of God than we have ever imagined (or heard)!

This week started normal enough.  We met with a small group of people on Tuesday in our home for prayer.  Something happened in that prayer meeting in which a deep conviction of urgency and excitement just seemed to fill the room and our hearts.

Wednesday we began seeing refugees coming to us expressing a desire to give their lives to Jesus.  Men coming and desiring whatever it takes to associate somehow with Jesus.  Men coming to us saying "We think Jesus is right and we want to follow Him, how do we do that?"  At the same time we began seeing significant resistance to our work (we will just leave that where it is - but needless to say we need prayer for open doors and wisdom for how to handle things boldly and safely but not foolishly.).

Thursday we saw yet more people baptized and making bold declarations of a desire for a clean conscience and new life in Christ.  

Friday we saw eyes opened, physically, causing eyes to be opened spiritually.  One man said, "I saw the miracle!  I have had doubts about my religion while living in Iraq and I had no one to ask.  What I have seen today will change the world.  We do not need food, or clothing, or housing, Jesus is what we need!"

Saturday is the day we come together as a house church fellowship.  We are so blessed to be pushing one another towards greater effectiveness and holiness in Christ.  We may be a small group, but I can promise you if you are going to storm the gates of hell, then this is the crew that you want with you!

Today Jacob and I went to a Döner/Kebap place.  He ate french fries and I read the Gospel of Matthew out loud to him.  We noticed three men listening to us so we invited them to talk.  One was from Iran, one from Pakistan, and one from Turkey.  The older man from Turkey had been stabbed in the shoulder three years ago and had significant pain.  He was healed by Jesus instantly after we prayed!  One of the other man tried to argue that this did not happen and that Jesus did not do it, but he was largely unsuccessful convincing his friend that it had not happened! So good! 

Every day we are coming to see that we are living in a different time than we used to.  It seems things are happening much faster than they used to.  There is a growing hunger for (and a virulent opposition to) Jesus.  We are seeing, each day, that the day of preparation is long past.  It is no longer time to prepare the harvest but that the harvest is here and we are to be about our Father's business.  We cannot spend our time preparing for a day that God has never promised us.  He has given us today, we must be faithful with today.  

Do not loose sight that you are in this with us.  The love, encouragement, support, and just being cheerleaders for us and for Jesus is such a blessing!  Words cannot express how thankful we are for each one of you.  

If you are wondering how you can be involved we would love to talk to you more. We believe that what is happening here can happen anywhere.  It's just a matter of being willing to take a step of faith.  John Wimber used to say that the "correct way to spell faith is R-I-S-K".  Take a risk, you will see that Jesus is super capable of holding you up!

Bless you all!  Bis dann, Tschüs

October Off To A Good Start by David Campbell

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.

Here is an article written in German (use google translate)

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.  

This Weeks Recap by David Campbell

The Gospel of John repeatedly refers to a particular disciple as "the disciple whom Jesus loved."  Reading all the way through the Gospel we learn that this specific disciple is also the writer of the book.  It used to bother me that Jesus would pick one particular person to shower more attention and love on than the others (yeah that says a lot about my heart).  But then one day I was reading and it suddenly struck me.....John was writing from His perspective while inspired by the Holy Spirit.  What does that mean?  It means that John lived his life with the constant awareness of how much God loved him.  Personally, specifically, acutely loving him with all of his flaws and short comings.  

Sharing Jesus with Muslims is a joy.  These are some of the most wonderful, gentle, kind, and loving people you can hope to meet.  Yet there seems to be a common road block.  Most Muslims I speak with readily agree that God loves everyone.  But the challenge comes in the fact that God loves them, specifically and personally.   You may be used to speaking only with Americans and driving home the point that "it is not all about you" becomes necessary.  Yet when you begin to share with people from other cultures, what seems so easy for one to grasp is difficult for others.

I must say that we are in a season in which we feel especially loved by God.  We have felt that we are following God's plans throughout this whole journey, yet recently we have been overwhelmed by the wisdom and grace He has shown us.  He knew what was coming to this land and He dropped us here just ahead of it.  He knew we (and others) would need a place to launch out of and He provided this house.  

This past week we saw God do amazing things in drawing people to Himself.  Tuesday of this past week I got a message from the man I had met on Friday of the previous week.  He told me to please pray for his daughter as she was being transported to the hospital.  Several hours later he let me know the diagnosis.  Staph Infection.  

We felt utterly helpless because we were not able to physically get to where she was to actually pray with her and for her.  Yet we prayed where we were and she was discharged the next day.  Yesterday we got the privilege of going to this family's home and bringing some fun items for the kids and sharing tea with the parents.  We hope it was a blessing to the family because it was a HUGE blessing for us.   We continue to pray for this family as we continue to share Jesus both in word and deed.

On Wednesday, in our bible study at the refugee center, we saw God doing really awesome things among a Syrian man (posted some of the details earlier on Facebook) but we have continued to pray and seek the Lord that these men will catch the vision that THEY can be the agents of peace in this world.  One of the men brought up questions that he had from the book of Daniel.  The Lord used this story to allow us to share with him how Daniel -- a man who ended up in a foreign country because of war -- could be a major source of blessing for the country because of an "excellent spirit" the Lord had placed in him.  

This is the vision we feel that the Lord has given, that these refugees will be able to be a MAJOR source of blessing for Germany and the World, fueled by the Holy Spirit and driven by the love of Christ.

Many of you have expressed a desire to help the beautiful souls here. Thank you! Thank you for your prayers, they mean the world to us! Thank you for your beautiful messages of encouragement! 

We have big dreams that the Father has recently given us. Dreams of reconciliation with the LORD God and with the people from all the nations here. If you would like to make a one time financial donation directly to these efforts, please click the "Support Us". We cannot wait to see these dreams become reality!

Be blessed, dear friends!

 

 

What A Difference A Week Makes by David Campbell

This week has been an amazing whirlwind of a week.  Here are just the highlights.....

Most of our encounters at the Refugee Homes seems to somehow get to the point of someone asking us for a bible.  So in our last update I just asked for prayer on us getting arabic bibles.  Even as I was writing the thought occurred  to me, "It is time to get serious about prayer for these bibles." Then, one of our friends and supporters launches a Go Fund Me campaign and in a few short days we have the money to FILL OUR GARAGE with bibles for distribution! What an amazing group of people you are!  What an amazing God we serve!

We have talked with several groups who are mobilizing teams to send our way to help with bible distribution and other needs, such as discipleship.   Please be in prayer as most of the teams will stay with us in our home. Logistically, this can be a challenge, but we know that the Lord will bring us through.  Now we are seeing the reason that God provided a home big enough to host teams!  He is not a random God, but when He says to do something you better do it, even if you do not quite see how it all fits together.  In essence our home has become and is becoming a place to launch from.

This week we spent our time at one of the homes further discipling men and getting to know them.  These are some precious people and we are amazed that we get to be with them.  Keri made cookies and we distributed cookies, shared Jesus, and did a bible study.  The nature of these homes is that they are normally not visible to the uninformed eye.  So one of the best ways to find them is to talk to the people and get to know them.  They told me about other homes that are very close. Walking distance or a short bike ride from our house.

Friday, I went to see two other homes I had heard about.  I arrived at the first one and the first man I met was an Afghan man who was an English Translator for the US/Allied Special Forces in Afghanistan.  Needless to say,  his English was amazing.  I became quickly aware of the fact that he was definitely a person a peace as described in Luke 10.  As we sat and talked he showed me how so often people bring all manner of food or clothing, but rarely take time to interact with the people in the home.  I told him we are here to change that as God has sent us here to share the good news of peace with God and man through Jesus Christ and to demonstrate that through praying for the sick and hurting.  He says, "Oh we have many people who need prayer here.  Thank you for coming."

As I left that home, just so overwhelmed by the goodness of God to open up a work, I arrive by bicycle to the next home.  I see a group of people standing around smoking.  Normally I never go to the main management office, because normally they will tell me that unless I have relationships with the people I cannot come in.  So I went up to this group staring at me suspiciously and told them why I was there.  One man stands up and pulls up his shirt to show me something obviously distorted with his belly.  He tells me he has a tumor and asks if I will pray.  I prayed and whatever this was began to move all around!  He and his wife were overjoyed  and the man who was doing the bulk of the translating says, "is there a church we can go to?"  I responded with, "why don't you let me show you how to meet together here in this home and I can show you how to get to know Jesus and you can pray for one another?"  The man says, "This is a great idea!  We can meet in my apartment and I will invite my friends.  They will come!"

As with most of this path God has put us on, He has challenged us to see this whole refugee crisis in a different way.  He is challenging us to not look at the people as a crisis or problem, but to see them through His eyes.  To see them with the value and dignity that comes from Him.  To see that this is the greatest missionary force the world has ever known and yet they do not know it yet.  These people can be BOTH a huge blessing to this country AND the answer to peace in their own countries.  We are working to see the power of God so transform these homes that the neighbors will want them there because of the tremendous blessing that comes from their presence!   

There are literally hundreds of state churches and organizations doing their best to meet the physical needs of the refugees. THIS has blessed us as we are free to minister to them spiritually! What a gift! 

language has not been a problem as many of these individuals never knew they would end up in Germany. English has been the bridge language, and ANY time language could have been a barrier, the LORD has been faithful to provide a person of peace; someone in the group who speaks English and translates to his family/friends. He is faithful! 

 

Terror groups and criminal activity function well in these environments because they tend to be the groups who are giving the people purpose and reasons to belong.  We have to be able to extend to them the dignity and value that is given them by God and cast vision for who they were created to be.  This is not an easy task as hope has not been a concept in many of them for a long time.  

We came to Berlin, Germany to make disciples of many nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that He has commanded us. 

Behold, He has been with us always.  

Thank you for your prayers.  We are grateful for every one of you! 

Week of September 7 by David Campbell

Unless you are simply not paying attention, Germany is making international news with the welcoming of refugees from all over the world.  While there are some that oppose refugees coming to Germany, overall, the sentiment seems to be extremely welcoming to those who have been displaced.  

This past week, we continued to do our open-air bible studies at the refugee facilities.  We do this open-air because we are wanting to model that having honest, sometimes hard, dialogue is good and helpful.  This past week we saw a man who had fallen from his bike have Jesus heal his wrist.  A man who watched this happen suddenly approaches informing us he had just gotten his "yellow letter" notifying him that he was to be deported back to his home country.  He asked for prayer and by the end of the day the decision had been reversed and he can now stay!  Praise Jesus!!

The group that is gathering has grown over the past two weeks and we have had more people tell us they want to come out this week.  Please continue to pray!

How to pray?

Pray for our translators - this is extremely hard work.  We had an amazing young man from Syria step in to translate.  It was amazing watching what God was doing in his heart.

That these people would not be viewed as charity cases but rather that they would be seen for the value and dignity that they have.  These people are the most amazing missionary force the world has ever known, but they do not know it yet!!

Pray for revival and awakening with the fullness of all that that entails!

Pray for boldness

Pray for MORE bibles - oh how we need so many more!

We love you guys and are so thankful to be in this with you all!!

Pruning....it ain't just for trees and flowers by David Campbell

Y'all, I am not Ann Voskamp. Wait, did that surprise you? Hahaha. What I mean is that I am not an eloquent writer and when the LORD gives me a picture of something beautiful, sometimes it does not come out quite as beautiful through my typed words to you. But, my goodness, Ann has a gift doesn't she??  I digress...

The LORD gave me some beautiful pictures, and I want so badly to make them into beautiful words for you. I pray I can glorify Him well in this post.

Through His amazing ways, the LORD our God gifted us with a new home. Our apartment was perfectly fine, but around November of last year, both David and I felt the urge to pray about moving. I will write a separate blog post on ALL that He did during that time.

We have some dear friends in Norway and had the sweet joy of visiting them. When we returned home, we took one look at the back yard and wished we had asked someone to water it while we were away. When we moved in, it was a mess. Before we moved in, an elderly German lady told me that I "have MUCH work to do in the garten." Boy was she right! Blessed friends came the week we moved in and they worked the ground with their hands and their hearts. It began to come alive! The potential came bursting forth in bright oranges, pure whites, vivid pinks and yellows! We were finding out that many of the trees in our yard were not just there for shade and beauty, but that they were fruit bearing trees! What a gift!

But when we returned from Norway, after just seven days of neglect, the yard was sad and dying. The temps had reached 100*F while we were gone. It didn't rain much. Nurturing this new life had come to a halt for one week and it could surely be seen.

So, one hot morning, I grabbed some clippers and a rake and I went to the backyard. I prayed as I went out and I asked the LORD if we could spend some time together. He's such a good, good Father...He never says "no" to that request, or "not right now, I am busy." 

I put my gloves on and got into that dirt. Into the thorns. Into the branches and the flowers and weeds and overgrown grass. 

I know that pruning is necessary. I know that it is good. One of the truths that the LORD spoke to me is, "Pruning is for the living, not the dead." I was pruning the bushes, flowers, and trees because I know they are alive! I know their potential! I have seen but a glimpse of it and it is beautiful! If they were dead, I would just pull them completely up and discard them. 

"Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:2

Did you catch that in Jesus' words? That which bears fruit, is pruned so that it can bear more fruit. I love this truth!

Our backyard  has a short wire fence around it. We have already met all of our surrounding neighbors and shared with them the reason we moved from Texas, seriously they can't understand WHY we would do such a thing, to Berlin. We are praying for BiG things for this neighborhood and the amazing people in it. They have all welcomed us with warm, open arms and have made this move even more evident that the LORD is up to something. 

The neighbors directly behind us are especially inviting. We have grown to love them. As I was cutting back many of the bushes along the fence we share, it became a reality that we would not be "hidden" by the bushes anymore. Pruning exposes us in ways that can be seen by those around us. There are times when I don't want to be seen. I don't want others to see the faults I have or the places I fall short. But pulling out the shearers, cutting away the  things that need to be cut away, exposes more of who I am. Who I really am. And, who I really am is chosen, redeemed, pure, loved, and so much more! That is who YOU are as well! Which is good news for my neighbors, because due to my excessive pruning....we will be seeing a LOT more of each other!

There are many kinds of berries in our yard. I have no idea what kind they are, but I know they must not be poisonous because our boys have eaten their weight in them! Working among them, I quickly learned how very painful the thorns of berry vines can be! Ouch. Pruning can be painful, but you must keep on working. My arms looked like I had been in a fight with a young kitten. Even though I had gloves on, the long, sharp thorns pierced through the gloves and into my fingertips. It hurt. BUT, I knew that I had to keep going, through the pain. I could not just give up, despite the slashing. This can go two ways in the spiritual world. Oftentimes, the LORD uses His people to prune those He loves. Often, we are the tools in His pruning hands. If we just stop when it hurts, the potential beauty that is literally dying to bust though, is yet again left to be smothered by the thorns and thistles of life. You must keep going, past the hurt. Past the disappointment. Freedom actually does come at some cost.  I have tasted and seen that the LORD is good...and spiritual freedom is worth the pain it takes to obtain it!

When I was close to being finished with my work for the day, David came out to join me. I was a little anxious at what he might say. Friends, the pile that was growing from all that I had cut down was growing very, very high. My man grabbed a rake and joined in the work. Sometimes the ministry of presence is a sweet gift during the process of pruning the soul. I assumed David would ask me why on earth I was cutting so much away. He didn't. He just worked right alongside me. I was nervous to tell him that the Lord had been speaking to me during this time. But I had to. With each cut of those sharp blades, the Spirit was reaching to my soul with truths of His good and perfect ways. So, I opened my mouth and began to proclaim the lessons God was sharing with me in His grace. David is gentle and wise and loving. He listened and affirmed that these were from the LORD. He encouraged me to share them with you. You see, as I was pruning, I was being pruned. And it was good for me to have someone along with me. 

As he raked the remnants of what I had cut, David exclaimed, "Wow, look at all the room back here! I had no clue we had this much room! There is enough room for you to plant something really beautiful." And immediately my heart took hold of those words. Pruning makes room for more beauty to grow. With all that was there, we really had no grasp of the space that it was taking up. Cutting it back showed us that there was MUCH room and good soil in which to plant whatever we wanted...and we want to plant more! Things beautiful and vivid and life-giving!

Then their was the pile. The large pile. Pruning leaves behind that which was pruned. What you do with it can make all the difference in the world. Just like the pruning of the soul, we could have been completely embarrassed by the enormous pile of branches and weeds and shrub that we had cut back. But, we were so free that embarrassment wasn't even in our minds! David agreed that we would deal with it, we would move forward, but that we wouldn't look at the mountain behind us and be overwhelmed. Nope. We also wouldn't let the large pile that was cause us to NOT prune in the future. See, when we cut back that which we know needs cutting, the work isn't over. We must do something with that which we have torn down. This is good to think about with our souls too. We must hand that which has been pruned back over to Jesus. Release it from our hands. He is able to take care of it and He has taken care of it with His sufficient work on the cross. Believe it and rejoice, friends!

I pray these lessons will reach into your hearts and souls. I am not sure they convey that which the King of Kings whispered to me on that day. I pray that in some way, He uses that which He taught me to remind you that you are dearly loved and treasured. You might be in a season of the pruning of your soul...and I pray you see that as life-giving and valuable! I pray that you would be encouraged and spurred on to finish the cutting back until the end. I pray that after the work is complete for this season, you will know the Lord your God more fully and praise Him for the love and grace He has lavishly poured out upon you!

Blessings from Berlin! You each have our hearts and we love you so much!

 

This Morning in Berlin by David Campbell

It was a hot morning in Berlin this morning. Very hot. Hot enough to cause people with no A/C to go outside. 

I see two men sitting in the shade who are seeking refuge in Germany but coming from Albania.  They told me about their plight and their needs. I asked if I could pray for them.  They both agreed.

After a general prayer of blessing and help in their job search one of the men explained that he had a back injury.  I prayed and the pain immediately left.  The other man pulled up his shirt to reveal a stab wound from a knife in his back.  He also asked for prayer.  His pain remained after the first prayer, diminished significantly on the second and was completely gone on the third.  

Both men were extremely thankful and asked what just happened. I explained that it was God responding to prayers in Jesus' name.  We talked about Jesus/Isa's righteous perfect life.   They asked what religion Isa is and I explained how religion is about trying to please God instead of trusting in Jesus' goodness. 

Next I explained how they can approach Jesus with their needs and even begin praying for people they know who are sick or in need. They were eager to get started!

Next week we will go back to help them continue.  But this could be the beginning of a new faith community in this place.  Pray for this group of people as they have many many needs and have just been introduced to the One who can do what no other person can!  

I See It, I THINK I Finally See It by David Campbell

It appears on the horizon and it is still a long ways off but I think I see it….

This last week was a significant week for me, personally.  When we started this journey of what the Lord had called us to in Berlin, we felt like we were moving forward on the word of the Lord.

Sometimes when the Lord directs you toward something you totally understand what He wants to do and you run forward full steam ahead.    But I have to admit that since the time that we felt like we received what He wanted to do in Berlin, I cannot say I have totally understood.  I have been willing to proclaim it and speak it out but in my mind I was having a hard time seeing it.

Let me explain.  The idea and desire and vision has always been self-reproducing discipleship groups planted in this city and flowing out to the world.    That has never changed.  We know that this has happened in China and India to a large degree but it is very very very rare in the west.    The explanation has been that “things are different in the United States and Europe.”  This cannot be true.  It absolutely cannot be true.  In order for this to be true that would mean that either A) there is a worldview stronger than God or that B) that God is willing that Europe perish and not come to knowledge of the truth.   These things just cannot be. 

I have been involved in evangelism for a very long time.  I am engaged in a lot of evangelism now.  We have seen people come to Christ.  We have seen decisions for Christ.  We have seen disciples being made.  We have even seen new believers spring into being radical evangelists leading many people to Christ in closed countries.  Already we have seen this in this city….in one year.  Sound great, huh?  Sure, and we want to celebrate every single victory, but the truth is this is not the goal.

Self reproducing discipleship groups that completely change the fabric of society.  That is the goal.  Disciples of Jesus.  In essence, wholesale revolution and revival. 

But I have not been able to see it.  I did not have eyes to see it at the time.  But I THINK the light is coming on.  I want you to see that this is very much a work in process.  This is not the writing of someone who has it figured out.  I am following my Lord on the word of what He wants to do here in this city. 

Then this past week we spent time in a park with drug dealers, drug abusers, and prostitutes.  We saw the presence of the Lord change the entire atmosphere.  We saw people watch our example and begin to pray, in Jesus’ name, over their friends.  We saw it, we saw the place come to life.  And yet I do not think I fully saw it until we left!!  Starting a bible study in that place, teaching them to pray for one another’s needs, teaching them simple bible stories, would have been the most natural thing possible, but I did not see it then.  I think I do now.

I have felt the desire to have more and more and more teams but now I see why.  Now I see what is to happen.   We need more and more and more people doing what we did last week!  This is no longer about us "sowing" good seed as is often done in evangelism, this is about us being harvesters!  The Lord is saying that He has sent us to harvest that for which we did not sow! (John 4:38)

This is happening all at the same time the Lord has provided us a house closer to the kids school that will free up perhaps another 20 hours per week because of transporting kids.  20 extra hours of harvesting?  Yes, please.  But also there is something else that is amazing, for almost the same monthly rent we are getting nearly 2.5 times the space.    We can host the teams in our home!   More time for harvesting and a place to put more harvesters.  

This will free up even more of our time and allow us to serve as overflow for teams coming  into the city.  It allows us to share the vision with more and more and more people.  These people are coming from all over the world and so this already is serving to impact the nations by us being obedient right where we are.

This week we will begin moving into the new place.  The Lord has opened doors for us to move already BUT we still have some critical needs.   We have a deposit that is needed equal to 3 times the monthly rent.  We also need to fill the heating oil tank and at the same time take care of our annual health insurance payment.    So far, through your generous support we have seen the Lord provide$3,100 bringing our needed total down to about $8,000 left.  We know that the Lord will provide and we ask that you would join us in praying that this amount is released. 

But more importantly we ask that you would join us in further understanding what God is really doing in this city and that we would be able to see it more clearly and realize what He has called us to.   

What Happened Today by David Campbell

We believe that the Lord does everything for His own glory. When He acts, He intends for His deeds and magnificence to be made known.

Today we took the team out to a place that is known for open drug abuse.  We went with virtually no agenda other than to seek the Lord in the darkest of places.  

When we arrived to area where many of the nefarious activities occur, we found it to be more crowded than normal.  We sat down and simply began to worship the Lord in song and wait on Him.

The bible says, "None who wait on the Lord will be put to shame."  As He promised in His word, He showed up in such wonderful ways.  

There were a few people we began to speak with who allowed us to minister to them.  One man named Michael, saw his knee healed and even though he professed faith in God he was genuinely surprised that his knee was significantly better.   Then a lady named Danielle approached and received prayer and ministry from some of the young ladies on the team.  

After a while, there was a Palestinian man who had a tumor on his knee who asked for prayer. Before we could finish, one of the guys (Mustafa, also Palestinian) who was doing a lot of the dealing, jumped in and asked for prayer to set him free from Heroin.  Some of the people standing around tried to say that Jesus does not care about Muslims, but we were able to both explain and demonstrate that, in fact, Jesus love Muslims as well.

Soon one of the young men who had fled to Germany from Syria saw what was happening and began to join us in praying for his friends in Jesus' name!!  It was a wonderful site!

The rest of the afternoon was really just amazing.  The entire mood changed and Mustafa was dancing with the music (the man in the Star Wars shirt).  Danielle commented that she had been going to this place for well over 4 years and she had never seen people play Ping Pong on the table that was there.  

It was an amazing time and we are looking forward to spending more time with these people teaching them what it looks like to follow Jesus.  He is worthy!

On the move... by David Campbell

As I sit here in our home in Berlin, I am somewhat overwhelmed with the task at hand. The task of sharing with you all that the LORD is doing, has done, and what we believe will do. Part of me wonders if you want to know. If you want to hear. Part of me wonders how clearly I can articulate through written/typed words all that the Lord is doing. Then I brush those thoughts aside and remember that I am told to proclaim the goodness of the Lord, and so I will do so as often as I can...dismissing the silly thoughts that you might not want to hear of His ways.

We moved here just under one year ago. The thought of that really takes my breath away and causes my brain to swirl in the whirlwind that has been this past year. The past three years, really. When we moved here, we were like horses at the starting gate. Ready, eager, prepared, skilled to bust out and "run" the race set before us. And, for the most part, we did. The race is exhilarating when you are a Thoroughbred. Ridiculous if you are a an Arabian horse. In this area, we felt well equipped, vastly trained, and just ready. We are so very thankful for the plan the Lord had for our family to get us here. We do believe it made all the difference for a smooth transition to a new land, a new language, a new people. Never executing the run perfectly, but trusting in our identity being in Jesus alone. Not doing this singlehandedly, but with the Lord guiding us each step, each day, sometimes through each breath...

 

Another area of growth in our family has been that of hearing the voice of God. Tuning in to what the Spirit has for us each day and acting upon what we hear. This is an area that seemed grey before, but now is becoming clearer and clearer to each one in our family. 

Our housing situation can be described as "only of the Lord". He led us to the home we currently live in. We got to meet and become friends with the previous family that lived in this home. We feel blessed beyond measure at the provision He has constantly set before us. 

About mid fall of this past year (2014) as a family we began praying for a place closer to the school. Without going into much detail, transportation/travel time is an issue for us. It just is. Our ministry is all over this grand city/state and it can be quite the challenge to arrange meetings and such throughout the city during the week. Without boring you with details of our schedule, it's just plain crazy at times! And super draining. For example; Emma, Jacob, and Ben all three get out of school at different times. Yea.

If you follow us on social media, you know that we have had friends and family come and visit. These dear ones have entered into our lives here and have walked where we walk, and seen the way we live. Upon seeing, they have all agreed to a need and desire, of our hearts. And that is to be closer to the kids' school....for SO many different reasons. My sister in law even expressed after leaving that she and my brother in law were so "burdened" for us due to the travel schedule. This was needed confirmation in our hearts to press in to the Lord and see if He would move us. 

There is a website here much like realtor.com in the States. We used it before we made the move, and have occasionally glanced at it afterward for fun. After praying, we proceeded to view two ideal homes that were near the school. Things are WAY different here in Berlin, and I don't know how to fully explain the difference except to say that they are not afraid to discriminate. There may be laws against it, but from what we have seen there are not. Anyway, suffice it to say, we did not get "chosen" for these homes. We shared this information with our friends and family that had been praying alongside us, and we pressed on.

One day I received an email from a realtor that I had never contacted. She used my name and knew my "profile". I am guessing when I first started using the site, I entered in some information about what we were looking for. She gave me the address of a house and thought our family should go look at it. When I looked up the address, I found that it was very near the school. Being trigger-shy, (is that a Texas saying?? Would people here understand the opposite of "trigger-happy"?? I digress...) because of the not being chosen for the others homes, I was hesitant to mention it to David. So I prayed. I felt an urgency in my heart to tell David and ask if he wanted to see the home before we picked the kids up from school. He said, "Of course!". Looking at Google Maps the home was a 7 minute drive and a 10 minute bike ride to the kids' school. THIS is HUGE for our family! Really, that distance seemed too good to be true. 

We drove out and our first impression was, "Whoa." You need some vision when you look at this place. But, guess what? One of my FAVORITE shows happens to be "Fixer Upper", so I knew what vision looked like! Yay, HGTV and Chip and Joanna Gaines! 

Peeking into the windows of this vacant home, our talk began to get a little hushed and excited as we thought this might actually be a good place for us. Then we heard a voice behind us boom something in German...and I will admit, I felt like a child caught INSIDE an abandoned home trespassing...people, it scared me! But, the man switched to English when we replied in English and all was well. He proceeded to tell us that this home belongs to his sister and that his bother is taking care of the rental issues. "Do you want to go in?", he asked. We did, but we were so cautious because it looked big and we really knew nothing about the rent or anything else for that matter. 

We looked around inside, and the "vision" needed when looking at a fixer-upper began in both my mind and in David's. It is the perfect home for what we are here for. We asked some questions and after finding out that it is 500 Euros more a month than what we are currently paying, told the landlord that we couldn't afford it. "Oh, we can negotiate that price." Hmmm, 500 euros less a month? We would have to pray and find out.

We brought the kids out later that day to pray over the house and see if they had any impressions from the Lord. They loved it and we got a unanimous "YES!" from all three. As luck would have it, wait...do we believe in luck?? As the Lord saw fit, the lady across the street saw us and asked  if we were the new tenants. We told her we were looking into it, but didn't know yet. She was so very pleasant and told us that we should go and visit with the family that lived there before. They bought a house down the street and would "love to meet you and talk with you."

Y'all, there are times I feel like I am on Candid Camera or something. This was one of those times! This WHOLE experience is so surreal to us!

 

So our little American family of five walked down the dirt sidewalk to the home of the family who previously lived in the house that we were interested in. 

Can I just say that God is amazing in the way that He lays out each stepping stone if we will just get up and walk? 

We turn the corner, and find the home of the family. They are the sweetest German couple and invite us into their garten right away. (Backyards are called "gartens" here.) We asked questions about the home and they were so very awesome to teach us some things that we just would never know otherwise not being from this country. They also told us that if we moved in, that we could come to them at any time with questions and such. They also proceeded to tell us that they paid 500 Euros less a month than what the landlord was asking.

Wait, what?

So, David asked if we should try to negotiate that monthly rental price. They both said, "Absolutely."

One other thing to note is that in Europe it is very common to move into a home/apartment that has a completely empty kitchen. Like, just walls and tile. I think they are required to have a stove and a sink, but other than that...empty.

We purchased our fitted kitchen from the family that lived here before us. We have also been blessed with a large-for-Europe kitchen. This presented some concern when thinking about the house. The house has a very tiny kitchen. For comparison, the closet in our master bedroom in Texas is bigger than the kitchen in this home. 

We sat with the landlord, and. boldly asked him to come down on the monthly rent. Here's the deal, if this was from the Lord, there was nothing that could thwart His plans. We decided to takes steps of faith and really walk in what we knew the Lord was placing before us. The man agreed to lowering the rent. Which is a HUGE praise! We have talked with many other people who have lived here for years and they were astonished that; number one, we asked. And number two, he agreed. The Lord is so good!

Back to the kitchen situation.

There is a small room that shares a wall with the kitchen. The room is kind of misplaced, as it isn't quite a bedroom and not quite big enough for a dining room.

Remember I love the show "Fixer-Upper"? Can you see where I am going with this? I told David we need to ask this guy to bust out that wall. I seriously think David must have thought I was INSANE at this moment! We "talked" for a bit about it. Brought our friend, Rob, into the discussion. Which was definitely in my favor since Rob is an architectural major. We all went out to show Rob the kitchen and the walls and all, and he agreed it made sense if the wall I was wanting removed wasn't a load bearing wall.

So, my brave husband asked the landlord if he would actually consider taking out a wall and enlarging the kitchen...and he said, ever so nonchalantly, "That sounds like a great idea. I will see if we can get a contractor out there to see if it can be done."

Another stepping stone that we gladly placed our feet upon.

The landlord also agreed to pay to have our current kitchen moved from our apartment and installed into this home.

Friends, we can't make this stuff up! The Lord is always Provider! Always!

Some heavy things have been happening in our local body in Texas. Aware of that, but also aware of our desire to sit under the great leadership of The Village Church, we presented this opportunity to our elders and pastors. We asked for them to pray with us and over us and to share anything that they got from the Lord. We always want to live openly, and always want to be ready for feedback even if it is not exactly what we want to hear. We trust our pastors and elders and safely sit under their leadership in this part of our lives. Their response to us was to "Go for it!" which was an affirming delight to hear. 

Which leads me to the whole reason I am sharing this with you. We do not bring every need public. We first take it to the Lord. Most of the time, He provides without us ever having to open our mouths to friends and family in an effort to share a need.

We have been living for almost one year on $800 LESS a MONTH than what we were advised to live on. God has proven Faithful Provider every single day and we have grown in our trust in this characteristic of His.

There are times when we hear Him saying to us, "Invite others in." THIS is an area where we are still growing. That can be so hard. So humbling. So, scary. But, we trust Him and trust His leading well over our own. 

So, we are inviting y'all in. It will take some financial efforts to get us from this apartment to the new home. Humbly, we admit that we don't have that. There is also a deposit to pay, and set up fees for internet/electricity/water/oil, etc. This ALSO falls upon our one year renewal time for health insurance.

It would be best for our family and the teams visiting this summer for us to get everything moved and settled by the end of June/beginning of July. 

All that to say, we are humbly inviting our friends and family along on the journey that the LORD is laying before us. He has been with us every single step of the way. You all have played such an enormous part in being His hands and feet in providing for our family. Our request is that you ask of Him, "Lord, would you have me/us be a part of this adventure You have the Campbells on? And if so, what would You have me to do?" We are so very eager to have y'all along! Our God has done some spectacular things when we have all joined together! All over the GLOBE! We really do sit in anticipation as we wonder, "God, what will You do in this time?? And, don't let us miss one single bit of it!"

We love you guys. We bless you, in Jesus' name. We are indescribably thankful for all that you have already sacrificed for the Lord's work here. We sit in eager anticipation as we wait upon the Lord in this. If you have ANY questions at all, we totally want you to contact us. There is always an open door with us. If you would like to make a financial contribution to this effort, simply click this link.

Be blessed as you seek Him. 



Mustard Seed Faith by David Campbell

“ Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “ O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “ Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “ Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘ Move from here to there, ’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.  Matthew 17:15-20

I am not sure if you are like me or not, but there are times when I pray for something and NOTHING seems to happen.  It is frustrating and discouraging many times.  Our family has seen amazing answers to prayer.  So many, in fact, that when we sit and think about it -  being tempted to disbelieve that God is going to come through for us is a bit irrational.  

And yet, sometimes we pray and nothing seems to happen.  

The Lord has taken me (David)  on quite the journey in the past few years.  I used to think that praying for anyone or anything and seeing something happen right away was not the norm.  The Lord has graciously changed that level of thinking.  So much in fact, that when I do pray for someone or about something and nothing happens, it drives me to the Lord for instruction, encouragement, or whatever else I need.  I am fully convinced that expecting answers to our prayers should be the norm. 

As believers we love to share the great things that God does.  This is part of giving God glory.  When He does something awesome, then the world needs to hear about it!  To not tell others of His amazing deeds is to steal His glory from Him.  In like wise manner, we feel that constantly beating the drum of the darkness and wickedness all around us, constantly proclaiming what the enemy is doing,  is giving glory to the Evil One, of which he deserves no glory at all.  He is a thief and a liar. A thief of glory and forever lying about it. 

However, the honest truth is that some things we pray for appear to see no answer.

About a month ago, dear friends from Canada had come to visit and we were discussing the topic of believers praying and seemingly nothing happening.  It was then that they began to explain to me the statement that Jesus made in Matthew 17.  Let me try to lay it out:

Jesus had sent his disciples out to preach, heal, and deliver those who were oppressed.  Yet in their exploits they came across a young man on whom their prayers had little effect.  Jesus said it was because of their "little faith" and then told them that if they had the faith of a mustard seed they would be able to say to this mountain be moved from here to there and nothing will be impossible to them.

I had always heard this as a rebuke from Jesus about the amount of their faith.  Yet our friends explained to us that in this region of the world it was known that Mustard seeds could be planted virtually anywhere.  These seeds were tiny and yet given enough time they would always grow -- even through a mountain. Given enough time this little, tiny seed would persevere even through the face of solid rock.  This life would "find a way."

Suddenly the light came on!  You know, as in when the Lord speaks a truth  or revelation to your heart and you feel the literal life come into your body?  

What if the Lord was telling me....you haven't failed in prayer, you merely gave up too soon?

Today, Lord, I will not despise the day of small things (Zech 4:10) and I ask you to release in me an overcoming spirit that I might, in all things, endure through to victory.

 

What Is Happening The Week of June 7-14 by David Campbell

We are excited to have a team from Brisbane, Australia coming to Berlin.  We are grateful that we get, for a time, more workers for the work here in Berlin.  However, we are also praying that this time will be one of significant growth and blessing for the team.  Our prayer is that when their time is done in Berlin they will collectively say, "surely God was in this place!"

Here are a few additional prayer requests:

Our time continues to be a significant challenge due to the school schedules of our kids.  Juggling the logistics of making sure our kids are taken care of with ministry demands is an area that we could use a lot of prayer.

We are continuing to do what God has called us to do in this city while trying to build bridges between various churches and ministries.  We have seen the Lord do a lot in the area of churches and ministries working together, but we believe that the Lord is wanting to see much more in terms of unified efforts.  

For me, personally (David), I am sensing the Lord prompting me to take even bigger steps of faith and boldness in what we do.  Specifically in the areas of Evangelism and Discipleship.  The last few weeks have been pretty stretching for me as I have come to realize that settling into routine and comfort is not where He has called me. (I did not know I could fall into a routine with evangelism and discipleship, but there it was!)

I know we say it every time, but there is so much to do in this city that we really must be consistently praying for more workers for the harvest.  It is a command of Jesus and it is a desperate need for all involved.  We are asking for men, women, and families who are so hungry to see the Kingdom of God come and to see the fires of revival spread through out the city and the whole world.  Will you join us in diligently asking for God to set people on fire and send them to us or raise up people here who are set on fire by God?

Please pray for us as we have many other exciting things on the horizon that God is doing.  We are excited to share soon!

We love you guys and thank you so much for your continued support of us and this ministry.

Update From This Week by David Campbell

We had a wonderful week working with a team from London. This was just a wonderful group of Godly brothers and sisters and it was such a pleasure to get to serve alongside them.   The goal was to teach in the mornings the practical aspects of evangelism and discipleship and really being a doer of the word and just a hearer.

In Luke 10 we see that Jesus commands both the proclamation of the gospel but also that we should heal the sick.  We do not get to play fast and loose with the text, if He says do it then that is what we have to do.  We cannot pick and choose what we obey.....even if it seems impossible.  I want to get to a child like faith where I obey simply because He says it and not because I understand it.  So here are some of the accounts from the week.

On one day, a man was prayed for and as he cried out that "the Devil was leaving him!"  The man sitting next to him either began to manifest or else panicked at what he could not explain.   Needless to say it was a very tense 20-30 minute time period.  It did not go like I had thought or hoped.  I think sometimes it will happen that things get a little dicey in ministry.  I think this one was due to several mistakes on my part.

We saw a man from Turkey who had been subjected to a lot of trauma and stress tell us that since his trauma he has experience a lot of voices and noise in his head.  Beforehand he has believed that Jesus was a great man and a revered prophet.  Yet suddenly he saw Jesus as an ever present help in the time of need.  Jesus made the voice be silent.  

We saw another man from Turkey want to spend time arguing about which prophet is greater.  our goal was not to slander or speak evil of anyone, we simply believe that Jesus is alive and active and cares about his needs.  He was having tooth pain and the pain went away.  I cannot say that he is now an active follower of Jesus but he no longer felt inclined to argue about anything.  He was really a very very kind man and we enjoyed speaking with him a lot.

Perhaps the highlight of the week was a group of high school kids who felt the need to mock and make fun of a group of believers doing an evangelistic street drama.  They did not believe that Jesus was alive or relevant for today.  I asked if it would be ok if I demonstrated His presence.  I shared with them my personal testimony and then told them that if they were willing Jesus would heal anyone here with pain or sickness.  A young man said, "if he can do it I have had pain in my knees for a long long time."  I told them I wanted to show them that it was not me or anyone special but that it was Jesus who heals.  I asked if anyone in the crowd believed that Jesus was not real.  One boy raised his hand quickly.  I told him, "You will pray for your friend and then you will need to deal with who Jesus is."  He made a pretty good joke of it until Jesus used him to heal his friend's knees (we walked him through how to pray in Jesus' name).  (If this seems strange Jesus said in Matthew 7:22 that you do not even need to be a believer to perform miracles in Jesus' name, also miracles are absolutely no indication of anything of your standing with God)  The boy formerly with knee pain said he had no more pain.  One of the girls spoke up and said it was only because he was not moving around.  We asked him to move around and he began walking and saying there is no pain.  It was at this point the group decided to leave.  However, three young men came back and we had wonderful conversations about Jesus.  My friend, Brian prayed with one of the boys to receive Jesus.  Another of the young men seemed to be genuinely interested and is seeming to be on a new journey.  

Thank you all for the love and support .  There is certainly something happening here in Berlin.  If you are inclined to come and be a part of it, please come.  The harvest is truly plentiful but the laborers are few.

 

Kissing The Cross by David Campbell

This week I met with a man  who takes supplies and aid into a very difficult country (not Germany).  The underground church in this country is thriving, yet completely isolated from the rest of the world.  His heart has always been to communicate somehow with these believers that they are not forgotten, but rather they are loved and prayed for.

So when they go in to the country they wear a cross on a necklace around their neck. 

One day, one of the aid workers was getting into an elevator and just before the door closed an old lady jumps through the door, grabs the cross on his neck, brings it to her lips, and kisses the cross.  The elevator then arrived at the floor, the lady got off, and was gone.

No other words, no other interaction.

I have reflected a lot on this story this week.  I have often wondered why the underground church in that country thrives so much.  I believe the difference, perhaps, was prophetically proclaimed to us through the action of this old lady.  They willingly and joyfully kiss the cross.

The cross was a torture and death instrument.  It was not originally a thing of jewelry.  To kiss the cross means that we embrace death and torture and do not try to get around it.

But we do not kiss the cross because we think that there is somehow a twisted joy in pain and suffering and death.  That is perverted.  We kiss the cross because know that on the other side there is a joy and peace and blessing that far exceeds any suffering and death that this life has to offer.   It is a different suffering than just going through the struggles of every day life.  I have heard many equate the difficulties of life with "carrying our cross."  Being sick is not carrying our cross, that is a result of living in a broken fallen world.  Being sick and with every breath pointing others to the Savior, is definitely suffering for HIm.  Having malaria because you take the gospel into places where it does not exist, is kissing the cross.  Someone being rude to you at work is not suffering for your faith.  Someone doing evil to you BECAUSE of your witness for Jesus is.  Are you seeing the difference?  Just embracing bad stuff that happens to us is not good theology of suffering.  Embracing suffering because of our witness is. Taking the trials that you have been given and using them as an opportunity to speak of Jesus is suffering for the sake of the gospel. 

The people in the country previously referred to could see much of their suffering go away - if they gave up their stance on Jesus.  But He is too precious to them.  

We have, as our example and our leader, the One who perfectly modeled Kissing The Cross - today I resolve to fix my eyes firmly on Him - Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  Hebrews 12:1-4

Social Media, a Gift from God by David Campbell

Facebook.

Twitter.

Instagram.

Chances are, when you read those words, a thought popped into your mind. Was it a good thought? Was it a frustrated thought? 

I was asked to write a bit about how social media can be a tool of the enemy, or a tool used for God's glory. 

I am not a professional writer, and I do not have a degree in social media. I do have my own experience and the experiences that others so graciously shared with me. I will attempt to help you understand if you might be using Facebook, or the like, to foster sin, or to bring glory to the LORD.

Our family is in a unique situation. We are currently living in Germany and have been here for going on eight months. Back in Texas we were very involved in The Village Church and most of our family members lived in the same area that we did. Now, we are missionaries living on 100% support from family and friends back home. That said, social media has been a huge blessing to our family. It has kept us in almost daily contact with family, supporters, and friends in Texas as well as all over the world. 

The LORD has entrusted the gift of encouragement to me. I love this gift and really want to treat it well. I feel revived and joy-filled when I am allowing the Spirit to encourage others through me. I will admit that before we moved, I really wondered how I would be able to continue using this gift while being so far away from those who actually know me and have done life with me for many years. I will also admit that before we left I believed lies from the enemy that my time for encouragement was over and that gift was being taken away from me... along with all the other "material" possessions I had. You know, when you are moving to a new country, particularly for Kingdom work, the enemy will try everything he can to get you down. To steal your joy and replace it with discouragement. 

Thankfully, I have been trained in recognizing the voice of the enemy versus the voice of the LORD. I don't always "get it right". But since being trained, the Lord has been gracious to allow me to continue growing in this area. Part of the fruit of the growth is a fierce response to the enemy's lies. What does that mean? It means when the thought-caster (that is satan) sends something my way for the purpose of stealing, killing, or destroying something in me, I must and will take action. 

This is what I did with social media, specifically Facebook. 

I do not believe the Lord had plans to take the gift of encouragement from me when He called us to Berlin. No. In fact, I believe His plans were to grow this gift in me and I am so thankful for the opportunities He has given.

One of the things I love about Facebook is that it is a place for me to daily keep in touch with people I ALREADY had a relationship/friendship with. One of the ways that I am made in God's image is that I am relational. I love people. This was also one of the things I feared when we planned to move here. I was afraid that I would be alone and I couldn't grasp not having my friends here. I couldn't think of not being in daily/weekly contact with family members. In His grace and provision, I have dear friends here and I am able to have real conversations with friends and family members through social media. These are not "fake" relationships, but relationships that were deep before we left, and ones that are full of intention and commitment. 

Another way that Facebook has been a blessing is meeting people I didn't know. Before our class began training in Kona, classmates from all over the world introduced themselves in a private group on Facebook. We were able to pray for each other and encourage each other in a scary and unknown time before we had actually met in person. All of us were leaving our homes, family, friends, careers, and more in search of that "something more" that God might have for us. We had a lot in common and were able to empathize with each other before we met. There have been countless times here in Berlin when I have "met" someone on Facebook before actually having the pleasure of meeting them face to face. And I think that is key here;

My goal was, and never has been, to hide behind a screen.

It is a tool that can be used for Kingdom purposes and...I believe that any tool that can be used in this way threatens the enemy. He will try whatever he can to steal, kill, and destroy...

I recently asked via Facebook for some experiences or stories of ways that FB has been used as a tool by the enemy.

Sadly, I heard some devastating stories. I heard of marriages ending. Of friendships being destroyed. Anger and resentment taking over homes. Bitterness and jealousy sweeping through friendships. Disdain for family members and friends. 

I heard friends confess that they "purposefully do not 'like'" a post made by someone who is "bothering" them. Others confessed that they "roll their eyes" when they see a post by a certain friend. I heard of friends posting things will the full intent of being passive aggressive toward someone else. 

It is a common thing to "take a break" from Facebook when you feel that it is overtaking your mind in a negative way.

"I hate facebook."

"Facebook ends marriages."

"Everyone on FB is fake."

"There is no way that person is who he/she says they are on FB."

"So and so only posts the good things going on in their life like there is nothing bad or horrible that ever happens."

The list goes on, my friends.

Can I say something? Is social media really the problem? I mean, I know you know it isn't...but if it isn't, then why are so many still stuck in the muck and the mire? 

What is it in you that causes you to roll your eyes when you see a post by someone? What is it in you that gets a bit of power and delight by liking all comments except the one made by that person? What is it that makes you think, "What can I post on FB to 'get' to so and so without them really knowing what I am doing?" What is it that causes anger and resentment and bitterness to take root when you are sitting at your computer supposedly catching up with everyone?

Could it be that FB really isn't from the devil, but that there is some sin in your life that God is graciously revealing to you through Facebook?

Let's get real for a moment and let that question sink in a bit. 

The Father disciplines those whom He loves. When sin is brought to light, it is a good thing. When it is defeated, it is an awesome thing! Taking a break from FB or other social media outlets is a good and right thing if it is causing you to sin. BUT, it is important to not sin further and blame Facebook or those on FB for your "issues". Is that making sense?

Are y'all still my friend? :)

Maybe it is a good time to repent of the way that we think of social media. Repent here being defined as "completely changing the way that we think". Will others still use it as a tool of the enemy? Yep. Should followers of Jesus? I just don't think so. I think if followers of Jesus all over the world would put to death sin that He could be revealing to us through social media ...we would actually be freed up to use this tool for expansive Kingdom work! Can you catch a bit of that vision??

In parenting and giving examples of choices my kiddos could make, we didn't give the positive first...we left the "good choice" for last. :) Same here. Along with the negative and heartbreaking stories that were sent in regarding social media, I got some pretty amazing ones as well. I would love to share them with you!

*An amazing friend had t-shirts made to sell as a way to financially support our family. Through these shirts being pictured on fb, a pastor's wife in the US contacted me about a young man here in Berlin who had heard of Jesus and wanted more information. What?!?! Awesome. This story is still unfolding...;

*Another gifted friend started hand lettering Scripture and is selling them to financially support our family. Through finding these prints on social media, a couple who needed community joined their homegroup!

*One precious friend had taken a break from FB and upon coming back found out that a friend had cancer and that a family member had been in a horrible accident. This friend saw a renewed vision of how to lift up brothers and sisters in prayer through FB.

*Many friends mentioned being able to keep up with friends living all over the world.

*Raising money and awareness to support families in need.

*Many told stories of encouragement when they were going through a hard time. 

*One friend spoke of the blessing to far away family members. Through FB she is able to post photos of her children so that grandparents and other family living in other states can see what is going on and feel connected.

*A friend shared about a tragic event that happened in her home and she needed to be with her mother in the hospital. They had just moved and had not joined a new Homegroup yet. This mom posted her needs on FB and church body quickly volunteered to help her out and make sure her young children were well cared for as she was able to tend to her mother in the hospital.

*Countless thousands of dollars raised for adoptions, medical bills, missions, ministries, etc.

*Support groups for so very many precious people; adoption/foster families, YoungLife teen pregnancy families, Homeschool communities, Clean Eating communities, Bible study communities, etc.

A few personal experiences:

*Facebook is the way that our family learned of the Adams family when they went into labor with their twins at 19weeks. Not just reading this information, we left our home and went up to the hospital to pray over this family. When words were hard to come by, we could only offer the ministry of presence. 

*Through our experience with the Adams family, we started ministering in this way. When we would see on FB that someone had been in an accident, that a child or family member was being taken to the hospital...we packed our kids up and headed to the hospital. I know some might frown upon this, but the LORD blessed every single one of these situations. Every one of them. No one turned us away and afterward all of them thanked us. Did we know all of these people? No. Was it uncomfortable at times? Yes. Was God glorified? I believe He was!

*Every Thursday I would post a photo of our family serving the homeless ministry in Fort Worth. One week I asked via FB if anyone would like to join our family for an outreach night. Y'all, over 150 people responded! About 50 couldn't make it last minute, but we had 100 eager volunteers out on the streets of Fort Worth praying for and feeding the homeless. It.Was.Awesome.

I think you can easily conclude that social media can be a tool used by the enemy or a tool used for God's glory. Is it okay to get off Facebook if it is a means for sin to rise up and become a stronghold? Yes! But, I encourage you to not stop there. If you get off FB or any other social media for this purpose, take the steps needed to find true freedom from that which caused the frustration, anger, pride, bitterness, jealousy, disdain, etc. Don't allow the enemy to continue to be sneaky in what he makes you think is the problem. "If I just get off facebook I won't have to deal with feelings of ________." Deal with those feelings at their core. Then, with an unoffendable heart, you will be able to step into situations with new eyes. 

I hope that this post is read in the love that it is written in. I have prayed over these words. Asked the LORD to silence those which do not bring Him glory and to highlight those which do. He is all. He truly is. His view of you, His love for you, His delight in you, His saving you, His healing you, His plan of hope for you, His great desire for your good...He loves you so, so much.

My heart is to encourage. One of my greatest joys comes from people realizing who they really are in Christ. I have a confidence that these words are for some of you that long to be freed from a stronghold. These ideas are meant for someone who is holding on to a false belief and because of this grasp, unable to live out their God-given purpose. That God can and will use this means of social media to bless His children and bring glory to His name! 

Peace and Joy to each one of you. 


----Keri Campbell

*I am fully aware that social media can be very dangerous. I want to express condolences and love toward those who have been deeply hurt by others using social media incorrectly. Highlighting, once again, that it is sin and not the means that is the problem.

"Death and Life are in the Power of the Tongue..." by David Campbell

I am not a writer by nature. Like, sitting down to write is not really a way for me to "express myself". That is actually the reason why I do it.

See, writing is for me what speaking to Pharaoh was to Moses. Well, okay maybe not exactly like that. I don't really think the ruler of any nation sits and reads my blog posts. In fact, the thought of that actually makes me laugh.

But, it is a chance for me to sit back and let God say what He wants. I love Him and love to be used by Him. 

So, I am sitting at my desk in Berlin, Germany at 9:30 pm on a Thursday night. Our children have been sick all week and to be honest, I have felt blah all week too. I have felt blah for about two weeks.

I shared with David the other day that the LORD had revealed to me that there was some sort of curse spoken over me. Now, before we lose you as a reader or you think I am weird or voodoo-ish, please let me explain.

Our words are not neutral. They are not. They are either words of life or words of death. They are words that speak blessing over people or words that speak death over people. 

When I was sitting in my journaling time with the Lord, I was sad and down. I couldn't put my finger on why and I needed a word from Him. I needed some encouragement from the Encourager. I needed some comfort from the Comforter. I trust Him and I am thankful that He longs to teach me. 

I felt Him gently say that someone had spoken words of death over me to someone else. That can seem like a scary statement, but knowing it really set me free. Like, really set me free. Jesus has taught me how to break these things and how to find freedom from them. I was able to bless the one who spoke these things, although it was not revealed to me who said them. I was able to speak life over them and I trust that the Holy Spirit honored my request of blessing as He really longs to bless. 

Then it got me to thinking. How often is it that we just flippantly say something about someone else? Knowing that our words are not neutral, how often during the day are we speaking words of death over people and not even realizing it? Maybe not physical death, but chipping away at someone's character by slipping in a few digs here and there. Planting seeds in other people's minds concerning the intent of others. How often do we first go to a friend, acquaintance, family member who has kinda hurt us to seek reconciliation...I say "first" because it seems the more common thing is to go to another friend or family member and "get it off your chest" that way.

Friends, our words are powerful. Believer, this world we are living in is truly a spiritual battlefield. There is nothing the enemy wants more than to steal from me, kill me and destroy me. Words have a lot of power in that area.  Our Savior had many names and the Word was one of them. i think that is significant! How are we fighting the spiritual realm with our words? Do we speak words of life over each other? Do we speak words of life about our friends and family members in our homes, behind closed doors with our spouses? I know the enemy wants me to believe that this is silly and childish. I know he wants us to believe that our words really are not that powerful. I know that because he is the author of lies and he goes against what the bible says. The bible says that our words have power. The power of life and of death.

 I think this is an important topic to bring up. Not because I am an expert in writing on important topics, but because I sat down to write with nothing on my mind...and this is what the Lord directed me to say. I believe it is important to Him and to His heart. 

I want my mouth to speak nothing but words of life and blessing to all who hear. I want to constantly be aware of the state of my heart knowing out of the overflow of my heart my mouth will speak. I want my children to hear me speaking words of life and blessing over each of them. Setting this standard in our home, we do not want our children to get comfortable speaking words of death over each other...we don't want them to have to "unlearn" this later in life. May it always be what they know to do. That they know to speak blessing and life over those around them, and that they recognize when curses or death have been spoken over them or around them. Then, that they fight with sweet words of love and blessing.

How hard it is to learn that art of blessing those who wound us with our words. But, how very much like Jesus it is to do so. 

Jesus is our example. His heart was always pure and therefore, so were His words. We can ask Him for the ability to speak the way He spoke. We can trust that if the word of God tells us that we have the power of life and death in our tongue, that when we ask for wisdom in taming that tongue He will bless us with the power of the Spirit to do so. This life, this vapor of life that we have here on earth, is much too fleeting to waste on useless, hurtful, curses of words. Free your heart up to bless those around you. Forgive...with your mouth, those who have hurt you. Speaking forgiveness over and to someone is one of the most life-giving things! Allow the Spirit to use you in ways today that you never even imagined you could be used. Open your mouth with blessing and honor, Praise the LORD with that mouth and breath He gave you! Proclaim His glory in the street, at Target, on the playground, at Starbucks. Tell someone today about how you used to be stuck in chains of fear but Jesus in His goodness set you free! TELL your story of how you were before you met Jesus and then how He changed your life forever. Use your words today to speak life. Speak love. Speak forgiveness. Speak peace. Speak joy. Speak of the One who is all of these things and more. 

We love you all so much. We are thankful for each one of you. Seriously, each one of you. You are all significant and dear. You are all important in our lives and in this journey He has us on. Thank you for your willing hearts to love us forward. To help encourage us to keep on keeping on. It is of value and a true desire of our hearts. Thank you. 

May His blessing of life abound...