Tuesday, October 21, 2014

IN GERMANY FINALLY!!!

Trying to rest on the plane
We have finally made it to Germany and have been here for almost a month now! God is good! the journey has not been easy but we are seeking Him and his direction in every way. We spent some time at our parents in law's house for a couple days near Frankfurt and made the trek down to the south of Germany where we now live in a little town outside of Kandern where Richard's offices are. 

We started this journey many years ago when Simone and I felt the call of God to go to Germany. We made our way out to California, and many years later we found ourselves following that call after many years of awesome service at Creekside Community Church. The immediate journey began with packing our stuff into a shipping container after living in South Carolina for a year.
Praying over our shipping container
And now finally we are settling into life here in Germany after a long time feeling like we are travelers, sojourners living in a foreign land. I even commented to Simone today that it seems like we have been living like this out of boxes for a long time, and as I thought about it. It has been like two years living out of suitcases and boxes. There are lots of details to get taken care of like visas that were overlooked by our mission, and getting Simone's German citizenship renewed. Please pray that we get through this stuff quickly, and that the Lord would undertake for our details. 

We spent a few days at Omi and Gro├čvater's house in Krumbach near Frankfurt. We also got to visit the church where Simone and I were married. 
Our little wedding Church
The church and village are celebrating 750 years! We also had a big scare when Ana wandered off. We found her looking over a bridge nearby and into a creek, saying ‘Swim’. She had taken the life jacket that she had found with her. Needless to say it was quite a scare. but also very understandable. She found a life jacket on a warm day, and went to look for a place to swim. Please pray for her and our other kids Lydia and Caleb that they would also adjust quickly and well, and that Ana would not wander off anymore. 

We went to visit all the kids schools during a lazy Sunday afternoon, and are very excited to get started. since then all the kids are getting adjusted to school life here. I even asked Ana today if she had fun at school, and she said in German "Spass" which is the word for fun. We also had our washer and dryer delivered which is a big blessing because our laundry was piling up. I have been setting up my office at TeachBeyond/Janz Team to start getting into the groove there. I have a desk and chairs, and two bookshelf which quickly filled up! yeah!

Leading a group of missionaries in Kandern area
I had the opportunity to lead a group of English speaking missionaries here in the Kandern area who want to be unleashed in their neighborhoods and communities. We had a great time of brainstorming and seeing what God is doing inthe different German neighborhoods here in the area. Right away there are several teenagers even the Mayor's son who wants to play basketball, and that's my game! Benny (the Leader of the LEAP Network) led a weekend training event called Neighborhood 2.0 at a Baptist Church in Weinheim and it was very successful. lots of new commitments and desire for people to live out the gospel incarnationaly in their neighborhoods. We also had the opportunity to go to Amsterdam and meet the Forge International team (Alan Hirsch's author of The Forgotten Ways organization) and the Euro Church Network that has as its goal to "Facilitate missional thinking and Church Planting in Europe." It was a great time of inspiration and confirmation that God has us in the right place and that He is doing a great work in Germany and Europe. 
Benny and I at our welcome day

Please pray with us about a few things. 
-Simone has taken a job for about 40% time at the kindergarten where Lydia and Caleb attend. Pray for her as she settles into this job.
-That we would get essential details of life set up
-That my language school would start without a hitch in November
-That God would prepare the soil here in Germany for gospel seeds.
- To find that right balance to our family, ministry, work, and language study life

Yesterday I woke up and remembered that I live in Germany. It's not a dream! Also we attended a very cool baptism at a church called G5 this past Sunday. It almost upset my baptist heart when other people who were not the pastor were baptizing people, then I remembered the Bible never says who should baptize people, just that they should be baptized. It was awesome when we saw the small group leaders, friends, and disciplers baptize these new followers of Christ. I will end with this...Lydia prayed recently, "Dear God help us do the things we need to do, and help the whole world to understand you, and help the whole wide world worship you amen".

I would say that pretty much covers everything don't you think? I think this will be my prayer for the next year at least! God bless you all and thank you so much for supporting us!
Family trip to Weil am Rhein near at the French, Swiss, and German borders