I am officially old. Considering that I am the oldest of my group by 15 years, it is very clear I am no longer 25. On Saturday I was assigned my team, which consists of 12 FW Bible Schools Students, 1 missionary from Mavuno Kenya, and myself. It is awesome to experience this time through the eyes of a young adult who still has the eyes of optimism and the ability to do so much.
The first day in Zwickau started the week off with two amazing worship services. The first at our host church, called Stadtlicht, and the second was a refugee service hosted by a local church network called Cross Culture Network.
Stadtlicht is a church plant with a vibrant congregation of 20-40 year olds. The worship was great, and the message was impactful. Pastor Henry Dietrich message centered around Mathew 14:28 when Jesus calls Peter out of the boat; ““Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.’’. The idea of stepping out of ones boat/comfort zone into faith hit me. This was in part my story regarding this whole trip. Should I go? Should I sacrifice 12 days away from my family, 7 days from work? Will this trip mean anything? Jesus called me out of the boat and said, “Come.”
The other piece of his message was the idea that God will bring people into our lives that need our help, even when we think we are not able to care for them. This is an obvious reaction to the refugee crises. But I a reminded God brought them into my life for a reason and he will provide what I need to help fullfill his plan. I just need to do what I can, and let Him do the rest.
I love the emphasis on “Just bring what you got, let God do the rest.” God is telling me just step out in faith, and I will handle the rest. So good!
Cross Culture network is an amazing concept. It is a coalition of about 5 local churches in Zwickau which come together and pool resources to host a church service in the neighborhood where many refugees live. They are exploring together what it looks like to serve the needs of the city. The service consists of a message translation along with many biblical resources in Arabic. The service has lots of worship music, message, and the best part was the food and fellowship after. This is a great way for refugees to connect with each other and local Germans. This is a grass roots effort by all means. For example, about 20 of us split up into groups of 2-4 and went door to door throughout the apartment buildings which house refugees. We used Arabic invitation cards, and spoke German & English to invite people to church. Talk about ‘stepping out of the boat,’ it was amazing!
The most resounding message I am experiencing is at the attitude of those I am serving with. There is no talk of politics, no talk of if this work with refugees is right or wrong, no talk of terrorism..Instead, they are joyful, and confident in what they are doing. It is such a blessing for me to watch the Holy Spirit lived out in this way.
So I feel like a young adult again, full of hope and optimism about how I can “Step out of the boat.” I look fwd. to letting God use these Bible students and refugees to teach me things about life I never learned, and most importantly how to walk in faith.
“.. as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him—”
1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV