I was told Zwickau is the most spiritually dead place in all of Europe. I
was told that east Germany is the grave yard of church plants. Well then I must be in the midst of a miracle, because what I have seen, and what I have heard is nothing short of amazing. Stadlicht Church is on Fire! People by the hundreds are getting to know Jesus, lives are being changed, and they are truly a City Light.
I was asked by my team, “What has touched you so far this week?” My response was, “Them.” They have
touched me, they have amazed me with their hearts to serve in such a joyful way. We are having so much fun together. We are always laughing, and working together is so much fun. I experience this with both the team from Forum Wiedenest and Stadlicht. All of them are all amazingly gifted and anointed by God. I truly believe I am in the midst of a miracle.
On Monday night, as I sat on the floor and had dinner with a man who fled from Syria, he shared pictures of Damascus both before and after the war. I was moved by the sadness in his heart for the incredible loss of his home. I could not help but weep for him. Yet, when I looked at these pictures God placed hope in my heart, as I was reminded of Germany after the allied air attack of world war II. It hit me, there is hope. Like Germany, Syria can rebuild again into a great nation. This message of hope Germany can tell so well. I just love how God is at work in this way. I love how God uses our brokenness to teach us and bring us closer to Him. I love how God is near the broken hearted, the widows, and the orphans. I love how God restores us.
Tuesday and Wednesday our team split into many groups. Together, amongst other things; we taught German classes, served refugee families, showed the Jesus Film in Arabic, distributed over 200 bibles in Arabic, and hosted a soccer tournament at a men’s refugee facility. I joined the team hosting the soccer event, and it was nothing short of awesome. Forum Wiedenest had sent a trailer with a complete indoor soccer arena called a Sport Kit, which we set up at Max Bahr. Max Bahr is like an old Home Depot, that now houses refugees in Zwickau. This facility is currently hosting about 500 men, of all ages, and many countries. The tension can be high at times in this place as the men don’t have much to do. They can’t work or travel until they receive the proper passport which can take over a year. So they sit, and drink tea, and try to pass the time. Almost like in prison. Yes, they can go out into town, but often going into town is not nice for them. Almost every refugee I spoke with has experienced some form of racism or even physical violence while in Zwickau. So we brought the City Light to them. Over 50 men participated, and many more watched and cheered.
All of our work has had one simple theme, relationship. We are simply building relationships. All of the activities and events point back to relationship. And it is through these relationships, that love is on display, hope is offered, and the Holy Spirit does it’s finest work. After such a hard journey, and reaching a place where it is easy to feel unwelcomed, we have been blessed with the opportunity to bring hope. To let them know that there is God who loves them, and has not forsaken them. A God that cares for their deepest needs, and will provide for them everything they need. My favorite part is to say with a smile and handshake, “Welcome.”