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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What's happening and what's changing for us ahead...

We began this year with the anticipation of a few things...

The first was our study of the book of Revelation in our Monday night bible study.  The second was the arrival of our Venture student Sam from Belfast.  The third was a hard push to finish the loft by the time our two teams arrive in June.  Below is an update on those things plus a big change that we didn't anticipate but we feel God asking us to make.

Last night we had eight come to our bible study which was the biggest group so far and we really enjoyed our time together.  We're now on chapter 6 studying how Jesus was alone worthy to open the seals and how in unsealing each one various things happened.  Lots of people look at these seals with purely historic meaning, others see these things happening in the present or the future.  Some recognize them as being applicable in all three.  Alan tends to teach historically and I tend to look at them as they apply to what I see and read in the news around the world.  We speak primarily in English with translation provided for anyone that doesn't understand into German.  We sing, pray together and enjoy food and fellowship.  We love it and are praying God will continue to draw new people and especially students to attend.

Sam arrived on Monday the 16th and spent his first week helping Alan with the loft, attending bible study, going to a new church plant in Heidelberg run by our friends Ralph and Ruth from Canada and getting to know Heidelberg and his host family.  He's settling in a bit now with lots going on this week at both the CVJM and Calvary.  Sam is interested in church plants and youth work primarily but He has a sincere passion for Jesus and is seeking others in his age group that feel the same and who really want to see Europe transformed.  Sam will be with us until the Awakening conference in Nürnberg that we also hope to attend with our Edge participants in early July.

Alan has worked four and often five days a week since coming back from Christmas on our missions loft at the CVJM.  We are hoping that both our Edge and Great Exchange teams from the US can stay there in June and that in September, Nicole, our full-time recruit, will live there.  We are looking for another girl who can possibly join her on a short to mid-term basis so if you know of anyone that wants to come on mission to Germany for a month to up to a year, have them contact us or their closest Pioneers mobilization base for more information.  The apartment will have two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and bath.  It's attached to a very large prayer room that anyone staying there can use to pray, study and get alone with God.  We pray it is a blessing to not only those who stay there for little to no cost but also to the members of the CVJM and to this area.

So all of those things are going well, they're on track and we're pleased with the progress.  The big change I noted above is that we feel God telling us to move our spiritual home from the CVJM in Meckesheim to a church in downtown Heidelberg.  The move primarily allows us to have a better comprehension of the sermons being preached.  Currently the CVJM services are in German with no translation and while it has been a good challenge, it is also very difficult to comprehend everything being said by the various speakers/preachers each week. Secondarily we feel God wants us to have more involvement with University students.

We have not 100% determined which church God has chosen for us to attend in Heidelberg although we are leaning heavily toward Calvary Chapel.  We've attended there over the past year when our church hasn't had a scheduled meeting and we both really like a lot of things about it.  The preaching is solid and is done by the pastor who chooses a book of the bible and then spends months tearing into it verse by verse. They've been studying II Samuel for a long time now and I think he's heading into Romans next.  Calvary also has a lot of existing ministries that we can get involved with - a women's and a men's ministry, a cafe, an evangelistic outreach each week and many others.  They have an international student group called LifeCafe that meets at Calvary as well but is not an official ministry of the church.

The second option is to attend the new International church in Heidelberg which formed from several smaller churches one of which was our old church, Victory International that semi-disbanded after the pastors left with the military.  We have not attended the new church in downtown Heidelberg yet but have heard good things about it and many of our old friends go there.  They have a student ministry (also not tied directly to the church) called Studenten für Christus.  If you think of it, please pray for us that God would do the leading as to where He wants us and that we can get involved and be a blessing.  We will continue to be a part of Campus für Christus which meets at the Hosanna Gemeinde on Thursday evenings and Sam will help be our liaison with the Hoschschultage group that combines all of these student groups together for one big week of evangelism on campus in June.

For those of you that have come on mission to Germany and have worked with the CVJM, please know that we plan to keep a strong relationship with the church and youth organization.  We hope to involve them with all teams and individuals that come over, continue to help with their children and youth events/camps as well as seek out young people to come and work alongside them on mission.  The CVJM has a ton of potential and we have been so grateful for the relationships we built while there.  We will be what they call secondary members who stay involved but have another primary church they attend on a regular basis.

As always thank you for praying for us and keeping up with what's happening in Germany.  Here are some prayer points in addition to what is noted above:

Prayer Points:
Pray for Shirley Carter, a dear friend of our family and a prayer warrior and supporter of ours who has spent the last two weeks in the ICU.  Pray the doctors would have real wisdom in treating her.
Pray for our two full-timers trying to raise support to join us - Nicole Demers, from Delaware and Tyler Bowman from Alabama.  Pray for support from their home churches, family and friends.
Pray for the formation of our two short-term teams in June - our Great Exchange Team forming with help from Watkinsville First Baptist and the Great Exchange Group and our Edge Team with Pioneers in Orlando.
Pray for language comprehension for Chloe at kindergarten.
Pray for more opportunities for us to reach out to the parents of Chloe's friends at kindergarten.
Pray for continued healing for Alan's mom's bowel problems and for Mary's mom's eye.

Pictures of the loft, Chloe, bible study and our lives here:

Chloe and her good friend Elia
We brought the American tradition of Valentine's Day Cards to Chloe's Kindergarten
Alan answering questions about the loft

This will be one of the bedrooms and the living room eventually

Celebrating Valentine's Day together

Hiking is one of our favorite things to do

Chloe and mom got new haircuts together on our momma/daughter day out
Our Bible/Book Study on Monday nights

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