April 12, 2017

Spring in Germany


Dear Family and Friends,

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19

These words from Isaiah have been shared a few times over the past weeks in our church and in our interactions with Georg here in Bielefeld. These words resonate with us because they speak to many different things happening around us and at the same time they also encourage us for the future. 

To begin with, spring has finally arrived here in Bielefeld! Days are getting longer, the suns rays are getting stronger, brown trees and bushes are turning green, flowers are blooming, and we finally see people outside! It's amazing how few people we saw during the winter, and it makes it all the more exciting for us now to see people out and about. We have also been able to connect with a few more neighbours now that people are coming outside and through an open house that we had last weekend. The wilderness and wasteland of winter is making way for the newness of spring!

We are also seeing some signs of making a way in the wilderness and streams of ministry here in Bielefeld. For example, one of the girls on our team (Annika) decided to bake cookies for her neighbour a few months ago. The neighbour then invited her over and they have periodically met since then. Slowly they have developed a relationship and last week Annika was able to walk with her through a very difficult family related matter. Through this Annika was also able to connect the neighbour with her host mom. The host mom later said that for some reason they had never been able to connect with their neighbour, the door was always closed. God decided to use Annika to "make a way in the wilderness" and now this woman from our church here was able to speak truth into the life of her neighbour in a way that had not been previously possible! We give God the glory for this! 

Lastly, Isaiah's words encourage us as we look forward. Sometimes when we look at some of the things we are trying to do it seems as though we are in a desert wasteland. For example the church has a Tuesday evening outreach called "McDu." Every Tuesday for three hours the church is open for kids and youth to come hang out, play games and hear a short devotional. In past years the church had to expand the program to Tuesday and Wednesday nights because so many neighbourhood kids wanted to come. For the past year, the program is back to Tuesday nights only and quite often there are only one or two neighbourhood kids and a handful from church. Together with the church we have been doing a lot of praying about this and asking God what his will is for McDu. Should we quit and start something else? Should we keep going? Through Isaiah God has encouraged us to look closely to see if he is doing something new. Just like the trees and bushes have tiny buds on them before they fully turn green, we are encouraged to look for the tiny buds of life in McDu and the rest of our ministry. I was encouraged recently by listening in to a sermon from our home church in Canada titled, "It is not Hopeless." One line from this sermon has stuck with me as we search for the new thing that God is doing: "Some things that look dead, are just getting ready to grow!" 

We invite you to pray for "McDu" and for the rest of our ministry here in Bielefeld. Pray that God would start something new and that we would have the eyes to perceive it. We also invite you to think about the new things God is starting in your life and/or to pray that he would start a new thing in your life. We would love to hear how God is working in your life and to be able to pray with and for you as well.

Praise god for:

- Spring

- God's Provision

- Hope

- Meeting with neighbours

- Using Annika to connect her neighbour to her host family

Please pray for:

- McDu

- A Yezidi family that we and the church have been connecting with

- That we would perceive the "new thing" God is doing in Bielefeld

- Continued opportunities to meet neighbours 

Adrian & Jolene, and Sofia Warkentin

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