Sorry about missing Monday again, not sure why I decided Monday was the best day to write a blog every week.
Each Monday for the next year I will be sharing some data with you all about one country that Greater Europe Mission ministers to in Europe, Asia or Africa. The data I will be getting will be from Operation World. Operation World is an evangelical Christian organization that is concerned about fulfilling the Great Commission. They have compiled information on every country in the world and I want to share it with you so you can be praying for Europe specifically. I will also be using a book put out by Greater Europe Mission called “Prayer for the Nations.” Inside the book it has a guide for each country that makes up Greater Europe. There is much more detail then I will share, but if you want a copy of the book for your own prayers please let me know and I will get you one.
Germany is one of the most powerful countries in Europe and will be the place I will call home for at least the four years once I leave. If you look at the map to where France, Germany and Switzerland intersect that is where I will be living in a small town called Kandern. Right now Germany is not only physically in the center of the EU, but they are also one of the countries trying to keep it together and bailing out the other countries which are struggling. At the same time Germany is decreasing in population and Christians. While it is still viewed as a Christian nation and God is still allowed in the schools, the Christianity in Germany is more of a tradition than a relationship. More and more people are laving the church or never even joining it in the first place since from what I understand tithing is a state-mandated thing if you are a member of the church. On a positive note the Evangelical population is increasing at the same rate that non-evangelicals are decreasing, but Evangelicals still make up only a small percentage (2.1%).
Please pray for:
All of the missions agencies headquarters located in Kandern for their organization to be raising up disciples.
For my future co-workers to use their gifts and talents in and out of the office for the glory of God.
For German believers to start new non-state run churches and reach out to their fellow Germans.
A question I get asked a lot is why do I have to go to Germany to create an online course. That is a fantastic question and in fact the answer is quite simply I don’t have to. So why am I raising support to go to Germany when it would be so much cheaper to raise support to live in Colorado (our main headquarters is located near Colorado Springs) or even Toledo? The answer to that question is a little more difficult to answer than a simple yes or no. Technically I could do part of my mission in Toledo, Colorado Springs, or Timbuktu for that matter, but that is only part of the reason I will be living in Germany.
So why Germany?
I feel called by God to Germany. I believe He had me take German in Middle/High school so that I could have a base of knowledge of the language before I go there. I also have always had a love of Germany that stems from my time learning the language and culture. There really does not need to be another reason other than God is leading me there, but I will share a few things that show a great need in Europe, but specifically Europe.
Another reason, albeit a very minor one, is a financial/time reason. In order to do my work well, I need to interact with the partners that I will be working with to create courses for them. Could this be done over the internet? Sure, Skype is a fantastic tool, there are meeting software out there that could also facilitate this, but honestly a face-to-face meeting over a couple of days would probably accomplish more. That and the fact that there is a 6 hour time difference between Ohio and Germany (who gets the joy of meeting early or late?), it costs at least $700 per flight and then I would also be sitting on a plane for a good amount of time which would be at minimum partially wasted. All that makes it more feasible to be effective if I am in Europe as opposed to the US.
Then there is the fact that my creation of online courses is only a part of my mission in Germany. I will be a resident of some neighborhood in some town in Germany which may or may not have many Christians. I can be a good example of a Christian. I will get involved in the town, meet my neighbors, invite them to dinner and start conversations that will hopefully lead to discussing Christ and his impact on my life so that they can understand the impact that He can have on theirs as well. Here are a few stats that may help you understand how much of a need for Christians there really is in Germany. Over the Christmas season, a poll was taken that showed over 53% of Germans did not wish to attend church at all. That is a stark contrast to the American church where people come out of the woodwork to attend church on Christmas and Easter. Now obviously Christmas church attendance does not mean anything in regards to peoples’ relationship with Christ, but if more than half of the population are not attending Christmas services then the odds are they are not attending most of the rest of the year either.
I hope this helps explain why I have been called to Germany and why every day that passes I am getting more and more excited to get to that wonderful country full of lost people. I hope you will consider joining with me, helping me to get there all the sooner.