Recently, over 200 Christian lawyers drawn from across Europe (and a few from further afield) gathered in Berlin to deepen their knowledge of God, build relationships with one another and to be strengthened to be salt and light in their communities. Many came alone, knowing only a few, and for some not even one, other Christian lawyers in their community or country. Please pray that each of these delegates would return home with a fresh vision of God’s heart for justice and their call to serve him in their church, community and legal institutions.
Recently a Kurdish refugee couple in Rostock started to come to church and brought other Kurds living in the same refugee centre with them. ECM worker Klaus started to translate the sermons into English which were then translated into Kurdish, but it was noisy at the back, so they wished for the miracle of Pentecost! But then, Klaus found a computer app, and in the service he now sits and types what is said, or phrases from the songs, and the refugee friends can read it translated into their language on their smartphones, almost like watching a film with subtitles! Praise God for the technology to break through language barriers, and ask that more Kurds would come to Christ through the church in Germany.
Riverboat Captain Klaas Kattouw (Dutch), marvelled at a ship sailing by as a 13-year-old boy. Compared to other vessels on the Rhine, the Alexander Von Engelberg looked stunning."I said to myself then, that I want to be Captain of this ship." Today, it is known as the Andante, which is also the first vessel to be used by OM Riverboats for a new ministry with a floating escape room on European waterways. When Captain Klaas first heard about the Riverboats ministry, his heart was immediately moved and he committed himself to serve on it. When he realised the vessel to be used was the same one he remembered fondly from his childhood he was shocked! Please pray for Captain Klaas and the Riverboat community as they go from port to port to share the gospel and mobilise churches in the Netherlands, Germany and France.
Europe’s expansive river network is a unique way to travel through the heart of the continent and is a channel that OM workers want to use to share the Good News to Europe’s 700 million inhabitants. Riverboat project, launching at the end of 2017, aims to mobilise the church to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least-reached from a mobile platform. Pray for the team that will host events for two weeks in each place, stopping at key ports in the Netherlands, France and Germany, and who will use their practical ministry skills to share the gospel. Pray for God to connect them with the right people and provide all our staffing needs.
In eastern Germany, communism and, after that, economic difficulties, have left deep marks in the spiritual lives of the people. The Christian faith has been pushed to the margins of society. Many people don't know what the gospel is all about, oblivious to its message of hope. In the southwest of the country there are a large number of refugees, with several religious backgrounds, trying to build new lives. Pray that while supporting them in tackling the difficulties in their lives, we will help them to find a new life in the gospel that transcends all cultural differences. Our desire is that they will be a shining light, not only for their community, but also for the Germans.
‘Think… about what you have never thought of before’ - this was the motto of the recent outreach of SMD Germany at Tübingen University. On three evenings, between 400 and 500 people came to discuss issues rarely raised on campus: finances, advertising, and incarnation in art, music and entertainment. Mission weeks like this one have happened throughout Germany on university campuses since the summer. Activities vary but the goal is always the same: to make Jesus the subject of conversation on campus. Pray for Christian university students as they seek to live lives that motivate people not only to think and talk about Jesus, but most importantly, to get to know him.
Population: 82,175,700 (2015)
Official languages: German
GDP (PPP) per capita: $48,111 (2016 est.)
Life expectancy: 80 years
Religions: 32% Protestant, 31% Catholic, 30% Agnostic or Atheist, 5% Muslim, 4% other religions