Pastor Kyama from Mavuno has put together an awesome video of scenes from the restart service, we hope you will enjoy it, and get a feel for what we are doing with this congregation!
The past week has been a very exciting week for us, and has finished with the blast off of the new Mavuno Berlin church service. Beth is in full swing studying German at the Goethe Institut, and James has settled into work quickly.
We've had the blessing of many international visitors, which though none of them are from Australia, has given us welcome company of other people that are in unfamiliar surroundings. Matt and Bianca Olthoff joined us a little over a week ago from Mariners Church, California. Their church is interested in strengthening international partnerships and sees Berlin as a good opportunity to do that. Matt preached Sunday a week ago, and fortunately for us, he doesn't know German, so we got an English sermon, our first German church service where our heads didn't explode from trying to understand too much German.
On Tuesday, Roddy and Katie Dinsmore joined us with their two young kids from Chapel Hill Bible Church, North Carolina. Roddy is a passionate Brazilian who also speaks German quite well, and is the youth and college minister at his church. He is currently planning to come with his family and a team of young adults to Mavuno Berlin in May next year for one year. They have been staying with us at our hosts place, and hence we have spent much time each evening talking with them and learning from them. They have been a great encouragement to us, they are in a similar situation to us with their plans for Berlin, but they are also several years ahead of us in life which has made them excellent role models for us. We have felt really blessed to be able to meet them and get to know them, and can't wait for them to join us in Berlin.
We also had three Kenyans join us, Kyama Mugambi, missions pastor from Mavuno church, and Edward Kobuthi and Patrick Mbugua, members of the Mavuno congregation. Their passion and excitement was a boost to us, and really set the scene well for the launch of the new service.
On Sunday at 11am, at the same time that our 7pm St Paul's congregation meets, we had the restart service. It was an African theme, though we adequately represented Australia when James started the intro song of the service, "The Circle of Life", with a didgeridoo solo. Church attendance was amazing, around 120 people were there, which is double what we normally get. Aside from the international guests, a number of interested Christians came to check it out from both local and interstate churches. We also had a few people that didn't usually attend church, and they enjoyed it and said they would return.
The vibe in the service was powerful and exciting, we all felt that this church service was the start of something special, that God is moving and is going to work something amazing. Our impression from the existing congregation was that they are very excited too, which is a big answer to prayer. Dan's sermon was powerful and spoke well into the German culture.
Thank God that:
- The restart church service went amazingly well
- We have been blessed with so much encouragement from our international guests
- We have settled well into the routine of our jobs and studies
Pray that God would:
- Give the whole team and in particular Dan and Nancy a good rest after the excitement of this last week
- Empower us to be able to continue with the same energy in subsequent church services
- Protect us from the devils attacks against our works and our relationships
- Help us to continue to be kingdom focussed, remembering that this isn't about a church service but about spreading the gospel to those that need it most
The opening song, with James playing didgeridoo, Roddy leading music, and the rest of the German musicians
Relaxing after the service with our international friends