Who are we?
James is a 28 year old software engineer who grew up in Canberra. He is passionate about his job and has presented at conferences both locally and overseas. In his spare time he plays rugby, goes hiking, and plays a variety of musical instruments including piano, guitar and didgeridoo. He got married to Beth in 2009, and together they did the Kokoda Track on their honeymoon.
Beth is a 24 year old nurse who is currently reskilling as a primary school teacher. She grew up in Sydney, loves sports of all sorts, as well as spending time with friends, family and pets. She loves cafes, having a good cup of tea, and also enjoys hiking.
What are we doing?
We are heading to Germany to spend one year helping to start a new church called "Mavuno Berlin". We'll get jobs in our professions, and work full time, while being an active part of the church congregation. We'll have to spend considerable time learning the language and the culture, so we don't expect to be the most effective church members, however with God's grace, he will use us powerfully.
How did we come to get involved?
The senior minister of St Paul's, John Gray, mentioned in 2008 at church that St Paul's would be doing a combined church planting mission to Germany with sister church Nairobi Chapel, in Kenya. Although we weren't even engaged at the time, we had both been praying that God would show us how we can serve him. Church planting in Germany seemed to be a perfect fit, so we prayed about it over the coming months, and eventually made the decision that we would go.
The leader of the church plant will be a couple named Dan and Nancy Flechsig. They are native Germans, who spent 3 years in ministry training at Mavuno, a Nairobi Chapel church plant. We had the privilege of meeting Dan when he came to Australia in 2010, and look forward to serving with him in Berlin.
Why are we doing it?
We want to get out of our comfort zone in serving God. It is too easy to live our daily lives without noticing our need for God to provide our daily bread, and forgetting His mission. Going to Germany as church planters will be a good opportunity for us to do this.
We also want to use this as an opportunity to find out where God wants us to be in our lives. Does he want us working full time in ministry? Does he want us doing "tent-maker" missionary work like this? Does he want us in Australia serving in our local church? We are hoping that we will have a much clearer picture when we return to Australia.
The most important reason though why we are doing this is to glorify God:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
We want every part of our lives to glorify God, both the big things and the small things. We want the work we do at work to glorify God, the service we do at church to glorify God, and the time we spend at home to glorify God. Our prayer is that we may through our time in Germany, we will not only glorify God, but return with a deeper passion and understanding of how to do so in our daily lives, for the rest of our lives.
How can you get involved?
If you want to be involved in our mission, you can do the following things:
- Pray for us, both personally and in your bible study group.
- Come and join us at our information evenings and prayer breakfasts. More information will be posted on our blog about these events.
- Email us with any questions or encouragements you may have.