Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The whole trip in five minutes!

Thank you to all who made this trip possible. Please consider supporting the next trip back to Berlin in June of 2011. Your generosity will sow seeds that can last an eternity!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ramona! Ramona! Ramona!

One thing is for sure: We love Ramona Ehret! She lives in Berlin and helps with European Initiative. So what makes her special? Is it the fact that she was totally selfless and willing to do whatever it took to help Texans acclimate to the Berlin culture? Was it the fact that she “walks the walk” where her faith is concerned. Do I particularly love her because she (like me) has a past; yet does what Paul wrote about forgetting what is behind and pressing toward the mark. (Phil 3:12-14) Maybe it is her cute smile and warm heart. Maybe it is the excellent job she did helping us with translation. Maybe it was her patience. Or maybe it was her fun sense of humor. I think that all those had a lot to do with the reason why she is so special to all of us. But one can’t deny the light that shines through her life. She is a testament to the faithful potter taking a work and turning it into a piece of art that pleases the Maker. Our lives are better because our paths crossed with hers. And there can be no better thing said about a person in my humble opinion. Here she talks candidly on a Berlin train.

The Pupils From The Pulpit: a lesson in unbelievable hospitality!

East Berlin has over 1.5 million people but very few Christians. Thanks to amazing men like Pastor Winfried Rudloff, this church is a beacon of light and hope in a neighborhood once controlled by the notorious Stasi. Here two of the Mission Berlin team members Scott Sage and Brenda Robson get a chance to speak to the members of Christus Gemeinde church. Jeff Serio gives an introduction. Words can't express their warmth and hospitality towards us. And it was a real treat being able to worship with them. Translators sat with us and helped us understand what was being said. If you have the resources, they are praying for $40,000E to build a kitchen where they can distribute food to the poor of East Berlin. Pray about helping this church. They are the “real deal”. If you have no financial support available, one can always make mention of them in their prayers. (Romans 1:9)

PS: If you speak German, you will notice one of the greatest speech faux pas ever done in a church. Ask a team member what was said, and what was meant. They are radically different.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day Four: trains, pains, brains, and bonding for life.

The one consistent thing about our trip was the fact that we were going to have to spend a lot of time in the metro stations riding the trains. The U-Bahn” is a Berliner’s best friend. The stations were clean and safe. The trains ran with amazing German efficiency and accuracy. The ride was not as fast as the Moscow screamers, but not glacier-slow either. And the environment was definitely “target rich” for ministry and fellow shipping with the locals. We had some of the most amazing encounters on the trains. Ask one of the team members to tell you a story.

This ain't your daddy's East Berlin

I guess one of the things that blew me away about East Berlin is the fact that it is not an old, gray, oppressed blocky neighborhood. Since the fall of Communism there, it is being renovated and has become the haven for all kinds of young professionals and creative artistic types. Close to the Ann Frank apartment, in a secluded alleyway, there is a large piece of art nestled around galleries and coffee houses. For a mere pittance, one can make it come to life. Don’t ask me what it is, or what it means. Just take it for what it is: art!

Friday, September 3, 2010

In Praise of The Platz!

By now if you have had any dealings with the Berlin mission team, they have undoubtedly told you about some kind of encounter with a person in Alexanderplatz. This video is taken in the dreaded platz. I say dreaded because they is where some of the “worst of the worst” hang out. And it is a target rich environment for street evangelism and for sharing the grace and mercy of God. Jesus said that those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. And here is where we saw some of the most spiritually/physically/emotionally sick people on this trip. And where sin does abound, grace does much more abound. We saw miracles nothing short of the Book of Acts performed in this square. I was spit on and had beer poured on me here. But I also saw healings and miracles on this same piece of ground. In this video we have some real targets of intense prayer to this date. Ask us about “Screamie”, “Soccer boy” “Bosti” and others in this video. And some night when you are laying in your bed, please mention this piece of ground by name in your prayers. This is the place where 500,000 people rallied and prayed demanding freedom; and the Berlin wall came down soon after. This is also the place where walls still come tumbling down.

The Dynamic Duo

I think Solomon said it best when he said that “two are better than one” in Ecclesiastes 4:9. Here is how the New Living Translation puts it: “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” There aren’t really any words I can put down to tell you about the amazing effectiveness of Scott and Brenda Robson during this trip. God told me at one time early on that He had “hand-picked this team”. And I became really confused when they later said that they would not be able to go on this trip. But God knew what he was talking about. And these two spiritual warriors made an amazing impact on the people of Berlin. People fight battles in different ways and with a plethora of weapons. Brenda used her art talent to minister to street people like I could never have imagined. And Scott simply showed himself to be a spiritual warrior king in all his dealings. He was a great mix of humble servant and prayerful priest. And together, they make a threefold cord that will not easily be broken. (Eccl 4:12) It was an honor for us to have served in Berlin with them both.