Peter has planted a church in the city of Frankfurt, Germany. Throughout the week, he is teaching, preaching, counseling, and evangelizing in the streets. Peter is married to Priscilla; they have three children.
Testimony of Conversion
This testimony was written to give glory to Christ alone. It is not about me but about the sovereign grace of the Lord. He shares His glory with no one else (Isaiah 42:8), so we do not proclaim ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord (2 Corinthians 4:5).
According to God’s providence, I was born in Germany in 1985 (Acts 17:26). I experienced a godless and thus sorrowful childhood (Psalm 32:10). I grew up in an atmosphere of complete neglect, in a house where all rooms, including my own, were trashed with piles of rubbish. My mother left me when I was about nine years old and fled from Germany. My father was rarely ever at home, as he worked as a truck driver; so it was not until several days later that I was found all alone. I was sent to various psychologists, but none of them could help me. I had already seen and experienced too much—there was nobody who could heal my deep wounds.
My life did not get better—quite the contrary! My stepmother was a strong alcoholic, and my life reached newer lows. Having no rules and no purpose in my life, I also started drinking and doing other things in an attempt to daze myself from reality. Rage was burning like a fire inside of me, and those around me had to suffer from it. I became a criminal—while still a child I carried weapons. I stole things, rioted, and got involved in fights. At school, I humiliated and threatened my fellow students on a daily basis. I hated my life and the people around me; and I hated God. I thought that if He existed, He must also hate me and must have cursed me.
At the age of 16, I lost all desire to carry on with life. I decided to commit suicide; but my destructive plans never came to fruition. One night, I visited a Filipino friend whose parents were Christians. At his house, I found a tract about Jesus Christ and His work of salvation on the cross. I did not know the gospel, and my friend consider the message of Christ important enough to believe it with all of his heart or to share it with others. Except for the fact that God was directing things according to His providence, I cannot explain why I took the tract with me and read it when I got back home.
In His incomprehensible love and grace, it pleased the Lord to do a great work in me, an enemy of God worthy of damnation, by opening my eyes to Him who can save the greatest of sinners. Through the Word of God, the Spirit of God noticeably convicted me of my great sin, and I saw how much I needed Jesus Christ and His work of redemption on the cross. His call in that night was so real and irresistible that I had no other choice—and no other desire—than to fall to my knees and ask Him to forgive and save me. He gave me a new birth, granted me repentance and faith, and declared me righteous—not on account of my works, for I had nothing to show, but solely on account of Christ’s blood and righteousness. It was He who in grace drew me to Himself even though I did not seek Him.
That night, He took away all my rage and set me free from all my chains. He filled me with a peace that passes my understanding and changed my heart so that I now hate sin and love Christ. I could not keep this incomprehensible grace that I experienced to myself. Instead of beating people, I now passed out tracts and told people about Christ. I bought myself a Bible and often read it all day long.
Through studying God’s Word, my desire to be baptized and become part of a church became increasingly greater, so that I asked the Lord daily to lead me to Christian brothers and sisters. I knew no Christians who would have invited me to visit their church.
After some months of solitude, my longing for baptism became especially great. I stopped in front of a big church. Thanks to God’s providence, my heart was beating wildly; it seemed to me that the Lord forbade me to enter that church. At that time, I did not understand why, but I wanted to be obedient. Today I know that this church, like most churches in Germany, is liberal and does not preach the crucified Christ. I thank the Lord for protecting me!
The following day, I went down a road I had never traveled before, though it was very close to where I lived. I noticed a very small Baptist church that offered Bible studies. I visited the church and asked to be baptized. The church members were noticeably surprised. They had never had a boy from the street come to them with such a request.
An elder in the church took me aside and explained to me the way of God more accurately; after some time, I was finally baptized. My elder gave me a large collection of books by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, which he greatly valued. Since then, Spurgeon also became a dear friend and companion to me. My elder let me read Psalms in the church service and showed me how to teach young people.
I lost many friends and was mocked and laughed at for Christ’s sake, but others came to faith in Christ and visited the church, where (in all of my weakness) I tried to present the gospel. However, my dear and humble elder passed away not long after I arrived at the church.
Call to Ministry
As I was approaching age 17, the church asked me to preach, but I was too young and too inexperienced. I could witness to people on the street about Christ, but not to people who had been following Christ fifty years longer than I had! The mere thought of it seemed arrogant to me. But the church would not stop asking me, so I eventually started preaching when I was 18 years old. Whenever I preached, I experienced the clear help of God. It was during this time that I perceived that Christ was calling me to dedicate my life to preaching the gospel and to teaching.
At the age of 20, I served in this church and in its mother church as a full-time preacher for one year. The church then sent me out to study theology at the theological seminary of the German Baptists.
I completed my five years of study in June 2012. During my time at seminary, God continued to build in me the desire to plant biblical churches and to fight for a biblical reformation in Germany. Together with my wife Priscilla and my co-worker Nathanael Armisen, I want to carry the gospel to Frankfurt and other cities in Germany by planting biblical churches. We want to see Christ glorified and worshiped in every place (1 Corinthians 1:2).
Frankfurt is the traffic hub of Europe—the city with the highest percentage of foreigners, the most commuters, the highest number of immigrants, the greatest traffic density, the highest crime rates, and the most drug crimes. In short, Frankfurt is an ideal city for introducing lost people to Christ the Saviour (Matthew 9:12; 18:11).
Sadly, Germany suffers greatly under the heavy influence of liberal theology, which has caused most churches to move from sound doctrine and practice. Please pray to the Lord that he might grant the “Land of the Reformation” a new reformation. We are thankful for all your prayers.