Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
All the saints from the Frankfurt Church send you greetings. We thank our God for your prayers and support. It is my pleasure to give you an update on God’s work here in Frankfurt. By God’s grace and the gracious support of HeartCry, I have been privileged to serve full-time as a pastor alongside my fellow pastor and former HeartCry missionary, Peter Schild, since May of this year. Please pray that the Lord may have mercy on us so that we may serve Him faithfully for the edification of His church and as salt and light for our nation for the glory of His name.
Severe restrictions on church services have now been in place in Germany for over fifteen months. Even though the number of infections is currently decreasing significantly with the rising temperatures and the government has decided on some easing measures, there have been no easing measures for church services so far. This means that church services may officially still only be held with social distancing and masks, and without congregational singing.
We published a statement about two months ago, in which we evaluated the state measures concerning worship services from a biblical perspective and called on Christians to be faithful, even if this means obeying God rather than men. Since then, we have received many emails from brothers and sisters from all over Germany, Austria, and Switzerland who suffer greatly from the fact that in their churches all government restrictions are followed uncritically and that they have not seen the faces of their brothers and sisters or sung praises to the Lord for such a long time now.
Please pray that the Lord will continue to protect our church from disruptions of our worship services by the state, that Christians in Germany will be comforted and encouraged to be faithful to God’s commandments, and that the current crisis may soon come to an end so that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
We especially thank our God that He is building His church and adding people even in this crisis. A few days ago we were able to baptize three brothers and one sister in the Name of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Due to the restrictions in place, we had to meet for this in secret on a Saturday early in the morning at a small lake. Thanks be to the Lord, we remained undisturbed. The next day we were allowed to receive the four persons baptized together, with three other brothers and sisters, into church membership.
I would like to tell you briefly the story of the sister we had the privilege of baptizing. She grew up in a family that called itself Christian, but which lived in great ungodliness. Her parents divorced on the grounds of adultery when she was seven years old. For many years after that, she suffered from her parents’ constant changes of partners and constant moves, so that she went to six different schools within four years. To escape the bad conditions at home, she eventually took refuge in a life of fornication, parties, alcohol, drugs, and pills. Of course, all this did not help, and she plunged into deep depression and anxiety disorders, hurting herself and wanting to take her own life several times. The many scars that mark her body will remind her all her life of what distress and torment of sin the Lord has graciously saved her from.
A year ago, the Lord brought her to our church. There we talked to her and plead with her to leave her wicked boyfriend and her old life of sin behind and walk the path of life. She confessed to us with tears that she wanted to do this—but she could not do it on her own, and so she did not come to church again. But the Lord did not let her go, but went after His lost sheep and brought her back to us, and we were allowed to witness how she was sanctified by God’s Word. The changes we can see in her, in particular, her great willingness to humbly serve others, are evidence of a supernatural work of God’s grace. She reminds me of the sinful woman of whom Jesus spoke: “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much.”
It pleased God not only to save her from deep depravity and darkness and to give her eternal life in His Son and to add her to His blood-bought Church, but in addition, He showed her His kindness by allowing her to now be engaged to a beloved and faithful brother from our church and to look forward to her wedding in a few weeks, God willing. We praise the LORD, our God, for His great grace and goodness, which He gives us in His Son, our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ.
Thank you again on behalf of the entire church for all your continued prayers and support. May the Lord bless and reward you abundantly.