Beloved brothers and sisters,
I send you greetings from Frankfurt and wish you and your families a blessed new year 2020. On behalf of my family and my church, I would like to thank you for all your prayers and support. It is my joy and privilege to provide you with a brief update on our humbly work here in Germany and I thank you for bringing the following requests before the LORD.
I am truly grateful for all the prayers concerning my wife. Some of you will remember that my wife had health problems and needed several stays in the hospital. Among other things, she suffers from genetic polycystic kidney disease. She is still undergoing various examinations and still needs time of rest during the day. To care for our family with four children is not easy for her but our kind LORD provides her daily with the necessary grace. May I ask you to remember her before His throne?
A few months ago, we had the joy to baptize six people and to accept a few more into church membership. Currently, we have about four applicants for baptism and a handful of additional people have applied to become church members. We praise the Lord for continually adding souls to the church. May I ask you to pray for all those who have been baptized and those who would like to become part of our fellowship? Please also pray that we as a church will not only grow in number but above all in maturity, that is in Christ-likeness. This is truly our greatest need.
At the moment we have only one deacon, which is of course not sufficient for all the numerous tasks. We are planning to appoint another deacon in the following few weeks. I would be grateful if you could pray for this process, that we as a church will have unity and that this new deacon shoulder on shoulder with the old will be a great blessing for the whole church.
Every two weeks brothers of the church meet for special training. Together we seek to systematically study theological truths and to grow in our ability to faithfully interpret and proclaim the Holy Scriptures. To our great delight and benefit, Brother Paul Washer has already led a training session on the subject “The Sufficiency of Holy Scripture”.
Five brothers in our midst have the opportunity to preach on Wednesday evenings during the prayer meeting. Another brother is already preaching on Sunday. We pastors accompany these men in the preparation and also in the debriefing. It is our great desire to instruct men so that they become serviceable instruments of God for the benefit of His church.
We are still looking for a suitable building. Probably in a few weeks, we will lose our meeting place, which we currently use for our morning services. Our faithful Lord has always provided us with a meeting place for worship. May I ask you to pray particularly for us as we are searching for a room to gather for worship.
Situation in Germany
There is indeed much more to tell about the general spiritual condition of Germany, but I would like to focus on one particular matter that causes us great sorrow.
More and more brothers and sisters are being excommunicated from their congregations as apostates and false teachers because they have come to believe in the biblical doctrines of grace. The founder of the German Baptists, Johann Gerhard Oncken (1800-1884,) once wrote the following lines to his prospective spouse in England, “I am sorry to say that though God has some witnesses of the faith in Hamburg, there is not one serious German I have met, with whom I can agree in doctrines, they are all Arminians without exception, and a holy Arminian I can love as well as a Calvinist, but there are no English Methodist among the Germans.”
Unfortunately, to this day it is hardly different in our country. Calvinism is universally misunderstood and dismissed as heresy. Even on the internet, people are rushing against these precious, biblical truths. This leads to the tragic fact that more and more saints who have been excluded from their churches are seeking refuge with us and other Reformed churches. All this saddens us and we pray that the Lord will change the minds of those who are hostile to us. May I ask you to pray for a nationwide turning to biblical truths?
I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am for your ongoing interest in our humble work here in Germany. We are only a little flock, but your prayers and sympathy are a great encouragement to us. We truly delight in our partnership with you!
May the Lord bless you, your families and churches abundantly to the glory of His name!
Respectfully yours in Christ our King