I was amazed in some of the conversations I was able to have, specifically with two young women. We discussed different worldview questions and explored how they came to these conclusions. When asked if they wanted to learn what the Bible says, they were open and curious. When asked what would be something I could pray for them in their lives, the response was for peace and faithfulness from others. You could feel the hurt they carry and the hunger them seem to have to figure out to walk well in this life regardless of what is happening externally. Would you join me in praying for Marlene and Nexie?
Honestly, I was overwhelmed by the number of people that said yes when I asked if they wanted to hear my story and what the Bible taught. I also enjoyed getting to talk to people that grew up in the GDR and learn more about their perspective with the Berlin Wall opened. I admit I had many moments of being overwhelmed with the history, experiences of the lives lived here in East Berlin, and opinions and perspectives developed coming out of this history. Please pray for those we got to converse with would continue to seek truth, visit the church and follow up with someone from the team.
This week we are in Cologne, Germany and then the team heads to Stockholm. Again please pray for the next month. I will get to host three teams between August 11th and September 12th, and then have a recent university grad come alongside the work for two weeks after that. Another full month, and excited about what the Lord will do!
This ministry is made possible by people like you. Thank you for the support you continue to give in emails, letters, phone calls, prayer and the finances. I’m still praying for new monthly financial supporters to bring my account to a healthier position, if you are able to be an answer to this prayer, click here! Talk soon! Blessings, Sarah
August 26 – A second team coming from Utah lands in Stockholm
September 4th – A third team from South Carolina lands in Stockholm
September 10th – Ella, a recent university grad, will spend three weeks in Stockholm
It is a full schedule. Praying for God to use this time to cultivate the soil, meet new people and start new groups while still supporting what is already happening!
As you may recall from the previous update, there is a push to find new monthly supporters in order to make the account I am responsible for more stable. The generosity of one-time gifts has been incredible, but in looking toward healthy funds for sustainable work, please continue to join me in praying for this support!
PRAISE report – $1150 has already been promised!
That leaves $850 more in monthly giving. If you are already a financial supporter, would you pray about someone you know that we could ask? If you are not yet a financial supporter, would you consider to become?
Here is the link, if you want to use it or pass it on! And please let me know if you’d like a video chat to talk more!
Teams. Hosting teams is a big piece of this ministry. It has been great having open borders again for teams to come and invest in the work while also having the opportunity to be further equipped in their own lives. Teams come with three objectives: 1. Engage in the local work as there are many activities and opportunities where more labourers are needed to make things happen, 2. Grow in confidence and competence with who God has created you to be. We get to design specific opportunities so that each person can engage their gift-mix and be further trained. 3. Cross-cultural opportunity provides an opening to develop different perspective, respect and appreciation for others, as well as the opportunity for God to challenge others to go for the sake of the gospel.
This week I was able to receive the report that a young man, we are calling Matt, who met people from a recent team that engaged him with questions about life and faith. From there, Matt accepted an invitation to Late Night Coffee where he was able to sit with a fellow Swedish guy, Peter, and share more about life. A couple of weeks later, Matt and Peter met to talk more. Matt was very appreciative to have people enter his life and listen to him. He was thankful that people seemed to genuinely care for him. Now Matt has started more conversations about who is the Jesus and why do people follow Him. Back in the states, the team members were impacted by how God used a variety of activities to live out their faith in a way that helped them love and serve the neighbourhood. Some of started prayer walks in their neighborhood and others are thinking more creatively how to intentionally engage people on their local university campus.
Remember Barbara? The young woman we are calling Barbara is still interested in Jesus. It has been a gift to get to talk to her in between her work schedule and discuss more why Jesus came and the differences between how different cultures express and practice Christianity. She is a firecracker and I am excited for the chance to see how God is at work in her life. Please continue to pray for her to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. She will spend the next two months in Syria visiting family. I am hoping we find ways to stay connected.
New church start-up. Getting to work with Timothy and Lydia (not their real names), continues to be a gift. There are certainly different challenges for people coming form other lands to integrate well in a new country. Then to encounter Jesus and change religions opens up another level of challenges for them. Getting to study the bible with someone who was once a slave in north west Africa who now follows Jesus is amazing. Having the opportunity to encourage these brothers and sisters and see healthy community form for them is a great gift to be part of.
Another praise report is that my research proposal was accepted by CIU (Columbia International University) and I will begin this project of investigating how migrants have integrated into christian community in Sweden. The research will be mostly based in interviews. I will get to meet and engage many who have moved here over the past ten years and learn from their experiences. The hope is that what we learn could help shape discipleship training, leadership development and how we even think of missions today. Please continue to pray for this process and how God can use it to help us with this work.
Being available is a gift that I do not take lightly. Thank you for continuing to support me in staying on the field full-time so that I can be about His business. Although the generosity of one-time gifts these past few years has kept the account I am responsible in good standing, there is the need for regular-committed giving for the long term work. In order for me to live without roommates (so that I can continue to host teams and others with short-term need) and stay in the work full-time, I will need to raise $2000 in monthly giving. So many of you are already extremely generous in how you support me and I am extremely grateful. But now I ask will you to pray for this need to be met. And if you are discipling someone who needs a missionary to support, will you put us in touch? Or if I can attend a home group or share with your church, just say the word and I can video in!
Celebrate that seeds are being planted. Other seeds are growing. And still other seeds are waiting for their season. But we press on knowing that we do not labor in vain!