Follow the Journey Team to Germany
Greetings from the Germany Team!
We spent Sunday through Wednesday touring cities in the Rhine valley. On Sunday, we explored Koblenz, the city where the Mosel River joins the Rhine. Some of us took a cruise along the Rhine, and others explored an old castle fortification on the bluff above the confluence. Monday was our Heidelberg day, and we explored this charming, old city, home of the oldest university in Germany. In 1518, Martin Luther came to Heidelberg for a scholarly disputation concerning his 95 Theses, and then in 1563, the Heidelberg Catechism was written here. The catechism, which is one of the foundational Reformed confessional statements, is 450 years old this year, and in the castle above the city there was a special display on its origin, including an original 1563 printing of the Catechism.
Tuesday we visited the Hockenheim Ring, a Formula 1 racetrack, and we had a tour of the areas spectators rarely get to see, including the winner's circle, the pits, and the start/finish line. Then our tour bus was able to take us on a lap around the track. Norbert, our bus driver, did well -- likely one of the fastest laps for a full-size tour bus ever! It took us 5 minutes to complete the 4 km course. The Formula 1 drivers do it in 1 minute and 13 seconds! We spent the rest of the day at the Sinsheim Auto and Technik museum, a place chock-full of historic cars, planes, trains, military vehicles, etc. It is a fascinating place, including the ability to see the inside of a Concorde passenger jet.
Wednsday, we visited Worms, where Luther faced a trial before the Emperor and made his famous statement, "Here I stand, I can do no other." We saw a church which was built as a Reformation memorial, saw the world's largest Luther monument, almost got to see the park which is located where the trial took place (ask us about why we couldn't when we get back), and we saw the old Catholic cathedral in the city, which is the only Catholic church in the world with a stained glass window commemorating Martin Luther and the solas of the Reformation. We also had ice cream at what is reputed to be the best ice cream shop in Germany.
Thursday we were to travel home, but our flight was cancelled, and we couldn't get rebooked until Friday evening. The airline put us up in a very nice hotel, so the team had a relaxed day to rest and catch up on sleep. We are certainly ready to get home, though. Lord willing we will arrive in Newark before 9:00 pm this evening.
Thank you for all your prayers and support! We look forward to seeing you all soon.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Kim for the Germay Journey Team
Phrases like, Auf Wiedersehen! See ya! Tschüss! Ciao! and Have a great summer! were repeated over 100 times as we said goodbye to both campers and fellow staff workers this hot July afternoon. Mixed emotions of relief of the season of relaxation to come and remorse over the season of investment we would leave behind flooded each one of us in the team. After sending off the teens with our contact information, and final encouragements to be in the Word, we ate lunch, praised God for the week, and headed to the nearest little town for some celebratory ice cream.
After dinner back at camp we had a meeting where each of us shared some of our most memorable moments at Neues Leben, and some of the biggest lesson God has taught us through this trip. I was so encouraged and impressed by all that God has been teaching the members of this team. They are amazing, god-fearing, delightful young people. Probably the most exciting thing to me is that through this camp ministry and the trials and blessings that came with it, God has stirred in each of our hearts (among many things) a renewed passion for knowing and defending the gospel. I know that I (and many of us on the team) far too often take the gospel and its truths for granted. I belittle it in my life and don’t realize or utilize the enormous power it should have in helping me to die to myself. I wasn’t focusing on the power of the gospel- until God started using circumstances at this camp to refocus my heart on its incredible, undeniable, grace-centered, Scripture-soaked, truth based on the person and work of Jesus Christ. I know I need the reminder of the power of the gospel in my life. Not just for my own spirit and joy in freedom, but also so that I am able to properly present it to others when God brings those opportunities.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-7 “ For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”
This week we each have been challenged with questions of what is simply preference in worship or word choice in teaching, and when is it much more serious than that and in need of rebuke? These were the questions that were most encouraging to wrestle through, because it made us look to the Scriptures for answers. Our dear supporters, I just want to say how proud you would be of each of these team members. They were quick to defend and focus on the beauty and necessity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and gracious in the way they processed and approached things.
May this be an encouragement to you to take time TODAY to reexamine your understanding of the gospel in your life. It has almost become a buzzword in our society. So stop and think. First, do you KNOW the gospel? One easy way to find out if you do know-try sharing it with someone today. Even if it is someone who already knows it! Practice verbally teaching the gospel. Secondly, does the gospel CHANGE you? Does it make a difference in your life or are you still relying on your own power or your own good works or how you feel to make you righteous or close to God? What does it mean in your life?
For the Team, Betty Pompell
Schoene Gruesse aus Deutschland! (Greetings from Germany!)
Today was a rainy day, but the mood of the campers was great. They were still energized from the great and meaningful worship service on Wednesday evening, where many teens passionately worshipped and gave testimonies of what Jesus Christ had done for them. It was very exciting for me to see so many teens (about 120) seek after God because in Germany it is very hard to find young people who love Jesus.
Other times today that were great were English lessons, learning American sports, and watching "Soul Surfer" during the thunderstorm. In the Beginners English class I assist in, we had a good discussion about life and death, and the teens learned John 3:16 in English.
In relation to American sports, watching Germans play baseball is like watching (some) Americans play soccer!
Thanks for your support and prayers. Please pray specifically for grace for all the staff and campers as the week is ending.
7.24.13Hello friends and family!!
Can you believe we have just one week left to go until we will be flying home? Our team appreciates your prayers so much and we can really feel them. God is doing amazing things through us. We are seeing the teenagers open more and more each day to the gospel and wanting to talk about things pertaining to our Lord. We are all being used as his vessels this week. I can't tell you how much we appreciate all of your prayers. Please keep sending them. We still have 3 more days with them and we know that God is going to do mighty things for his glory and kingdom.
Teaching has been such a great experience for me. After going to school for so long being able to apply what I have studied and learned has been so much fun. God is continuing to show me more and more each day. Some of the teachers are struggling with students that are out of control. They actually sent me 2 of the students that other teachers were having trouble with because "i can handle them" (those of you who know me understand why...I'm one tough cookie...lol) It has been great to see the students understanding and grasping what we are teaching. God has showed me that each group of students are not the same and with each new class that comes I have to change things. It is all glory to God that these students are listening and participating as much as they are in my class. Most of the students don't want to be here because it is there summer vacation... and, lets face it... what student wants to learn English during their summer break? God has been giving myself and the other teachers wisdom and patience. It really has been great.
Today I got to share my testimony with all the girls at camp. We split the girls and guys up for the entire day. So we did a seminar with the girls about being a woman of God and dressing modestly, being wise in relationships, and finding your worth in Jesus. It was such a great experience to share what Jesus has done for me with these girls. Afterwards we attacked the boys with water balloons and the girls LOVED it!!!
Continue to pray for all of us. We are all so tired during the day and having a hard time with the food here. It is very different than what we are used to in America. Pray for the teens that don't know Jesus that they would see him as the way,the truth, and the light and pray for the students that do know him that they would continue to grow in the Lord and serve him.
Mom and Dad- I love you and miss you both. Thanks for taking care of the dogs while I am gone and timothy is at work. Give them a kiss from me. Also call and tell Grandmom happy birthday and that I am sorry I can't call her but that she is in my thoughts. Love you both! Tell Bo and Steph I love them too!!!
Timothy- I love and miss you more than words can say and i can't wait to be home with you again. Being away from you has made me realize that you really are my other half.
Raeanne, Christina and all my other friends- thanks for the prayers and encouraging messages. I love you all and can't wait to come home and tell you all that God has done!!
All for the Lord,
Hello Family and Friends,
We have officially finished day two of the second week of English Camp! What a blessing this camp has been to us this last week and a half! So far, some of us have taught the teens tricks with yo-yos, others have led various seminars and workshops, and some have given testimonies and led small groups. But no matter what we are participating in, God has been doing great things!
This week is more challenging than last because we have almost double the amount of teens as last week! However, we can praise the Lord that many of them already know Him as their Personal Savior! Today, we started the morning off with a devotion given by Sam. He reminded us to love God and to love others by seeing them as God sees them. Following that, most of our team was involved in teaching or co-teaching an English class. Mahalia gave her seminar on bullying and learned a lot about the German school system, and we finished the day with a clear presentation of the Gospel with testimonies from both Dr. Kim and Sam.
I think we would all agree that as a team, God has been teaching us each many things. Personally, He has taught me that my weaknesses do not need to hinder me from serving Him. God has been using us all in unexpected ways and it has been such a privilege! Please pray for our team as we continue to serve the Lord this week. God is so good and He has been consistently faithful on this trip. The Lord willing, we will see you all next week!
With much love,
7.22.13Greetings from Germany!
Today was our second day of the second week of camp! This week at camp we have about 120 campers! This is a new record for the Neues Leben English Camp. This is 50 more campers than last week. Due to having more campers and less staff, our team has more responsbilities than last week. We are excited about the opportunities we have to get invovled. For example, most of our team is able to help teach English classes this week. This is very exciting because we are able to talk with the students and build deeper relationships with them. I am helping as a teacher assistant, in a classroom of 11 German students with a recent graduate of Briercrest Bible College in Canada named Amy. Today was our first day of class and many of the students impressed us with their English speaking abilitites.
This afternoon the campers are playing an outdoor game and attending workshops. Dr. Kim, along with several team members are planning a yo yo workshop. Annamarie, Liz, and Mikayla are planning a workshop to discuss the importance of nutrituion and fitness. This evening we will eat supper and have celebration time followed by a campfire.
I would like to take a moment to share with you all that being here has been very encouraging. As a team we have been able to encouage and grow with one another. But above that we have been able to be encouaged by conversations and growth in the campers lives in Christ. We are humbled as the Lord has chosen to and will continue to use us. We thank you all for your support and prayers.
As last week has come to a close and this week is beginning, we would like you to pray/ praise the Lord for:
- His work as he changes hearts here in Germany
- renewed strength, as many of us are tired
- our attitudes since this is the second time around the same activities
- relationships as we continue to get to know new campers
- the speakers as they prepare messages, that they would speak with clarity and as the teens respond to the Gospel
- our hearts and minds continued to be focused on the Gospel and serving the Lord
Thank you very much!
Mandy Weit Writ for the Germany Journey Team
7.20.13Hi All Friends and Family!
Today was very long, but it was wonderful and sad. I got up really early to go with Dr. Kim to get our other leader, Betty, at the airport. We had to get up at 5am! Then we came back and said goodbye to all the campers! It was amazing to get to know them and see they grow in their faith and also for many of them as they just started their walk with God. But it was hard to say goodbye since we may never see them again in this earth. Please pray for them as they all go home back to their normal lives. Pray that they can keep their faith strong!
We also went to Cologne today. It was really cool to see the city and the Cathedral! Sorry no pictures. I can't upload them to this device, but I am sure that anyone would be glad to show you pictures when we go back to the USA. It is so much fun to see a town with such rich history, however, it isn't so fun to see a church so big hardly used!
Please pray that everyone gets the sleep they need, week 2 starts tomorrow! Also pray that Betty will get over her jet lag!
Abby Henson, for the team!
With the fourth day of English camp underway, I am simply in awe of how God has worked. This week has been exhausting but incredibly rewarding!
Yesterday was “boy/girl day” which means we separated the girls and boys for the whole day. In the afternoon, we allotted time to discuss important gender specific issues such as modesty, relationships, marriage and purity. What a joy it was to see the girls listen as staff members shared their testimonies regarding self-image and dating. We ended our meeting with a slip-in slide, water balloons and popsicles (or as the Germans say “ice”). We also taught them a cheer about what it means to be a woman created in God’s image and how we are to respect and encourage men. They really enjoyed the cheer as we performed it for the whole camp during our evening meeting. What a privilege it was to participate in these activities to help young German women learn how to be a Biblical woman!
Here are some prayer requests as we come to the end of our first week:
Pray for the men who preach in the evenings. Pray for strength, clarity and for the teens to respond to the Gospel.
Pray for the teens to open up more as we see the week come to a close.
Pray for me as I lead a seminar tomorrow on Addictions. I am praying that I will be able to clearly present the material and that the teens will be responsive. Also pray for the rest of the seminar leaders as they discuss various topics.
Lastly, pray for good health. Many of our team members have not been feeling well.
That’s all for now, thank you for your prayers!
To God be the Glory, Liz Erb for the Germany Journey Team
We're finishing our second full day of the first English Camp, and it has been VERY exciting. Dr. Kim gave a sermon tonight that focused on Jesus and his holy abundance. After his sermon, he gave an open invitation to the campers to give them a chance to give their life over to the Lord, and several campers responded to the invitation, asking to pray with members of the camp staff.
Today one team member gave a seminar on bullying, which was an opener for the campers to talk about issues they face as adolescents. There was some good interaction with the teens at the seminar.
The camp made great beef stroganoff for lunch, and then baked it and put cheese on top for us to enjoy for dinner. Yum!
The team members are continuing to enjoy their English classes. Today the teens shared some great testimonies of who their heroes are, and their perception of Jesus Christ.
All the campers bring joy to the program structure, and they continue to inspire us, as we inspire them!
Agape, Mahalia, for the team
Today, Monday, was the first full day of English Camp and the first day of English lessons.
After staff devotions and breakfast (bread, cheese and lunchmeat, and cereal) the teens and the German staff met for worship and small groups while the English teaching staff made final preparations. The teens then learned which classes they would attend and went to the classrooms for two hours of instruction. I have heard only positive comments about the classes. The curriculum this year was prepared by the TESOL department of Briercrest College in Saskatchewan and is very structured - a big difference for returning staff. The verse for the day is John 15:13, 'There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends'.
After lunch (schnitzel, tomato sauce, potatoes, and salad) the teens could choose between a number of activities with the German and American staff. At 4 p.m. there were workshops for the teens - yoyo, taekwondo, choir, Dr. Seuss and others. Supper was again the ubiquitous bread, cheese & meat, with some potatoes from lunch and the tomato sauce in a reprisal role as soup.
The speaker for the evening worship was Bruce Mawhinney from Lancaster. His main point was not letting 'idols' take God's rightful place in our lives. He is a good story-teller and makes his lessons interesting for everyone.
The campfire special tonight was 'camp bananas'. Take a banana, keep it in the skin, slit it open lengthwise, put in chunks of chocolate, wrap it in foil and heat it in the coals until it's soft. Yummy!
A number of the American and Canadian staff are experiencing digestive difficulties. Please keep them in your prayers.
We really appreciate all of your prayers and support. Thank you. -Mindy Elmer for the team
Hello ministry partners,We have arrived safely in Germany. We arrived at 6:30 am Germany time on Friday July 12, and we came directly to camp. Our first day consisted mostly of trying to stay awake due to the jet lag, and being shown around the camp. Along with our group there is also a Canadian group, a YWAM group, and a bunch of individuals, and of course all the German volunteers. All together the staff for the camp is about 60 people.
Today, which is Saturday July 13, was spent preparing lessons and getting the camp ready for all the students to arrive tomorrow. Then we spent some time this evening in worship and prayer for the camp, and trying to bring all the different groups together so that we work together as one big group. This could be one of the hardest parts about the trip, but we all have a bond in Christ, which we hope will allow us to work towards one goal the spread of the Gospel.
That is it as far as an update of what we are doing and have done. Please be praying as we try to recover from jet lag. Also pray that we as a team from LBC and the team as a whole at a camp would be prepared at every moment to share the Gospel with campers who are coming, and with each other, so that not only people by the grace of God would come to faith, but so the body of Christ is built up.
Greetings from Germany!
Just a quick update to say that we have arrived safely in Germany and are at Neues Leben ready to start preparing for our first students, due to arrive on Sunday. There are lots of volunteer staff from Germay, Canada, and several places in the US. Please pray for the preparations and logistics to work out, and for the various volunteers to form strong relationships as we work together.
More to come when we get over our jet lag!
The Germany Journey Team led by Joseph Kim and Betty Pompell is on their way to the airport to begin their ministry trip in Germany. Please pray for safety in travel and good unity on the team. Also pray for those that will be touched through their ministry.
7.11.13 - 8.1.13
Leader: Dr. Joseph Kim & Betty Pompell
Team Members: MahaliaBunch, Annamarie Dixon, Elizabeth Erb, Paul Fulbright, Abigail Henson, Andrew Keenan, Laura Kim, Sam Marquard, Mandy Weit, Mikayla Wintermute