It has arrived the closing of another book full of daily pages and the beginning of another. The year 2016 has ended and 2017 has begun. It is a new year that everyone had been hoping to arrive so the events of 2016 would be cast in the shadows of memories and all can move forward into a new adventure with hopes of a better 365 days in their lives. There were great regrets for some and few for others, some clung to the past and forgot about the present and future hopes, while others experienced some regrets and looked earnestly to the promises of God for their hopes and progressed forward towards the end of 2016 in hopes of stepping into 2017. How did our year close out, how did the closing pages read? Let’s take a look.
April and May of 2016 was door opening for Cindy and I that we had not expected to step through but we did with faith, leaving family members, and Church family behind to experience what God had planned for us and others to share in. We have experienced sorrow of separation, laughter of meeting new friends, explored a new culture, and stepped into the world of servitude instead of leadership. We are learning what God’s Word says about our ownership regarding our lives (1 Corinthians 6:19 and Acts 20:24).
Following the last posting, our lives stepped into the ending of our first semester serving at ECA and ministering in various ways in the community and Madrid, and into the Christmas season. We were able to revisit Jamie at his place of work and give him and his fellow workers each a candy cane with an attached inscription as to the meaning of the cane with its colors. Cindy had the opportunity to visit with a lady who attached herself to us as conversational neighbors. Cindy invited another lady, whom we have met on the bus, to come to Immanuel Baptist Church “Carols by Candlelight” service and she came. We have become part of team for a new ministry program called “Zone Ministry” at Immanuel Baptist. The closing season was full and we needed a break to refresh and gain new direction so off we went.
Berlin, Germany became our first stop for a break. We spent four days there meeting people, experiencing the culture, and visiting memorials and shops. Berlin is a city of bondage and freedom remembrances and yet tied into the present with it’s modern buildings and modern human thinking. We visited Sachsenhausen (WWII Nazi Concentration Camp), Reichstag building, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie, and the Brandenburg Gate. Our highlight of visiting Berlin was seeing two Rabbi setting a lighted Star of David on a massive Hanukkah in front of the Brandenburg Gate and meeting a Jewish man named Boaz and his son during the concentration camp tour. The highlight of meeting this man and his son was the desire of our hearts to meet him again coming to fruition. Cindy and I had a short talk with him the day of the tour and so desired to talk with him again because we had some questions and wanted to share the Messiah Jesus Christ with him and his son and Cindy wanted to ask him if he knew what tribe he was from. God gave us the desire of our hearts the next day in a totally different area of Berlin on a subway platform. There was Boaz and his son standing there amongst the crowd and we four spotted each other and began conversing. We told him that our meeting was not by chance but God designed. He lives in Jerusalem and we are now in contact with each other via email. Please keep him and us in prayer as we reach out to him regarding God’s message of eternal freedom and hope.
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the Stone of Death
The Giant Hanukkah and the Rabbi with the Star of David