Are you still basking in the joy of the Resurrection? We had wonderful time of celebrating with our church family as we remembered, worshiped and feasted together, starting on Thursday evening and ending Sunday afternoon. It’s interesting to note that the celebration, the sense of euphoria, seemed to be lacking among the disciples after the Resurrection …
“Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberius. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas …, Nathanael, from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,“ Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.” John 21:1-3
Although they had witnessed the empty grave and Jesus had physically joined them at least once before this account (and some of them possibly two or three times), they seem confused, down, and filled with uncertainty. So much so, that Peter decides to go fishing. Whether he was actually thinking of returning to his former life and work or that he just needed to busy himself as a distraction, as a way of coping – we don’t know. Either way, the experience of the Resurrection had not yet translated into the transformation power of the Resurrection for the motley crew of disciples and followers of Jesus. But the euphoria is yet to come – on Pentecost - with the amazing, life-giving, transformation power through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Did you know that Easter is culturally celebrated for 7 weeks in Germany?! How awesome is that! Each Sunday has a celebratory name and theme, starting with Easter and ending with Pentecost. So, we are still celebrating ; ).
This is a reminder to us that we are on a journey, both in our personal lives and our public and ministry lives. And here we are in April 2018. Our last letter to you was in December 2017 Sorry about the long pause. As you all know, we were on the road for 7 weeks in September/October and then in November/December in the USA and Canada, visiting churches and supporters. This was an intense time of travel and meetings. We are thankful to report that our monthly support deficit has been reduced from $2700 to $400 a month. Many of you also gave special gifts that transported us into the black. Thank you so much. It also was an intense and amazing time of conversation with many of you about our ministry. We definitely felt God’s leading in these conversations. We arrived home in early December and plunged into all the preparations for Christmas that had been left unattended while we were gone. As we stopped to catch our breath, we both came to the realization that we were exhausted – and also the realization that we are catching up to our age – not quite able to produce the energy that was available to us 26 years ago when we arrived in Germany.
But, we continue to be very busy. Sue has had a full teaching schedule at the State School for Public Administration and also was asked to lead a workshop in intercultural competence at our annual GEM Germany gathering. Jason has juggled his roles as pastor, Cologne city leader, GEM Germany leadership team, and leadership on the newly resurrected (!) Consultation for Church Planting in Germany.
And we are experiencing some setbacks that make us long for Pentecost moments. E. has continued to deal with difficult family issues that are testing his faith. The location that we were so hoping to rent as a stable church facility has fallen through. PLEASE PRAY for these two requests. Also PRAY for Sue’s ongoing teaching, presentation, and training assignments. PRAY for the nation-wide Consultation for Church Planting event on June 18-19. Yes, and also PRAY for physical health and wellbeing. We are more convinced than ever of our calling and the current responsibilities that HE has given us for ministry. Thank you for partnering and standing with us.
Jason and Sue