Annegret and I have been getting over our illnesses. Annegret had a sore throat that was not getting any better, so we went and saw the doctor for it. After one expensive visit and a fairly inexpensive prescription later we are treating the strep throat with antibiotics and seeing a huge improvement.
We have been incredibly busy this past weekend. There was several conferences and events this weekend held under the name
#JusticeYEG. These events are focused around justice issues in the city of Edmonton. These events are for the community to gain awareness, but also for those who are working in these justice issues to connect with each other.
On Sunday Annegret and I had an opportunity to go to an event focused specifically on Sexual Exploitation and Prostitution. The speakers where refreshing to hear and it was an amazing opportunity to connect with organizations that are working on this topic locally. We made some good connections out of this event and we hope to connect further with these people in the coming weeks.
Annegret and I safely arrived in Canada late on tuesday wednesday night. We got picked up from the airport by my father, and I was able to have my first Icecap in over a year right away! It was a fantastic way to be greeted. Annegret and I are staying with my parents for now, however we are praying and looking for a place to stay so that there can be more room. We thank each of you who took time to support us in getting us to Canada.
I also want to take a moment to thank each of you who helped get me a birthday gift, We were able to go to the Apple store in Edmonton and buy my iPhone 5S (silver if you must know). It is a fantastic upgrade, and has allowed me to give Annegret my old iPhone to replace her nearly dead HTC.
We are resting and dealing with our jet lag still and hope to be able to get fully on our feet by next week, where we will continue researching our film, as well as trying to connect with local churches and ministries. We are also praying for opportunities to speak about our projects and find more people who would like to support us.
I packed up everything I owned, yet again. This time Annegret and I have moved all of our stuff to her parents place to store while we are away from Germany.
It feels strange once again, but it is also exciting, and I am really excited to see what will comes next. Annegret and I will be purchasing our tickets in the next few days, and will be flying to Canada on the 30th of October. We look forward to meeting with those of you who are there, and connecting with new people.
I attached an image of all of the stuff I packed up from my old room right before we loaded it up in our car and drove deep into east Germany. No pictures from the car or the trip, it was a bit of an emotional time leaving our friends in Reformation Centre Erfurt.
This weeks post is a bit more critical then last week, but I feel that it is very important for us to understand this.
Don’t judge people, it absolutely does not matter what they have done, or who they are, or what they believe. Do not judge, the old testament tells us not too, the new testament tells us not too, Paul tells us not too, Christ tells us not too. Yet we so often do, it is a human trait. We judge people by their clothes or their education, or their choices.
Christ asks us us how could help our brother with a speck of saw dust in his eye if we have a whole plank1 in ours. How could we judge other people for being sinners when we ourselves are sinners. We as Christians are supposed to realize just how big of a sinner we are, and how great the grace of Christ is to wash that away.
We also see the story that was told of the man who owed a great debt to the king2. The man begged the king for mercy and was granted it. This is us, we begged God for mercy and where forgiven our debt of sin. Then we are told that this man went to another man who owed him a debt. He demanded to be repaid, and when the man could not, he had him thrown in prison. This is us when we do not forgive others, or judge them. When the King found out about what this man had done, he threw the man who had owed him a great debt in prison. This happens to us when we refuse to forgive others, or hold judgement in our hearts, we become sinful and imprisoned.
How does this apply to witnessing? Witnessing isn’t convincing someone to convert to Christianity, it isn’t trying to change how someone lives their lives, it is not condemning what they do. Witnessing is sharing the testimony of Christ in our loves, sharing how Christ has saved us and helped us in our ways. The early Christians had actually seen Christ, known Him in person, for them witnessing was sharing what they had seen and heard,.
How can the church today judge people, how can we tell Gay people that they should not get married if the church has a higher deforce rate then the national average. How can we condemn abortion or rally to stop homosexuals from adopting, if we are not willing to adopt or foster in our own homes. We need to stop pointing out what everyone else is doing wrong and focus on trying to be an example in doing it right. I am not saying that these things are not sins, I just think it isn’t our job to condemn. In-fact it is a sin for us to be judgemental and condemning people, lets leave that to God and focus on what we are called to do, lets share Chris’s love, and live as examples3 to the world.
This weeks post is going to be fairly quick, and the first in a short series on witnessing.
One of the most important aspects of missions is evangelism and witnessing, and I think it is very important that we carefully consider how we approach it. I have seen many times, and honestly i’m sure even I have done it myself, people starting up relationships with people with the goal of witnessing. I’m going to be friends with this person so I can reach them, it may not be something we say, it may not be something we even consciously do, but it is what we are doing based on our actions. When we bring up the gospel at every opportunity (I mean really shoe horning in there, talking about baseball, bam analogy about Christ’s Love.), or when someone doesn’t respond immediately to the gospel and we feel emotional about it.
Christ didn’t start a relationship with us so that we would have to love Him back. Christ loved us first, so that we may love Him. Christ loves us even if we don’t love Him. Christ died for us despite our hatred of Him. Christ loved us first, and through that unwavering love we can come to know Him and be saved by His Grace.
We should focus on building relationships, loving those who are around us, as hard as it is. We should build relationships that are a model to the world of what a relationship with Christ is. We should be Christ in peoples lives even when they spit on us, or refuse to accept our offer to come to church. We should love them because Christ loved them, not love them so that they become a Christian.