This is the ninth testimony in our ongoing series of posts regarding how saints have participated in the Lord’s move to Europe through praying, giving, and going. Our hope is that many will be encouraged by these testimonies and that the Lord will gain our cooperation to be one with Him in His move in Europe!
Before going to the Full-time Training in Anaheim I did a one-year exchange in Sweden which gave me the experience of living in Europe. Then in the training I heard more intensively about the burden for the Lord’s move in Europe. Whenever I heard the burden for Europe in the training, it touched me so much that I was in tears and I knew inwardly that the Lord would send me to Europe at a certain point. I had the burden but the Lord did not open up the environment for me to move right away.
Before graduating from the training, I fellowshipped with some brothers my desire to eventually move to Europe as a serving one. In response, a brother suggested that I go either as a working one or as a student, mainly because of visa problems. So I stayed in Southern California and served on a college campus for one and a half years. During that time, I applied to go to school in Sweden and Germany. While I was serving I was also trying to learn German by listening to audio programs in the car on the way to and from campus. After I got into a school in Germany I fellowshipped with another brother if I should go. His answer was “why not”. The environment had been opened up for me and there was no objection inside me. So I moved to Berlin, Germany in 2009. In 2011, I finished a master’s program and moved to Düsseldorf, Germany for a job. That was the year the saints first started breaking bread in Düsseldorf. Since then I have been living and working in Düsseldorf and I am now a permanent resident in Germany.
Coming as a student and then working made my transition to Germany pretty smooth compared to other saints who migrated. However, the language was definitely a challenge. When I first moved to Germany, my German was not that good and the saints could not speak English well. Not knowing the language was a hindrance for me to have deep fellowship with the local saints. Now the saints here can speak better English and I can speak better German, so those who move now will have fewer problems. However, this is still an important point that we have to consider in order to be built up with the local saints. Having good language skills can bring us to another level of fellowship.
Being in a small/new church life is not so easy. However, it has forced me to function to my capacity since there are no other older saints to carry the burden. I had to make the bread for the table meeting and serve for both the children’s meeting and the young people’s meeting. Serving in this way was such a salvation for me to grow and expand my capacity and function. It was definitely challenging when I first started serving in various ways but it was always a joyful experience. Seeing the young people growing in life and pursuing the Lord is especially rewarding to me after being physically exhausted from serving them.
The situations/needs in Germany have been mentioned much in the recovery in the last two years so you have heard about the work for refugees, how there are now so many in the meetings in Germany. We definitely need the manpower to take care of them since they are all new believers.
As a local saint we also have the burden to build up the small vital groups which really can function as a nest to take care of the new ones (either local Germans or refugees). Since we had quite a few saints who have migrated in Düsseldorf, we had to be first built up as a vital group. I am in a small group with two couples; one couple migrated from England and one couple moved to Germany 6-7 years ago. I enjoy very much coordinating in this small group and being built up in a sweet and intimate way to take care of new German families. And this morning a new family from our small group showed up to the Lord’s table meeting. They enjoyed the meeting so much and their two kids enjoyed the children’s meeting.
We need more family/saints who have varied experiences to be patterns. I feel that we still need to learn how to serve in the children’s meeting, young people’s meeting, campus meeting and home meetings, and to hear the saints’ healthy church life experiences. Most of the saints in Europe are recently saved or did not experience a healthy/rich church life where shepherding was supplied through serving ones or older saints. There are a lot of saints who joined the gospel trips to Germany, yet not many have migrated to fill the need. However, there is already progress as we open to each other and are in oneness in doing everything! I pray that many more patterns will come and join the church life in Europe! It is not an easy way but it has been such a wonderful experience that I will never regret my decision to move to Europe! -Sister in Düsseldorf, Germany
Click here to read the previous testimony.