A Gambian who has been coming to Casa di Rifugio for nearly two years has grown greatly in his faith. One week he asked, “How can one man pay for the sins of the whole world?”. The week after that he said, “Could you teach me to pray?”. The week after that he sent me an SMS and said, “I believe in the Lord”.
When we started the church in 2016, we were being obedient to what we believed God was leading us to do. We felt that if we would start the church, then God would bring the people. So with 12 people, we decided it was time.
As Mike and Cara Tyler, missionaries to Germany, began to explore ministry needs in their region, they heard the same thing over and over again: “We need more churches in Weil am Rhein.” A town of about 30,000 people, Weil am Rhein (also known as simply Weil) is an ethnically diverse suburb of Basel, Switzerland, and is situated on the Rhein River at the juncture of Germany, Switzerland, and France.
When missionaries Dave and Karmi Buckley look back just a few short years to where their church now stands, all they saw then was need. The Buckleys live in Budapest, a quickly growing city of close to 2 million people that is home to more than 40 colleges and universities. Budapest is a unique city, divided in two parts by the Danube River: Buda, built on the hills on the western side of the river; and Pest, which lies on the much flatter terrain of the eastern shore. But this leading European city in finance, research, and education is divided in a different way inside the Hungarian national church—young, college-aged students are leaving the church in droves.
More than 30 years ago, the last evangelical church in the municipality of Bergen, Netherlands, closed its doors, leaving no evangelical witness for two generations. But a small yet passionate group of Christians believed God for a miracle in their community.
“When we first landed in Germany, the only way I can describe how I felt is that my legs were shaking,” related Elina Charvat, who together with her husband Tyler became missionaries to Germany in 2012. They had never been lead pastors and had never planted a church, yet God had placed a calling on their lives—not only to plant a church, but to plant a church-planting church. As they moved to Leipzig, Germany, in 2016 to plant a church, reality began to set in, and the Charvats began wondering if they had made a mistake.
Attention all prayer warriors! On Friday, December 21, the Bulgarian Parliament will hold a vote on the Religious Denominations Act, which is controversial legislation that could strongly impact the work of the national church and other workers there.
While on the field, missionaries find themselves in unique situations and sometimes, a quick text or a brief phone call is all that is afforded in any given moment. I was reminded recently of an incident that may have just been a bit of a “communication breakdown.” Perhaps my experience can help you in your relationships and in your communication skills.