28 March, 2011

I Saw What I Saw, and I Can't Forget It

Nearly a year ago I went to Germany for the first time. I went with a group from my church, on a mission to provide encouragement and support, but also to learn from, the Berlinprojekt, Kreuzbergprojekt, and Hamburgprojekt communities. I do not think that "life-changing" is too strong a description for the impact of that trip upon me. Chills still run up and down my spine when I remember being given the opportunity to help serve the Lord's Supper to my German brethren; tears still well up in my eyes when I remember the faces of the Hamburgprojekt team, shining with glory. After returning to the States I went to a Sara Groves concert with a friend. I had only heard of couple of her songs and was mainly going so that I could hang out with my friend. But I was overcome when she played "I Saw What I Saw." Granted, I hadn't just been to a third world country or witnessed extreme material poverty; but I had spent a week with people who indeed, in their courage and devotion and persistent hope, asked me what I was afraid of and what I knew of love. Walking through Prenzlauerberg, walking through Kreuzberg, walking down the Reeperbahn - "Something on the road cut me to the soul."

Last month I had the unexpected opportunity to go to Berlin again. This time, it was for work, but I made sure to take a few personal days so that I could spend the weekend with some friends and worship at Berlinprojekt. I loved once again singing to the Lord in German, knowing that He understood. I loved taking Communion, knowing that this corporate confession and the work of the Spirit are not bound by language. I loved listening -- I was struck by the intermittent sounds of children around the auditorium and up in the nursery. There were not so many children a year ago, I thought. But now -- now this place is teeming with children who will in time be able to say (unlike their parents, probably) that there was never a day that the church was not part of their lives, never a day that they did not know the Lord. And they will go out into all of Berlin, all of Germany, carrying their hope. God wants to enfold every nation into His kingdom, and He is faithful, generation unto generation.

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