A lot has been going on since we returned from Kiel, Germany. We continue to do our water projects, mostly in Paraguay and Nicaragua with our missionary colleagues there. However, with the COVID pandemic we cannot do any international travel. So we both have been praying about how we could be more effective locally in Kingdom work. Well, it seems that our time at the International Church of Kiel really prepared us well! In July of this year Ed began serving as a Lay Pastor at a small rural church near our home, Concord United Methodist Church. On September 1st he was assigned by the District Superintendent as the Supply Pastor of Concord UMC and Union Chapel UMC – another small rural church nearby. We preach at Concord UMC at 9:30 and then at Union Chapel UMC at 11:00. We have really been blessed to be a part of these two wonderful congregations.
On the last Sunday of our time with Kiel Church, 39 countries had been represented in the congregation. We had a political refugee from Syria; a Christian from Iraq; a medical doctor from Kenya; a graduate student studying the cultivation of wheat from Switzerland; a woodworker who made furniture from New Zealand; an optician from Russia; a professor of international criminal law from U.K.; students from Albania, India, U.S., Thailand to name a few; a professor of international economics from Nigeria by way of Italy; a Christian journalist from Sweden; 2 business men from Singapore who were only in town for 3 weeks. We enjoyed several people at church who were from Germany, as well as a person from Romania, and someone from Peru (we got to practice our Spanish). These are just a few of the people we met. What is amazing is that these folks found the church on the Internet. Pastor Yenish has done an excellent job of creating an Internet presence for the church. These people come because they have sought out the church – they walk, ride a bike, ride a bus or train. Some with cars drive over 1 hour on Sunday afternoons. All who want to attend an English speaking church.
Our time in Kiel came to an end on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. On Monday night, we were invited to spend the night in Hamburg with Pastor Hartmut & his wife Irene. Both are pastors for the Methodist Church of Germany. Pastor Irene made cheese fondue, using cheese she had brought from Switzerland, her home country; it was amazing! It was a pleasure to spend our last night talking about Kiel Church and the many wonderful things that’s happening in the lives of the congregants. We are often asked what was our favorite part of Germany. We have to say the people. Everyone we met was warm, engaging, and inviting. We were invited into homes, and to have tea or coffee at small pastry shops.
This is a place we’ve worked that we would definitely consider working again!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our blog about our time in Germany. If you have any questions or comments, please drop us an email, or respond at the end of this section. We look forward to hearing from you!