Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 18, 2014
 "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

       It has been a while since my last update, and much has happened since I spoke with many of you at the LVC annual meeting.  Many of you who are not members of LVC, and receive my updates have heard even less, so it is time I share with you all that God is doing, and I will try to explain it all as brief as I can.

·                Many of you have been praying for Rafiq and I am happy to report that your prayers are being answered.  Rafiq is growing strong in the Lord, and has a great hunger for God’s word.  He has already expressed that when he is done with his master’s degree in finance he would like to study theology.  Despite his family rejecting him, Rafiq grows strong.  He told me, “The only thing I can figure out is that God wanted to save me so that more people in my family and in Bangladesh will hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”  Please pray that Rafiq can find a job to support himself.  He also wants me to thank those who have financially blessed him so that he can continue to study in Germany. 
o   Please pray for Rafiq’a friend Anika.  Rafiq has shared much with her, and I have had the opportunity to show her from scripture what the Gospel is, and how we can be reconceled to God.  Pray she understands her need for a Savior and comes to Christ.

·                   God has opened up a door for me to support an intern at the church.  Nicolas von Brandenstein is a deacon at IBC Cologne and a student at the Cologne Academy for Art and Design.  Nick is someone that I have been discipling since I came to Germany, and is one of the people I believe God is building up to help lead in this church.  During Nick’s studies he is mandated to do a six month internship, and I felt it would be great for the church to utilize his skills in Internet design, marketing design, and communication.  Nick will be helping us finish the website, as well as create videos and blogs to better communicate with the church and to reach out into the city.  Further, Nick and I will be working together to build our home group ministries and is working to start a new group in the north side of Cologne in the next month.  IBC agreed to pay Nicolas 300 euros a month, but that is not much to live on, and he will not be able to work during his internship.  Therefore Kristen and I are using an additional 400 euros a month from our support to help cover his costs.  I believe this to be a great investment into God’s kingdom work.  We are praying after his studies are finished that Nicolas and his wife Jackie can move to Wyoming for a year to attend the WEST Institute.  Please be praying for Nick’s ministry now and for God to open doors for him to study at the WEST in 2015.
Nick and Jackie von Brandenstein

·               We have been praying for the father of our friend Rojan, who attends IBCC.  Rojan;s father, Bahram, was an Atheist who escaped from Iran in the 70’s to run from the Islamic regime that was coming into power.  During his treatment he rejected offers for people to come and pray with him and share the Gospel.  However, on Feb 26th one of the ladies from IBC went to the hospital unannounced to pray for him.  She shared the Gospel and he prayed to receive Christ.  The next day he allowed me to come in and share from the Bible who Jesus is, and what he offers.  I was able to share from Luke 5 about the paralyzed man, and how Jesus healed the man with a word in order to show that he had the Son of God had authority to forgive sins, and that all who believe in Jesus will be saved.  He prayed with me and agreed with the scripture I shared with him.  20 minutes after I left, Barham fell asleep and never woke up.  He died at 3:30 the next day.  One week later I was able to officiate the funeral of Barham and there were almost 300 people, mostly Persian and Kurdish, in attendance.  Not only did Barham give his life to Christ, but because of this we were able to abundantly sow the Gospel of Christ to so many more.

       We have officially been in Germany one year now, and we have been able to see people saved, three baptized, and more have joined the church are beginning to get involved in the life and ministry of IBC Cologne.  To God e the glory for the great things he has done!  Many of us believe 2014 is going to be a very important year, and have a deep feeling in our hearts that the Holy Spirit is preparing a great harvest.  Thank you for your prayers, and for your support and encouragement. 

Kristen on the Bridge between east and west Cologne

Maggie, Jesse, Emma, Teddy

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