Missions Development...#9, or "Just a few minor details is all..."

We left Budapest (& Romania) in our rear-view mirror – I was thankful to have survived our trip & all the drama, sex, & danger of the Hotel Dacia… we were picked up at the Frankfurt Airport (Fraport) & taken to lunch with Johannes for bratwurst, handkäse mit music (a vinegar hardened stinky cheese covered with onions,) & apfelwein (a wine made out of apples, which is a Frankfurt specialty.)

Keep in mind that this is happening in May ’97 - & that the purpose of this scouting trip was to prepare for a missions trip to Romania in August ’97. I was introduced to the “German way” – when Johannes told us what he’d been doing in the few days we’d been in Hungary/Romania – evidently, Germans like to plan, & to have little things like “a few minor details” together well in advance… Johannes had a ‘mock up’ itinerary of what we could be doing if we were to return to Germany for a mission in August ’98… as the German Foursquare National Youth Movement was already preparing for an outreach in several cities at that time. Johannes, Fearless Leader, Nate, & myself talked for a couple of hours about the possibility of about coming to Germany in 1998 to provide support for their outreach & to build relationship with the youth & leaders that would be participating.

Here’s what was proposed, discussed, & pseudo-planned:
  • There will be a team of Germans, made up of students & leaders from the Foursquare churches within Germany, making it a ‘national event’ for the Movement.

  • We would bring a team of Americans, made up from our church in Carson City, & some others from our District.

  • For Phase 1, the first 3 days, all the Germans & Americans would gather at a campground just outside of Frankfurt – to spend time together, get to know each other – eat – worship – & prepare. This meant that the German/American teams would be split up into 3 mini-teams for specific teaching & preparation for where each of the mini-teams would be going in the next phase of the mission.

  • Phase 2, the next 7 days, the 3 mini-teams would head to the places that they would be going – 1 group going to Berlin, 1 to Mainz, & 1 to Kiensburg (a small ‘city/village’ of about 1500 in the south-eastern part of the country.) Then, each of the teams in the 3 cities would work together under the coordination of the local German church… believing that the local congregation would know best what they would like to do for outreach. The German/American teams would function in support for the local church outreach, providing man & woman power.

  • Phase 3, then, for the next 7 days: all 3 teams would come back together in Frankfurt – to do outreach with the local Frankfurt congregation (where Johannes was the youth pastor) in Frankfurt’s downtown – using what the local church usually used to connect with their city – random acts of kindness; drama; music; sharing of personal testimonies, & a open-air presentation of the gospel.

  • And, of course, all of these things would be confirmed by a ‘scouting’ trip – one where we’d come to Germany & visit each of the potential venues, meet with the local pastors, & plot out the specifics for each day (hour even?) of our time in-country.

  • Just a few minor details? I don’t think so – I had the sense that I was already more prepared for Germany ’98 than I was for Romania ’97… & by the end of our discussion, I was FEELING it. This resonated with me, in my guts. This was the kind of thing that I’d hope to be able to be a part of – something that would seemingly be beneficial to the local church(es), the kind of initial connection that would facilitate (or at least make available) a longer term connection for the building of relationships – I couldn’t wait…

    Johannes took us back to the airport so that we could catch our flight back to the UK … when he dropped us off, he prayed for each of us (a story in itself.) When he prayed over me, I remember him saying, “God has given you a pastor’s heart. You can embrace it. It’s good, & it fits you.” (Reference this POST for more on this.)

    This made 3x in the space of 2 weeks that 3 strangers had said basically the same thing to me – & I believe that it was 3x in order to remind me that this wasn’t something of my own creation - it had nothing to do with my dad being a pastor – it was a gentle hint, a nudge really, towards something that God would open up for me in the appropriate time, in the right place, as I would keep saying, “Yes” to Him & to what He’d put in front of me.

    And we flew home - London to San Francisco. The 3 of us talked briefly about what had stood out to us about our trip, & made some tentative plans for what would be happening over the next 3 months as we got ready for Romania... but mostly we slept, or tried to sleep...I discovered that the end of a trip is not the best time to strategize, as by that time, you just want it to be over, to be home, to shower, & to sleep in your own bed...

    Coming up:
    Final preparations for Romania '97.
    A few signs that there was trouble ahead.
    And the trip to end all trips.

    1 launchings into the blogosphere....:

    Shani said...

    I cant wait to hear what happened in Romania. I remember going to some of the first meetings for the Romania 97 trip but then I couldnt go and I dont remember why but Im looking forward to reading more.