Witnessing with Hand Drums?

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How does offering a drum circle to a group of Refugees advance The Gospel and help build The Kingdom of God?

Simple… It creates an opportunity to spend time with people, engage in conversations and build relationships.

This is just a small part of the work God has for us here in Germany, but an exciting one!

One of the great things we have discovered about the drum circle idea, is that it is one of the few things that will draw men out of the rooms they live in and into the public room at the center. That said, many ladies and children come to the public room as well. It’s fun, and a very simple way to learn more about people… their names, where they come from, what they like to eat, etc.

Most people at the center have at least some German that we can use to communicate. There are other team members who come along that can communicate in Arabic as well. This is a huge help!

My teammates Todd and Terri are typically with me as we engage with this group of people who are at the center. These people are at various stages of attempting to acquire permissions to stay in Germany permanently. Some will eventually be allowed to stay and sadly, some will be deported and sent back to their home countries.

They are here from various countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, many African countries and more with a large percentage of them are Muslim peoples.

The idea of our involvement at the center is to be a witness for Christ, as we and others spend time with them, gain their trust and build relationships.

In addition to spending time at the center involved in various activities, this group of people are often invited to Bible Studies, Holiday events, ESL classes, group meals, game nights, arts and crafts and other times of just hanging out together away from the center. The drum circle is but one point of contact.

What an amazing God orchestratedopportunity to engage people from so many different places 20 minutes away from where we live!

These are men, women and children who have hopes, dreams, problems, questions, needs just like the rest of us! These are God’s people whom He loves!

If bringing a few boxes of drums to a Refugee Center allows us the chance to spend time with God’s people who need Jesus Christ in their lives, then it’s more than worth it!

Thanking God for you all as we have the honor & privilege of being on mission and being your hands feet and voice in this region of the world!

With much love and gratitude in Christ Jesus,

steve, dawn, bianca and sofia

PS – One of the things I was involved with while still in America was “The Rhythmic Arts Project”, an amazing program that uses the drum circle format to work with developmentally delayed individuals with issues such as Down’s Syndrome and Autism. It’s a creative way to teach fundamental academics, develop gross and fine motor skills, build social skills and more. The drums I’m using here in Germany were donated to me by Oak Hills Church. Thanks again!

Check em out!

https://www.trap-learning.org

Some of What’s Next?

  • April 28 & 29 – German Worship Album Project Live Recording with G5 Church
  • May 3-7– Proclaim IC Meetings in France
  • May 28-31– Advance Trip to Budapest Hungary & Novi Sad Serbia
  • June 1 & 2– Worship Conference with G5 Church in Hamburg Germany
  • June 3-9– Ministry Partnership with Proclaim France in Spain
  • July 22-30 – Dawn on mission with Greater Europe Mission Family Camp in France
  • August 10-27 – Evangelistic Campaign in Hungary and Serbia partnering with a group working in Roma villages
  • September 3-5– Advance Trip to Albania
  • October 15-29– Evangelistic Campaign in Albania working with National Churches
More Ongoing:
  • Local, regional and international Ministry planning and development
  • Drum Circle Outreach with Refugees in Kandern & Efringen Kirchen
  • Serving in our local German Church G5 meineKirche
  • Meetings with national believers for on-going recruitment efforts
  • Dawn’s continued work in the Finance office at The Black Forest Academy
  • Evangelistic Outreach Program Development with Team Germany
  • Prayer Requests
    Please pray for Steve’s mom Mary as she has is dealing with some significant health challenges as of late. Please pray for her physical health but most importantly for her salvation!

    Please pray for a close family member who is experiencing a serious chronic health issue.

    Please pray that all we do, all the plans we make are in alignment with God’s will through the leading of The Holy Spirit

    Please pray for all the planning and details regarding the large scale evangelistic campaigns in Hungary & Serbia and Albania Steve is leading this summer

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Local Partner Profile – Stami Kirche

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Helping our Local Partners Create Opportunities for Spiritual Conversations

The Stami Church building may look contemporary and modern, but in fact this church is over 100 years old. Ok, they have only been in this particular building for a little over 2-years. It is a vibrant, thriving church that is very motivated to reach their community for Christ.

We met Pastor Stefan at a local evangelical alliance meeting late last year. At that meeting we had the the opportunity to present our ministry to a group of pastors and share our passion for helping local churches gain visibility in their communities and find creative ways to engage people in the city of Lörrach. At that meeting, Pastor Stefan invited us to come to the church and play music in their coffee house, a small cafe attached to the church building.

So, on February 24th we partnered together and filled the place up! We were given complete freedom to share our lives with people, how God has saved us and what life following Jesus is really all about. Music just created an atmosphere and an opportunity to have members of this church invite friends, neighbors, co-workers etc. to the event. It was a great evening and the church was greatly encouraged! We are confident that there will be great follow up with any new contacts that were made that evening. 

Plans are in the works now for a summer outreach with Stami and Pastor Stefan as well as other opportunities to serve this church.

Stay tuned!

https://www.stami-loerrach.de

Thanking God for you all as we have the honor & privilege of being on mission and being your hands feet and voice in this region of the world!

With much love and gratitude in Christ Jesus,

steve, dawn, bianca and sofia

 Prayer Requests

Please pray for Steve’s mom Mary as she has is dealing with some significant health challenges as of late. Please pray for her physical health but most importantly for her salvation!

Please pray for a close family member who is experiencing a serious chronic health issue.

Please pray that all we do, all the plans we make are in alignment with God’s will through the leading of The Holy Spirit

Please pray for all the planning and details regarding the large scale evangelistic campaigns in Hungary and Albania Steve is leading this summer

Some of What’s Next?

March 9 & 10 – German Kingsway Fellowship Pastor’s Conference

March 17 – Regional Street Evangelism

April 2-6 – Steve will be involved in helping our German Church with a CD project to be used partly for outreach in this region

April 9 – Ministry at local Refugee Center W/Drum Circle

Early Spring TBA – Advance trip to Albania and Hungary for planning

May 3-7 – Proclaim IC Meetings in France

June 1 & 2 – Worship Conference with G5 Church in Hamburg Germany

June 3-9 – Ministry Partnership with Proclaim France in Spain

More Ongoing:

Local, regional and international Ministry planning and development

Drum Circle Outreach with Refugees in Kandern & Efringen Kirchen

Serving in our local German Church G5 meineKirche

Meetings with national believers for on-going recruitment efforts

Dawn’s continued work in the Finance office at The Black Forest Academy

Evangelistic Outreach Program Development with Team Germany

Israel Study Tour

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What a wonderful blessing!

From January 1-8, Dawn and I had the great honor and privilege of going to Israel for a week long study tour. We joined a group of about 20 people on this trip organized through The Black Forest Academy. What a blessing it was to walk where Jesus walked and visit the areas where the bulk of His ministry took place. This was no vacation however. We started with a pre-trip study curriculum through Moody Bible Institute and as we visited the sites of The Holy Land, we stopped several times a day for times of teaching and studying God’s Word. It was a non-stop week but an incredible and humbling time.

It was a rich time as The Bible literally came to life as we were able to experience the scriptures in a new and fresh way. This trip gave Dawn and I a great desire to re-visit so much scripture that we have read before, but now with a different perspective.

Here are the places we were able to visit: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Sea of Galilee, Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Mt. Precipice, Tabgha, Capernaum, Chorazin, Mt. of Beatutides, Mt. Bental, Caesarea Phillipi, Tel Dan, Beth Shean, Qumran, Ein Gedi, Mt of Olives, Gethsemane Pool of Bethesda, Western Wall, The Garden Tomb, Herodium, Church of The Nativity, Temple Mount, Southern Steps and The Israel Museum.

One of the most memorable places we visited was The Sea of Gallilee, which is referred to so many times in God’s Word. We had the opportunity to go on a boat ride to get from one side (of the lake) to the other. As we made the crossing, we could see a peak (see first photo below) in the distance where it is believed that Jesus delivered The Great Commission to His disciples. (Matthew 28:16-20) It was so inspiring to see this place and know that this is where it all started, the actual location where the disciples were sent out from. Some of our team members were even baptized one evening in The Sea of Galilee.

Dawn and I realize what a gift it was to be able to make this trip, a once in a lifetime experience we don’t take for granted and are extremely grateful for.

We come back from this trip with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the work God has us doing in this region of the world and the work you have sent us here to do.

Thank you for all of your on-going prayers, encouragement and support!

With much love and gratitude in Christ Jesus, 

steve, dawn, bianca and sofia

Some of What’s Next?

 
  • February 15-18 – Ima Nade Missions Conference in Croatia
  • Feb. 24 – Church Cafe Outreach in Lörrach Germany
  • March 9 & 10 – German Pastor’s Conference
  • April – Steve will be involved in helping our German Church with a CD project to be used partly for outreach in this region
  • March – Regional Street Evangelism
  • Early Spring – Advance trip to Albania and Hungary for planning 
  • May – Proclaim IC Meetings in France
More Ongoing:
  • Local, regional and international Ministry planning and development
  • Drum Circle Outreach with Refugees in Kandern & Efringen Kirchen 
  • Serving in our local German Church G5 meineKirche
  • Meetings with national believers for on-going recruitment efforts
  • Dawn’s continued work in the Finance office at The Black Forest Academy
  • Evangelistic Outreach Program Development with Team Germany

Prayer Requests

Please pray for Steve’s mom Mary as she has is dealing with some significant health challenges as of late. Please pray for her physical health but most importantly for her salvation!

Please pray for a close family member who is experiencing a serious chronic health issue. 

Please pray that all we do, all the plans we make are in alignment with God’s will through the leading of The Holy Spirit

 

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Ministry Opportunities in Hungary

Feri in Hungary

Colleague Todd, Pastor Feri and Steve in Hungary

As we focus our ministry efforts in The Balkans and South Central Europe, God is orchestrating more opportunities and new potential partnerships in that region of the world.

During our HMA year in America last year, we met Ron and Jeanne who have a ministry in Hungary as well as other countries called Community Health Evangelism (CHE) that focuses on working with Roma people.  This ministry is wholistic in it’s approach seeking to help people escape a cycle of poverty, church planting, issues with preventable disease, women’s ministry, Bible studies, children’s ministry, church planting and of course seeing people come to saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ!

Steve and his colleague Todd were invited to travel to Budapest in early October to meet with partners there who are interested in working together to reach Roma people. Over the course of 3-days we came together, prayed, sought God’s will and leading in what might be possible together and discussed what partnering together might look like.

We believe that God is directing us to come alongside CHE and help them with their ministry efforts. I would lead a Proclaim team that would travel to Hungary and Serbia to focus our evangelistic efforts in two Roma villages spending one week in each of them. We would have evangelistic outreach events using music as a platform to deliver the truth and beauty of The Gospel, have a music camp for students, equip Roma believers for their own future ministry efforts and more.

So pray with us that God would continue to direct our steps, details would come together and that our plans would align perfectly with His plans.

Thank you for all of your on-going prayers, encouragement and support!

With much love and gratitude in Christ Jesus,

steve, dawn, bianca and sofia

 

Prayer Requests

Please pray for Steve’s mom Mary as she has is dealing with some significant health challenges as of late. Please pray for her physical health but most importantly for her salvation!

Pray for our family as Dawn and Steve will be attending Proclaim’s annual conference in just over a week. Bianca and Sofia will stay at home and manage themselves, with some supervision.

Please pray for a colleague who is facing a huge battle for his health. He remains amazingly peaceful in God’s grace. What an inspiration he is to all of us.

What’s Next?

  • In the Fall – Another advance ministry planning trip to The Balkans: Albania & Macedonia
  • November 13-21 – Proclaim’s annual Gathering and Steve’s meetings with the International Council in Budapest Hungary
  • Christmas outreach events here in Germany
  • January 1-8 – Israel Study Tour
More Ongoing:
  • Local, regional and international Ministry planning and development
  • Serving in our local German Church G5 meineKirche
  • Settling back into our flat and getting back into “the groove”
  • Meetings with national believers for on-going recruitment efforts
  • Dawn’s continued work in the Finance office at The Black Forest Academy

 

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A Place to Hang Our Hats!

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Steve with Colleagues Greg, Todd and Karl (Karl not pictured)

For many reasons, this is an exciting time for our team here in Germany! One reason is that we now have an actual office space and storage/rehearsal space here for our team to utilize. This might seem like one of those “duh, of course you should have an office” moments, but we just never had the resources to have a work space before.

Historically we have used our individual homes to work in separately, getting together at times for prayer, projects and fellowship. We believe that having a designated space to come to everyday will help us stay unified, build synergy and stronger relationships. It’s a space we can come to work on individual and group projects. There is nothing it seems that can replace spending time together in the same space to help one another, encourage each other and spur each other on to good works!

We’ve got a fair amount of work to do make the space feel like home but we’ll get there! We’ll post more pictures as the process moves forward.

We praise God for His provision!!

With much love and gratitude in Christ Jesus,

steve, dawn, bianca and sofia

Prayer Requests:
Please pray for our upcoming time in Struga and Hungary for a mission conference and a ministry development trip.

Please pray for favor from the German Visa office. We submitted our applications about a week ago. We expect to hear something within a couple of weeks.

Please pray for Dawn’s aunt Lillian. She was recently diagnosed with Alzheimers and will be moving into a care facility. Dawn will make a trip to the U.S to help her mother Marilyn with this transition.

Please pray for our colleague whose father is in hospice care nearing the end of this life. Please pray for his salvation.

Please pray for our partners in Albania and Macedonia as we move closer to planning and preparing for our part in God’s great Kingdom building work in that region of the world

What’s Next?

  • Ongoing – Continue the move into the new office/storage/rehearsal space
  • In the Fall – Another advance ministry planning trip to The Balkans: Albania & Macedonia
  • Sept 19 – Meeting with the Lörrach Evangelical Alliance for local and regional ministry development
  • September 20-24 – Balkans Mission Conference in Struga Macedonia
  • October 6-9 – Advance Ministry Development Trip to Hungary
  • November 13-21 – Proclaim’s annual Gathering and Steve’s meetings with the International Council in Budapest Hungary
  • January 1-8 – Israel Study Tour
More Ongoing:
  • Local regional and international Ministry planning and development
  • Serving in our local German Church G5 meineKirche
  • Settling back into our flat and getting back into “the groove”
  • Re-Booting our weekly team meetings and devotionals with colleagues here in Germany
  • Meetings with national believers for on-going recruitment efforts

Ministry & Family Update

 

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“We never dreamed that God would use what little we had to offer and allow us to participate in one of the more thrilling creative arts outreach events we’ve seen in this country.”

This is a quote from our colleague Russ after we spent 2-weeks partnering with small churches in an are called The Thau Basin in France.  Clearly Russ was encouraged not to mention the pastors we partnered with.

In addition to larger scale evangelistic events sponsored by local churches, we also went into the community and did impromptu street concerts. This method drew good sized crowds and gave us and church partners the opportunity to engage in conversations about issues of faith and build relationships for ongoing witnessing opportunities.

This campaign was a big deal for local churches who are far too often under resourced and to some degree need encouragement to get out into their communities.

As far as we can tell, 12 people gave their lives to The Lord Jesus during this campaign! Praise God and celebrate with us!!

Plans are already in process to follow up from this campaign and assist our church partners  for sustainable model of ministry.

Peace, grace and love to you all in Christ Jesus,

steve, dawn, bianca and sofia

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This is our new (new to us that is) 2005 Volkswagen Sharan Van. It has 230,500 kilometers on it (143,000 miles) but it was within our budget and it’s a pretty solid ride for family and ministry use. (Wife and dog was not included) Praising God for His provision!

What’s Next?

  • July 31 – Dawn starts her work in the finance office at Black Forest Academy
  • August 5 – Sofia comes home!!
  • August 11-27 – Dawn’s short term mission with Greater Europe mission to the GEM family camp.
  • August 20 – Appointment for German Visa Application – PLEASE PRAY for God’s favor in this process!
  • August 30 – Bianca and Sofia start their 2017-2018 school year at BFA
  • In the Fall – Another advance ministry planning trip to The Balkans: Albania & Macedonia
  • September 20-24 – Balkans Mission Conference in Struga Macedonia
  • November 13-21 – Proclaim’s annual Gathering and Steve’s meetings with the International Council in Hungary
  • January 1-8 – Possible Israel Study Tour
Ongoing:
  • Local regional and international Ministry planning and development
  • Serving in our local German Church G5 meineKirche
  • Settling back into our flat and getting back into “the groove”
  • Preparing to move into our new office space – More info on that to come in the next e-mail blast. VERY exciting!
  • Re-Booting our weekly team meetings and devotionals with colleagues here in Germany
  • Meetings with national believers for on-going recruitment efforts

Thank you for a GREAT night!!

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We wanted to throw a party and you were the special guests!! If you were able to come and spend the evening with us last Saturday April 1st, we pray you enjoyed yourself.

By far, the biggest reason we wanted to get together, was to show our appreciation and communicate how grateful we are for your on-going partnership these last years in advancing The Gospel around the world. Thank you!!

We had the Proclaim band Mercy Street there, live visual artists, great food and desserts, video elements, times of sharing and even vision casting as to what our next 5-year term will look like. If that weren’t enough, God was faithful (as usual) in providing for some resources we needed, like some monthly support we had lost over the last 5-years and also for Bianca and Sofia’s tuition for the 2017-2018 school year. Praise Him!!

If you weren’t able make the evening, we know you still have our back! We missed you but we know timing and the business of life can get in the way.

Our departure time is not far away… early/mid June. There might still be some time to hang out before we leave. Just get in touch or we will try to get in touch with you!

For now, we are encouraged by the amazing community we have with so many great, gracious, generous and loving people like you!

Again…. Thank you for what you do for our family & The Kingdom of God and for your support in our missional calling. We are your hands, feet, eyes and ears in a world that needs reconciliation with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ!

May you be blessed richly and abundantly in Christ Jesus!!

Much love,

steve, dawn, bianca and sofia