Neukolln / by David Campbell


Today was a mixed bag of events. I guess in missions it is widely understood that you hold your plans loosely. From the beginning it didn't start like I had hoped. First of all, even though we were in Germany, we did not prepare for the weather being this cold. We decided that we had to find some cold protection for the kids or we would have a frost bite situation to deal with. We took the train into Gesundbrunnen to catch the U-Bahn to Neukolln. Our goal was to find a person of peace, a la Luke 10. At the train station at Gesundbrunnen we found a mall in which to buy gloves, hats, and more appropriate winter apparel versus our Texas winter apparel. This took much longer than I expected but was necessary. By this time it was lunch time and every body was starving.

By the time we ate lunch Jacob could barely keep himself awake from Jetlag. Since Keri had just gotten over the flu (literally days ago) Keri offered to take the kids with Heather and her kids back to the Gnadenhaus.

Rob and I left for Neukolln seeking for someone in whom God was already at work. We rode the U8 subway to Hermannplatz and got off. We took off walking hoping to find this person. Yet perhaps it was the cold, perhaps it was fear, perhaps it was the language barrier - whatever the case we found no one. It was not that there where no people it rather everyone seemed to be headin someone. It was difficult to even make eye contact. I was becoming more and more discouraged.

After walking quite a distance, we finally decided that it would be a good idea to get some Turkish Coffee. I had never had Turkish Coffee so I thought this was a good idea and an opportunity to warm up. The only problem was finding a coffee shop it the district in which we were in. W walked and walked and finally found a coffee shop, coincidently, directly across he street from the train station.

Going in, we found it to be very quiet. We ordered Turkish coffee and sat down. The young lady working there brought us Turkish Tea instead of Coffee. Oh well, another plan dies hard. Rib and I sat discussing various approaches to Muslim ministry. As we spoke two men came in with an iPad playing a video game of some kind. We tried to strike up conversation and we basically learned that they were Afghans but the conversation could not go much past that. Even being bold enough to ask about Islam did not seem to get us anywhere.

Suddenly the young lady who was working behind the counter came out and asked if we liked our tea. We were able to engage in conversation and learned that she is Turkish but born in Germany and hopes to die in Germany one day. Her parents immigrated years ago, so she speaks German, Turkish, and English. Anyway, we asked if we could pray for her. Se looked confused and asked if we wanted to pray right here, right now. That must have sounded a little odd to her. We explained that God is greater than anything we can imagine, He is Holy and perfect and He has the ability to hear prayers anywhere that we may pray them. We also explained that because God is so good and perfect that He will not hear the prayers of someone who is a sinner. God is far too great to do that. Se agreed with us on all points so far. Because we have all done bad we are all sinners and so God will not listen to our prayers because of our sin. But I said that I now my sins are forgiven because of Jesus. He took my punishment by dying on the cross. I stated that only Jesus never sinned and that Jesus did many mighty miracles. Because Jesus took my sins God will listen to me because of Jesus. This, we explained, was why we wanted to pray for her- because we have access to God through Jesus.

So we asked how we could pray for her and she explained that her grandmother has Alzheimer's. so we prayed for this young lady and that her grandmother may be healed and that this lady might see the massive amount of love that Jesus had for her and that she could have her sins forgiven in Jesus. She was very appreciative and while we prayed and spoke of Jesus the two afghani men were extremely quiet and listening patiently to the whole conversation. After our prayer the men were much more cordial it seemed. We bid them all a farewell and said good bye - leaving a gospel tract in German as to "How To Know God."

Making our way back was filled with twists and turns and getting lost and being on the wrong train platform but we finally made if back. We gathered for dinner at a small Italian eatery in which our waiter was a Muslim man from Kosovo. He was very kind to us and allowed us to ray over him but due to language constraints I am not sure how much of the gospel was shared/communicated.

What might happen if this young lady goes home and finds her grandmother with a restored mind? What might happen from that? Only God know and He is free to do as He chooses. It is late now, and I am having trouble sleeping. May The Lord bless tomorrow abundantly and may here be tremendous fruit.