When God began to stir our hearts for the people living in Berlin we began to read and do as much research as we could on this place. Every person we spoke to told us of the spiritual darkness here. It is a place of significant occultic activity. It has been called the Atheist capital of the world. We have been told that the people are cold and difficult to get to know. We have been told that it takes a long time to get to know a person. We were warned that it could take a very long time of 'plowing' before you see any sort of fruit at all.
When we arrived we spent the first little while getting settled and getting our bearings. Then we began the work for which God has sent us. At first we saw exactly what had been told to us. Significant occultic activity, lot's of people who have no concept of God, difficult to engage people in conversation. Speaking candidly, this was frustration and a little disheartening. But then there is Jesus..........
Once Jesus was with 5000 men and maybe three times that amount of women and children. He told his disciples to give them some food. His disciples explained that the amount of food they had would only feed maybe one small person. Jesus took it and gave thanks and it was enough for everyone. Jesus and the disciples saw the EXACT same thing. Yet Jesus saw what He had not what He lacked.
We began to look at the city through the lens of what Jesus is already doing. He is the one who said that the HARVEST is plentiful and that we need more workers for the HARVEST. If we see our job as sowers we never look for the HARVEST. If we see our job as HARVESTERS then we see the HARVEST. As we began to see the city from the perspective of Jesus absolutely everything changed.
We, literally, are working with so many people right now we are running out of time in the day. And it is not just immigrants.....we are seeing a significant spiritual hunger in Germans too. The harvest is truly plentiful!
I was having a conversation with a man who works here in Berlin and he was noticing that there is a 'revival' (of sorts) in virtually every area of the city. Architecture, arts, government, population, culture, ethnic groups, food, business, and yes even spiritually. You cannot help but notice the massive amounts of Christian mission workers moving into this city.
This week we saw a very influential man who is very devoted to his religion take some major steps toward Jesus. This week we have seen a young girl tell our daughter and her friend she wants to follow Jesus. This week we have seen a husband and wife from a very difficult country catch a vision for reaching their people in this city and in their home country. This week we have seen German pastors catch a renewed vision and hope for the work that they are doing. We got to see it. We did not do it. It was Jesus at work, we just got front row seats.
We would like to challenge everyone who reads this blog to see your city or your context through the eyes of Jesus. What is He doing? Do you see the darkness? That is good! Because the light (Jesus) shines brightly in the darkness. When you see darkness you will see Jesus shining. We also want to challenge the way you pray for your city. Instead of asking God to 'do something in your city' instead ask Him for eyes to see what He is already doing. Look at the people God has placed all around you? Are they believers or unbelievers? If they are believers then encourage them and pray for them. If they are unbelievers then tell them your personal faith story, share Jesus with them, and pray for them.
Jesus is the one moving. Jesus is the one working. We are just want to follow after Him.