30 November 2004

newsletter july-nov 04


Wow. I don’t know where to start- God has done so many amazing things in and through me in the last three months. At first I didn’t understand His plan, but now I am more and more beginning to...

In July I sent a prayer letter out about the threat of being evicted. We were. My world seemed to break in on itself, I was just beginning to call this place home. Since the end of july, all of my belongings have been in a friends basement except a small suitcase with a few changes of clothes. The film shoot for “Mutprobe” had to be postponed, and I began a stressful and unsuccessful search for a new room.

The end of the month was Freakstock, the Jesus- and- Music- Festival of the Jesus Freaks. Usually I translate the main seminars, but this year they needed me to work security. That means 8 hour shifts in the sun saying “can I see your card, please?” It also meant missing the seminars. I was able to meet a lot of people, though, sitting there, and used the time to also counsel a few people who stopped by. If anyone is looking for a good time to travel in Europe, make it July and come to Freakstock.

After Freakstock I headed to Copenhagen, Denmark for the Heartcore school. The concept is to be hardcore after the heart of God and to let Him work on our heart’s core. I learned how to be free in the Lord, to want to be with Him instead of feeling pressure to. We were about ten people there, and we also went out of the church and did outreach. On Friday night we held a candlelight midnight church service in a garage in Christiania. Christiania is a walled-in part of the city that has been squatted since the 70s by alternative groups. The law doesn’t apply there, and drugs can be seen openly sold and consumed on the street. Sandra and John, two Jesus Freaks, have been living there for awhile and have a heart for this little place. I went around with a traditionally dressed pastor and passed out invitations and spoke to people in the bars and on the street. The people were open to hearing about God and what we believe. The other increadible thing that happened in Copenhagen is that I started a worship band with a guy I met there. We just met to worship and began singing songs together that don’t exist, so we wrote them down and taught them to the group. Mom even laughed when I told her I sing and play djembe, I was so out of tune. The school ended on my birthday and I made it back to Hamburg to church and to have dinner with a few friends.

September started off with a week of improvised street theater and actions in the capital- Berlin. The Jesus Freaks got together to make sure that the normal people who stay home on the weekend or leave the city wouldn’t miss out on this years Jesus Day. On Sep 11 was a huge march through the capital, with live music and banners, and different speakers on different stages, all for Jesus. The problem is, there are so many Christians there on that day that the rest of Berlin traditionally hides. So the freaks went out Monday thru Friday to catch the city on its way to work, school, or shopping. It was a week where I not only experienced God working through us, but also His provision and answers to prayer. There’s no way I can tell all the stories in one email, so I will pick out a few of the highlights.

Monday night on my way home in the streetcar I overheard two girls about my age talking. The conversation went back and forth, the one girl being upset and the other more interested in these “odd christians” that were in the city today. As the conversation went on, the one girls said “the worst is, I cant get the songs outta my head!” and the other said “yeah!…(and began singing) Jesus, you are the son of God…”

Berlin is the largest city in Germany, it’s nearly impossible to run into the same person twice. But not for God! A few days later, we had just finished our street theater performance, and a young couple came up. “Yeah.. we saw you Monday at Alexanderplatz.. and then Tuesday at Bahnhoff Zoo, and now here.. so what is this all about, anyway?” wow.. it took three times before they actually stopped!

You guys can handle one more story, right? The last night we walked through town singing and held a church service in the park. The problem was, I couldn’t walk fast enough due to my back. So they put me in a supermarket wagen and pushed, I sat there holding a large wooden cross and passing out flyers. At one point the others were in a bar passing out flyers, and I sat outside. A group of people about my age came by and asked why I was sitting there, and suddenly I began to preach! This was my first street preaching experience- and unplanned- usually I do the theater and someone else explains it. I told them I had been bought at a high price- the blood of Jesus.. and so on. They stood and listened (I expected them to laugh and go away, but they listened and asked more questions!)

The short version of the rest: open-to-all-picnics, spontaneous death, posters on the train, passing out burgers, foot washing, streetcar chanting, punks bar evangelizing, concert mixing, bridges, and crowd shouting.

Ok, I’ll move on, even though I could spend a week on testimonies from that week. The next weekend I was in Regensburg helping to lead a regional camp for the freaks there. They had set an ad in the paper inviting anyone who wanted to come to an improv theater workshop. It was awesome! A very mixed group in terms of experience and belief. After three and a half hours of the two hour workshop we decided to stop! Even though we went over time, the people stayed and asked questions. They wanted to know more about me and what I believe. It was an awesome example of God using our life as a testimony. I hadn’t even planned to give testimony, but ended up speaking a half hour about what I have experienced with God.

October was equally exciting! it started off with a regional-north meeting of the Jesus Freaks that has changed the focus of my room search. The seminar was about vision, and in the course of the weekend it became clearer and clearer where I need to be. I have had an idea for four years, but I knew it wasn’t time for it yet. Now may be the time! The idea is to open a Christian arts café. I could go into details, but I won’t. Since the idea has been back in my head I have met several others who have the same vision. One is Sandra, a girl from my church in hamburg, who also carries this idea since 2000. and the other is the jesus freaks group in Bremen. It’s a small church (9 people) with a heart for evangelism and growth.. but no one who has an evangelistic gifting! They have invited me to move to Bremen.

The next weekend was Jesus Punks in Celle. This is a sub-movement of the Jesus Freaks, for punks and people interested in punk ministry. I do a lot with punks, so I went. The weekend was about being a light in the scene. What does it mean to be a Christian, and how do I live it? There was a short sermon, but the majority of our time was spent talking to each other and learning from each other. I became the quardian for a 13 year old runaway from Bremen, and was able to talk with her a lot and even see that the following week she returned to her father.

Then I went to Kassel to help the Jesus Freaks with an info stand at the university to talk to people about God and help new students find a church if they were looking. Then we threw a “praise party” in the university club… basically a praise and worship concert. And this Saturday was my first sermon in a church! With mic and all.. I spoke on 2 samuel 5:4 (david was 30 years old when he became king, and he reighned 40 years) and what it means to me. For everyone who doesn’t quite get it, that’s ok.. it took me 15 minutes to explain. It has to do with where a lot of people in my age are at, a thing called the quarterlife crisis, davids story, and me.

Then I went to Stuttgart to the Jesus Freaks women’s retreat with guest speaker jodi pierce. This is one of those weekends where so much happened that no words can discribe! The teaching was awesome, for the first time in a year I wished it would never stop. The fellowship was also special. And yeah, we went on the streets and did some stuff and passed out flyers. But the highlight was the teaching.. I felt like it was all for me.

November is short, so I’ll throw it in as a bonus. I spent the first week in Erfurt, helping an old friend who is having a rough time get back on top of things, praying and worshiping God together. And yeah, as always, going out on the street and doing some theater. This time with a doll from a store as a dead guy, and two mafia looking guys carrying it.. message? Think about where you are going before you get there.

Ok.. that’s all for now! I hope that I didn’t write too much.. I am always available for questions.. and I look forward to seeing a lot of you soon, I return to dallas next Tuesday and will be there about three weeks! Stay blessed



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