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End of March 2002

Dear Friends,

15th of March saw me setting off for Germany. Those who picked me up from the airport had been given strict instructions to buy me some new clothes. That says something about German hospitality! I was soon swept along to one afternoon-coffee-and-cake after another as the German race struggled to fatten me up in preparation for my return to Africa ...

A four-day trip to Fritzlar was encouraging, despite the fact that the Church of God Bible school there has only 7 students in all! It was a privilege to spend my time teaching about Christian missions in some rather rusty German. The topic was the same at an evening meeting with the youth of the Osterholz Scharmbeck church on Friday 22nd March. I found a much larger group than I expected of over 30 youth gathered and listened attentively. That was a great encouragement. I described some of the 'realities' of mission work in Africa today to them. There are many healthy and intelligent young people who have now been challenged to take God's call on their lives seriously. Their mental struggle is evident. The prospect of a very prosperous and well to do future in Germany looks to them to be the attractive alternative to the seemingly harsh realities of life in the non-western world, I was told. Pray that Christian youth such as these around the world do not become so entrapped by the lure of worldly wealth and happiness so as not to be attentive to God's calling.

The Worpswede church has been extremely active in their encouragement to me while on the field. They were now intent also on utilising me back 'at home' and had advertised far and wide that I was to speak on 'suffering' on 23rd March. Attendance was low considering the thousands of leaflets that went out. It was good to be a (small) part of a church’s effort to reach out into the apparently-unhearing but well-to-do community in which it finds itself. I have been especially encouraged to see great commitment in the leadership of the Worpswede church.

PRAY also for the just10 mission to York city with J.John starting 18th April 2002.