Let Us Fix Our Eyes On Jesus
Key verse: Hebrews 12:2 – “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
We thank and praise God for his great love and patience and for his manifold blessings on us in 2015. Without him, we can do nothing. But in him, all things are possible. We are very thankful that God has graced and empowered us to shine the light of Jesus into this world to make it a better place. Our key verse in 2015 was 2Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” We have prayed that God would let the light of the Gospel shine in us and through us so that many students would see God’s glory in the face of Christ. Because of this the German coworkers’ conference in January was held with the theme „The Gospel—God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ“. And the second coworkers’ conference in October focused on the uniqueness of Christ. God let the light of the Gospel shine in us and through us in many ways, mostly through Bible studies one to one or in groups and Sunday worship services. Most chapters organized Bible days, Bible evenings or similar programs regularly in order to let the light of Jesus shine in students’ hearts.
We thank God especially for his work in our new generation. By his grace and for his glory, they could prepare and hold a meaningful conference for young people “Encounter” on August 5-8, which offered second gens and young students a special opportunity to learn about the meaning of the Gospel for their own lives and to let his light shine into their hearts newly or for the first time. We will have a separate report on this. But one thing is clear: that we may trust in God in helping our young people to serve God in their own generation as we keep doing so in our generation.
God has expanded our vision through establishing three new house churches. In May, Sara Kum of Cologne 2 married David Park of Canberra UBF, and they have moved there. Meanwhile, Sara has started serving students there with Bible study. In October, Maria Hong of Stuttgart married Paul Heo of Korea. They intend to move on to the USA for Paul's post-doc studies; after that, they may come to Germany. Also in October, Peter Youk of Cologne 1 married Annika Buchholz, the daughter of German missionaries to Taiwan who was also raised there and is fluent in Chinese. The couple has joined Cologne 1 with a vision of serving Taiwan or China mission in the future.
Hsiaoling Zhang who had coworked with Vienna ministry for 2 years and then had come back to Cologne, returned to her home in Taiwan in August. We keep praying for her to grow as a woman of prayer and to serve young people there with God's word. We also pray for Birgit Pierce and Elisabeth Chung in Chicago, Mark Lee in New York, Sarah Kayser in Tempe (Arizona; she gave birth to Mary on March 8), and Catherine Weecxsteen in France.
We are grateful for a new missionary family in Frankfurt 3, Johannes and Elizabeth Kim with two children. We pray for them to cowork well with M. Abraham Ju's family and other ministries in Frankfurt.
In July, Lukas Kim of Cologne 1 received his Ph.D. for his thesis on “The Origin of the Chinese New Literature Movement.” He worked on this subject for more than 20 years because he would put priority to serving God's work instead of pursuing a title. His greatest joy was being among students and associating with them. So, even as he received the title, he honored God in his address to the audience during the ceremony for 20+ new Ph.D.'s.
We thank God that the family of Harm and Maria Meyer with their sons Johannes and Jakobus has moved to Dresden in August, thus establishing a new chapter in the Eastern part of Germany, as we have prayed for so long. May God help them to get settled and to relate to local students in the love of Jesus. – The ministry in Kiel is continued by Dr. Peter and Hanna Oh after deciding to make a fresh start following his Ph.D., last year. – The family of Samuel and Holy Maria Ryu was commissioned from Bonn to Mainz. There, they continue serving the young generation wholeheartedly.
Bonn UBF has expanded its former center by adding a new 3-story building from scratch within one year. They now have a spacious meeting hall and many other rooms for meeting, personal prayer and even for guests to stay. They dedicated the building on 19 September with a message from P. Abraham Kim on Nehemiah 2:18, “Let us start rebuilding!” (Yet, due to aircraft trouble, he arrived late; so, M. John Park of New Jersey served this message as his own.) Prayer coworkers and guests came from all over the world. – After 10 years of serving God's work in their homes, Wuppertal UBF has now rent a separate place.
We are also very thankful for the messenger training through Dr. Mark Yang. In April, he served missionaries in the Heidelberg region; in August, he served groups of shepherds in Heidelberg, Bonn and Cologne. During his summer stay, he also served missionaries with lectures on Titus (CME: Continuous Missionary Education).
On the other hand, P. Abraham Lee and M. Kaleb Hong also served other ministries in Europe through Bible study and prayer. Dr. Ulrike Gross and her team (Krystian Freitag/Cologne 1; Daniela Yu/Cologne 2; Silke Lischka/Kiel) went to Uganda for another medical mission, this time without people coming from Korea or the USA. They are still leaving a healthy impact, sharing the love of God with people in dire need.
This summer, God blessed us to have a CBF conference for children between 5 and 12. It was held 31 July – 2 August at Muecke. The conference theme was “Follow me!” (Mark 2:14). Over 30 children from 7 chapters attended, including M. Henryk Lee's family from Poland. Although they are young, they eagerly wanted to learn the meaning of Jesus' invitation and his kingdom. Markus Abel, Reiner Schauwienold and Toni Demir served as messengers. The children were literally enthusiastic about performing “Young Christian's Pilgrim's Progress”. Several high school graduates supported CBF teachers in passing on the love and vision of God for even the youngest ones.
God has also granted us healthy new offspring in our young house churches. This year saw the births of Timothy Isaac Youk (February 14, to Paul & Sarah S. Youk of Wuppertal), Daniel James Lee (March 14, to Elia & Susan of Cologne 1), Moses Timothy Winand (July 1, to Jan & Eun-Hye of Cologne 1), Noah Theodor Lee (July 19, to Samuel & Curie of Cologne 1), Emma-Grace Ryu (October 18, to Samuel & Maria of Mainz), John Lee (November 8, to Peter & Maria Lee of Bonn), Enoch Kim (November 20, to Josua & Paulina Kim of Darmstadt 2).
God blessed us to cowork with other churches and missions in furthering the gospel among young people. Evangelical Alliance, Open Doors, teen street, Mission-Net, KOSTE and more share with us the dedication to fan the flame of faith in Europe anew.
In 2016, we will follow Hebrews 12:2: “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” In this world, we are consumed by too many images. We may lose our way, even with apps that pretend to give us the right direction. In the long run, the only direction that counts is following Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We pray to fix our eyes on him day and night so that we may follow him wherever he leads. And we want to help this generation come to know Jesus who he really is so that they, too, will follow him.
Our prayer topics are:
That we may fix our eyes on Jesus and grow in our faith in his love and sacrifice and his victory so that we can follow his example in all our lives.
That we can reach and help campus students as well as our second gens to fix their eyes on Jesus and to deeply accept his love and sacrifice and to follow him by faith in his victory. Faithful prayer, deep Bible study and messages that reach their hearts.
To support world mission under the leadership of P. Abraham Kim (Chicago) and Shp. David Kim (Korea); coworking of Walter Nett with Reiner Schauwienold as well as P. Abraham Lee, M. Kaleb Hong and Dr. Peter Chang for German ministries; to encourage house-church ministries, conferences and Bible schools in Germany and across Europe.
For the new generation to grow as a vessel of the Holy Spirit and to take a more and more leading role in serving world campus mission; to support “Encounter 2016” as a European youth conference to help second gens and students to grow in their relationships with Jesus and to encourage each other to follow him by faith.
by Reiner Schauwienold, Walter Nett