Why Teach English at a Camp in Germany?

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Warning: I am writing this on very little sleep. Please excuse any and all errors!

Our plane arrived in Düsseldorf around 6:00am this morning, which of course, was midnight to us! We had tried to sleep as much as we could during the eight hour plane ride, but if you have ever tried really sleeping on a plane-you know how that goes! We hit the group running once we arrived at the camp. Unpacking, meeting other staff, and learning guidelines about teaching the English classes were among some of the things we did today. We were all very tired and took many opportunities to pray against jetlag and to pray for the camp staff and teenage campers.

I have to admit…though I did this ministry last year, I still have questioned what I was doing crossing the Atlantic Ocean to do camp ministry? Was it for the thrill of travel? Why not save thousands of dollars and volunteer at a camp in the states? Is this the best venue for me to honor God in?

God reminded me of the answer to this question wonderfully today when we were spoke to by some leaders of the Bible College & Seminary here on why they run this camp and why they are so thankful that we English speakers have come. They explained some history of Germany and Neues Leben. When first established, Germans were much more willing to freely talk about faith and God and truth, whereas now, decades later, they as a whole are cold and hardened to such conversations. So what is an evangelistically passionate Bible College & Seminary in Germany to do when less and less people are willing to hear the gospel from the lips of their Christian brothers and sisters? Ten years ago after asking that very question, the English Camp idea was birthed and launched. They see how eager Germans are to learn English and how much more willing they are to hear the gospel when presented by foreigners. Bringing in native English speakers and hosting the English Camps at the Bible College & Seminary created an ideal platform for the gospel. 

Unlike many other English teaching opportunities, we as teachers do not have to be careful what we say about the gospel, or skirt around the topic-we are free and encouraged to say absolutely everything we can say to the campers concerning the good news of Jesus Christ! What a unique privilege and opportunity! This meeting was such an exciting reminder to our tired team of the exciting purpose behind our travels. We are honoured to be able to help carry the burden of lost German souls to the foot of the cross to find grace, peace, and satisfaction in our Lord Jesus Christ.  

As believers, we ALL need to be sharing the gospel and making discples. What a neat thing that in God’s perfect foreknown plan, He creatively is using English speakers to reach his children all over the world with his glorious good news.

Until All Have Heard,

Betty

 

An App You SHOULD Download

I, probably like many of you, have a love/hate relationship with my smart phone. I appreciate that I can find answers on google anytime, anywhere, and it’s nice to be aware of what is going on in my inbox afterhours, but I hate how distracting it can be. I know I only have myself to blame, but far too often it is a time thief!  All I want to do is look up a new smoothie recipe, but one way or another 2 hours fly by I find myself somewhere deep in the Land of Pinterest, or Youtube, or Facebook, or blogsites, etc. etc. etc.

Knowing that I am already susceptible to wasting too much time on my phone, I am fairly intentional about the apps I will or will not download. I am kind of against games, simply because they isolate the person and usually dumb the mind.  I have ONE game on my phone, no it is not flappy birds (is that even still a thing?) it is charades and has proven to be quite the party game. Though I suggest it, that is not the download I am promoting in this blog.

I have an app called “Ask Pastor John” and it is a daily podcast where Pastor John Piper (and other experts in random theological fields) answer questions sent in by listeners on all sorts of topics.  Some from last month include: “Counsel for Those Considering Transgender”, “What Will Be Familiar to Us in Heaven?” ,“Will You Marry a Couple Already Living Together?” ,“Should Christians Watch ‘Game of Thrones” and many more equally interesting 5-10 minute responses to real questions.

I appreciate and recommend this app for a NUMBER of reasons. The top 5 being these:

  1. Biblically strong: Some of the questions are clearly not in Scripture explicitly, but those who are answering never give their own opinion/preference without clear biblical references and theological truths that support their claim.
  2. Humble Responses: I have steadfastly heard a constant effort not to let their answers come across as the “end all” in any particular conversation/situation. They each humbly admit their own humanity and clearly depend on the wisdom that only God can give.
  3. Culturally Aware: They are not shying away from cultural, nor emulating cultural, but instead recognizing it and trying to respond to it in truth and in love.
  4. Concise: It’s only a few minutes! They are not long exegetical sermons (which are awesome!) so I have time EVERY MORNING to listen to a nugget of truth while I am brushing my teeth/putting on my makeup/doing my hair.
  5. Broad Range of Topics: For me, a person who finds almost every topic incredibly interesting, it is cool to hear some mornings about church history, and other mornings about adoption, and others about the speed limit. It reminds me of God’s care, knowledge, and interest in every facet of our existence.

So I say, if you haven’t already, download the Ask Pastor John app available for iPhone or Android and listen to eat every morning; make it a part of your routine.  Ultimately, Christian, you should be having conversations with believers and unbelievers about Christ as much as possible! He should be on your mind and tongue SO much more than what He (probably) is. So may this app encourage you to have more conversations centered on our Savior, and may it help equip you to best talk about, explain, seek, love, honor, and obey Him to the glory of His name.

If you already have the app, let me know what you think!

P.S. This in NO way is to replace your personal time in the Word! It’s just a supplemental tool 🙂