What 2 Weeks at a Christian English Camp in Germany Taught Me

Germany Take 2 1052

When you come back from a trip-everyone wants to hear a snippet about it. Though you made be prepared to speak for a mere 7 hours reflecting on your favorite parts, fondest memories, and lessons learned, they (most of your friends and family) have just a few minutes to spare to listen to the highlights about your travels.

This is hard for a talker like me.

I have hundreds of stories ranging from dangerous Hunger Game resembling afternoon activities, to fireside fun and language laughs. But I need to boil it down to just a few minutes worth of memories and lessons so when I am asked, I can  explain what I want them to KNOW about the trip.

So I’ve thought of three main lessons that God taught me through the two weeks I spent in Germany:

  1. Use any means God provides to build relationships and share the gospel
  2. We all need to be reminded of the AWESOMENESS of salvation
  3. Know in Scripture where to back up your beliefs

Let me elaborate:

  1. Use any means God provides to build relationships and share the gospel
    1. God is brilliant and uses the English language as a vessel to share His good news. How cool is it that hundreds of teenagers will sign up to attend a Christian camp in a little, nowhere town in Germany simply because they have the drive and desire to learn the English language. Some of them are hearing the gospel for the very first time, and all because God in His AWESOME sovereignty has made it so some people are drawn to our language. As English speaking Christians, we need to be ON this! What a cool opportunity! We need to be leveraging this tool that the Lord has given us for as long as it is available to us! Who knows if this is just a fad, and in just a few short years, it’ll be all the range to learn Hindi! The doors are open now, so let’s go! Always keep your eyes  attentive to looking for ways that you can share God with people!
  2. We all need to be reminded of the AWESOMENESS of salvation
    1. Is your faith stagnant? Prayer life feeling stale? Are you struggling in sin? Then pray along with David in Psalm 51 for God to restore to you the joy of your salvation! And for me, the number one way He does that is through evangelism and discipleship. Try sharing the gospel with someone! What a JOY it is! Nothing blazes a passion in my heart more than being able to talk to someone about the God that sees me as righteous, though I was at first born his enemy. I hadn’t been PUMPED about that in too long. I had forgotten, in a way, what a big deal salvation is. Talking every day to young people about what a huge deal it is that while we were still sinners Christ died for us, reminded me of the exciting truths I needed to hear as well!
  3. Know in Scripture where to back up your beliefs
    1. If you are anything like me-you are awful at remembering references. I can tell you if it is Old or New Testament, and sometimes I get lucky and remember the book…but once we get down to chapter and verse…I’m far too often stumped. And this is so not cool. I was confronted quite a few times on why I believe what I believe about the Holy Spirit or the gifts of the spirit or about the Bible. It is not enough to be able to say, “somewhere in Scripture it talks about blah blah blah”. I’m blessed with my Bible’s concordance in the back, but sometimes even that can’t help me! So I was really challenged to be able to, simply put, know my Bible better, and not just “know I believe things because it’s what I am taught at my church” but know WHERE in the Bible I can find solid support for what I believe. Hopefully a blog post on HOW I am planning on doing that will be coming soon J
      1. Side Note: VALUE THE BIBLE. It is CONTAGIOUS. Love the comfort, knowledge, and holiness that Scripture brings so much, that when other people see it, they are DRAWN to its pages as well.

So that is basically what I am going to tell people if they ask. And that I was SUPER blessed with an AWESOME, SELFLESS, ENCOURAGING team, that I thanked God for every day. Oh and here are 10 random additional things that I may include just for kicks:

  1. Germans are wonderfully, very blunt
  2. Some bathrooms have self-cleaning toilet seats!
  3. Germany looks just like Lancaster County, but with more trees
  4. They don’t have peanut butter
  5. They eat A LOT of bread and meat…but on just one slice of bread-not as a sandwich!
  6. Their windows open 2 ways! And don’t have screens!
  7. It’s really cute when the mispronounce their v’s and w’s (wegtables, williages, and motiwating)
  8. There is a German “translation” of the Bible that is “modernized” and has Jesus riding into town on a scooter, and eating not bread and wine, but chips and cola.
  9. They have bread machines (like a vending machine!) in Aldis that pops out warm bread of your choice
  10. Saying “Goodnight!” in German is dangerously close to saying “Good naked!” in German. Be careful…

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