by Dr. Dave Coryell, Executive Director
Following several intense days of speaking and connecting at the 2019 Osterkonferenz, we embarked on a five day “DC Tour” across Bavaria. The purpose of this tour was to meet with people to celebrate the 100th C.E. Anniversary in Bavaria while awakening people to God’s work through C.E. around the world.
Each place that we visited had both beautiful sites and amazing people. Everyone thought their city was the finest in Germany. On the first day we stayed near the city of Kempten. Kempten is Germany’s oldest city being founded by the Roman Empire. The gathering at this church was the smallest of the five days but had an excellent group of people. The fifteen people represented Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq, Italy, and Syria. The next four nights we traveled to Munich, Augsburg, Ingolstadt and Nuremberg. The groups seemed to get larger every day ranging between forty in Munich to eighty on the last two nights.
One moment on this journey that gripped my heart was when we toured Augsburg. At one point we were taken to the Fuggerei. The Fuggerei is a mansion for the Fugger family as well as a home for children. Jakob Fugger was essentially the Bill Gates of the 1500’s in this region. He hosted significant dignitaries when they traveled through Augsburg. Martin Luther was staying with the Fugger’s when he received the letter asking him to either recant his views from the famous 95 Thesis he had nailed to the Wittenberg door or stand trial at the Diet of Worms. Luther did not know his decision would start the Reformation. He had no idea what path the Lord would take him down. It was just one more step on the journey where God would display His faithfulness. I had the opportunity to challenge people to see how God was faithfully working in and through Christian Endeavor to prepare us for His next Reformation.
One exciting component of the trainings was sharing about the strategic objectives God is carrying out through C.E. Being able to explain how these steps forward are changing lives awakens people to the real work God does through C.E. I opened each workshop by having people turn to their neighbor and check their shirt tag for the manufacturing country. The group was broken into teams and quickly wrote all of their countries on a white board. Following this exercise I explained how many of the countries have C.E. operating in them. Next, I led the group in an exercise to pray for the person who made their shirts. Imagine meeting a person in heaven someday that introduces him or herself and says, “I was waiting for you. I am the one who made your shirt!” This interactive beginning helps start the workshop, but it also helps establish how the workshop will end. The last activity we did was to break into two teams and at my signal have a team representative begin writing all of the countries in the world where team members knew someone well enough to have a conversation with them. One night sixty countries were listed, another night forty-nine countries were listed. The largest night over eighty countries were listed. I closed by challenging the group. God has used C.E to impact their lives and grow them as His disciples. Yet, they have connections literally all over the world but they have not shared about Christian Endeavor with them. God used this moment to challenge people to consider the next steps that could be taken.
I am not sure how God is going to build His Kingdom. I believe He plans to continue using Christian Endeavor in this process through the strengthening and growth of this ministry. We are trusting Him to have another five people start C.E. in their countries this year (at least Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Puerto Rico and Rwanda). I even learned about C.E. in Brazil from a German pastor that was a missionary in that country for two years. God is strengthening our network and growing it in His timing. I do know this, God will be faithful on this journey.