Missionfest: Dresden (East Germany) 18th - 25th June 2016
Colin Baron, a senior leader for Christ Church Manchester, recently took a team out to Dresden, East Germany. We caught up with Tim Simmonds who was part of the team to find out how it went.
Colin was leading our team, which was made up of people from across the UK, all the way from Buxton to Pontypridd and all part of our Catalyst family of churches. When our team arrived into Dresden, we were all blown away. Dresden is a stunning city with a beautiful mixture of old, new and communist architecture. There are also a number of universities that bring a youthful vibrancy to the city and it was a pleasure to be able to serve there for a week.
Our hope for going there was that we could get behind and support the church plant into Dresden (Eckstein Lighthouse), as well as the Church in Dohna, (another plant just outside of Dresden), and that’s exactly what we did. We spent time walking the streets praying for the city and the people. We played volleyball, visited schools, talked to people and sought God’s heart for East Germany. Everyday we were hearing from members of our team how they were having some great conversations with people who poured out their hearts and wanted to hear about Jesus.
As there were representatives from across our hub it was a great opportunity to get to know each other more and learn from one another. So we made lots of time to worship God, and let him speak to us. From the beginning it seemed that God was asking us to bring a thaw in the local area. (Atheism is prevalent in the East of Germany and the recent rule of Communism has had a huge cultural and social impact.) So we felt that as we prayer walked around the Universities, the centre of Dresden and Pirna (another town nearby) we were beginning the thaw.
The conversations and opportunities to pray showed that there was an openness to Jesus that we perhaps hadn’t expected. Many of us reported back stories of opportunities to pray for people who hadn’t thought about Jesus for many years or felt that they weren’t good enough to know Jesus. The week ended with a massive BBQ, live bands, a few tasty German Pilsners and a real desire to comeback next year!
God is doing amazing things everywhere, and it’s so exciting to hear about what’s going on, not just in our churches, or even our country, but in our continent too.