It was such a great thing to be able to host the German Mission Team! Thirteen traveled to spend almost three weeks in the USA and my church New Vision along with Vision 2 Hear Ministries were very blessed to have this chance to invest in students from around the world.
The trip really came about strangely. But God often does things this way, right? Let me explain.
Several months ago, I had agreed to take a German intern. Jan-Niklas came to me through a mutual friend, Nick Poole, who had been an intern with V2H many years ago. Nick was then serving in Germany helping them develop a baseball ministry. Jan-Niklas was supposed to be going to Montgomery Alabama for an internship that was scheduled for 6 months. However, those plans fell through and Jan had nothing else to do. So Nick contacted me to see if I could use an intern and would like the chance to host Jan for a couple months? I agreed to take Jan for a couple months since Montgomery was still an option for the remaining time.
Once Jan arrived, he fit in like part of our family and adjusted well to my life and ministry. As the weeks passed, his mission team that was scheduled to arrive in August was also having some conflicts with their itinerary. So we began talking about how we could possibly help. By the end of the planning and readjusting, the German team needed housing, transportation and assistance for a total of 12 days (this was after a couple of adjustments). For both Jan-Niklas and the German Mission Team, as well as New Vision and Vision 2 Hear, this was all unplanned and unexpected. Yet God brought all things together and it was an awesome experience for each of us!
While the German Mission Team was here, they were involved in a camp in Montgomery, Alabama with a church. The German Team has a long-standing relationship with them. After that week, we hosted them in Atlanta where they enjoyed staying in host homes, having some great meals with families as well as local iconic places like The Varsity and Chick-fil-a. The team enjoyed some educational experiences by spending a few hours at Fernbank Museum and then several more hours at The Atlanta Aquarium and Coke Cola Factory.
Even with all of this activity, they had time with God on a couple occasions, taking time to reflect upon their own journey in life. The team also assisted a 99-year old by serving a few hours of one day to clean up trash and cut away briars, vines, and underbrush in her yard. They also spread a significant amount of mulch in her yard using shovels, wheelbarrows and rakes. Our church also had a summer lunch program, in which the team helped pack the lunches and then deliver them to families in need in our community.
One of the great things about this team was their excitement to be in America and experience all the culture and activities we have. From Braves baseball to shopping at Walmart, the team enjoyed their time with us and they were all very grateful to have had a chance to do so much in a short time. So I want to say a hearty thanks to those who opened their homes, swimming pool, wallets, and hearts to host our wonderful new friends from Germany. Your acts of kindness made a huge difference in their lives. Thanks for being willing to adjust and adapt because without those qualities none of this would have been possible! Praise be to God who works all things together for good!