Autumn 22: The Austrian Border, Mushrooms, Ministry Updates

The fall is well advanced, I know, nevertheless what follows is an autumnal update on our activities here in Augsburg, starting with here at Koinonia. You see, we of the Koinonia ecumenical community have a “Gemeinschaftswochenende” , “community weekend” once a year, a retreat that has brought us all to various Christian retreat locations over the years. This year, we went to the Franziskushaus, a Franciscan house located in Altötting, near the Austrian border. An excursion there took us to Burghausen, which is right on the Austrian border, fewer than 700 meters separating the Alpenrepublik from the Bundesrepublik. It was rather lovely:

The river in the background behind the church is the Austrian/German border, geographically. This photo was taken from the walls of the real Burg at “Burghausen”, i.e. the walled castle, which has the distinction of being the longest continuous castle in the world, most of a mile long:

The view of downtown Burghausen from the castle walls looks like this:

And Altötting itself is a Catholic pilgrimage site, home of the “Gnadenkapelle” i.e. “Chapel of Grace”, a site of Marian devotion:

At the time of our visit, it was, unfortunately, under renovation, so this image does not show it to its best advantage.

There is however a great bronze of Pope Benedikt XVI the square:

The square has been named for him, by the way:

He’s an honorary citizen of Altötting. The city is worth a day trip if you are ever travelling the region of southeast Bavaria/north central Austria.

Meanwhile…near Augsburg….

The Mushrooms of Oberschönenfeld Abbey

One of the first local sites of interest we got to know when we moved here in 2015 was the over-800-year-old Oberschönenfeld Abbey, located near Augsburg. It is a functioning Cistercian Abbey, and regularly observes the hours, mass, and separate times of silent prayer or meditation to which the general public is welcome. It also has a guest house and offices of regional ministry associations. The abbey church is beautiful, the restaurant is excellent, but what draws us there most often is the extensive network of hiking trails, along which, this time of year, you are likely to find specimens such as these:

Gathering edible mushrooms is quite popular here, and an older couple (in all honest closer to our age than we are to 40-year-olds, most likely) we encountered on the trail proudly held up their basket and told us that they would get 50 to 80 Euros a kilogram for their harvest. And I believe them. I’m just not ready to join them. As the saying goes, „Alle Pilze sind eßbar, aber manche nur ein Mal“ / „All mushrooms are edible, but some only once.“

Das Gebetshaus Augsburg

We continue to be involved in the Gebetshaus Augsburg, where the “Flame Academy” discipleship school for 22-23 started its new season in the second week of October. There are…45, I think…students this year, mostly under 25, though with some exceptions. Pray for the Lord to use their time here to shape them more into the likeness of Jesus in their inner being. We are in the morning shift, and pray from 10 to 12 Monday through Thursday, as well as in the Intercession for Israel, Fridays from 2 to 4 PM.

Toward Jerusalem Council II- Germany

Susan and I continue to serve in Toward Jerusalem Council II, Germany. With Pastor Hans Scholz, I designed and continue to maintain the website, which you can view here. Our main work for TJCII lately has been translating and editing a series of papers given at the first-ever international conference on Messianic Jewish theology in relation to Protestant and Catholic Christianity that was held in Vienna this summer. It is rather challenging work, and our deadline is in December. This explains in part why blog entries like this one have been so few and far between since August. English speakers who are unfamiliar with the ministry can read about its mission here.

Reasons to Believe

Way back in 2004, when I was a visiting assistant professor at Purdue University and teaching, among other things, German for science and technology, I contacted Reasons to Believe with the proposal that I might translate some of their work into German. We corresponded and telephoned for a couple of weeks but it soon became apparent that their time horizon for the project and mine did not align well. So, nothing came of it.

18 years later, this past January, Reasons (RTB) contacted me and asked if I would be willing to translate blog entries, articles and possibly books into German for them. I said “yes” immediately and have now spent much of the last several months preparing German translations of articles and blog entries by astronomer Hugh Ross, biochemist Fazale Rana and philosopher Ken Samples for the RTB German website. The site goes live on November 15th, and I would ask that you pray for it to have the desired reach for the kingdom of God on Earth, and that the translation in the future go well.

Freelance writing

Susan and I have been writing for Salvo magazine. You can find our articles looking around the Salvo site and blog. And I am working on sequels to both my novel Charis Colony: The Landing  and my novella The Space Boys and The Winter of 78.

And finally, a prayer request

We are in some financial distress right now. Not that we have no income, only that increasing energy prices have left us with outstanding balances we have to pay and insufficient funds to pay them off. So, if you would, please pray that we see provision in the days ahead. If you can support the blog (see the item below), now would be a good time to do it. If you have translation, copywriting or editing work you can refer to us, contact me.

Bis auf weiteres. Gottes Segen.

Thanks for reading! I hope we see you again soon.

If you are able to assist us by supporting this blog, we’d be quite grateful.


Veröffentlicht von jdavidmartin68

Pro-lifer, Charismatic Christian who has been in the 24/7 prayer movement since 2008, bass player, translator, writer, father, husband, affiliated with a variety of ministries in Europe. Note that all views, opinions and thoughts expressed here reflect my own convictions, persuasions and ideas, not necessarily those of any ministry, political organization, secret cabal or other body, club or agency to which I do, may or could have belonged or been associated.

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