“If only for this life…

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

…we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

We have in the last two weeks received sudden and hard reminders to keep our hearts on our eternal hope in Jesus the Messiah, and that this world is not our “forever home” to use a phrase common to foster care and adoption ministries. Two friends of ours from our Austin House of Prayer days and from Hope Chapel, Jack Cotita and John Michael Wall, died, Jack on the 12th and John Michael on the 18th. They were both men who loved Jesus, were devoted to their families and not yet 70. John had been afflicted with Parkinson´s disease for three years or so, but Jack had, it was thought, been recovering well from a heart attack. Both deaths were still surprising to us and I still have difficulty wrapping my mind around the fact that I won´t see John Michael when next we visit Christ the Reconciler in Texas. In spite of the photos of the burial that friends and family posted online. Not being there with our friends in their grief has been painful.

And so, I´ve spent most of the last twelve days living in the assurances of eternal life from Jesus himself and Paul of Tarsus, along with the reminder that we are not to pretend that losing family and friends here in this earthly life is not a loss. “Mourn with those who mourn,” even if we know that we will be reunited with fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends in the New Heaven and New Earth promised in Revelation.  While I´ve had dreams and visions relating to the reality of eternal life, so subjectively, as well as objectively, I´m utterly assured on the question of eternal life, I am also utterly sure that even saying good-bye to my family in the States when I know we are not going to seem them again for months is a keener pain than any bodily hurt. And for anyone reading who might be considering foreign missions: start asking the Holy Spirit to strengthen you for the day when you will face such losses.  Call it part of counting the cost (Luke 14:28-30).

Yeah, we´ve heard the cliché „so heavenly minded that you´re no earthly good“, which I have always taken to be a swipe at Christians who talk about the kingdom and eternity incessantly but don´t show any sign of living out the kingdom Jesus describes in his teachings. And there is some admonitory good embedded in that phrase. We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, show hospitality, share a cup of water with a brother in the kingdom, and express the love of Jesus in practical ways to those around us. The Sermon on the Mount is either a way of life that the Holy Spirit empowers us to live or it is a cruel moral taunt, rubbing our noses in our moral imperfection. But the „no earthly good“ phrase is also something of a straw man: No one that I know of in the Christian world, let alone the revivalist sub-set of Christians called the 24/7 prayer movement, is arguing that we should stop doing deeds of charity and compassion. The hope that springs from the promise of eternal life that Jesus gives has, I am convinced, the profoundly practical effect of robbing death of its sting and the grave of its victory. A man who knows he´s going to live forever because the Lord of all Creation told him so holds a hope that is absolutely indestructible.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

As for what we´re doing in Augsburg right now….

Koinonia

First an update on our Ukrainian guests: At present Koinonia has four Ukrainians living here. The families have all moved out, and that is not surprising. Living out here is difficult if you don´t have a car, because the public transportation schedule is… thin. On weekends, hardly anything. We lived with that for the first sixteen months of our time here, ourselves. Those who could have gotten vehicles and moved into apartments or houses. The community is open to receiving more refugees should the need arise and so is in touch with the immigration and asylum authorities.  

We also have some outstanding financial obligations to Koinonia which the community needs us to pay off and soon I will detail that matter below under Prayer Concerns and Related.

Koinonia Sunrise in winter

Speaking of immigration and asylum authorities

We are up for renewing our residence permits again. There was, according to the email I just received this morning, something of a change in personnel in the Office for Foreigners and Integration, so we have to re-submit some documents-. Please pray that our continued residency application be approved quickly. We are sending in our documentation tomorrow. Their decision will determine if we will be able to continue in working with the various ministries we´re a part of here.  Which brings me to our update of the month:

The Gebetshaus Augsburg

Susan and I continue to be part of the morning shift in the Prayer Room, and also to regularly intercede as part of the Israel Prayer group on Friday afternoons. A new area of ministry has recently opened up in that I am now providing the English scripts for dubbing of Johannes Hartl´s teaching videos.  Please pray that this work go well, that the Holy Spirit use these teachings to reach a broader international audience. Hartl has been an effective Gospel teacher, apologist (at times), and voice for Christ as a public intellectual here in Germany for some years now. It´s an honor and a responsibility to convey his work effectively and eloquently.

There is also good news that the Gebethaus will be holding it´s larger international conference, the MEHR again next year for the first time since 2020. Praise God!

The MEHR will return in 2024!

Toward Jerusalem Council II (TJCII)

Recently Susan and I completed the translation of several papers from the Messianic Jewish Theological Symposium that TJCII held with the Faculty for Catholic Theology at the University of Vienna last summer. I also completed the German translation of the subtitles for the first episode TJCII´s new documentary series “One New Man”. The video is available here:

https://www.rabbittrailproductions.com/onenewmanseries

It provides a biblical background for the ministry and for the Messianic Jewish movement more generally.

Reasons to Believe, Germany

The German website for Reasons to Believe is now up and running. Für die Deutsch-könnenden: man findet die RTB Deutschland Internetpräsenz hier.

I will continue working with them in the weeks to come and am quite in need of your prayer support for this. The ministry has charged me with building up contacts with campus ministries here, which task I have only recently been able to undertake. The TJCII work was very time consuming and demanding.  Please pray for my continued work translating Reasons to Believe´s apologetic resources into German to be effective in communicating the powerful relationship between sound science and sound faith.

Family news:

Felicia competed las week in a regional music competition called “Jugend Musiziert” (“Youth make Music”). It was held all day at the Leopold Mozart Musikschule here and… she advanced to the Bavarian state competition! It will be held at the end of February.  Now she must select which pieces she will sing there, likely operatic music. Praise God!

Prayer Concerns and Related:

First of all, thanks to everyone who has prayed, corresponded, and has helped us financially in the recent months. You have made a very needed difference. As noted above, we continue to have a significant financial need right now due in large measure to the increase in fuel prices in Europe in the last two years and the Corona-Panic-induced economic downturn. The latter wrecked our reserves and my business has yet to fully recover to pre-2020 levels, while the former has made rebuilding reserves basically impossible and repaying debts incurred 2020-22 very difficult. The main financial stressor right now is paying of €1,400.00 (approximately) of fuel costs that Koinonia absorbed for us in that period. They cannot carry that debt any more due to increases in the house´s insurance premiums and fuel prices. If you can help us out with this, which would directly benefit the community as well, we would be very grateful.

And … I have written two posts for this blog this month. Hurrah!

Thank you for stopping by. Let us know what you think and keep us in prayer.

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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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