It’s so close. Only a few sleeps and I will be going home. I feel like I am floating in a surreal cloud of disbelief that the God of Universe gave me this opportunity to travel to a place that has been on my heart since I was a little girl. I often go around announcing, “I’M GOING TO GERMANY!” in hopes that maybe, just maybe, the fact that I am going to Deutschland is finally becoming a reality.
My mentor highly encouraged me to create a travel journal so that I could keep track of all of the happenings in Germany and any thoughts I may have over there. I really felt like I needed to write some things in the front to kind of kick off the adventure. I thought I would share them on here for my daily countdown to leaving for Germany.
Don’t grow attached to any aspect of your life.
This is a hard one to comprehend. Over the last couple of days, I have really felt as if God was really wanting me to emphasize this fact in my life. Throughout the last semester, I learned the only thing I must cling to with dear life is Him. His love, his grace, his forgiveness, his kindness, his will.
Everything can fall apart, relationships and even friendships can fade away in the chaos also known as life. You have to work with what you have in that moment. Seize every opportunity to grow, expound, blossom, create as an individual. Take each moment to learn, cherish, and cling to the truths that he has placed deep within our souls. As I contemplated this, the scripture from James 4 kept being on a repeated spiel in my head.
How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
I keep asking myself, “Why are you waiting for tomorrow to fulfill his will, why are you waiting until you are a better person, a better Christian, not so rebellious and likely to bolt in fear and anxiety?” We can’t sit around and twiddle our thumbs. So many people have been asking me, “Why Germany? Why does God want you to go there? Aren’t the Germans doing okay for themselves? Why not focus on your own country first?”
In many aspects Germany is doing very well for themselves. But did you know that in the country where Protestantism was once prominent, less than two percent of the population identify themselves as Evangelical Christians? To get number savvy and put this number into more numbers, out of a population of 82,056,775, 1,740,880 consider themselves to be Evangelical Christian. German Culture is moving into a post-Christian culture, which basically waters down to the fact that ideologies in which individuals believe are no longer rooted in their religion or belief system. It reminds me that we can know Jesus, call him our friend, but rarely does one take up their cross and follow Him.
To answer your question, “Why Germany?” I feel that this statement needs to be stated. I honestly think God wants me to learn something from German culture. So often I feel as if my own faith is like shifting sands, nothing is stable, permanent, even fades away in times of trial and distress. And He keeps reminding me, you’re not the only one who is like this. The more time I spend traipsing around my very liberal college, the more I wonder, “How do you effectively reach a population, a student body, who have had church, or more realistically, religion shoved in their faces from the day they were born, and show them that Jesus is more than a belief system… It’s a relationship. How do you minister to those who came from a culture where religion is nothing more than the 500 year old cathedral that stands in the middle of a Middle-Ages city? How do you introduce a concept that might be controversial to modern day ideologies and philosophies? How does God revolutionize a culture where people from every background and religion gathers for their lives and careers? How do you be diverse? How do you effectively reach the people you’ve been called to love and serve?”
I am drawn to a place where every one of these questions is becoming prevalent on the university campuses across the country. Growing up in stagnant Christianity, there is this part of me deep within that almost wants to see what absolute disbelief and ignorance regarding Jesus looks like. I believe that he wants me to immerse myself into this culture and learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ in Post-Christian Germany because whether we want to admit it or not, America is well on its way into becoming a post-Christian society also.
I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this idea, but I think it is an idea that has to come into fruition for me to fully understand what God hopes to accomplish through me as a vessel on this trip.