by Cathy Nelson
This year was the end of our partnership with Dresden, Germany. Why, after 26 teams, did we stop? Well, because partnerships are a two-sided thing, there are two sides to this issue. One was that they are doing so well! They have a large church for Germany, with 400 in attendance. They are considering whether they can go to three services or not. Besides the two daughter churches they planted before we connected, they have another church plant going on right now. The camp ministry that we started together has branched off FOUR more camps: a Bible and Sport Camp (BUS) for the over 18-year-olds, a camp in Kosovo, a camp in Austria, and a day camp in Bonn.
From our point of view, they can do the camp easily without us. They play lacrosse, flag football, and baseball at weekend retreats when we are not there. They have all the equipment and even a nine square game. English learning has been part of our contribution but there are enough good English speakers in Dresden to find others to do that. Or, like our youth camps, they could do other things or have seminars on leading worship or Christian dating or apologetics instead.
Many of those that had a heart for this effort have moved away. We used to have a lot of German speakers and GGerman-bornpeople in our body, but they are gone. Bill Prichard was leading our German team by himself for a long time, as we have had trouble recruiting for the camps. The movement was also getting weaker from our end.
We had a celebration with them in July and thanked God for all that had been done through our efforts. They love us and don’t want this cooperation to end. We understand that and love them, too. The partnership is transitioning to a Kingdom friendship. We still get their prayer letters, are willing to help each other in other ways than sending teams if needed and to share ideas on reaching post-moderns. I hope there will still be visits with each other and I know people are staying friends on Facebook. Praise God for all He did in this effort!