Good Soil in Germany - It IS Worth It!
Ralf and Lena Schaechinger have served in their native land of Germany for many years. But they struggled with how they might be more effective in evangelism and discipleship. Then, they heard about a Good Soil seminar being taught in Madrid. Ralf made the necessary arrangements and went to the event. Excited, Ralf stayed up each evening after the training talking with Gil, the seminar facilitator. He said things like, “This is just what we need in Germany!”
Gil challenged him: “Ralf, are you sure? Germany is so very postmodern. Are Good Soil methods and resources really what you need to reach these people? Would it be worth the time and effort you would need to invest in translating and printing the resources?” But Ralf was convinced. The conversations were long, but exciting. Ralf was determined to go back to Germany and begin translating The Story of Hope. Pleased, but cautious, the team at Good Soil has watched his progress and waited to see what would happen. Sometime after the translation was finished, we received this prayer letter update:
The Story of Hope is a project we have taken on as a personal project to bring to Germany. We had the chance to use it for the first time as a tool in a church in Muensterland.
The idea behind teaching The Story of Hope (TSOH) was that it would be an outreach opportunity in the church's new building, as well as a discipleship program. We hoped to encourage people to use this program personally in their outreach to other people. Considering the size of the church, we were expecting between 10-20 people who might be interested to follow TSOH throughout the entire program. God far exceeded our expectations, and we had an average of 44 people attend. On two of the evenings, our location got so crowded that we would have to relocate if more people would come. We were especially pleased to see that people of all age ranges, from young teens up to adults in their nineties were part of this TSOH Journey.
Towards the end of the Journey, we broke the large group down into smaller groups so people would speak more personally about the story. One lady let us know she was compelled to ask Jesus personally into her life during these evenings. She said she had been waiting years to make this decision.
A young girl wants to use the material with one of her unbelieving friends. Another couple who attended all evening sessions renewed their commitment as followers of Jesus Christ. Both of them made a decision to share their newly established walk with Christ through public baptism. This was a special gift from God for this wife, as she had been waiting for years for her husband to make a decision to be identified with Christ publicly.
Was it worth it? Oh yes! How excited we were to see how God was using this German pastor and others as they used Good Soil resources and methods to make disciples in a small town in that Western European country. God used Ralf and that tool to draw people to Himself and educate them in God’s Word in a mighty way.
Since then, Ralf has been using his training and resources in other ministries. Ralf is now conducting a training program for Christian leaders in Germany. Ralf says, “The main emphasis is to teach an overview of the Bible, but I’m doing it in a narrative form by using The Story of Hope as teaching material. I really enjoy teaching the Story of the Bible in narrative form.”
Besides using this Good Soil resource in this manner (training leaders), and continuing to work in his own church planting ministry, Ralf is also teaching The Story of Hope in another location where young missionaries are leading a church planting effort. “It is such a joy to see new believers who are getting excited when they start to understand the bigger picture of the entire Story of the Bible,” writes Ralf. “We praise God for these opportunities.”
We praise God with this faithful servant of God ministering in Germany and say, “It is worth it!”