After a day of rest and a day of travel, we arrived safely in Vilseck, Germany (near Nuremburg). We left Italy the day before the recent earthquake, and we have been in touch with the Fiores and Shaasfmas in Milan. They are far from the epicenter, and asked us to pray for those in mourning.
Here in Vilseck, Keith and Diana serve at High Point Baptist Church, an English speaking congregation that serves the many Americans who live in this area due to the US Army base here. Upon arriving in Vilseck, Diana picked us up and we headed straight onto the base where Keith was refereeing flag football. This is one of his ministries where he is able to get to know active duty soldiers.
The ministry here reminded me of ministry to English refugees in Geneva in the 16th century. The Edwards serve a chunk of English speakers as a subculture in the local German community. Almost everyone is either active military or works at a job related to the US Army being here. For that reason, there is an extremely high rate of turnover. Essentially, the church is “new” every 3-4 years.
This brings many challenges both in developing leadership and maintaining ministries that require volunteers (e.g., youth staff). By God’s grace, both Keith and Diana have experience in the Army and understand well the unique challenges of military life. We are looking forward to worshipping with the church body on Sunday.