We are a small church in the city of Giessen in central Germany. Roughly 40 people attend the services each Sunday. Since the church is not very old (about 16 years), all of the families attended different churches before coming to our church, while some individuals came to faith in our church over the past couple of years. Thus the members of our church come from different backgrounds, which makes our church a very diverse place. Therefore, it is often a challenge for us to see ourselves as part of a body that actually belongs together rather than just viewing ourselves as a part of a random collection of people. Please pray that despite the fact that all families and individuals come from different churches, different places, and different backgrounds, we will be equipped to be a good representation of the body of Christ in Giessen.
We do not own a church building. Instead, we rent some rooms in a large office building. One of the rooms is big enough to fit all of us, so we use it as our sanctuary. Our facilities are big enough for those people who are attending regularly, but if we have a group of guests, it would be great to have a little more space.
As you can see, we are a small light—smaller than most of you are used to, when you think about your congregations.
Because of the slow but steady growth of our church, we are looking for a nice new place to get together on Sundays and Fridays right now. Please pray for that. It would be good to find something bigger and more fitting for the Sunday services and the different groups (Youth Group, Bible Study Group etc.), which is in the center of the city so people could see that our church exists even if they are not looking for it.
When we first visited the Protestant Reformed Churches in Michigan, we were amazed by the size of your congregations. We enjoyed the fellowship with Christians from the United States very much. There are obviously some differences between your church life and ours. In addition to our Sunday Services, we meet for youth bible study or our prayer meeting during the week. These are good opportunities to meet other church members. Since a lot of us live long car rides away from the church we all attend different schools and colleges. Most of the schools and all of the universities are explicitly non-Christian. In general, it is a lot more difficult for us to spend time with our Christian friends from church. For example, both of us writing this article live 50 miles apart from each other. That is the reason why there are more non-believers in our friend groups than is the case in Western Michigan.
Please pray for us so that we can be good witnesses and examples toward those who do not know Jesus as their Savior.
Despite these differences there are also a lot of similarities between our churches. What we believe is very similar to what you believe, since we both subscribe to the Heidelberg Catechism. Also the liturgy and the singing of the psalters was something that we were already used to, when we first attend church with you. So it was nice getting to know people that we have never seen before but still had so much in common with.
We hope we have given you some insights into our situation as a small church family in a very secular environment. If you want to know more about the history of the church you could read the article, “The Reformed Church in Germany” in Beacon Lights LXXIII Issue 3 (March 2014).
As you see there are several things that we ask you to pray for. Yet we are also very grateful for what the Lord has given to us. We are thankful for our church. We are thankful for our Christian families and friends here in Germany and from the Protestant Reformed Churches. Thank you so much for every prayer!
And if you happen to be in Germany for any reason you are more than welcome to visit us. Just let us know!