THE WORLD HAS COME TO US
The world is coming to us here in our little sleepy German town. In the past our school, Black Forest Academy, was a place where missionaries could send their children to hide from the world. They, the missionaries, would serve in hard and difficult places all over the world that were not safe for their children. So they would send their children here to be in a safe place. A place that seemed to be hidden away from all those places in the world that make headlines and are hard to live in.
But the world is coming to us. We live in the very corner of the Black Forest where Switzerland, France and Germany come together. We cross those borders just like we would cross the border between US states. But because of the attacks in Paris that has all changed. For several months the French had armed soldiers stopping and profiling everyone at the border. We could no longer just drive into France to shop without being stopped by soldiers. They would have you drive your car slow with soldiers on each side of you looking into your car and profiling you. Yes, unlike the US, the French have no issues profiling. The soldiers are now gone, at least most of the time. All three countries now have random border checks where police or soldiers set up checks to profile, stop and search whoever they wish. Our story is we were on a bus crossing into Switzerland and the Swiss police took the entire bus load of passengers off at the border. We were made to leave the bus, stand in a long row with our luggage in front of us, as dogs sniffed both our luggage and us. Our passports were all collected and taken to be scanned and checked. This was done with three swiss police with sub-machine guns watching over us. The world has come to us in this sleepy corner of Germany.
Because we are so near the very southern border of Germany, where refugees may enter, the Germans have set up a refugee camp near us. Many in our community and several of our dorm girls go down to the camp to help and love the refugees. Some teach English or German, some play with the children, some teach skills, all seek to share Christ’s love. Some of our friends have bought bikes and have taken them there to give away because a bike is a coveted means of transportation. A friend of ours who regularly goes to the camp told the story of taking two bikes and giving them away. But he was heartbroken because those that realized they would not get a bike starting pleading and crying. The world has come upon our own doorstep.
There is controversy over the refugees being here. The controversy was only compounded by the riots recently in Cologne on New Year’s eve. There is a far right German movement that strongly opposes any refugees and because of the nearness of the refugee camp picked our sleepy town to hold demonstrations in. Our town had a town meeting on how to respond and the officials have urged all the local citizens to avoid even coming out in public during the demonstrations. The demonstrations only attract about 200 but because they have had a past history of violence there is also about 100 police. Picture this happening in Mayberry with Andy Griffith as Sheriff and you may get an idea of how big this is for our sleepy little town. The world has come to us.
My view is — and I stress this is only my view — God is interested in reaching the world. If we will not reach the world then perhaps, just perhaps, God will bring the world to us. Perhaps He does this each day as we walk out of our homes and into our worlds. For me, and again this is just me, I usually forget that and only think of what I have to do in the world today. I rarely think as I start my day what would God want me to do in His world today. He is bringing the world to us and we are learning what we really believe.
Pray for us as to how we should live here as He brings the world to us.
We thank those of you that pray for us and those of you who support us financially. Your praying and your giving allows us to be here. We do pray for you, that you may do His will each day as you walk in the world he places in front of you.