Greetings once again from Germany. By the time you read this update we should be close to landing in Austin. God has been so good to us on this mission trip as we have had many divine appointments. Andy and Kathy, along with Ashley and I, have been busy, but it has been wonderful. We were able to meet refugees from Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, and spent a couple of hours hanging out with them at the Frankfurt City Church, a strong church that has opened its heart and doors to those from other countries. Our time with potential church planters in Frankfurt ended with a worship service at Nordstern Church. Following that, we headed off to Bonn Bible Seminary where we have spent the week ministering to the students and faculty and also meeting with Iranian refugees. Andy and I have been able to spend much time teaching in the school, while Ashley and Kathy have been able to meet with and encourage many of the female students. God is raising up a passionate, dedicated group of millennials here in Germany who will boldly take the gospel to their country and beyond. In fact, one twenty-year-old Bible student told us she feels God is calling her to, of all places, North Korea!
Thank you, church family, for your support, encouragement, and prayers for us while we have served in Germany. I look forward to being back on Sunday and sharing more updates with you. Mike Mericle will also give us an update on his latest trip to South Asia and all the good work God is doing in our UUPG. I am so proud of you, GHBC, for being a radiant church that truly takes the gospel to your neighbors and friends as well as the nations of the world.
Thank you also for your faithfulness in giving your time and resources to our church. So many of you serve so faithfully in numerous ways and I am very grateful for you. I do need to mention, however, that we have fallen way behind in our giving to budget for 2017. We are around $350,000 overspent or under-given, depending on how you look at it. This is not overspending our budget, but expenses as they relate to receipts. We have given $353,806 less than our expenses have been in 2017. We were in the same position last year, but we were blessed with a large financial gift that helped lift that burden. Please give as the Lord instructs so we can continue to poke holes in the darkness in our city and around the world.
Let me encourage you to invite someone to join you for Bible study and worship on Sunday. We will have baptisms and hear some exciting reports from the mission field of how God is using GHBC to make a huge difference in the lives of many.