Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Why Germany?

God had been working in our hearts for missions for quite some time. Both of us searched and prayed for God's leading. Jim participated in short-term missions trips in South Africa, Belgium and Germany, while Sarah planned trip after trip including hopeful locations such as Brazil, Peru, Bangeldesh, Israel and finally, was able to actually participate in a short-term missions trip to Germany. These were only some of the events that led to a final decision to pursue Germany as our full-time mission field. Jim's interest was sparked before his trip to Germany while associating with the missionary families of Charles Ellis and Tim Brudtkuhl. These meetings led him to make his trip to Germany a survey trip in order to better evaluate this option. At this point, we were still dating. It wasn't until we actually spent time in Germany where God confirmed us and Germany in our heart.

We believe God has called us to Germany to serve Him in the capacity of a Church Planting Missionary Family. Our burden for the country and its people grow each time we present our ministry to churches and each time we meet with the missionaries currently serving in Germany.

Our focus during this time is upon God's faithfulness. He Who Promised is Faithful.

Where in Germany will You be Serving?

Wonderful news and an answer to prayer!

God has clearly led us to decide on joining Tim and Shelli Brudtkuhl in the city of Berlin.

Thank you for your prayers as we sought God's will in this for the past year and a half! God is so good! We eagerly anticipate arriving in Berlin someday to serve with the Brudtkuhls.

When Are You Leaving?

Our goal is to be boarding a plane sometime during the Fall of 2012.

We are trusting God. We believe His provision will carry us through from this moment forward. It may be sooner or later, but nonetheless, God, Jehovah Jireh, will provide.

Do You Speak German?

Not yet! Not completely. And if we do, it's very elementary.

We're working on it, though. Whenever we get the chance, we listen to CD's that have you "listen and repeat, listen and repeat." That has been helpful. We also have computer software that utilizes memory games and the like to help with vocab. There is also the possibility of personal tutoring from national Germans that we know here in the states.

We believe that learning the language is a HUGE priority. That's why we are glad it's a prerequisite to spend the first year of our first term completely immersed in language study. At that point, we will learn the dialect spoken in the area where we will be serving. Northern and Southern Germany both speak German, but have different dialects. We hope to learn enough now to help curb some of the learning difficulties in the future, but we don't want to learn too much of one dialect only to find ourselves having to re-learn something totally different when we arrive.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pastor Graef Says...

"When God called me to be a pastor, he also gave me a passion for world missions. I cannot look lightly on a world that knows nothing about its Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. My 42 years in pastoral ministry always kept missions at the forefront, and we saw phenomenal blessings because of it. My church has allowed me to spend time in over two dozen countries of the world, which vastly increased my burden. For the last twenty years, I have been active on the General Council of Baptist Mid-Missions, and the Lord has granted me the greatest joy imaginable - two of our sons have been called to be missionaries. One is in Costa Rica, and the other is on his way to Romania. This is in the context of many other fine young people from our church who are also heeding God’s call.

"One of those young men is Jim Engle, currently appointed to the hard and needy field of Germany. I have been his pastor since his childhood. He was one of those individuals who always demonstrated a serious sense of responsibility. He is a man of integrity and determination. I have watched him overcome extreme obstacles, never once veering from his course. I remember when he answered God’s call to missions, and I have observed his incredible sacrifice to follow that course. He is a man of high standards and huge compassion.
Our church helped sponsor him on three very significant mission endeavors - one for a missionary apprenticeship program for 11 weeks in Belgium, another, to spend 5 months in South Africa with veteran missionaries, to be a part of the evangelistic outreach in Germany during Baptist Mid-Missions’ Medals for Glory. While in Germany, the missionaries saw how well Jim worked with the German people. He is quiet and thoughtful, but sharp and confident. They hope that he and his wife will return soon to help them.

"His wonderful wife, Sarah, was the secretary to Vernon Rosenau, the Baptist Mid-Missions Administrator over the fields of Europe and Africa. She has proven already to be a great asset to Jim’s ministry.

"If your church is in any position to forward the cause of world missions by faith, I would encourage you to invite this couple to present their burden for Germany to your people. If God were to lead you to take on a portion of their support, I can assure you it would be an investment well placed. Jim has been a faithful worker in Evangel Baptist Church, Taylor, Michigan, and he is well prepared to spread the gospel and to teach God’s truth in Germany.

For the cause of Christ,
Ronald W. Graef

Pastor Discerens says...

Gerald Diserens
Associate Pastor
Evangel Baptist Church

"We are delighted to be the sending church for Jim and Sarah Engle. Jim has been a longstanding member of Evangel Baptist Church and was married last December 30, 2006 to Sarah (Heuer) Engle. As members of Evangel, Jim and Sarah have demonstrated genuine servant’s hearts. They have been actively involved in ministries such as serving meals for the homeless, teaching, solving building maintenance problems, passing out tracts and witnessing on the street. Jim and Sarah’s sound education and broad-based skills and experiences have prepared them to be a valuable asset to the missions team they will be joining. Sarah’s cheerful spirit and enthusiastic support for her husband and Jim’s steady dependability are qualities we admire.
I am confident that God has His hand on this couple and anticipate great news from Germany. Pray for this couple and ask God how He may use you to assist these missionaries to reach the field, which is white unto harvest."