Trusting God at all times
"I am still learning what God has for me and for my future, but this journey has taught me that I don't have to understand God's plan and know everything, as long as I have my trust in God."
I went to Schwerin in the summer of 2021, at a moment when I was seeking a deeper relationship with God. While doing a Bible discovery study with a youth leader about the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, God confirmed my desire to go and share the Gospel. I am currently a STMer in the Patchwork Center in Schwerin, Germany.
When I look back I have no words to express how God has used this experience to show me his amazing grace in every situation. I first arrived in the summer of 2021, while the world was still struggling with the pandemic; for some reason God wanted me here and by that time I didn't know why.
I had the opportunity to come back in January and I have been here since then. I have been working mostly in youth and kids ministry but my work has changed throughout my time here, also as I felt that God called me to do. Since the Russian invasion started in Ukraine I prayed to God "how I can help these people", and God answered giving me the opportunity to serve them.
God has taught me a lot through this experience in the Patchwork Center> how to see the problems as a way to also praise God, seeing God's glory even in the smallest things. What scared me the most was not being able to communicate. The first time I came I barely knew a word in German and I struggled with that the most, but God helped me to see this not as a problem but as a way to start as a ministry. I re-started 'spotlight', which is teaching English as a second language, and some of the people helped me with my German lessons.
My main ministry is working with the kids and teenagers of the Dreesch (which is the workers' neighborhood of the city). We have a weekly program which includes Bible study and sports. With teens we have something like a youth group where I prepare a topic where I share the gospel with daily life stories. At the beginning of my time here I thought that would be all the work I would do here, but I was definitely wrong. Getting to know the culture was not easy but I started just having small conversations with the local workers of the center and I also started to build a relationship with them. I realised how much God is needed in this area of Germany, but also how the past has affected the present.
With the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, we began to prepare to receive some of the refugees. We were able to host some families in the center and give them some help such as clothes or a place to sleep. It was amazing seeing how the people of the center (locals) got together to help those families. We are still helping all the refugees that come to the center, giving them what they need. Personally, since the invasion started my heart was completely broken seeing how fast humans can destroy everything around them, and I started to pray because I had in my heart the desire to help those people. God responded to my prayer with the honour of taking care of some of the kids while they are at the center, spending time with them, and hearing the stories they have.
I am still learning what God has for me and for my future, but this journey has taught me that I don't have to understand God's plan and know everything, as long as I have my trust in God.
Armando Berreondo, an ECM Short-Termer in Germany