​The TV tower near the Stutzmans' home in Mannheim, Germany.

By David and Rebekka Stutzman
Thursday, October 6, 2016

It feels so good to finally be here and to start on what we have been dreaming about for a long time. Our approach here at the beginning is to get to know the city, get to know people, and start building relationships. We see our everyday encounters as opportunities to be paying attention to what God is trying to show us. Several things have come into focus already.

• We have been able to make connections with families. We try to take our kids to the playground as often as we can, and through that have started getting to know other parents and children. We are surprised how many young families we have gotten to know that moved here recently. This life situation we have found to be a crucial one as many are open for relationships.

• Mannheim is a tremendously diverse city, second only to Berlin in Germany. One of our hopes was to be able to relate cross-culturally and have that be a part of our ministry and the character of the church we plant. We have been delighted at some of the connections we have made already. Rebekka has befriended two Romanian women, whom we met at the kindergarten and the playground. For one of them, Rebekka is helping to find an apartment in the neighborhood. These early connections have again impressed upon us the joy we get from connecting interculturally, and that there is purpose in it for our ministry.

 • We want to be intentional about being out in the city, on the playgrounds, or walking along the river on some Sundays. This is a crucial way to connect with people who do not go to church. Having gotten to know a significant amount of people here in the neighborhood, it has become clear that many commute long distances to work, and the only time they have together as families is on Sundays. Since we are in a post-Christian context, they are not to be found at church on Sunday mornings. So, we want to be aware and get in a rhythm of sometimes attending a church service, but also as part of our bigger understanding of church, “be where the people are.”

We are thankful for the contacts we have made with people in our neighborhood. Our prayer request is for continued guidance for these relationships and awareness for how best to serve in the relationships and friendships where God is placing us. At the start of our ministry, may God give us eyes to see and ears to hear where he is at work, so that we can connect with people who will share in a vision of starting a new faith community.

David and Rebekka Stutzman and their children in front of a castle in Mannheim, Germany.





https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/How to sing the Lord’s song in a post-Christian land

David and Rebekka Stutzman, along with their children, Liana, Immanuel and Nathanael, are exploring new ways of being the church in Mannheim, Germany.



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