A team of short-term missionaries from CBC-Colorado reaped a harvest on a recent trip to Germany. The 23 member team led by CBC Missions Coordinator, Michelle Patterson, joined forces with their hosts Jeff and Barb Serio in Berlin. The Serios are the founders of European Initiative, a ministry whose mission is to mobilize teams of Christians and leaders to partner with European churches and ministries to advance God’s Kingdom.
This is the third team from Colorado to minister on the streets of Berlin in the past 18 months. While the previous two teams spent much of their time planting the seed of God's Word and ministering to seemingly skeptical crowds, the most recent team was blessed to witness hearts and lives in transformation. Not only did they see the fruit of their own ministry, but also that of previous teams' efforts. This team saw 44 Berliners and Europeans receive Christ during their outreaches, and hundreds more were engaged in one-on-one conversations.
One CBC student, Karen Buhrke, saw breakthrough in her own life while ministering to the people of Berlin. She had grown up singing in church, but when she was in her late teens she had gotten up to perform a solo and made a mistake that traumatized her. Karen had choked in front of everyone. In those moments on the platform, she made a decision never to sing a solo again. For nine years she harbored the anxiety of singing on a serious level in front of people. Nearly a decade later, she found herself standing in front of the crowds on the streets of Berlin—microphone in hand. Sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading, Karen began to hear God speaking to her. "I heard the Lord tell me 'Get the microphone and sing Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.'" All that anxiety from years ago rose up and she was terrified. As hard as it was, Karen chose to listen to the encouragement of the Lord. She stepped forward, grabbed the microphone and sang her heart out.
Karen's team leaders were astounded, and most of the team members were crying. Karen said, "I felt the blood of Jesus wash all over the city, and it was at that moment that I made a decision to no longer live my life by my circumstances, but live my life by the cross. "Another student, Ashley Tomlinson, said after her trip, "I will never be the same." She shared the Gospel with two 13-year-old girls and afterwards, had the privilege of leading them in the prayer of Salvation. While that experience is a priceless one, it was more of a shock to Ashley because the two girls had never heard the name, "Jesus."
Ashley said, "It broke my heart, and was a huge wake up call to realize that there really are people in this world that have never even heard our Savior's name. I mean I have heard that, but when you encounter it, it becomes more than hearsay. It becomes reality; it's in your face and you are left with a decision on what you're going to do with it." Ashley went on to say, "I'm no longer okay with just day-to-day living when there are people around me living without Life. It's ignited a fire in me for the lost that I didn't have before...May this fire that has started in my heart fan into flames and never, ever be quenched!
Be sure to check out the video below, produced by Jeff and his team at European Initiative.