In addition to shepherding the newly saved refugees, there has been a burden to work on the university campuses. In fact, most of the ones who have participated in this shepherding trip have been working with the students in the church to contact students at three universities: Feie University, Humbolt University and the Technical University. The universities started here about a month ago and in the past four weeks, we have had 12 NT RcV distributions and 152 Bibles were given out and about 55% of the ones who received Bibles want further contact. Some of these have been coming to the welcome dinners and student meetings on Friday nights. The saints are endeavoring to have appointments with these contacts and trying to connect them with local saints.
Two weekends ago, I visited Gerhard and Rebecca Haupler who live in a small town near Stuttgart. I took an overnight bus from Berlin to Stuttgart and arrived in Stuttgart Friday morning and joined the coordination with the saints laboring in Stuttgart. There I met Jason and Becky Liou who had just arrived a couple of days before. Then in the afternoon I went to Gerhard and Rebecca’s place and I stayed with them for two nights. I was not sure what to expect concerning this visit since I had not seen them for about 30 years. Gerhard was in the FTTT for one term when I was there in 1986. I was pleasantly surprised that I could have good fellowship with them, particularly with brother Gerhard. They still harbor wounds from the past and sometimes voice negative feelings about LSM and the local church practice, probably because of the negative experiences with the dissenting brothers in Germany.
Currently, Rebecca goes to some charismatic church in the nearby town of Reutlingen. Rebecca took me there Friday night to see what they are doing to outreach to the refugees. Gerhard doesn’t go there because he fell into disfavor with the pastor. On Saturday, I went on a nice hike with Gerhard . . . first to a waterfall . . .
Then to a ruined castle….
I brought them a German NT RcV and a copy of the CRI magazine, We Were Wrong translated into German.
On Lord’s day, Gerhard and his son, Philip, went with me to the meeting of the church in Stuttgart. It was a blending meeting with about 200 saints including saints from Frankfurt, Austria and Switzerland. After the Lord’s table, there was prophesying over the HWMR and then brother Chris Wilde shared at the end. He shared that the Lord’s recovery today is to recover the oneness of the Body of Christ and this is what the enemy attacks. The enemy attacks the oneness from two directions. One direction is the outward persecution such as in China where thousands of saints were imprisoned and even killed. The other direction is to attack the New Testament ministry, the ministry of Spirit and life.
In Phil. 1:7 Paul says, “Even as it is right for me to think this concerning you all because you have me in your heart, since both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel you are all fellow partakers with me of grace.” Chris shared that salvation is free, but to experience the grace that Paul did, we must pay the price to be one with the apostle in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. Twenty years ago, some brothers came together for the defense and confirmation project and there has been some positive results from that labor. Brother Lee made a statement once that the theology in the Lord’s recovery will one day defeat the shallow theology of Christianity. Chris shared that recently, in the largest conference of theologians, the brothers were asked to present the truth of deification according to Witness Lee: that God became man to make man God.
Chris shared from the book The Testimony and Ground of the Church that the most important item of the Reformation was not justification by faith, but was the recovery of the open Bible. While Luther was confined there in Wartburg castle, he translated the New Testament in 11 weeks and he standardized the German language. Next year will be the 500th year anniversary of Luther’s posting the 95 thesis and many believers from around the world will come to Germany. The brothers plan to have a big distribution of the RcV during that time coinciding with the ITERO which will be held in Leipzig, Germany.
Gerhard did see and talk to a couple of saints he had known in the past.
On Lord’s day night I had one more dinner with Gerhard’s family. Here is a picture of Gerhard’s family. It was an enjoyable time with them and they were very welcoming for future visit.
In the picture is Philip, their second son and Emily, their third child. Michael their oldest son is a lawyer and is working in another town. Their youngest son Daniel is currently in Australia.