August 15, 1979 to Today…
I was born and raised in Dallas, texas. In High School I felt a calling to the Nations and spent my first year in Germany as an exchange student. Somewhere between internships and semesters abroad i managed to finish my degree and graduate cum laude from Beloit College with a BA in German and minors in European Studies and Performing Arts. I began working closely with the Jesus Freaks as a missionary sent from Highland Baptist Church. After my first year in ministry I went to South Africa for a Discipleship Training School and School of Video Production at Youth With a Mission. In Germany again I fought a loosing battle to apply the ministry techniques from Africa in a European context and had to reevaluate the cultural approach as well as my personal gifts. I spent five years in Bremen working with homeless, drug addicts and punks in a Christian counseling center and in the halfway house i set up. After two years in Karlsruhe doing similar work while fighting for a visa i moved to Leipzig in January 2011.
Statement of Faith:
As a Jesus Freak, I believe that despite the Pope, witch hunts, money loving TV evangelists and boring services there is something about Jesus that is real and fantastic.
To be honest: I even believe that there is nothing better in this whole world than to live with Jesus. A relationship with Him is the meaning of life! The important thing is that not religion, any kind of wisdom nor rules for life are what it's about, but rather this personal relationship with the creator of the earth. Jesus lived on this earth as the Son of God. He died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead, and is the only one who can close the gap between God and us today. Jesus is the way to God.
I experience that the words of the Bible have extraordinary power, and that its statements about life and God are absolutely true. God introduces himself to people, and shows His unique plan for mankind and every individual.
I believe that He turned particularly to the outcast and poor, to those who do not fit the values of our society. As a Jesus Freak, I want to live as Jesus did; he is my example. Everyone can come to Him as they are, no matter what their social background is.
It is not my aim to simply entertain people or to improve their lot but to introduce them personally to the ressurected Jesus.
I want to see my generation stand up for Jesus in this country, in Europe and all over the world, because living with Jesus is the most cool, compelling, intense and exciting thing of all.
my vision is to reach and disciple the fringe groups for Jesus with a message of hope.
Since i moved to Leipzig, it feels like i have jumped into a fast-moving river. The move was prompted by difficulties in obtaining a visa in Karlsruhe.. a battle that cost me two years. After the move I received the visa immediately. Leipzig seems to be right in more ways than that, though... strangers even starting ringing my doorbell and asking for counseling! Also, i was finally able to get into jails to do counseling, something i have tried before but was never able to.I was able to get involved in the University, since the visa i was able to get was as a Theology student- and you would be surprised how many of them don't know God. Now I am doing more to reach out to these future pastors. I helped start a Freaks Café geared towards reaching seekers through a familiar living-room like setting and the possibility for conversations or counseling. We were open twice a week for three years, and served coffee and lunch on a pay-as-you-can basis. In addition i offer counseling, drug counseling, prayer, financial management advice and life-planning coaching, and am part of the Jesus Freaks Regional Team for Saxony.
vision for leipzig:
my vision is to create a space that is a cross between a living room, a cafe, an arts center, a social work center, and a church. make sense? basically, it will be a cafe with no prices. if people can pay, they are encouraged to make a donation. if not, then they should just drink free. there will be no waiters, but rather a coffee bar where people can serve themselves (and thus not feel self-conscious about not having money). the people "working" there would just be hanging out, basically. it will be set up like the coolest living room. i have a whole concept about the appearance, but i want to keep this short. i'll just say this: mary poppins tea-party.
the arts part comes into play also a bit with the furnishings, and also with the wall space- giving local (christian) artists a space to exhibit their work... and maybe sell it. also on fridays there would be various events: small concerts, theater performances, indie films, open-mic... these would also be "fed" by the christian community. (i am not talking about the story of jesus every week though) some performances would come from workshops led by myself or other volunteers, such as starting an improv theater group with local teens, making documentaries with the punks, or working with some of the homeless on a poetry-slam, and so on. these workshops would all be free and take place every saturday. maybe more, if we have more volunteers.
everything in the place could be for sale- but not for profit. it would be based on a sliding-scale. thus, a punk kid just out of rehab would pay 5 bucks for a chair and a banker would pay 50 for the same chair. we would get the furniture from the trash, and refurbish it. i have a friend who is a carpenter and wants to take on two unemployed people as apprentices and teach them to do these restorations, helping them learn a trade and make a little extra money. if we can find a space with a workshop, this would become part of the project.
the idea is that we would be restoring. the trashed furniture would gain a new life through the carpenters, and the people in the community would be restored in spirit through their contact with us. (we hope) obviously, it is a bit more subtle way of reaching people with the gospel. but i feel in europe that the most important thing is for people to trust and to then be able to open their hearts- and learn that the message of the Bible is one of LOVE.
i could say a LOT more. like about the counseling, soup-kitchen, single-moms group, kids homework help, emergency apartments, shower and washing machine, etc that are in this plan... but i will stop here for now. i am open to comments and questions, and of course, if you feel God is placing it on your heart to pray for this project or you would like to support it financially, i would be very happy to hear from you!
My ministry is completely funded through donations. If you would like to know more about how to support me, send me an email using the contact form.