Many of the authors writing about the modern world have compared it to a desert. They do so because they think the modern world has too little of what satisfies the longings of the human soul. We have chased God out of our public lives. We no longer believe in truth or absolutes of right and wrong. This gives us great "freedom" to do as we please, but it offers us no healing for the wounds that come from sin. It also renders life meaningless: we think of ourselves as products of time and chance through the process of evolution and think our end is death. The global market brings us many many things to enjoy, but it also brings with it increasing competition in business and increasing pressure to produce at work. Because of the media, the internet and people moving all the time we are brought into contact with millions more people than would have been imaginable to our great grand parents. But this very contact exhausts us without giving us any satisfaction from real friendship.
The fatigue of work and the pressures of life and all of the options for entertainment keep us from real intimate human relationships. So people wander this world with no direction. They are exhausted from the pressure at work, wounded by sin, hungry for truth, thirsty for God and longing for a real welcome and love.
These are the people we are called to serve. Under their happy exterior this is the truth about them. This is why we have chosen the "Oasis" as the model for our Sunday gatherings as a fellowship. An Oasis is a surprising place in the desert that has flowing water. Because of the water, it has fruit to eat and is a gathering place for rest and fellowship for exhausted travelers. We want our Sunday gatherings to be an Oasis in the desert of the modern world. Jesus is there and meets us in our singing and prayer to quench our thirst for God. The truth is read and taught in order to fill us with real nourishment for the struggles and demands of life. We give space for welcome and conversation over a cup of coffee – real human warmth inspired by the Holy Spirit. Through the message and the music Jesus offers healing and we gently offer our own prayers and support to any who come.
You can be involved in this by more than coming. You can pray for me and for the worship team. It makes a huge difference. You can offer your services for child care. It is fun and you bless some children and free parents to seek God without distraction. If you have musical talent, talk to Heather. She is the lovely lady who leads worship and talks with a slight Irish lilt. One very important thing we can all do is greet and welcome and befriend one another – especially the new comers.
Your partner in the great work,
Rick Pinilla (our former pastor, now back in the U.S.)
Jesus said to them: "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst".
John 6:35 (New International Version)
The International Baptist Church of Bielefeld (IBC)
Flensburger Str. 2
++49 (0) 160 241 9661
info (at) ibc-bielefeld.org