Good Bye Berlin

Jul 7, 2023 | Gilbert's Journal

Words can’t adequately describe the emotions, the deep impressions I have experienced in the past 6 days of being in Berlin. Sitting at the Brandenburg Airport as I await my flight to Paris, my heart is full of Joy and Gratitude for the possibility of visiting my spiritual roots – where God allowed me to encounter Him over 30 years ago.

On arrival last Thursday, a great friend and brother welcomed me at the airport and into their beautiful home, in a refreshing neighbourhood. On the same day, I started spending quality with them as a couple and with another friend, I knew from the early 90s – simply amazing to spend time with people I have known and kept in touch with for the past three decades.

The next day, I spent some time preparing for the workshop on Biblical Interpretation. I later had a memorable evening with yet another couple from back in the day and the members of their Family Group. Our time together also helped reset my thinking from English to German – not to mention the amazing memories evoked that evening.

On Saturday, God truly blessed the workshop (Link to Workshop Videos – use Video Subtitles in English/French). One of the brothers in the Berlin teaching ministry told me yesterday during a prayer walk that, at some point on Saturday, he thought I was speaking in English because of how fluent I was in German. Thanks to God’s answer to the prayers of many!

I met more familiar faces at the workshop and after the workshop, my hosts took me out to explore some of my favourite parts of Berlin, including the famous Alexander Platz. They showed me deep love and godly kindness during the three days spent at their home.

On Sunday, I wept during worship as the songs transported me back to the hour, I first truly believed in 1992. Sharing the report of the past 5 years of my teaching efforts in the context of the Partnership between the Berlin Church and my teaching ministry was such a blessing.

Sunday evening was amazing as I visited my former Student’s hostel on a bicycle – accompanied by a brother who has played a Bib Brother role in my life for the past 30 years. That experience of going down memory lane continued the next day when I visited the hospital where I had spent almost an entire year. The visit led to my meeting with one of the doctors who treated me for cancer back then. It was also a blessing to meet with “my German family” – they knew me before my diagnosis and literally took me to the hospital when I couldn’t even walk.
Yesterday, I was able to visit more places that brought back loads of memories and also spent profound times with some old friends, also made some new friends in the process.

The lessons learnt, the relived memories and the takeaways from this trip will impact the future. Off to Paris and looking to speaking to the students tonight! Thanks for your prayers!


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