Exploring our traditions and heritage while traveling….(picture of Luther advertisement in Mall in Germany)
We know that MOST of the churches of Christ are in FIVE southern US states. We have 30 congregations in the Pensacola area and some towns (like Huntsville, AL, Nashville, TN and Houston, TX) have hundreds of congregations. Plus, we have numerous other Restoration movement churches including Independent Christian Churches, Disciples of Christ and Community churches. It is NOT like this in most of the northern US and in Europe a similar church is almost non existent.
My friends in Germany attend a church affiliated with their daughter’s school. They are very concerned as their female minister is “gay” and plans to marry her lover. They have few options as most churches are traditional Lutheran or Catholic. The church of Christ listed in “our” web site had a non working phone and e-mail. Bottom line is that fellowship is hard to come by.
We took 52 kids to camp this year. Most were age 6-9 years old and few come from families who attend church anywhere. The kids do not have the basic Christian basics that American kids get in any local denominational church. They do not know who Jesus is, that he loves them and that church is a privilege and an encouragement. This is the first full generation of children raised in a country free of the restraints of the Soviet Union. The young adults who are their parents were not raised with church and few attend.
The Christians in Lithuania are good, strong and faithful. They love to fellowship. A quick phone call and several will meet you to “hang out”. They have few believing friends, family or co-workers. In addition to the small Vilnius church of Christ there is a small Baptist church, a small Pentecostal church and a community church. Period. The rest of the country are either Catholic, Lutheran or Orthodox. Yet, love abounds and Jesus is Lord.
I suggest to each of you to examine your beliefs. Give thanks for the many fellowship opportunities at your door step. Find ways to tell others what Jesus has done for you. And never take it for granted.