On this day in history–9 November 1989–we were sitting in language classes in the tiny village of Staufen, West Germany. Our language professors repeated over and over, “We never imagined we would see this!” The infamous Berlin Wall, after three decades, became the rallying place for freedom across Eastern Europe.
The world watched nation after nation overthrow communist dictators. The euphoria was contagious. Flag-waving in the streets, sudden friendliness at border crossings, instantaneous opportunities to preach the Gospel without fear of harassment or persecution. Even the border guards were asking for Bibles.
We were privileged to share the much-celebrated removal of the “Iron Curtain,” to then travel freely throughout Central and Eastern Europe to strengthen churches and help train leaders.
The sweeping changes throughout the fall and winter of 1989-1990 brought changes for our family as well. We began moving, from Germany to Austria, then from Austria to Hungary. Invitations to teach and mentor thrust us into a lifestyle of non-stop travel. We learned to be at home wherever the Lord placed us, all the while learning wonderful lessons in faith from His humble servants who had grown up without the comforts and freedoms we had known.
At the same time we realized the necessity of partnerships and the value of friends willing to stand with us in prayer. Even now, after 25 years of more trips than we can count (along with every manner of life-rearranging changes), we are more grateful than ever for God’s steadfast, unchanging promises to go before us and accomplish His purposes.
Psalm 115:1 — “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”