The rumors are true. I am, indeed, returning to Germany. I leave in 4 days.
Don’t break out the tissues just yet. I will be returning in August. This is merely a 3 week trip. A vision trip with multiple purposes. The first of which is to assist the Dresden Initiative team in putting on a sports camp for teenagers. Yes, Germans like camping. We will be making camp in the middle of the woods, near the city of Dresden. That’s right, yours truly will be busting out a sleeping back and sleeping on the ground. This is what I signed up for when I committed myself to youth ministry for life.
Students who attend this sports camp will have the opportunity to learn sports that are more typically American, like lacrosse and flag football. They will also have the chance to learn English. It’s likely that they already speak English well, but they are generally interested in learning more. Most importantly, students will hear the Gospel and learn more about how to live a genuine life with and for Christ. To learn more about the camp and to see the camp promo video, please visit the camp page on my new website: http://www.leximcnair.com/dass-camp/
The second reason I am going to Dresden is to initiate and build relationships with the Dresden Initiative team. When I mention the team, I am speaking of Jeff and Anne Ingram (TEAM missionaries) and the church leadership of the FeG church of Dresden. Together, they are working towards beginning 2 new evangelical churches in Dresden. I will one day work with this church planting team to build youth programs, outside and within the church. While I have spent time getting to know Jeff and Anne, I really haven’t met the other people I will be working with.
The third reason I am going is to attend the FeG church and a couple of their events. I also plan to join Anne for an event which will aid Syrian refugees, as part of a city program. Reading and talking about these ministries is helpful for me in the process of preparing to move. However, i really need to experience these things and see what God speaks to me in the process. He has led me this far. I have trusted and followed Him without a complete vision of what’s to come. Like many before me, I have found myself on a path with a flashlight. I can only see the steps that I need to take in front of me. Being a part of these events in Dresden will be like looking at a roadmap. I will get to see what’s coming down the path. Yet, like a map, I am only getting a glimpse. I know that things will unfold differently along the journey.
Fourthly (is that a real word?), I am going to learn more about the culture. I will have some time to tour around Dresden and a little bit of the Czech Republic (Dresden’s next door neighbor). In order to be a contributing member of their society, I really need to approach the German culture as a humble student. This can be challenging and lonely at times. Many of you would probably be bored by the museums that I find fascinating. That’s fine. I believe most people can get behind the idea of having a good cup of coffee or a drink at a local cafe though. The real question is: do you have the patience and the nerve needed to use public transportation to get around? Learning new public transportation systems is a thrill of mine! It’s all part of the learning experience.
Lastly, and most importantly, I am going on this three week trip so that I can hear from the Lord. Am I crazy? No. Well, sort of. I own up to not being “normal.” I’m totally ok with that. Really though. God has guided me through all of the major chapters in my life. He brought me to CIU, He provided my job at Eastlake, He forced me out of my job at East Lake (so that I could move to Germany ;-)), He provided my job at All American Imaging, He called me to Germany, He gave me a job at Publix before I even really asked for it, and He gave me an incredible support system of friends and family. God is the most important person in my life and He has reassured me of all major life changes. In order to hear from the Lord, I do not plan to walk around Dresden in silence, looking for the heavens to open up. I simply plan to ask God to show me how I fit into the culture, my team, and His plan for Germany.
As an un-expected, but welcomed surprise, God has drawn my buddy Roger Ridgeway to Dresden as well. Many circumstances have worked out perfectly for Roger to join me on this leg of the journey. I won’t tell his story for him, but it was really incredible to see how God brought about this plan for Roger to be a part of this trip. I have no doubt that God will use Roger and teach Roger more about Himself in Germany. As an added bonus, his home church (a church still close to my heart) may partner with the Dresden Initiative in the future. Roger will be able to be a part of the Initiative and will become a great source for East Lake Community Church. Even if a partnership doesn’t come about, Roger will be a prayer partner and source of information for the church, as they pray for the Dresden Initiative team.
It’s true what they say, time really is money. Roger and I will be participating in our own little Amazing Race. In order to get to Dresden inexpensively, we will travel for 36 hours. Roger will actually be traveling about 45 hours, since he will be taking the train down to Florida first. Here is our travel and ministry schedule:
July 22 Roger comes in from Columbia, SC
July 23 we fly to Frankfurt
July 24 we bus to Dresden
July 26 through August 1 we help with camp
August 2 Camp debrief dinner, Katrina arrives at 8pm
August 3 leave for Prague
August 5 leave for Karlovy Vary/Carlsbad
August 6 return to Dresden
August 7 tour Dresden with Katrina, she flys out that night
August 8 work with refugees
August 9 attend church where I will intern and “Grill Gottesdienst” (Worship service with grilling) with church planting team
August 10 and 11 tour Dresden with the Ingrams. Take night bus to Frankfurt August 11.
August 12 fly to Orlando from Frankfurt
August 13 Roger returns to Columbia, SC.
If you would like to pray for our trip and keep up with our travels, please join my new Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LexisGermanyTEAM/
I plan to post pictures and videos from Germany along the way, when I have a strong enough internet connection. I should be able to post updates there. If nothing else, there’s always a Starbucks to get wifi from. Otherwise, it will be the page through which prayer requests and team updates will be posted. More information about why I am returning to Germany long term and what the culture is like can be found at www.leximcnair.com
Why haven’t I mentioned finances? I’m not worried about the money. God will provide that too. I’ve given up on asking for donations online. I would rather tell you about this ministry in person and have you join this team in a more personal way. If you are, however, moved to help with this trip now, you can see all of the ways to donate through http://www.leximcnair.com/contact/