Report by Reiner Kallus, Jan., 2000Dear Brethren:
Greetings to you all in the Lord! It is wonderful to know that He remains the same even if a year, a century, or even a millenium passes away and is replaced by it's successor. May He strengthen us to use the new year to his honor and glory!
For quite a while I have had problems with my computer. Apple is unable to provide a new power supply and the computer during the past three months has worked always for two days or so only in one month. It does work now for the second day and I hasten to get this report to you before it changes it's mind again. Once Stephan is located here I plan to get a new one with his help and assistance. But that will not be before April. Until then I will have to live with it.
Because I was unable to write I have to start way back, in October. The first week of that month was the time of the Austrian Ladies' Retreat. While still in East Germany I always took several ladies there and spent the five days, helping where it was needed and enjoying the wonderful landscape. This even more as I never had to pay anything for my stay because the owner of the hotel never forgot that Rosel and I were the ones who had selected his hotel for the retreat in in the first place. Now, living in Munich, I cannot say that it is too far to go back home and then return again two days later. However this time I went there a day before it closed so that would have a chance to talk to Regina Gebauer of Oelsnitz. Regina is the mother of Marion Rudolph and was baptized while we still lived there. She fell away since we had moved here and now her daughter was able to talk her into coming along for the retreat. We had a good talk and she has been restored since and is faithful in her attendance in Oelsnitz. The day in Filzmoos was not wasted.
Two day after our return from Austria, we left for America. Actually we had not planned to visit the States in 1999. That changed when I received an invitation from Oklahoma Christian to have part on the program for the World Mission Workshop of 1999 to be held on their campus during the second weekend in October. I was to represent Europe in the Call to the Continents" and also to speak about opportunities for service in Europe. My elders encouraged me to go amd paid for my way from our working fund. Rosel went along ot our own expense. When our daughter Irene heard about it, she asked us to take 9 year old Lea with us. Both Rosel and Lea would spend the entire three weeks with our daughter Toni and her family in Ohio. It was Irene's hope that Lea would be forced to speak English while Toni welcomed her visit in the hope that her smaller daughters, Jessica and Raya, would have to speak German to their cousin. I was curious to see who would win that contest (Toni did mainly).
We wanted to really use our time and so we planned to visit David and Malissa Rivoire on the way to Akron,OH. They once were missionaries in Germany and had part in starting the church in Hannover. David now preaches in Burlington,VT. We alway felt very close to them and wanted so see them again. I also wanted to talk to them about a possible return to Germany. Well, we never got to Burlington. The Swiss Air plane, on which Delta had put us for Boston had to be repaired and we got there five hours late. We had missed our connection to Burlington, the next ones were full and the only one we could have gotten on would have arrived there just before midnight. As we were scheduled to leave again in the morning, we passed up the offer of that flight which also meant that we lost our fare because you are not paid back when they can get you there on the same day. Well, Delta was more generous in other ways. They put us up in a brandnew Hilton hotel which we found to really be not different from any middle class otel or motel with the exception of the meals which cost four times as much so that the airline voucher did not cover the price for a complete meal. But we were not hungry but dead tired and so we did not even use the voucher.
On the next day we flew on to Akron/Canton and were picked up by Daniel, our grandson. I only spent a day and then flew on to Oklahoma City. I spent the short time there in the home of Gerd and Lucky Fecht. They went all out to make me feel at home and I am very thankful for that. Gerd paid for my car rental so that I could visit a number of churches in Oklahoma and Texas. I had decided to do so while there and to see mainly those churches that I had been unable to see during my last visit to that part of he country. Originally I had planned to spend even more time for that but a short while before we left I had received a letter from Dan Chambers of Nashville, TN in which he expressed a strong interest in doing mission work in Germany. He asked many questions about that. So rather than writing a book, I decided to go to Nashville and meet him and his wife, Leola. Fortunately both my talks were scheduled for the first day of the workshop. So rather than remaining for the second day as well I flew to Nashville. I had real good talk to Dan and Leola and on Sunday night I spoke to the Lebanon Road church about the situation of he church in Germany. Dan and Leola have since made a decision to move Germany and do mission work. This July they want to come for three weeks to acquaint themselves with the situation and be better able to determine how and where their future work will be. This alone would have made a trip to America worthwhile. But there is more: I had a lunch appointment in Nashville with David Collier and his wife. David is the son of Loyd and Sarah Collier, former missionaries to Germany and close friends of mine. I also met with Ken Chambers, the father of Dan. Ken has preached for many years in Alabama and Tennessee and it is through him that Dan got my address.
After returning to Oklahoma City I began my visit which took me to Sayre, Elgin, and Lawton (all in OK) and to Trent, Abilene, Lampases, and Laguna Park, all in Texas. Some wonderful things happened at the latter place, For one, Dick and Nell Smith drove there from DeSoto,TX to meet me When a young couple they had done mission work in Germany and had begun the church in Karlsruhe. I moved there after graduating from Bible School in order to help them and learn from them. However soon after my arrival they had to leave and I carried on by myself. We had never seen each other between 1953 and 1999 however I felt so close to them as if we had parted just a few months earlier. There was more reason to be happy: Robert Barkley from Hillboro and his wife also came to see me. We once were close friends when we were in Abilene.
While talking to the Laguna Park church I told them about Klaus and Sigi Freis. You will read more about them later in this report. I tried to interest them in helping them and they have since decided to do so. Thank God for that!
On Monday I returned to Oklahoma City and flew back to Akron. It was the day for Toni's hysterectomy. Rosel did the cooking for the family and I tried to be of help like taking the children to school, etc. On Friday we left for Munich, arriving there at noon of the following day. I was scheduled to preach on Sunday and I did. No one complained but I did not think that the sermon was one of my better ones.
10 days later I went to Lucerne,Switzerland for three lectures on church history. I have devoloped these showing the development of the clergy, the hierarchy and papacy, and of the socalled sacraments. The church in that city is the youngest in that country. It was planted by four families from Zurich who had moved there six months earlier. There were several visitors and at least one of these had agreed to make an appointment for future studies. I also preached on Sunday morning.
Soon after that we had our first weekend seminar in Munich. It is a fact that less and less people can be won by way of regular gospel meetings. So we have decided to use different methods that promise to be more successfull. One is by through cottage meetings. This we will do when our new workers will have gotten here later this year. Another one is by having weekend seminars. We had scheduled 3 for the time of winter 1999/2000. The first one was conducted in November. The topic was Building blocks and stumbling blocks for marriage." It was done by our son in law Martin Reinhardt. He did a very good job. We had quite a number of visitors and several have been back since then. One of these is Michael Ludwig. He is a young MD and the friend of Sabine Neumann, likewise a doctor and the very faithful daughter of Berndt and Isolde Neumann. For two years we have been praying and working to lead him to the Lord. He spent two months in Zurich at the university and attended there. Yet when he came back to Munich he never came to church here. In April of 1999 we had him and Sabine in our home for a long and intensive talk. He took the German edition of Mere Christianinity" by C.S.Lewis home and read it, too. Then he attended all nights of our campaign last summer. This was the first time he would set foot into our building. I thought, that we had made it. Yet he quit coming when the campaign was over. He had to work on the Saturday when the workshop took place, however Martin also taught the class on Sunday morning and preached and Michael attended both. That was his first visit in one of our worship services and ever since that Sunday he has attended both, Sunday school and worship whenever he did not have to work or was out of town. I am using so much space in this report, to give you a feeling for what it means to lead one of the many agnostics to the Lord. There is simply no short cut and there is no gimmick of any kind to speed up the process. Please keep Michael in your prayers so that what now is going so well, will finally come to a wonderful end. There are a few others with a similar development. I will mention them in a later report.
Also in November we had to say Good bye" to Florian Thiel. He was converted here over five years ago and has shown fine growth, teaching classes, leading singing, etc. The German Army moved him to a little place at the German Sea. We miss him badly but it turned out that a young small church exists where he now is and he is more needed there than here. It is the fate however in a country where churches are so few and far between that when people move, they move away and hardly ever to where you are. A while ago we lost the Wolframs and last week Becki Schwarz announced that later this spring she along with her husband will move to Greensboro, NC.
We are comforted though by the thought, that both Stephan and his family as well as Klaus and Sigi Freis will move here in the near future.
Stephan will be sponsored in his work by the Campus church of Norcross,GA which also has overseen my work for over 20 years. He and his family plan to spend March in Norcross in order to become better acquainted. He plans to take up his work here on April 1.
When Klaus and his wife will move here is yet undetermined. They will graduate from the Bear Valley School on Febr.6. We hear nothing but praise about them. We have supported them during their studies to the tune of DM 1,000. (app.$ 500.) per month and we plan to continue that as a part of their salary. More our small group cannot do at this time. We hope however that as we grow we will be able to increase our share and eventually pay him fully. For now he will have to raise the bigger part of his income. At the present time the Bear Valley church has agreed to receive funds for him but he needs yet to find a sponsoring church . This will not be easy for him because both are Germans with no relatives or close friends in the States. If you can be of help in any way, please let me know at once. Klaus is able to travel after Febr.6 as far as his time is concerned. One of our German families here has given him DM 3,000. (app.$1,500.)as a one time gift to help with travel expenses. Please notify me right away if you know of churches or individuals who would like to meet him. My telephone is, when calling from the States: 011 49 89 54646493. The cell phone is: 011 49 178 211 1931. The e-mail address is: Reiner@Kallus.de .
We are looking forward to the presence of both of them. We then will be able to step up our outreach and I will be in position to help more all over Germany. I also feel the need to slow down some due to my age. I feel justified to do so as I have given up a part of my support to Stephan. I am very thankful to the churches who have agreed to go along with that. However I have no plans to retire. I like to continue to work as much as I am able to and where I am needed.
Rosel and I want to thank you for your interest in our work. We thank you for your prayers, cards, and financial support.
God bless you! Reiner
By Reiner Kallus | EUROPE | Germany