Ramstein, Germany

Dec 5, 2017

A Baptism Story Only God Could Write

Every time we celebrate baptisms at Frontline Community Church, Ramstein, Germany, we hear stories that only God could write.  At our baptism services in October, we heard another one about the connection between two “friends” who had never met.

One of those “friends” is still unknown to us.  That person attends Frontline and last Easter picked up an invitation card to our Easter services to give to a friend.  Somehow, that invitation never reached the intended recipient.  Instead it fell out of the person’s car at the local car wash and ended up being picked up off the ground by another car wash patron.  The couple that found the tattered invitation card didn’t go to church anywhere because the husband had no interest in God.

For some reason, the wife of this couple convinced her husband that finding this Easter invitation card at the car wash was a sign that they should attend one of our Easter services.  She had been secretly longing to revisit the faith of her childhood and hoping that someday her family might re-engage in church.  So, she was able to drag him to Frontline last Easter along with their two kids who were as reluctant as their father.

But in their 75 minutes of anticipated pain that Easter Sunday, God continued His work of persuasion in their hearts.  It turned out to be a much more enjoyable morning than any of them anticipated.  On the drive home, the kids couldn’t stop talking about the fun they had at church, and the couple agreed it wasn’t what they were expecting either.  So it was decided that maybe they shouldn’t wait until next Easter to attend again.  They began to come semi-regularly to what they referred to as the “warehouse church,” so named because our church meets in a former warehouse.

This family happened to be in town this last 4th of July, and they attended our 4th of July party that Sunday evening.  It was another opportunity for God to continue His work in their lives as the husband connected with our associate pastor, Josh Ramsay.  Josh heard more of the man’s story and learned that he was a long way from faith in Jesus.  So Josh began to watch for this man and his family on Sundays and made a point to connect with him.

Well, fast forward to 15 October.  Josh was preaching that Sunday, and this family was doing its monthly church thing.  But this Sunday would be different.  The voice of God speaking through Romans 3 that morning spoke to this man’s heart and persuaded him that it was Jesus he needed in his life to deal with his deep brokenness and pain.  He heard that only Jesus can remove the guilt and shame of his sin.

At the end of the service, he sought out Josh and told him, “I want to receive Jesus into my life this morning.”  After some conversation and prayer, he did just that.  Then, with more follow-up the next week, this new brother asked, “Can I be part of the baptism this coming Sunday?” On Sunday, as he shared with the congregation his story of coming to faith in Jesus, he thanked the mystery “friend” he had never met who began his introduction to Jesus through a lost invitation at a car wash in Ramstein.  Some stories are so crazy, only God could write them!

Gary Preston