Introducing OM Germany
Germany ... a country of thinkers and philosophers, the birthplace of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Germany is a country of vibrant modern cities and sleepy villages, beautiful seas in the north and breath-taking mountains in the south. It is a country steeped in history, filled with medieval castles and historic kingdoms.
Germany... a country that was broken by the horrors of World War II, but one that found new life in the economic boom of the 60’s and 70’s. It was this economic boom that transformed Germany into one of the strongest economic powers of the 20th century.
Germany was long divided by the Cold War, split into Eastern and Western sectors by the allied forces but was reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Germany has a land mass of 357.050 km² and a population of 82,3 million, of which 75,5 million hold German citizenship. This makes Germany one of the most densely-populated countries in the world!
In Germany, a church building can be found in almost every village and town. In many villages, the local church is the largest and most beautiful building, but most of these churches are empty and idle. 31.2% of Germans are registered as Catholic, 30.5% as Protestants, but most of these “Christians” are only nominal Christians and the true figure is thought to be more like 3.9%. Atheism, Esotericism and Materialism are the growing 'religions' in Germany. An estimated 5% are Muslims, with growing tendencies.
- The Deetken Mill
In 1972, OM started to work in Germany. Since 1982 the OM Germany home office has been situated in a 200-year-old former mill, in the town of Mosbach in southwest Germany. The historic building, which also operates as a Christian conference centre, is affectionately known as the “Mill” within OM.
Fifty workers are based in the “Mill”, taking care of administrative duties such as finance, personnel care and public relations, coordination of short-term outreaches and the logistics of TeenStreet Germany.
A full-time kitchen, household team and maintenance team run the conference facilities on site. OM Germany offers a variety of seminars and workshops throughout the year. But the guest house can be booked by church groups for their own retreat also. Team members visit German churches and Christian conferences frequently to challenge German Christians and churches to become involved with world missions through prayer, giving, sending or going.
Since April 2008, a team from OM Germany and the headquarters of OM Ships International has been going to a nearby school twice a week to help 5th and 6th grade students with their homework, and to offer English conversation class to 9th grade students.
The Xenos (Greek for stranger) team works with immigrants and asylum seekers in a town in the south of Germany. They meet them with love, friendship and acceptance, introducing them to Jesus and showing them what it means to be a follower of Christ. This happens through church services, children’s programs and home visitation. The team offers practical help with legal issues and language coaching. The Xenos team members also offer workshops for churches and those interested in showing the love of Jesus to minority groups.
Since the end of 2008, the Xenos team is running a multicultural coffee shop for the many immigrants in the city. It serves as a meeting point to build relationships and as a centre where the team can offer practical services. The facility is used also for the international church service and Bible studies for immigrants.
- Team North
Since 2005 OM has a team working in Hamburg, Northern Germany. Hamburg is the second largest city of Germany. Most of the people consider God, the church and Christian faith outdated and irrelevant. Yet there is a growing interest in faith in general and in spiritual matters. Together with local churches the team wants to meet these people in their spiritual search and lead them to Christ. As in other large cities, many people in Hamburg are facing problems such as poverty, unemployment and broken families. The team cannot ignore these great needs. In partnership with local churches, Team North seeks to reach out to children and youth who come from difficult family backgrounds. The goal of the team is to share the Good News of Jesus with the people of Hamburg and give them an opportunity to receive him as their Saviour.
To accomplish that goal, the team moved into a socially disadvantaged neighbourhood. The unemployment rate is above-average and over 50% of the people come from an immigrant background. Inspiration to take this step was a movement in Canada called MoveIn.
In addition, the team offers different short-term opportunities to teams in Northern Germany.
- Team Halle
OM Germany’s newest team, Team Halle, is located in the city of Halle/Saale. Halle belonged to the former German Democratic Republic and still suffers the legacy of communism. Hopelessness is found everywhere, and both the unemployment and divorce rate are higher than in the rest of Germany.
Team Halle wants to demonstrate and share God’s desire to bring hope and a future through Jesus Christ. The team is remodelling an old lamp store into a youth centre with café. The centre will be called LichtHaus (House of Light). The team’s vision is to make it a place where relationships are built and lives are shared with the youth of the city of Halle.
- Missions Discipleship Training (MDT) Germany
We want to challenge and equip young people to maintain a close relationship with Jesus and to live a missionary life without compromise. This is achieved through teaching, practical outreaches, mentoring and living in community.
How can I talk to people about Jesus? What is God’s will for my future? How do I identify and use my gifts? How can I discover the Bible on a deeper and more personal level?
What would happen if you took one year to deepen your relationship with God and learn to lead a missions-minded life? The MDT will help you to live a Christian life without compromise and to equipped and trained for what God wants to do with you in the future! Learn more about God, yourself, team life and different ministry opportunities in a cross-cultural context that will open up new horizons.
Main focus areas of the MDT are:
OM is international! Discover and learn from others! Share your life with people from different backgrounds, cultures and ways of thinking. Our team is a great opportunity to learn how to love and value each other and our differences.
You have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of God and His word. Main focus areas are missions, discipleship, God’s character, discovering personal gifts and many more.
You will spend time with a mentor who will walk with you through this formative year. Listening, challenging and giving orientation are the mentor’s main tasks. This relationship aims to challenge and encourage you, helping you make the most of your life and God-given gifts.
You will spend a total of six months time gaining practical experience. In our three outreach teams (in Halle, Hamburg and Heilbronn) you will get to know different missionary opportunities in Germany and learn things that you can later use in your own context and environment. Each team has a different focus (e.g. working among immigrants, youth work, etc.) and will give you a good overview of missions needs and opportunities in Germany.