We are dedicated to God's Word through regular Bible study, worship and prayer, sharing the Good News with all people by telling of the hope, love and purpose we have through Jesus.
FALL RETREAT – OCT 26-28 – BAD KREUZNACH
We had a wonderful time. A couple days of fellowship, Bible study, worship and site seeing. Our focus was on the work and blessings of the Reformation. We had several first timers and others who were retreat veterans. Our next retreat wil be in Oberwesel for Easter April 18-21, 2019.
Ripley’s Believe it or not
“Believe it or not!” is a phrase that Jerry Galow utters frequently. At our last Easter retreat in Magdeburg, I asked Jerry whether he had ever attended the famous Oberammergau Passion Play. With a smile on his lips, he quickly replied, “Pastor, believe it or not, we did. While we did not get tickets ahead of time, we got them there for only fifteen marks, or about ten dollars!” In the eighteen months I have known Jerry and Marilyn, I have heard more than one of his fantastic stories. Since he always starts with “Believe it or not…”, I have given him the nickname “Ripley.”
Jerry and Marilyn first came to Germany in the late 1960’s when Jerry served a short military tour here. They returned in the early 70’s and welcomed the first WELS European chaplain, Pastor Ed Renz. Believe it or not, they have been here to welcome almost every chaplain since. Believe it or not, they remember every one. They can tell you stories about each one’s family and ministry.
Like the other WELS members living in Europe, they have their membership in the States. Almost every year, they return to visit their home church and family and friends.
Even though Jerry has lost most of his vision and is very frail, he and Marilyn faithfully worship and commune twice a month. They travel by train to Flörsheim, where we pick them up for worship at Wicker. They also attend almost every other special activity we offer in Germany. We have had 43 annual Easter retreats since the Galows came to Europe. Believe it or not, they have attended every single one! The bottom line is that every aspect of their lives testifies to their love for the Lord, his Word, and the Wisconsin Synod.
Before I came to Germany, the previous chaplain, Joshua Martin, told me that the members here make this ministry special. There is no doubt about it. The Galows are just one example of this. While my call is to serve as a civilian chaplain to WELS military in Europe, our fellowship includes military contractors, civilians, students, and others who are also living here. Although our ministry is centered in Germany, it stretches from London to Sicily, from France to Poland. The long distances, however, do not keep us from rejoicing in the close bond of fellowship we share in Jesus Christ with all members of the WELS.
The European Chaplaincy is supported by the prayers and gifts of WELS members here and in the States. The Organization of WELS Lutheran Seniors has also been a longtime supporter of this ministry. Please remember us in your prayers and with your gifts.
Visit our website for our worship and retreat schedule at welseurope.net. If you or someone you know is headed to Europe as a student, a member of the military, etc., please fill out the Special Ministries referral form at wels.net/refer. Or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above article was written by Pastor Stuppy for the Synod’s Special Ministry web site for “Just Hands.” Just Hands is a publication that covers many areas of Special Ministries. Follow the link below in find out more.
Confessional Lutheran Christian Ministry Pastor Donald Stuppy
Im Holzweg 4a 55288 Spiesheim
Phone: 6732-600-3933 Cell: 173-419-9572
In His service,
Pastor Donald Stuppy