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2009 The Year so far! Yes as most of you know Wencke and I were

2009 The Year so far!

Yes as most of you know Wencke and I were married on March 14 th . We were blessed to have my brother and sister-in- law Randy and Erica here from California as well as Tim and Annette Duke from Dallas. Tim, the quintessential San Diego boy and anti- cowboy, actually donned a cowboy hat at the reception!

Colossians 4:3 (NLT) Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning

opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning In preparation for the wedding, as we started

In preparation for the wedding, as we started our new life, Wencke and I scheduled only a few meetings but as of May we are ready, willing, and able once again. In fact we had our first weekend retreat in which I spoke 4 times in 3 days where we

saw the Lord use us to encourage and

of people from a church in Frankfurt. We were asked to speak to the leadership of a church in the area as well as a group of leaders from a number of local churches

begin a healing work in the lives a number

where God used us to bring a message of strength and encouragement. We have a few more meetings scheduled this summer and have had interest from some small churches who would like us to come if we are able to pay our own expenses. I am excited to say that we have slowly but surely been developing relationships as we go. Continue to pray for us as we develop and grow into our mission. We have also decided to say yes to join a group that prays once a month specifically for the nation of Germany.

In other good news, I finally completed all the requirements for my German Driver’s License now I can begin the required German Integration courses. Pray that this does not take an entire year or more as it does for some!

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Barbara's Story As Germany prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the
Barbara's Story
As Germany
prepares to
celebrate the 20th
anniversary of the
fall of the Berlin
Wall and Iron
Curtain, Wencke
and I would like to
share with you a
story we found
heart moving
from one of the
leaders in a
church we serve.
To pass her on the street Barbara looks like any other German woman, but dig deeper and
you discover the story of Barbara and her little daughter of 4 years which takes place just
prior to Ronald Reagan’s infamous "Mr. Gorbachev - tear this wall down" address.
She had heard of other people who more and more, seemed to find a way to the West.
Asking God for a miracle, she applied for a tourism-visa to Hungary that, to her surprise,
was approved much quicker than the usual bureaucracy permitted. She travelled with a
friend (who also planned to flee) to Hungary with nothing more than a tent and a car.
Upon arriving at a Hungarian camp site they encountered an Austrian couple who
clandestinely searched the crowds for people that “looked like” those who don't want to go
back to East Germany. But this was dangerous. You did not know who to trust, and there
were always German Spies around. Taking the risk they asked Barbara some questions,
and eased her suspicions by showing papers that they were Austrian. They said they knew
a way to the West for her and her 4 year old daughter, but they would only be allowed to
carry a single bag. The price of their "help" was for Barbara to sacrifice her camping gear
and car. The chance of freedom would be at the cost of her possessions, perhaps her life as
well as her child’s, and the possibility she would never see her family in East Germany
again. At this time nobody knew that the wall would soon be open. But she felt the peace of
God and went with this couple who showed her a way through the fields.
Barbara and her daughter fled at dawn. Everywhere were heavily armed watch-towers. But
God was hiding them in the shadow of His wings as they crossed over unseen. "A
miracle", Barbara said later, when I arrived safe in Austria people who knew the path I
had taken said it is impossible to pass there without being caught. Later that day a soldier
would bring her to West Germany. She was able to stay with some Christian’s who opened
their doors for refugees, until she found a job and a kindergarten for her daughter.
"I knew God was in all of this," Barbara told us. I also know that it is possible to leave
everything behind for freedom's sake and still win more than you can ever dream of.
God was good; after some months she was reunited with her family - the wall that
separated a nation had become history.
Mike & Wencke Bates
Asslarer Weg 8
35614 Asslar-Berghausen
Wencke and I wanted to share a part of Barbara’s story because like most Americans I have
no idea what life without freedom was or is. Yes it has been 20 years since the fall of the Iron
Curtain but the souls of so many that live(d) in East Germany have never been released from
the bars of this prison. Wounds from the oppressions of the past run deep. In fact I am told
that to this day many do not yet know what Easter or Christmas is all about. The Communist
State was the center of worship in fact if a person wanted even a basic education or decent
job they were required to take vows of loyalty and covenant to the State. As Wencke and I
talked of this I was reminded that the Lord confirmed my calling to this nation while in “East
Berlin” in April of 2000. We know we must minister in the region of the old DDR. At this
time we have one opportunity between now and September we can plan plus a few potential
leads and connections but believe God is going to open the gates as it were for us to bring a
message of hope and healing. Not only this but I am discovering this to be a nation still
suffering deep wounds from the past and a nation largely devoid of the Word of God even
surprisingly in the Church. This is why I write to you and humbly ask that you honestly pray
and ask the Lord if He would have you sow into this ministry. GERMANY and the Church in
Germany I am sorry to say is simply not even close to understanding the principles of giving.
Few churches have or are even able to support us as we serve them in ministry. As always we
thank you for and covet your prayers
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Wencke & Mike